For the last few weeks I've been trying out a pair of Iicon TiMax gloves, radically-styled gloves that are armored with multiple titanium plates.
I got these gloves because it was getting too cold to wear my regular gloves, the excellent AlpineStars GP-Plus, and I was never too happy with previous winter gloves I've tried. While out shopping for winter gloves I saw the radical-looking TiMax gloves, out of curiousity I tried them on, and was immediately struck with how comfortable they felt. Not only that, but having a padded inner liner and two layers of leather in the upper shell they seemed like they'd be much warmer than the very thin AlpineStars, probably adequate for the mild Arizona winter.
The first thing I found was that the sizing is rather tight. I usually wear a Large in men's gloves, but I found that I could barely pull on the Large-size TiMax, and and the Extra Large size, while still a bit snug to pull on, seemed to fit better. But once I pulled them on the XL size was much too large, yet the Large was still almost impossible to pull on. The sales guy at CycleGear advised me that's the way TiMax gloves seem to be made, with a very tight fit at the wrist, but once on they are comfy and roomy. I've found that to be true: The size that fits you well to wear will probably be very snug to pull on, at least at first. (Mine have loosened up a bit and are now easier to pull on.) The advantage of this type of fit is that once pulled on, these gloves fit very well and are very well retained -- they are very, very unlikely to be pulled off in a get-off.
About pulling them on: These gloves have the most elaborate closure I've ever seen. First you pull them on, then close a zipper down the gauntlet, then a wrist-closing strap, then a large Velcro strap closes the gauntlet, then another even larger Velcro strap closes over that one. It's complex, but the retention is superb, and the wrist ends up swathed in three layers of leather and large titanium plates on the top and sides.
The titanium plates (13 plates overall) are the key feature of these gloves, and they do provide excellent coverage. Small raised titanium plates cover every finger joint, each solidly riveted to its own hinged leather gusset. Large titanium plates protect the top and sides of the gauntlet and wrist, and a large domed titanium protector covers the knuckles, backed by two layers of firm padding. A large stiff leather flap juts back from the knuckle protector, rising like a spoiler when the hand is closed over the grips. The palm area is double leather, and the outboard half of the palm area (the portion that would slide on the ground in a crash) is studded with a tight pattern of metal rivets, all backed by a heat shield that protects the hand from the rivets. In short, there is titanium backed by double leather anywhere your hand might encounter the ground, and the whole thing is held together by what looks like Kevlar stitching. This is a very strong and extremely protective glove, probably the best hand-armor you can buy.
The titanium plates are also the salient styling feature of the gloves. The bright satin-finish plates on black leather really stand out and give the appearance of what an armored knight might wear to a joust, or maybe part of RoboCop's suit. Wearing a pair of these would stop most bar fights before they start. Riding in weapon-phobic California I half-expected some cop to pull me over to see if I had a permit to carry these gloves.
But maybe the looks aren't quite what they seem. When I bought these gloves I mentally prepared myself to get all kinds of comments about them, but in fact I've never gotten one comment except a couple of fellow bikers have asked if they're comfortable. They pretty much seem to go unnoticed, which I like but is not what I expected.
Now to the meat of the matter: how they are to wear. I must say these are the most comfortable heavyweight gloves I've ever worn. The aforementioned GP-Plus gloves feel more at one with my hand, but they are much thinner and lighter, much too light to be a year-round glove. As do-everything, go-anywhere handwear, the TiMax gloves are superb. Their battle-armor appearance and armadillo-like metal plates give the impression that they'd be stiff and bulky-feeling, but in fact they're very supple, a result of every protective plate being backed by a hinged leather gusset so as not to impede movement.
Overall comfort is excellent, with comfortable internal padding and no bunching anywhere. I've found them comfortable in temperatures down to 40F (+4.5C), feeling only a bit of chill through them with the gloves out in the breeze at 70+ mph. I expect they'd be acceptable down to 35F, maybe another 10 degrees lower if worn with glove liners. For those of you in northern climes that may not seem like real winter, but it makes these excellent all-season gloves for those of us in milder climates. For those who prefer a no-gauntlet glove, they are also available in a "short" version.
Summary: Excellent all-around gloves, outstanding protection with great comfort and year-round utility. At $150 they're not cheap, but these can be your one pair of gloves and, built as they are, they may outlast your motorcycle.