Date reviewed: May 2019 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £89.99 | www.rst-moto.com
Don’t let the name or race branding put you off if you’re no track god – the RST Tractech Evo R gloves on review here are available in a wide variety of colours, and don’t look too out of place on bikes far less sporty than the RRs and SPs of this world.
I’ve been wearing them on a Versys 1000 SE in the Canary Islands, a Ducati Diavel in Spain, a Honda CBR650R at Donington Park and on my own Yamaha MT-10 on the roads around the UK for the past four months…
The fit of any motorcycle kit is of course very subjective, but in a large (my usual glove size), the RST Tractech Evo Rs fit perfectly, with a good finger length and no rucking up of the palm.
Despite two layers of kangaroo hide on the palm, with an aramid lining sandwiched between, feel is excellent, the Evo Rs giving no interference to the control of the throttle, clutch or brake.
Protection comes first, so these aren’t that heavily ventilated, but the perforations on the insides of the fingers do let a reasonable amount of air in during hot rides. The small mesh panels on the tops of the fingers make less of a difference, but in around 25°C rides they’ve never felt too hot or uncomfortable.
As you’d expect, these are not cold-weather gloves – the thin construction and ventilation mean you’ll not want to go far in winter while wearing them.
RST has stood out recently as a manufacturer that takes its responsibilities seriously, its entire range tested and certified to the latest CE standards; the RST Tractech Evo Rs are no different, being approved to EN 13594:2015.
The main outer construction is kangaroo, with Kevlar stitching in the key impact areas. The carbon-fibre knuckles cover a compliant armour pad, the same material of which is also built into the outside of the thumb.
A palm slider helps reduce the risk of breaking the scaphoid in a slide (if your palm grabs on the tarmac it can cause the bone in the wrist to snap), and the little finger is joined to its neighbour, to help protect it – this doesn’t make for any issues in movement or comfort, and is common in race gloves.
The outside edge of the hand is also well protected – the double-layer of leather with aramid fibre extending around to this impact point – while the cuff is a good length, offering decent protection over your leathers, reducing the risk of your wrist being exposed in a slide.
Overall these gloves offer very good levels of protection, without being too bulky – the fingers don’t catch behind the brake lever during hard braking like the Knox Handroids can.
My first pair of Evo Rs did burst at one of the finger tips after around 300 miles of use – the stitching hadn’t caught properly during manufacture, but the issue was dealt with quickly by RST / MotoDirect – anyone unfortunate enough to have a similar issue should expect to have their gloves replaced by their dealer without any bother.
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.
The Tractechs have two large cuff straps to wrap the end of the glove securely around your leathers – there’s plenty of hook-and-loop fastening here, so there’s no difficulty getting a good fit. Even on bulky waterproof textiles there’s enough adjustment, despite these not being the gloves you’d usually be wearing with that gear.
The wrist strap is covered with a flap of leather for extra protection, and is easy to use. It doesn’t have a tab on the end, so it’s a little harder to grab hold of but it is flared, so it doesn’t fall through the buckle when you take the gloves off – an annoying trait on some.
It should go without saying that the RST Tractech Evo Rs are a ventilated summer glove, so aren’t waterproof. If you do get caught out in the rain, you’ll notice a bit of dye leaching (this happens for a while due to sweat too), but it washes off easily.
As with any leather product, if your gloves get wet don’t try to force them dry with heat – just leave them to dry naturally or the leather could crack. For more information on leather care, click here.
There’s minimal lining in the Tractechs to give them the best feel and to keep them as cool as possible. These never feel slick or slimy like some gloves can, and while as mentioned there is a little dye leaching at first, it’s minimal and easily washed off.
With many race gloves costing up to £200, at just £89.99 the RST Tractech Evo Rs offer exceptional value. Some of the details aren’t quite as high-spec as the more expensive competition, but I’m happy with a plastic cuff-restraint buckle if it goes towards saving so much money.
I don’t just wear these on track – I trust these mitts on most dry rides both at home and away on bike launches. Outstanding!