Held 2273 Gloves
In terms of protection, features, quality, style and comfort, these
are the best gloves I have owned in 20 years of motorcycling. However, they
are also the most expensive and the least durable. The net result
is an utterly frustrating piece of gear.
I bought my Held gloves in June 1998. Around June 1999 they wore through
in the left thumb. The kangaroo leather in the area around the holes changed from
smooth to suede-like. I did not crash on these gloves. I did not use them to stop the
bench grinder. I followed the care instructions, i.e. no conditioners, no
stuffing them under the seat after each use, and no blowing my nose on them.
I thought one year is rather below average for wear.
For comparison, my previous two pairs of gloves were both Motoport cheapies
(Imola, USD 39 a pair.) They both lasted about 3 years each. I log most of my miles
in commute traffic and sport touring. I average about 6K miles a year.
So I went back to
Helimot European Accessories to see what they had
to say. The salesman took one look and immediately pronounced "Turn signals!"
The big bad turn signal switch is to blame for chewing up my gloves!
I pointed out to him that my BMW has turn signal switches on both sides,
that on average I probably turn right as much as I turn left, and
that the switches themselves are pretty well rounded and smooth.
And besides they had not eaten through the Motoports. There they are on either
either side of this paragraph, the suspect switches. Pretty menacing, huh?
Then the knowledgeable salesman tried to tell me that, hey all gloves wear out
eventually, just like tires. Fine, but in one year? These gloves cost three times as much as
my typical set of handschuhe. But I'm not even expecting three times the wear.
Comparable would be fine, thanks.
In the interest of balanced coverage, I will say that Motorcycle Online tried these gloves and liked
them fine. You can read their review here.
Which is not to say they liked everything they tried, or that big name stuff is
always beyond reproach. Here is their horror story about a pair of Nankais.
So what happened? My theory is that kangaroos and I just don't get along. It may be
a chemistry thing. It probably is a chemistry thing! My wife and I both floss every
night. She always gets good checkups in spite of visiting the dentist only twice
a year. I always have lots of plaque even though I go to the dentist
three times a year. The dental hygienist thinks my saliva is more
conducive to plaque buildup. Likewise I suspect my sweat is just bad news for kangaroo leather.
Held seems like a fine company. They make some nifty stuff, all shown
on their website.
I may or may not buy another pair of Held gloves, but I am fairly certain I would not
try kangaroo leather again. Oh, and my wife thinks I should not drool on kangaroos...
Lest you think I'm slamming Helimot, I should also point out that I'm happy with
their customer service in every other respect.
They were very helpful in fitting my wife for her Daytona Gore-tex boots,
and her Held 2273s have held up much better than mine. Less wear and different sweat?