A few months ago i have received a message in our social media from a user who urgently wanted to buy motorcycle gloves for her upcoming adventure, the Transamerica Trail aka TAT.
For those who don't know, the TAT is probably the best adventure route a rider can have in the United States. It involves over 9500 KM of off road travelling connecting the West with the East coast of the US.
TAT was created by a passionate motorcycle adventurer named Sam Correro back in 1984 while in pursuit of finding and mapping the most epic off-pavement cross-country trail. After covering thousands of kilometers across US and studying maps while make new friends and discovering new places, he created what would later become the official TransAmerica Trail.
When Sam noticed that many other adventure riders where interested in his maps he he made his unique trail available to countless adventure lovers. Today, his maps are available to browse here.
While doing the TAT, riders ride in a nature rich environment with majestic views, mud, rain, rocks and sand. The trail is made up of dirt, gravel, forest, farm, and brief sections of paved roads making it ideal for adventure gear tests.
So back to the Facebook message I've received.
MewZiKat (users' online name) wanted to get good quality gloves that would last a journey like TAT.
Even though i was excited with the fact that she was going to rider the TAT i didn't have any gloves to give her. As you guys know by now Siima Sibirsky ADV gloves are in the making with two prototypes being made (i actually have a third one but more on that in another update ;)
At the beginning i thought that it would inappropriate to offer a prototype. There might have been safety concerns, bad experience, gloves might fail etc.
Then i thought, i could at least offer the gloves mentioning they are prototype with all the flaws that every proto might have.
And that's what i did.
Long story short, MewZiKat was quite excited with the idea! We agreed that she will right a small review with her impressions about the gloves together with a few photos from her adventure.
So here it is:
"SIIMA adv glove review (final)
In his blog dated April 4, Giorgos Siima/Evripidou challenged the riding community to "Help Make An ADV Glove Like No Other." Since I already had plans to tackle Sam Correro's venerable Transamerica Trail this summer, I contacted Siima and offered to put their gloves through the rigors of my cross country trip; Giorgos himself obliged by sending prototype #1.
Upon arrival, the gloves appeared to be extremely well made: solidly stitched with [carbon fiber?] armor in the proper locations. Since this pair was made specifically to fit Giorgos' hand, it was a bit large for me; nonetheless I was excited to try them on the trail.
The main feature that distinguishes Siima from other gloves is the detachable long gauntlet. I prefer a long gauntlet for cold and/or wet riding conditions however summer in the southern United States is hot which is when I prefer a glove with no gauntlet. This glove has a nicely padded heavy duty YKK zipper comfortably integrated at the wrist which allows for such dual-purpose use.
Just like the zip-out liner of many ADV jackets, separating the gauntlet from the glove is easy however without the gauntlet in place, there just wasn't enough structure to secure the glove to my wrist. Keeping in mind this particular set of gloves was a bit large for me to begin with, I decided to use them only with the gauntlet attached during rainy weather.
Though this first iteration of the gloves has yet to include the Hipora waterproof barrier, I was extremely pleased the gloves did not get heavy and sodden when
wet. Siima uses a quick-dry base material that is remarkably lightweight and
dries out overnight unlike most gloves on the market. Even riding in the pouring rain, the gloves merely felt damp which was a nice respite from wet, heavy leather gloves.
On a month-long cross country journey such as TAT, it is imperative to pack as lightly as possible which means not having to carry extra sets of gloves, etc. Having a single pair of ADV-specific gloves than can handle the rigors of hot, cold, wet, dry and rugged conditions is paramount. I believe Siima is on track to offer such a glove and I plan to be the first in line to purchase this glove when complete."
Thank you very much for the feedback you have provided through this adventure of yours. You have definitely helped make a motorcycle adventure glove like no other. Talk soon!
Meanwhile, prototype #3 initial tests in Ireland and Cyprus are about to take place! Stay tuned for more!