Date reviewed: September 2022 | Tested by: John Milbank | RRP: £199.99 | www.alpinestars.com
It’s easy to dismiss products based on price, but it can be the hidden features of the construction that add to the cost. Alpinestars is not a budget brand, and the GP Plus R V2s have a retail price of £199.99 (though I have seen them from legitimate UK sellers for less, depending on the colour).
I’ve been wearing them on a 1999 Kawasaki ZX-6R, 2019 BMW R1250GS and a 2001 Honda VFR800 – on road and track – for just over 1,000 miles to find out if they’re worth it…
Size is of course subjective, but all of my gloves have always been size large. For some reason though, these and another set of Alpinestars gloves I got were too small, so I had to move up to XL.
The GP Plus R V2s were still snug, but didn’t really take much breaking in before they fit me perfectly; no slack at the ends of any fingers, and good contact at the webs between them.
The palms of these gloves are excellent, not rucking up at all in use, which can soon get uncomfortable on some others.
Thanks to small accordion panels on the fingers and thumbs, the Alpinestars bend easily with the hand, making them feel far less restrictive than some can. There’s also a stretch panel at the base of the thumb that helps provide very good movement, so with this and the well-designed palms, feel of the controls is great.
That stretch panel also makes a big difference when reaching for controls with your thumb – I switched to another pair of gloves after these and really noticed how restricted I am without it.
It is important to try any motorcycle kit on before buying, and I was surprised to have to go up a size (especially when one reviewer on a store website suggested people go down a size), but the GP Plus R V2s are perfect for me now.
One point I would make is that while they are a good, snug fit – which is important for feel and safety – this can make them tricky to get on in a hurry, particularly if your hands are hot.
The forefingers of both gloves have conductive panels on the tips, but they’re not as accurate as you mighty hope. Halvarssons / Lindstrands use the ‘Nudud’ bump to improve this, but as a set of track-focussed gloves, it’s unsurprising to find less attention given to mobile phone use.
Using Google maps, I find it a real struggle to access any of the controls, even when off the bike, let alone with the phone attached to the bars.
The ventilation on the Alpinestars GP Plus R V2s works well thanks to perforated panels and well-positioned holes in the fingers and on either side of the knuckles, which allow air to pass through easily. Even on the GS, which of course has hand-guards, I only need lift my hand from the bars to feel the air moving around my hand.
How cooled your hands get will depend on your bike’s fairing – on the VFR800 for instance my hands don’t get cold as the perforation on the thumb area is out of the wind; it ends up with a good balance over about 12°C or so.
Of course, these are not winter gloves, but I’ve been using them in summer and autumn with no problems at all, and particularly like the fact that my hands don’t get in any way sweaty.
The Alpinestars GP Plus V2 R gloves are certified to EN13594:2015 Level 1 with knuckle protection. There is a higher Level 2, though there aren’t many gloves available that are rated to this. Given the outstanding performance of these Alpinestars in MotoCAP testing though (see below), we're surprised they're not certified to the higher standard.
Made of a combination of cow and goat hide, these gloves have reinforced sections on the outside edges of the hands and at the palms: the key impact areas. There’s also aramid fibre in the palm and thumb for additional abrasion protection, as well as over the top of the hands and knuckles.
The palm has a slider that helps prevent damage to the scaphoid bone, which can occur if an outstretched hand grabs the road surface in a fall, causing the wrist to push ahead and break this carpal bone.
I was at first concerned that the perforated sections have holes that run into the seam areas, but the thin material bonded to the back of the leather adds strength. On some leather suits these panels have the perforations stamped only well away from the seams, but this is likely much harder on a glove with very small panels, and of course they pass the certification level.
In fact, the Alpinestars GP Plus R V2s have an excellent rating on the Australian Motocap site, where motorcycle kit is put through some extremely rigorous testing. At the time of writing, they're the most protective gloves on the site, out of the huge number that have been tested (even surpassing some the Level 2 gloves there).
For everything you need to know about the safety labels in your motorcycle kit, click here.
The Alpinestars GP Plus R V2 gloves have a Velcro wrist strap that passes through a metal buckle and fastens on the underside. The end of the strap is flared, so it won’t pull out of the buckle (really annoying when this happens), and it secures the gloves very well on my hands, entirely preventing them pulling off.
What’s most impressive here is just how secure these gloves are, without needing the wrist strap to be pulled too tight, which can cause my hands to go tingly after a while.
The cuff has a single, Velcro-secured flap that doesn’t open very wide, but accommodates my RST leather one-piece, and leather jacket fine. There’s no bunching up when the gloves are fully secured, meaning they stay comfortable.
These are not designed for wet-weather use. As with all leather gloves, if they do get soaked, leave them to dry away from any heat source, with warm air moving around. To understand how to care for any leather motorbike kit, check out this feature.
The GP Plus R V2s have a thin lining on some of the interior, but it doesn’t add any warmth or cause any sweatiness.
These are expensive gloves, so you should expect high performance, but here are three others you might be considering…
Despite being lucky enough to have access to a massive range of race gloves, it’s been the Racer High Speeds that I’ve generally gone back to time and again. However, while I had to go up a size with the Alpinestars GP Plus R V2s, I’m now really impressed with them, and the Racers have found themselves tucked away in storage.
They’re not cheap, but the GP Plus R V2s are well put together, extremely comfortable and incredibly unrestrictive. They’ve also been proven to offer superb abrasion protection by Motocap, making them well worth considering next time you’re looking for a new pair of gloves. The more I wear other gloves, the more brilliant I realise the GP Plus R V2s are.
Do you have a pair of these gloves? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell everyone what you think of them…