How To Break in Motorcycle Gloves – Maximise Comfort, Durability, and Protection.

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Leather motorcycle gloves are made to be tough, and durable and offer you the protection you need while you take to the roads and explore the world on your two-wheeled machine.

However, there’s no need to suffer with unwieldy leather gloves that have the flexibility and comfort of a rough old plank of two-by-four wood! New leather gloves can be a real pain while you’re riding and can make your hands tired very quickly, which itself can put you at risk of making a mistake.

You really need to have your hands free, and it is easy to move while you’re on the road so you can maintain the control that is essential to ride safely, especially on longer rides.

Motorcycle gloves are made to be strong with thick leather padding, but this makes them difficult to flex and move comfortably when you first get them on. Your gloves will eventually break over time but there are some tried and tested techniques that you can use to speed up the process.

Complete Guide to Breaking in Your New Leather Motorcycle Gloves – The Fast and Easy Way

How To Break in Motorcycle Gloves 2

There’s a simple process that you can go through to make sure that your motorcycle gloves are broken in fast, so you have the freedom of movement and comfort while still getting the protection they are made to give you.

  • First Things First – What to Do in The Store.

When you buy your new gloves from the store you can make your life a lot better in the long run by selecting a pair that feel like they’ll be easy to break in. It’s vital that you choose a pair that is well fitted but doesn’t make your hands feel too compressed or cause them to ache.

Always buy gloves that fit snuggly but leave enough room for you to flex your fingers and manipulate your hands so you can control the bike’s brakes and gears without any problems.

As well as selecting a pair of properly fitting gloves you should also purchase some leather conditioner. This will not only help you to break in your gloves much more quickly, but it will also protect the leather and make sure that your gloves stand the test of time – which will also save you from having to break in a new pair anytime soon!

Leather conditioner helps the leather gloves to become more flexible and stretch to accommodate the movements of your hands while you ride. You should apply the leather conditioner to your gloves as soon as possible – even before you leave the store!

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  • Soak Your Gloves Using an Old Army Trick!

Soak Your Gloves in warm water

The military has been using leather gloves to protect their hands during combat for a long time now and they know the absolute life and death importance of being able to move their hands properly while wearing their gloves.

An old trick that is used throughout the military, including the Marines, is to soak their leather gloves in hot water to help stretch them and make them more flexible. To make use of this technique you simply need to put your gloves in hot water and completely soak them. Once they are completely waterlogged and the water has cooled down then you just put on the gloves – flexing your hands while you do so. Keep the gloves on until they have totally dried out naturally.

This can be a bit annoying to do, however the technique has been used by the military and motorcyclists alike – so don’t miss out on using this classic method. Once the leather gloves have dried out, you’ll instantly notice how much more flexible and comfortable they are while allowing you the manipulation and stretch you need to move your fingers and hands with so much restriction!

  • Rubbing Alcohol – The Perfect Solution for Breaking in Your Leather Gloves.

Using rubbing alcohol is another tried and tested method to break in your leather gloves and was originally used by the cowboys and ranchers of the wild west.

To use rubbing alcohol, you just need to apply it to the outside surfaces of the gloves – spreading it smoothly and evenly across the whole glove. The rubbing alcohol will dry extremely quickly so put on your gloves and then flex your hands to stretch them out.

Repeat The Process Several Times a Day.

You can then repeat this process a couple of times a day until your gloves are softening up nicely. This is a super-fast way to shortcut the breaking-in process and will leave you with extremely comfortable gloves that fit perfectly in a matter of a few days! Your gloves will not only be much softer in no time at all, but they’ll also be far more comfortable than if you had only soaked them in water.

  • Get Out on the Road and Ride!

Once you’ve soaked your gloves in water, and used rubbing alcohol, and leather conditioner it’s time to get out on the road and break those gloves in the traditional way!

The most reliable way to make sure that your gloves get broken is to ride, ride ride! It’s crucial, particularly in the early days after buying your new gloves, that you ride as much as you can to break in your gloves fast.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t soak your gloves first and keep them well conditioned, however, at the end of the day, you’ll need to take them out on the road to complete the breaking-in process!

Let’s be fair though – breaking in your gloves is a great excuse to get out on the road and take your hog for a drive!

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Breaking in Your Leather Motorcycle Gloves – Review of The Process

How To Break in Motorcycle Gloves

Once you buy your gloves and have checked in the store to see that they fit correctly you’re ready to get started with breaking them in.

  • Put leather conditioner on your gloves as soon as possible to start the process.
  • Soak the gloves in hot water for at least 10 minutes until they cool down. Then put them on and wear them until they are completely dry. You can hang them up to drip dry if you don’t want to wear them for a long time but just make sure you’ve flexed your hands extensively before you take them off.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to help break in your gloves and make them more flexible and softer. You can repeat this several times a day until the leather gloves feel comfortable and easy to manipulate your hands in.

Breaking in Motorcycle Gloves – Vital for Comfort and Safety

After you’ve broken your gloves, you should continue to apply leather conditioner and rub alcohol on them on a fairly regular basis. This will keep them nice and flexible while helping to protect the gloves from wear and tear and increase their viable lifespan.


Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative Government, educational and nonprofit organizations:


About the author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, total he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. In addition, he functioned as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985 he is the founded AGV Sports Group in cooperation with AGV Helmets

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