For many motorcycle riders, there are few things more deeply rewarding than maintaining your own bike. Individual mechanical skill levels may vary from average riders changing oil, filters, and keeping things tightened and lubed to master mechanic know-how that can rebuild engines. But no matter the skill level, we all have a common need—protecting our hands while working on our motorcycles.
Shop gloves to the rescue
After a season or two of riding motorcycles, most of us have several pairs of riding gloves to handle changing weather conditions. Motorcycle maintenance also requires a variety of shop gloves to handle the tasks we tackle. They can range from inexpensive disposable gloves to heavy-duty mechanic gloves that should last for years. Each offers protection from different hazards. We’ll take a look at the three different types needed for our routine motorcycle maintenance adventures.
Protection from chemicals
Nitrile exam gloves
, often found in blue, will protect your hands while changing oil or while using any chemicals like carb cleaner. They’re also great for washing and waxing your motorcycle. They’re available in various synthetic rubbers, some of which are biodegradable. They also come in powdered or powder-free—which is preferred for motorcycle maintenance.
The thickness of the gloves is measured in mils. The higher the number, the better the protection. Remember, it’s worth paying for quality gloves so you can get several uses from them before they tear or fall apart. These types of gloves can also be worn under other gloves as an added layer of protection.
Many maintenance chores require getting a good grip on a part or tool. That’s where nitrile-coated cloth gloves come in. These are woven cloth gloves with a thick layer of rubber on the palms and three sides of the fingers and thumb. You can get a snug fit that affords good dexterity and improved grip. The gloves are usually sold in multi-pair packages and are affordable enough to be semi-disposable.
But be aware, while the rubber sides offer protection from chemicals, the cloth backs can absorb liquids like hot oil. So, if you’re doing work that may involve oil or other chemicals, be sure wear nitrile exam gloves underneath.
Abrasion and laceration protection
For heavy-duty protection, look for mechanic’s gloves with Kevlar for cut protection, impact resistant padding, and vibration reduction. These gloves often feature a molded grip shape similar to high-end riding gloves and Velcro wrist closures for a secure fit. A quality pair of gloves will protect your hands from cuts, scrapes, and busted knuckles while improving your grip. They’re strong enough to last you for years.
Don’t take for granted how precious your hands are. Be sure to wear gloves whether you’re riding or wrenching.
Till next time, ride safe!
If you enjoyed this piece on motorcycle safety, we have other motorcycle safety tips featured in our Safety section
At Dairyland, we feel strongly about your safety and promote it through our Rider Training Course
discount. Check it out.