Gloves are to most riders what shoes are to most women – can’t get enough of them, but you can never seem to find just the right one. 440 Moto may not have created the glove that’s right for everyone, but it’s the right glove when you want it to be. When they promised us a pair of their Capital gloves, we were pretty damned eager to see how they’d hold up.
These fine, vintage-inspired gauntlets arrived just before we took off for a two-week trip that took us from Northern California, south through Nevada, east to Northern Arizona and back again. Seventeen hundred miles of temperatures that ranged from the mid-40s to the high 90s, and gusting crosswinds that often tested our grip, our bikes and our mettle.
They were superb.
Granted our hands did feel the cold once the temp dropped below 50 and we were doing 80 on the freeway. A set of glove liners would have probably solved the problem, but we were too lazy and not uncomfortable enough to stop and try that.
Derek Keller, owner of 440 Moto, isn’t just some schlub who decided to sew some leather together. He’s a craftsman. You can see it in the stitching, the feel of the leather and the design of the gloves – complete with a two-snap strap at the back of the hand and a single snap closure just below the wrist to adjust the fit and finish. His gloves are not only functional, but they make a statement.
Throughout our ride, we appreciated the glove’s soft feel and flexibility. The close but not too snug of a fit never felt bulky and allowed us to control our GoPro and electronics almost as if we were barehanded.
But don’t expect armor. That’s a handful of a different animal. Although, we suspect the bison and deer leather Derek uses with each glove will still do a passable job of protecting your hands and digits in case of a spill.
For $110 you will get a pair of handmade gloves that will probably last you a lifetime. And if gauntlet gloves aren’t your thing, Derek sells a shorter version called the Brentwood for $80.
Next up, is 440 Moto’s waxed canvas bandana, a throwback to an era where cotton and wool were king and no one knew the word polyester. Can’t wait.