Date reviewed: June 2019 | Tested by: Patricia Stiemke, BikeSocial Test Team | Price: £99.99 | www.nevis.uk.com
I’ve been wearing these Richa Diana GoreTex waterproof motorcycle gloves – which are designed specifically for women – since February, covering more than 3,500 miles on my ZX6-R through commuting 70 miles a day and weekend shenanigans. The temperatures have ranged from 2°C to 24°C, covering all degrees of wet and dry.
As the summer seems to be on a slow burner, there have been very few occasions when these have been too warm, so they’ll definitely be packed for our summer trip at the end of July to Scandinavia; they’re the only waterproof gloves that may not make my hands feel like they’re in a Turkish bath.
Fit and feel
As I find with all new gloves, the Richa Dianas felt very tight to begin with, and it took about three weeks of wearing them in before I could call them truly comfortable.
These are a size small and just about fit my hands – a medium would be too long for my fingers, so it’s always a bit of a compromise; as always, you should try any bike kit on for yourself, as fit is very subjective.
There can be no doubt that this is a well-constructed glove, with a thick and close-hugging feel to the hand, the soft inner lining slipping effortlessly over the fingers while putting them on and pulling them off. It’s a bit more troublesome with wet fingers, but no more than with any other glove in my experience.
The hard knuckle protectors are not intrusive and give a feeling of safety that’s quite reassuring. The thumb has a softer covering than the rest of the fingers – not leather – making it more flexible, which is good for moving between the grips and manipulating the switches and buttons on the handlebars. It also keeps semi-arthritic people like me from getting too stiff in the thumbs when wrapped around the grips.
The thick construction doesn’t impair dexterity or tactility in throttle, brake or clutch control, something I find a bit of a problem with thick winter gloves.
The extra leather pads on the outside ridge of the hand make pushing on the bars less wearing and the felt patch on the inside hand portion give reassurance that you won’t stick to the rubber grips when releasing the throttle. This is particularly important for me as my Oxford heated grips do tend to want to hang on to gloves. As there’s no wiper blade on the left index finger I fit my own and, happily, the finger is not collapsing under the pressure and thereby impairing circulation… an important point when it comes to having a warm finger.
Sadly there’s no wiper built into the gloves, so I popped my own on.
The wrist size is adjustable, while the cuff is short, but long enough to cover my wrist, and only reinforced with thick leather around the Velcro fastening at the cuff. It has textile on the top and soft leather on the bottom of the wrist. This gives a good stretching ability over the top without creating a hard, pinching fold under the wrist when the Velcro tab is done up. This construction, along with the short cuff, leads to an easy fit inside an already crowded and snug jacket sleeve, with or without inner lining. It also means that it’s expandable enough to fit comfortably around the outside of the sleeve if you so choose.
A slight annoyance are the rather long tags sewn into the glove, not so much the safety certification one, but the washing instructions and the popper-the-gloves-together tags. I just can’t quite bring myself to cut them off as the popper tabs really can be quite useful to hang the pair up somewhere.
Warm and cold weather use
The Richa catalogue has the words ‘a winter must-have’ in the description for these gloves. In a word: nope. I have a pair of old Rukka Mars gloves that don’t have a CE tag or hard knuckle protection, but they ARE a winter must-have. They’re completely waterproof and super-warm.
The Richa Diana are winter gloves only if the temperature doesn’t go below 6°C. Even at that temperature I feel the need to have my heated grips at 50% to 75%. Any temperature below that and even with the heated grips on the highest setting, the topside of my fingers get too cold. The 3M Thinsulation just isn’t quite insulating enough for me.
The airflow running through them, which spoils their cold-weather use, is much more desirable as soon as the temperature rises to 16°C and beyond. They feel just right from the low teens to 24°C, the warmest temperature I’ve experienced so far this year; they certainly haven’t been too warm. At no point have my hands felt sweaty in them, nor has the lining stuck to my skin as I’ve pulled my hands out of the gloves, also thanks to the ‘Goregrip’.
I have to admit here that I am very susceptible to cold hands, so I may be oversensitive but I cannot, with a good conscience, recommend these as proper winter gloves for this climate. Sadly, they are also just a bit too snug to fit my Blaze heated inner gloves into.
Protection and certification
According to the tags in the gloves, both the glove and hard protectors are CE approved. The knuckle protection over the back of the hand certainly feels very sturdy, while the protectors over the fingers cover all the knuckles very well and feel really solid. The pads covering the top of the thumbs are just foam, but as a whole, the gloves feel very reassuring.
From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.
A Velcro strip over the top of the wrist prevents the Dianas from sliding off in case of close contact with tarmac, and have a convenient little rubber tab for better handling.
A much broader, thick leather-covered Velcro tab closes the cuff along the inner side of the arm, and once done up, sits comfortably under the arm. It also has a rubber tab running along the outer edge of the fastener for better handling.
The strap over the wrist flares out at the end so it can’t slip out the adjustment loop, and the adjustment lengths are quite generous. The Velcro hasn’t shown much wear and tear or begun to fuzz up on the backing strip.
Wet weather use
I’ve gone through plenty of light showers with these gloves and have always had dry fingers, but in combination with low temperatures, the wet made my fingers feel even colder due to the breathability of the linings.
The Gore-Tex insert does its job up to a certain point, but the one or two deluges I’ve had to endure have made the gloves feel quite soggy – the inner lining feels damp, but doesn’t cling to the fingers when pulling them out, or even when putting the gloves back on. My fingers are absolutely dry, which feels quite odd in comparison to the feel of the lining. I only have the aforementioned Rukka Mars gloves as a comparison and they have felt absolutely bone dry on the inside, even in the coldest and heaviest of the winter rain.
I don’t find the waterproofing works as well in the Richa gloves as I would like, especially when it compounds the feeling of having damp fingers inside the glove with making them feel colder while riding as well. I think it’s because the Gore-Tex lining seem to be underneath the actual insulation, since they get soaked so much, whereas the fingers actually stay dry. Having fingers surrounded by a lot of cold water makes them very cold, even if protected by a thin waterproof layer in between – having a totally wetted-out external layer will prevent the Gore-Tex from breathing, so the moisture from the sweat of your hands and condensation will be trapped inside.
Richa’s Goregrip technology means that they’ve sewn the inner linings together, so there’s no separation of layers and no danger of pulling the liner out when taking the gloves off, then spending precious time puzzling the fingers back in. That is a huge plus in my opinion.
On the whole, the liner feels very comfortable and does evidently wick away moisture from the fingers. Even at the higher temperatures, I’ve not felt uncomfortably warm or sweaty on my hands.
Another bonus, after all the use, is that there’s absolutely no evidence of thinning or fraying. Obviously, it’s a bit hard to inspect the tips as the lining doesn’t pull out, but I’ve not felt any change in the smoothness during the time I’ve used them. They’ve flattened down a bit at the tips, but that’s only to be expected.
These are good gloves depending on what they’re used for. The Dianas excellent for spring and autumn, possibly with the exception of frosty mornings, and they will still do well in early summer before the temperature starts levelling at 23°C plus. They’re just about bearable around the changeover between dying winter and early spring.
I can’t say anything yet about proper summer conditions, but I can definitely say that for me, they’re not winter gloves.
Otherwise, they’re good quality, well stitched and worked, with good attention to detail and patches and protectors in all the right places. If the all-black colour scheme is a bit too monotonous for you, the glove is also available with pink highlighted lines and logo.
They’re comfortable and can handle normal rainy conditions. Deluges will test these gloves, and they take a while to dry thoroughly after getting properly wet.
The quality makes them worth the money but as they do have limitations on warmth, they’re more suited to two seasons.