MotoPG - Held Satu KTC Gloves
Author: Tug McClutchin Date Posted:17 February 2023
I have lots of gloves. Two pairs of race gloves, one from Alpinestars (which are falling apart) and another from Knox which have been very good and handled two race crashes so far. I have a pair of Dainese summer gloves that are comfy and allow lots of airflow on hot days but have worn out after two years of moderate use (and no crashes) and are disappointingly ready for the bin. I also have another two pairs of winter gloves, both from BMW, one pair is almost like ski gloves and are pretty warm, but their Gore-Tex waterproofiness disappeared long ago. But I sometimes still wear them on clear cold days. The other is a twin compartment pair, made of leather, with one pocket you slip your hands in during good weather and are rewarded with nice feel on the grips, while the other pocket offers waterproof comfort when it rains. They are great, even though they too are no longer very waterproof, however they have done more than ten years of regular winter work.
Both pairs of BMW gloves were actually made by Held Motorcycle Fashion. What? You thought BMW made their own gloves? No, they just go to the best German glove manufacturer and get them to make some and stick BMW logos on them.
Here’s the thing though. I haven’t bothered replacing either set of old supposedly waterproof gloves because I’ve just come to accept over the years that when it rains, your hands get wet, even with the witchcraft of Gore-Tex. My issue with Gore-Tex is that it is generally used as a type of membrane inside the glove, like an extra layer between the glove exterior and your hands. So while the main structure of the gloves becomes soaked, your hands, in theory, stay dry.
But here’s the problem(s). As soon as the Gore-Tex layer is no longer serviceable due to age and use, it leaks. And even in the early days when it does work, the glove itself becomes so soaked that if it is cold, the water makes the gloves so cold your hands freeze, and you still end up wet inside due to condensation. And when you get off the bike your gloves weigh 3kg each and are so wet you can’t dry them out in time to get back on the bike the next morning, so you start the day by putting your hand inside a cold wet glove. And that’s just shit. Really shit.
So for wet weather summer riding I generally wear my Dainese summer gauntlets and just get wet. This is fine if it’s warm, because when you get where you’re going you can dry your hands easily. I don’t mind being wet, as long as I’m warm. But if the temperature unexpectedly drops as well, then your hands freeze like Rainbow Paddle Pops. Does anyone know what flavour those things were supposed to be?
Anyway, I was chatting to Ray at Made In Germany about this as I was about to head off on a 3,500km trip, taking in the NSW and Victorian Alps, as well as some coastal and country roads. It was November, so shouldn’t have been too cold, but it can still get seriously cold in the mountains at that time if year. In fact it ended up snowing when we rode through. And despite a drawer full of gloves, I didn’t really have anything that would do the job properly. And Ray knows my issues with Gore-Tex.
“Take some of these and see how you go” he said with a grin, and threw some Satu KTC gloves at me. “Just write a story about them when you’re done.”
Ray is a brave man. He knows I think Gore-Tex is overrated, and he knows that if they leak I’ll write a story saying they leak.
So here we are.
But first, let’s get the basics out of the way. The Satu KTC gloves are essentially a summer gauntlet, that will happily handle cool days, and if you have heated grips you might even wear them through winter, depending on where you are in the world. They have a knitted wrist band, which I really like, and one Velcro band to tighten them, so they’re not fiddley to get on and off. They are comfy from the minute you get them on, and work into your hands nicely. After an hour they fit like a glove. Whoops. Sorry about that.
They have a rubber visor wiper on the inside of the index finger for clearing rain from your visor, and special material on the finger tip to allow smartphone use without removing your gloves, which I would normally have said “big deal” to, but having recently discovered a very good navigation app available for my phone, I have started using it on trips to areas I don’t know that well and being able to use your phone without taking a glove off is very handy. Those who use their phones all the time for music and communications while riding will no doubt enjoy this feature more than I do.
The seams on the goat-skin palm are well placed and well sewn, so you don’t get any of that annoying “bunching” of the seams beneath your palm or fingers that becomes uncomfortable. It’s almost as if they were designed by someone who actually rides a bike. Go figure. They have a hardened “Temperfoam” for the knuckles, additional protection on the fingers, and the ball of the thumb has additional protection with a layer of Armaprotec. There’s also some reflective bits for those who think that may save you from blind drivers.
So, they are comfy, well made, and feel pretty “safe” to me. But back to the waterproof question. Ray had told me that these gloves weren’t like normal Gore-Tex gloves where the glove becomes saturated and the inner Gore-Tex layer protects your hands from the water that surrounds them. These gloves somehow have the Gore-Tex attached by some kind of magic to the glove itself. The technicalities of this elude my limited acumen in this area, but essentially it means the gloves don’t become drenched in the same way as the more traditional style of glove would. This is what Held calls “Gore Grip technology”.
The first day of my trip was wet. Very wet. Wet enough that my old waterproof gloves would have seen me with cold wet hands. But my hands were dry, and the gloves were pretty dry on the outside too. My riding partner had cold wet hands.
So it would seem that they work. But the jury was still out, for I was riding a Ducati Multistrada which benefited from heated grips and hand guards, and I couldn’t be sure how much of my gloves’ dryness was due to the hand guards and how much was due to their Gorey wizardry. It was then dry for the rest of my trip and has been dry every day I have ridden since.
So I did what any thinking road tester would do, and put them on my hands and stuck them in a bucket of water. I put them in far enough to make sure the fingers, palms and thumbs were submerged, and after 30 seconds I thought I began to feel water coming in. I took my hands out and removed the gloves, and my hands were dry. I’m not sure what it was I was feeling, but it wasn’t water.
Would they have leaked if I’d left them there longer? Probably, but show me a glove that wouldn’t, besides the old rubber washing up gloves we used to wear in the old days.
In the end, they did exactly what they claimed. They were comfy, well made, and didn’t leak.
That’s a rating of five fingers out of five from me.
They are available from Made In Germany for $200, which seems pretty good value to me as they feel like they will last quite some time.
View Product here:
- Held Satu KTC Gore-Tex Gloves Black - Available in Various Sizes
- Held Satu KTC Gore-Tex Womens Gloves Black - Available in Various Sizes
View full article here: BIKE ME - Held Satu KTC Gloves Review