Held make all kinds of motorcycle kit, but their original passion is for making gloves – and it’s easy to see that with a glove like the Held Akira Evo.
Take, for example, the presence of a rubber visor wipe on the Akira Evo’s left forefinger. These gloves wouldn’t be out of place in a race – and I can’t imagine a single racer would demand a way of dispatching rain from their visor.
But that’s exactly what these gloves have – because Held pay attention to such matters. Having reviewed at least two pairs of waterproof touring gloves that lack a wipe, the fact that even Held’s sports gloves have one tells a story.
It came in useful during my time wearing these gloves, too. On a trip north to Aberdeen I set off in warm, dry conditions before things changed just south of the border. Handguards on the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 I was riding meant no immediate need to swap to the waterproof gloves in the topbox, but the ability to properly wipe rain from the visor was very welcome.
Anyway, personal rant over it’s on to the meat of the review. These gloves are absolutely beautiful to wear. They broke in very quickly – less time than it took to ride from Lincolnshire to Scotch Corner – with the kangaroo leather construction giving near-perfect feel for the controls.
Photography: WILL BRODIE
The large cuff cover made it tricky to fit them inside my textile touring jacket, but I could manage it – and the Akira Evos are far more likely to be worn over leather jackets than inside textile.
When worn with my leather jacket, it’s a cinch to get the cuff over the top and secure the double cuff closure and highly effective wrist restraint, which wraps all the way around for the most secure grasp on the wrist.
The fit is glorious, and the chance of finding perfection is so much higher than with many brands of gloves. Firstly, Held make ‘hybrid’ sizing for riders like me, who sit on the cusp between two sizes. Instead of going for a slightly tight medium or a little-loose large, I could go for a medium-large.
If that’s not enough, Held’s finger-length options mean riders whose digits aren’t in ‘normal’ proportion with the width of their palm can get the right fit of glove.
There’s a reassuring amount of protection, with hard armour at the knuckles and cuffs, a panel of stingray skin on the heel of the palm to beef up abrasion resistance without affecting comfort, and an aramid-fibre lining across the back of the hand. A top-line race glove would have a little more hard protection, but in terms of riding comfort, these offer a great blend.
I spent hours at a time in them, in some very warm conditions, and found the Akiro Evos absolutely supreme.
It’s been time to replace my battered old Racer High Racer gloves for ages, but I was reluctant to take the plunge. Sorry old friends, I’ve finally found something to take your place.
Fit & Comfort
They’re supreme. It’s not quite a guarantee that you’ll find the perfect fit, but with 17 different sizing options (sadly there’s no women’s version) it’s more likely than with a model that only comes in six sizes.
A bridge between the final two fingers would add some extra protection (though some riders would feel that affected comfort)
Kangaroo leather can be used in thinner hides without reducing the protective properties, so dexterity is virtually unaffected. They’re beautiful to wear.
They are impossible to fault. Held know how to make gloves, and the construction quality is to be admired.
Early gloves didn’t carry a CE safety mark, but more recent production runs have been approved to the basic Level 1, including impact protection for the knuckles.