Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Cortech Scarab Winter Gloves

A few months back I purchased a pair of Cortech Scarab Winter Gloves from for $78. I wanted a 1) leather 2) gauntlet-length 3) waterproof glove with 4) knuckle armor. I also didn't want to spend more than $180 for the pair.

After reading a LOT of product reviews, I chose the Scarabs. My short review is: they have met my expectations.

I have worn them while riding my 2012 Suzuki GSX-R750, which has no hand guards or heated grips, in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees down to 40 F. I have worn them on my 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650, which has hand guards but no heated grips, in temperatures from 55 degrees down to 40 F. The gloves are surprisingly warm, which is code for: it takes 45 minutes before my hands get cold instead of 15 minutes like most multi-season gloves.

They are somewhat stiff when operating controls but after putting a few dozen hours in them I can tell they are breaking in and loosening up a bit. They are comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and don't make my hands sweat (which is rare; I have sweaty hands). I've not tried to put the gauntlet under my jacket sleeves and I doubt it would work if I tried. These gloves are allegedly waterproof, but I've not yet ridden in anything other than occasional showers. Normally when it's raining hard, you want your jacket sleeve to fit over the glove. The gauntlet on these is big enough that it's not feasible to do so. If I were wearing these in anything more than moderate rain, I'd wear my Aerostich triple-digit rain covers over the top.

My ultimate test of a product's worthiness is value: does it's features and quality exceed the cost? In the case of the Cortech Scarab Winter Gloves, I definitely feel they do. They are a good value in an armored, gauntlet-style waterproof glove.

Update: 12/31/2012

I have since worn the Scarab's in colder temperatures, down to the upper 30's, riding both my V-Strom with hand guards and my Gixxer (no hand guards). The gloves work reasonably well and I maintain adequate dexterity. I have used them with a pair of silk glove liners and find my hands are comfortable quite a bit longer before they get cold. So far I would say these gloves exceed my expectations.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

There's a change in the weather

It's amazing what can change from one month to the next. In western Oregon, we had record-setting low precipitation from July through September. And then October arrived and said, "Eff that!" I think October may have set a new record for high precipitation.

This is the season when my Gixxer becomes sad. I'm not afraid to get the bike wet but I'm concerned about riding a bike with so much torque and horsepower on wet pavement. This time of year, when all the leaves are falling, is especially dangerous because the wet roads are extra slick.

In other news, I'm already itching for another long trip. Normally I don't start getting the urge to plan long bike trips until January or February, but this year it has hit me early. The fatigue and strain of my 5,000 mile trip back in June is long past and over time the positive memories and feelings of such a journey take dominance. This time, I'm longing to go somewhere even more exotic. Perhaps an early Spring ride to Death Valley to see the blooms? Or maybe a mid-summer jaunt further up into Canada?