I owned a number of items from the Yokohama motorcycle gear brand Rough and Road when I lived in Japan and found all their gear to be well designed and priced competitively. So I recently got a new pair of gloves from them.
I used Tenso a freight forwarder in Tokyo which allowed me to order from any online retailer in Japan and have the items posted at a reasonable rate. At the moment with the very favorable exchange rate from Aud to Yen you can buy items from Japan quite cheaply.
I wanted to update my Rough and Road Gore-tex gloves which have been superb for touring and will likely last another season but are starting to show signs of wear. Alas these gloves whilst well made are not a good match for me.
As you can see they are substantial in their construction and certainly offer better protection than my other winter gloves. There is reinforcement and multi layers in numerous locations as well as knuckle protection and hybrid materials. They also have a HiPora liner which in my previous experience is as good as Gore-tex.
However the design of the cuff on these gloves is crazy bulky and I presume the design is only to be worn over your jacket as it difficult to fit them under your jacket cuffs. But as we know when it rains you must have gloves under your jacket or the rain runs down your arms and into your gloves so I wear gloves under all the time. I think the design is flawed.
The bulky feel continues through the glove despite their insulation Primaloft being advertised as high performance in a thin layer. It is used by the US Army in their winter gear but these gloves are not so thin.
In the Tasmanian highlands the temperatures fell to zero and I switched from my Rough and Road Gore-tex gloves to the Primaloft gloves and disliked how bulky they were in comparison. My Gore-tex gloves use a 3M liner which is much thinner and almost have no more bulk then a regular full leather glove. The 3M liner handles a wide range of temperatures, from mildly warm days down to single digits and only as the temperatures get lower do I want something warmer.
The Primaloft liner with the multi layer materials made operating bike a little awkward initially but this did improve as they broke in on my second time using them and they do handle zero degrees. These gloves would have been nice on my Pakistan ride on the day I rode to the China border but probably not used any other day of that ride where I wore my Gore-Tex Rough and Road gloves.
Compared to my old winter gloves, the seriously good Cold-Tex 3’s from TourMaster the Primaloft gloves are not as bulky but the TourMaster gloves are far more flexible when operating the bike controls and offer vastly better warmth. I have ridden in sub zero temps with sleet or snow with the TourMaster gloves and still had completely warm (and dry) hands however the TourMaster gloves offer little in the way of protection, their construction is focused on providing maximum warmth. They use 3M insulation.
I’m not sure Primaloft is the best solution for motorcycle gloves. My other gloves with 3M appear to outperform it. These gloves do offer good protection and I guess that combined with decent winter warmth means they are not a bad product. Still they are not what I was hoping for and this highlights the risk of buying things sight unseen.
After Tasmania I don’t have any cold rides on my horizon for some time but later (health permitting) there is a couple of cold/high chance of rain tours on my bucket list so these gloves will get some use one day hopefully but I may end up still shopping for another pair that sit in the elusive mid season category which I find so versatile on my touring overseas.