I’m always on the hunt for equipment that balances protection, comfort, and killer looks. That’s why I was eager to test out Merlin’s new Shenstone summer motorcycle gloves, which seem targeted at riders like me seeking lightweight warm-weather hand protection.
But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Are these the best motorcycle gloves for hot weather for you? Let’s find out!
Merlin Shenstone D3O Gloves – Our Verdict
If you made it this far, chances are you’re still debating whether these gloves (1) deserve space in your gear bag. Let’s recap the key considerations:
- Low-profile armor for unexpected crashes
- Mashup of protection and laid-back style
- Snug fit and break-in period
- Limited weather protection
For vintage bike and cafe racer loyalists wearing this iconoclastic style of glove, the occasional discomfort might be worth the attitude.
Think of the creaking leather and popped snaps on a well-worn motorcycle jacket. Sometimes, imperfection only adds to the appeal.
In closing, if your rides involve short weekend jaunts rather than continent-crossing marathons, then the Merlin Shenstone motorcycle gloves should serve you handsomely during the fairer seasons.
- Perforated cowhide leather and mesh construction
- D3O armor for impact protection
- Relaxed styling for cruiser comfort
- Touchscreen-compatible fingertips
Let’s delve into the specifics of whether these gloves are worth adding to your seasonal riding gear rotation.
Who Are the Shenstone Gloves Designed For?
Instead, the aesthetic screams “custom café racer” with its distressed leather and mesh touches. I’d liken the styling to what you might see from British motorcycle icons like Norton or Triumph.
So, if you ride a Bonneville Bobber or restored Ninja 250, these may appeal to your retro sensibilities while keeping your paws safe.
How Do the Shenstones Fit and Feel?
Finding the right size is critical with any riding glove. After breaking out the tape measure, I opted for an XL in the Shenstone based on Merlin’s sizing chart. And I’m glad I didn’t size up despite normally wearing a XXL glove.
The external cowhide stitching and leather choice give the fingers a stiff, stubby feeling until broken in. Goatskin or kangaroo hide would likely feel more supple. Having said that, the glove palms do incorporate some elasticity.
On the plus side, the mesh paneling provides ample airflow to the backs of the hands. The perforated fingers and relaxed cut allow for good maneuverability.
So, while they might not feel like a second skin, for most cruiser duties, the comfort hits the spot. Just be prepared for some break-in time if you prefer a slimmed-down fit.
Click to view sizing specs:
- Available sizes: S – 3XL
- Measure hand circumference across knuckles
- Break-in period required
- Relaxed cafe racer fit
- Runs smaller than the labeled size
How Much Protection Do You Actually Get?
The upper fingers and backs of your hands get reinforced with D3O padding. This innovative material dissipates and disperses impact energy for crash protection.
I’d rank the protection level as suitable for typical street hazards. But hardcore speed junkies may hunger for more guards.
How Long Will These Gloves Last?
Thanks to the leather construction, I expect the Shenstone gloves to endure seasons of riding with proper care. The cowhide hide seems thick enough to resist tearing—though an inevitable scuff here and there will add character.
However, frequent rainy rides or accidents may degrade the materials prematurely because they lack waterproof membranes. Be sure to treat the leather occasionally with protective balms and sprays.
Who Else Likes The Shenstone Gloves?
Beyond my own evaluation, what do other riders think of Merlin’s latest offering? I surveyed some reviews across the web to highlight the most common compliments and complaints:
- Old school vintage style
- Lightweight for warm weather
- Decent ventilation to hands
- Simple slip-on convenience
- Surprising knuckle protection
- Stiff, uncomfortable fingers until broken in
- Lack of wrist closure to seal out air/moisture
- Not truly cold weather capable
- Palms could use more grip and padding
So, while not perfect, they address the needs of the intended casual riding audience.
What is the main difference in construction between the Merlin Shenstone gloves and the Ranger version?
Would the Shenstone gloves work well for round-town commuting?
Yes, the blend of airflow, protection, and comfort make them versatile for urban trips, provided you aren’t encountering heavy rainfall. Their low-key looks also suit office attire.
Why does cowhide leather get used on more relaxed-fitting motorcycle gloves over other hides?
Cowhide strikes an affordable balance between durability and pliability. It tends to offer great abrasion resistance through thickness rather than elite suppleness like pricier options.
What is the disadvantage of external stitching compared to seamless glove construction?
Exposure to crashes or scraping can allow externally stitched seams to get damaged or let moisture penetrate. Such gloves, like racing models, often use internal stitching or seam taping for enhanced structure and waterproofing.
Let me know your thoughts on the Merlin Shenstone gloves and whether you think they deliver sufficient value for the cafe crowd!
I welcome your feedback below on whether my review nailed the key details. Ride safely, and check back soon for more motorcycle product breakdowns here on the blog!