Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Teknic Xcelerator Gloves Review

In preparation for track days this year, I purchased the Teknic Xcelerator Gloves from Motoprimo in Minnesota. I was lucky enough to get all of my gear as part of a package deal, so I did not pay full retail price. The full retail price for the gloves is $180.

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The Xcelerator gloves are Teknic’s top of the line racing glove. They offer a very high level of protection for the hands and wrists. I normally wear a large with Alpinestars and my other Teknic gloves, but with these I am a medium.

They have pre-curved fingers and palm to reduce hand fatigue when holding the handlebars. The palms are made with 0.8mm of very soft Kangaroo leather which gives a fantastic feel for the controls.

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Kangaroo leather is a very strong, light weight leather which makes them perfect for gloves. Wikipedia: “When split to 20% of original thickness Kangaroo retains between 30 to 60% of the tensile strength of the unsplit hide. Calf on the other hand, split to 20% of original thickness retains only 1-4% of original strength.”

The palms have the Knox scaphoid protection system (SPS) which are the two plastic bumps at the heel of the palm. The system is designed so that upon impact the palms will slide rather than grip preventing a painful scaphoid injury to the small bones in the hand and wrist.

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I can personally attest to the usefulness of the SPS system. In 2009, I had a slow speed lowside and was wearing a cheaper pair of Teknic gloves. The sliders in the palm took the brunt of the impact by sliding instead of injuring my hands.

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The back of the glove is made of premium grade Japanese drum dyed cowhide. It is thick, but doesn’t impede movement unnecessarily. The leather is much nicer than that in the Alpinestars SP1. 

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The back of the hand is covered in vented knuckle protectors and a replaceable airblade. On my last pair of Teknic gloves, I removed the airblade because it was too ugly. On these gloves, it blends in nicely.

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The wrists have a strong plastic like protector on the outside of the wrist and a thick closed cell foam padding protector in inside which creates a lot of protection for the wrist including the carpal, metacarpal, and ulna.

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The gloves are secured to the hands with four overlapping pieces of very strong hook’n’loop. They secure very tightly if desired and remind me of wearing a wrist brace.

Pros:

  1. High level of protection
  2. Very comfortable

Cons:

  1. Slow to put on due to the four flaps of hook’n’loop.
  2. Palm leather color should match the rest of the glove

I purchased these gloves specifically for track days this year. I wanted a high level of protection because of the high speeds anticipated, and these gloves definitely provide that protection. I have been wearing them commuting almost every day since I purchased them because they are so comfortable and I enjoy the increased safety. However, they are kind of a pain to get on and off because of the four overlapping layers at the wrist.

I would purchase these gloves again. If money was no object, I would look at the Knox Handriod instead because of the simple closure mechanism.

UPDATE: September 15, 2012 The seams on the fingers have come apart. The warranty is only one year. I'm not impressed with the build quality, and I question if they would have held up in a crash. While I was at the dealer having them looked at, I noticed the new models are double stitched in areas mine were not. The new ones may be more durable.

9 comments:

  1. Good review. I should invest in something like these for those times we do track classes. Like high speed motor cop training. You just never know.

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  2. Thanks Irondad. Hands are important. What job can you do without hands? I saw four moto cops at Chipotle today. I was drooling on their bikes while they were inside eating.

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  3. Very nice, detailed review! I am by no stretch of the imagination, a fashion maven. However, I have helmets and gloves! I have a Tecknic pair (don't know the model as it's on the bike now) but I love them. Same great knuckle and finger protection--and I did use them for my track day!

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  4. Dear Chris:

    Four simple words that rule our lives, "If money were no object..." I have never done a track day, and it is unlikely I ever will. First of all, I have no love of horses. And then again, instead of twisting the throttle, hearing that bell go off would probably make me drop the bike.

    I own three pairs of gloves. I used to own four, but the mice got into a nice pair of late fall gloves (that I did not put away carefully), and it still has me nuts. I am always fascinated by the different tensile strengths of leather. I have a pair of insulated Lee Parks gauntlets for the coldest of days, and I believe they use deer leather, elk leather, moose leather, and platypus beaks (for the fingers) in their construction. They cost about $46,000. They are far too bulky for all but the coldest of days.

    Good luck with these. I hope you never test out 90% of their crash features.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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  5. Sharon: Thank you. I'm also not a fashion maven. I leave those ideas to my wife. :)

    Jack: There are two types of "track days" and I hope to attend both this year.

    The first is the type I will be doing at least four times. A short 0.8 mile course with 11 or 12 turns depending on the configuration that day. It is free of sand, dogs, kids, SUVs, trees, posts, deer, and icecream trucks. The emphasis isn't on speed since there isn't room for that, but rather on practicing cornering and braking in a safe place. You get to ride around for 15 minutes four or five times. A coach follows and comments on your riding during the break.

    The second type is the track day you're thinking of. A 2.8 mile course with almost a mile long straight. Those are all about going fast. But before I can go, I need to figure out how to trailer my bike up in case something should go wrong.

    I think I'm up to six pairs myself now... I think... I've lost count. Too bad you never get to wear your fancy gloves as it doesn't get cold enough in PA!

    I hope I don't get to test them out either!

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  6. $46,000 on gloves?

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  7. LOL. I think Jack forgot his tags ;)

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  8. Thanks to you I will get these. Just one thing, I read that they run big. I have small hands. Would a Small be considered a Medium in sizing? I want to get Smalls

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  9. tb: I'm glad I could help you decide. I have really enjoyed mine this year. For me, they didn't seem to run large. I wear a large in alpinestars, teknic, tourmaster, and knox.

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