There’s a substantial difference between a motorcycle and a car. The latter provides a protective ‘layer’ between the driver and the environment – in a car, you generally sit in the cabin, so that you’re kind of apart from the road and nature, or from the city, all around you. Riding a motorcycle, on the other hand, is a very different matter. The layer between the rider and the outside world is virtually non-existent – just a helmet and protectors. Every part of the body provides information to the brain and hands are paramount in this respect, as they hold the handlebar, which allows us to steer the motorcycle and transmits an infinite amount of stimuli. We use our hands to protect ourselves, by putting them in front of us in the unfortunate event of an accident.
Hands are so precious and yet so delicate at the same time, so you should always protect them with gloves when riding a motorcycle.
The history of Dainese motorcycle gloves dates back to the 1980s and racing served as the first test bench in this instance, too. In those years, Dainese started developing leather gloves, but the real turning point occurred in 1995: The Full Pro gloves were the first to feature rigid carbon fiber and aramid fiber inserts on the back and knuckles, a solution first tested by Max Biaggi while racing. The reason why? To protect from impact, not just from abrasion, since it was often the hands that first touched the ground during accidents. Needless to say that from then on all riders requested this type of protection, which was later extended to the ulna and the phalanges, too.
The latest evolution of gloves is called Full Metal 6, which are gloves featuring a palm made of goatskin (usually, jackets and most of the suits are made of cowhide). Why? It’s very soft leather and particularly suitable to the palm area, which requires maximum sensitivity on the handlebar. The seams, on the other hand, are in aramid fiber, a material boasting very high mechanical performance (Kevlar is an aramid fiber, for example). This means that it can also withstand high temperatures, just like the ones generated by friction when sliding on the asphalt. In this way, the gloves don’t open but continue to protect every part of the hand.
Other materials widely used for Full Metal 6 gloves are carbon and titanium. On the back, the lower plate is made of carbon, to better absorb impacts; the upper plate, however, is made of titanium, to dissipate the impact over a larger area but, above all, to reduce friction against the ground, helping the hand to slide on the asphalt. Carbon fiber protectors are placed on the sleeve, around the head of the ulna, and on the phalanges of the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. Titanium and carbon also feature another important characteristic – lightness. Less weight means less effort when riding on a track: Even just a few grams, at 300 km/h, can make a difference.
As you know, we believe that greater comfort equals greater safety: That's why the Full Metal 6 gloves feature a pre-curved sleeve and fingers, so that they fit the natural position of the hands on the handlebar and, while riding, you won’t strain your joints and muscles more than it’s necessary. In addition, stretch panels are placed in various areas of the gloves to enhance freedom of movement even further. The most obvious panel is the one that divides the knuckle protector from the protector on the back of the hand.
One of the parts most prone to trauma is the little finger. There are various reasons for this: It’s often the first finger to touch the ground in the event of a slide, it can easily get caught under the handlebar and it’s the weakest finger in terms of structure. As you can see, then, the little finger needs additional protection and that's why Dainese developed DCP (Distortion Control Protection). It’s a thermoplastic insert attached to the glove through aramid fiber seams (which we mentioned above) and placed right at the base of the little finger. It was designed to limit its movement, and especially prevent sprains. Other thermoplastic plates are also placed on the little finger, to protect it from abrasion and impact trauma.
So, as you have seen, motorcycle gloves integrate a whole lot of technology and innovation in order to combine safety and freedom of movement. Leather, titanium, carbon, aramid fibers... There are so many materials that make up gloves such as Full Metal 6, the latest and most thorough embodiment of Dainese hand protection for your hands. Starting as always from a simple leather garment, decades of intense research and development in extreme surroundings led us to create an increasingly technological and advanced item that allows you to always express your best.