Date reviewed: June 2022 | Tested by: BikeSocial member Mark Davis | RRP: £69.99 | goldtop.co.uk
Goldtop is renowned for its retro-looking but fully-protective motorcycle gear, and the Goldtop Raptor gloves on review here are no exception. Goldtop had been producing motorcycle kit since the early 1950s and up until the late ’80s, being revived by a father and son team in 2012.
I’m not new to the world of Goldtop as I have a jacket of theirs as well as pair of Viceroy gloves, which I accidentally crash tested; see the end of the review for how well they held up!
I decided to try the Raptors as I dislike Velcro fastening, and was interested as to how a zippered glove would work and whether it would offer the same security as Velcro.
I’ve been using this pair of Goldtop Raptors for a few weeks now in most weathers on a variety of roads, from rural twisties to faster A roads and all points in between. I’ve worn them on my Triumph Street Twin, where they are very much at home, but also my thoroughly-modern Triumph Street Triple, where some might say they are a little old fashioned! All-in-all I’ve done 600 miles across my two bikes and feel confident with giving my opinion...
I’m usually an XL and these pretty much fit to size. I find the third and little finger is a tiny bit too long, but this is of course very subjective.
Initially these gloves are a good fit, but a bit stiff in movement and I found them a little uncomfortable at the base of the fingers where the material was digging in; they need a good 200 miles to break in and that discomfort to dissipate.
I was concerned to begin with as they didn’t feel great, but they do soften and the leather feels very comfy once they adapt to your hands.
I know that the water-repellent balm that you can get from Goldtop can help but use it sparingly. I didn’t use it so I could see how long they took to properly break in without it.
After some use though, the bike controls are no problem as the simple lining on the palm is flexible and gives good feel. On the Street Triple I like to have maximum ‘feel’ and they do seem a little bulkier than the Viceroy gloves, or a particularly light summer glove, so bear that in mind.
Something to note however is that these gloves have to go under your jacket sleeve, not over. These are meant to be a short cuff glove but due to the combination of elastic and zip they are very slightly longer down the wrist. This means that they will not go over a jacket sleeve at all (not that I could find, anyway). They slide under most of my jacket sleeves, although ironically not my Goldtop’76 Café Racer jacket.
Like my previous Goldtop gloves, these are not touchscreen compatible. This can be a deal-breaker for some, but I’ve never found lack of touchscreen compatibility to be a problem.
Some riders have different gloves for every season, whereas I tend to use mine all-year-round. Due to their quality construction, the Raptors are a little warmer than some lighter-weight gloves, which means they can get a tiny bit hot and sweaty in Summer on the very hottest days.
Despite not being designed for winter use, I find these are okay down to about 10°C. If, like me, you use heated grips in winter then these would work down to about 5°C as the softer 100% silk backing liner helps keeps the warmth in. The only thing holding them back is the perforations on the fingers, which let cold breezes straight through.
I can use the Goldstar Raptor gloves almost all-year-round on rides up to about 90 minutes. Over that and I go for something with more airflow on the very hottest days, and less perforation on the coldest.
The Goldtop Raptors are CE Level 1 gloves under EN13594:2015, and also include KP 1 Knuckle protection.
The gloves are constructed from 1.0mm hand-waxed aniline cowhide with triple stitching throughout, a pad on the lower palm, extra leather layers on the thumb and forefinger as well as floating knuckle protectors on the back. The gloves feel strong and protective without making them feel too stiff or lacking in feel. It’s worth noting that all short-cuff gloves can only achieve Level 1, regardless of their construction qualities. That means these have the potential to be more crash-resistant than something with a lighter build that also meets Level 1.
For everything you need to know about the safety labels in your motorcycle kit, click here.
The Goldtop Raptors use no Velcro, so to get a good fastening the cuff is heavily elasticated and stitched to give a snug fit once you close them with the high-quality stainless steel zips.
The zip action is smooth and looks to be very high quality; obviously I was concerned about whether they might come off easily under pressure, but after doing them up I couldn’t pull them off without unzipping them. And I gave it a good go!
In general use I found it super-easy to take them on and off and zip them up or down. There’s no adjustment as the heavy elastication takes up any slack, which saves me faffing. The Raptor’s aren’t overly tight though, and I got no tingling in my fingers or anything untoward.
These are not intended to be waterproof in any way, unless you apply some water-repellent balm, which will provide some limited protection. It takes a little while for the water to penetrate but once it does you will of course have soggy hands.
The Goldtops are no worse than any other non-waterproof glove, and I have to say that the lining is well stitched and does not pull inside out or separate when you take them off while soggy, which is a definite positive compared to some.
The inside of the Goldtop Raptors feels soft but you don’t lose any feel. This is because it is a tale of two halves, the back of your hand being against a lovely soft silk liner, and the palm having a slightly rougher leather feel. This gives comfort as well as feel and I find that this combination can keep your hands cool in summer and warmer in winter. For the latter, if you use heated grips the thinner palm helps with heat transfer, and the silky soft back keeps the heat in.
One downside is that the leather on the palm does transfer dye to your hand on a particular sweaty or wet ride. This is very noticeable on your first few rides and while it subsides, it still hasn’t really gone completely; even many miles down the line a particularly wet ride can lead to minor dye transfer.
Classically-styled gloves are very popular now, so there’s plenty of choice…
I wanted these so I could have proper protection and a modern retro styling, without any Velcro. The Goldtop Raptors are great gloves, being very protective and looking and feeling good.
The breaking-in process was a bit annoying due to the way the leather dug in at the base of the fingers was distracting until it softened properly after about 200 miles, though that is a subjective fit thing. Some might not like the lack of touchscreen compatibility and the cuff having to go under the sleeve might be a problem, but now they’re properly broken in these are my go-to gloves and have replaced my Viceroys when I’m riding my Street Twin.
Do you have a pair of these gloves? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell everyone what you think of them…
I’d bought the £64.99 Goldtop Viceroy gloves as I wanted that classic retro style, and it probably tells you all you need to know that I still use them after a crash!
I skidded along the road after parting company with my bike at about 30-40 mph. My kit held up very well all round, the only actual damage I suffered was abrasion to my stomach where my Triumph jacket rode up, as it was a size too big after I’d lost weight!
I suffered some abrasion to the skin of my legs where the Bullit Tactical Icon jeans had rubbed the skin away a touch, and a cut from the knee armour that wasn’t ideally positioned. They were unwearable after the crash, having holed.
The only visible damage to the Viceroys was the dink to the knuckle armour, which I’m convinced saved my bones; I see gloves without knuckle armour and shudder now! The Goldtops were scuffed in places, but the stitching held up 100%, with no obvious damage. I used leather balm to buff out the scuffs.
I love the Viceroys as they’re soft and supple, giving amazing feel through the bars and I wear them all year round as I have heated grips. I only replaced them with the Raptors as the palms are starting to get a little baggy – maybe stretched a bit during the accident – and the fit isn’t as good anymore.
The Goldtop Viceroys are a short glove and I know some people think they aren’t as safe – and they probably aren’t – as a long cuff, however I always make sure to get a tight fit on the wrist and I test by trying to remove the glove without undoing it. The final proof is that these gloves stayed on in my crash.