“All of the elkskin glove models are cut and sewn on the exact same patterns so they fit similarly from model to model, but there are slight variations from glove to glove because each glove is hand made and each section of elkhide is a little different. A great way to quickly custom-fit a new pair is to fully wet-saturate on a warm day when you know you'll be riding continuously for several hours, then let them dry and conform to the shape of your hands during that ride.
Elkskin and deerskin can be safely washed using warm water and mild soap. This removes accumulated dirt, oils and stains and will help gloves last longer and feel nicer. After rinsing to remove residual soap, gloves should be gently wrung damp and allowed to dry gradually at room temperature. Do not apply direct heat when drying. They shrink slightly but will stretch to fit during wear.”
Which Elk Glove?
Thanks for your question. I wear both versions of the Elk glove. About 90% of the time I grab either the regular or competition Elkskin Ropers. The gauntleted version is also available, but I seldom take it. Probably only because I don’t have a sport bike option like your VFR.
The gauntlet on the unininsulated version of the gauntleted ropers is not lined, so the suede-ish backside of the leather does drag slightly against the sleeve of a textile jacket, but it’s not enough (to me) to be an issue. Also, as the gloves break in the suede-ishness wears a way slightly so the drag seems even less after a few hundred miles.
The gauntleted models are slightly more to deal with in subtle, nuanced ways. There are just ‘more glove’. The fastest and most unconscious pull-on-and-go is the regular roper. You just snap the wrist snap without thinking and go. Perfect for everyday short-hop, on-and-off-the-bike riding. Next fastest/easiest is the competition model. The wrist strap is much more secure than the snap, but it takes a nano-more of consciousness to manipulate it. For all-day riding, though, I usually pick this one. The gauntlet models add another nano-bit of rigamarole, but for a sport bike rider are probably a better option. These shades of ease-of-use distinction are very slight.
When I travel I normally take two pair of gloves -- usually a pair of competition ropers for wear most of the time, and the insulated gauntleted ropers or Luxury Cowhide. And the triple digit raincovers.
Last November I rode around Lake Superior with some friends on Gold Wings. I was riding my unfaired bike which has heated grips, but is without hand guards (wind protectors). Temps every morning were about 30ºf and the high each day was about 45ºf. I had both of the above and switched multiple times for comparison and evaluation. In the end I liked the insulated elk ones slightly better, but it was very close.
Since that trip (and as a result my experiences on it…) we have slightly increased the insulation thickness of the wind barrier hidden within the backside of the hands and fingers on the insulated elk ropers. Before it was a layer of windproof fabric placed between the wool liner and the elkskin outer. Now it’s a layer of thin windproof fleece (fleece laminated to a layer of wind blocking coated fabric).
The elk gloves are sized by glove sizes, not s,m,l, xl, etc. Basically there are twice as many sizes. For example, both a size 9 and a 9.5 are ‘m’ graded. So you end up with a more precise fit. A good-fitting glove is as important as a good-fitting shoe. It’s the only real difference between an ok glove and a great glove.
-- Mr. Subjective