Over the past 30 years, I’ve seen plenty of motorcycle riders in the ER and the ICU with all types of injuries, minor and serious.  Being a witness to that has sure helped me keep a focus on rider safety, and I’ll be sharing here each month some of what I’ve learned….and what I think.

There aren’t many body parts more important than our hands.  Without functioning hands we can’t touch, feel, rub, pick up, grab, push, pull, throw, flick…. or even use the TV remote!  No keyboard typing, no opening the mail, no Two-Finger Harley-Davidson waving at oncoming motorcycles.  Our hands are everything.

    So, is it worth wearing gloves while riding?  Absolutely!  Always.


There are several good reasons:


1. You don’t know when you’re going to tip or fall over.  Naturally, the hands reach out to take the first hit and protect the body.  A slide on concrete or asphalt of even a few inches will shred the skin off down to tendons or bone.  Skin covering knuckles is very thin, will peel off instantly, and you’ll become good “friends” with a hand surgeon.  No riding for weeks.
2. Your hands protect your body in a fall.  You throw your hands out in front of you in a fall or crash to protect your body and head.  If your hands are covered, protected by gloves, then they can do their protection duty.
3. You can’t ride when a hand is injured.  Obviously, good function of both of our hands are necessary to ride.  If you break fingers or sustain a deep cut or tear off knuckles, you’re not riding for quite a while.
4. Long rides can cause numbness in hands, and it can get bad enough to interfere with safe riding.  It is said that this numbness is brought on by the constant vibration of the motorcycle, affecting the tiny nerves in the skin of the hands.  Gloves – with their natural padding – protect against this.
5. Gloves allow a better grip while riding, even in the heat of summer sweating.  
6. A nice pair of Harley-Davidson leather gloves make you look like you belong on the bike.


Let’s all ride safe!  Gloves are another important piece of equipment that can help us stay safe.


Arlen Stauffer

DCCC Member, ’18 FLHCS ANN Rider, MD

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