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.

Normal wear and tear? 49KB 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!

Left turn signal, 24KB 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.

Right turn signal, 28KB

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.

47KB 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?

Home  :  More moto stuff Updated: 28 April 2002