I encountered the Knox Handroid as a lot of others, via somebody else. A good friend of mine races mini bikes, and he was wearing a pair. He’s an experienced rider/racer with top notch kit, and the thing with racers is they only use equipment that they have faith in. That started my mind thinking about them.
The Knox Handroid originally launched in late 2009 and changed the playing field for motorcycle gloves. Continuously winning awards on a yearly basis from pretty much everybody. Used by riders in road racing, British Superbikes, and even at MotoGp level.
Family owned, family focus
The family-owned Cumbria based company set up in 1981, to provide body armour products mainly aimed at motorcyclists. Focused on sourcing the best materials from across the globe.
Having evolved up to its current MkIV, the latest iteration the goal hasn’t changed. Its aim is still to provide the best protection for the user. Advances in the design include Gel linings to help with impact absorption, and a revised BOA closing system.
While browsing the Knox stand at motorcycle live when I decided to buy my first pair. This was 2016, and the V14 version of the Handroid.
I didn’t particularly like them initially. My Knox Handroid were very tight on the fingers, and it was weird dealing with so much protection. After a couple of hours bedding them in, the fingers loosened off to a perfect fit to my hands. I do have oddly small hands. The fingers are of good fit and length. They don’t get uncomfortable with a closed fist on the fingertips like other gloves I have worn.
Knox Handroid, unmatched protection, that works.
The protection in the gloves is top notch. Including wrist armour, exoskeletal mouldings that run over the back of the fingers and the boa quick fastening system are all fantastic. I also like the Scaphoid Protection System (SPS) Knox have pioneered. Fittings on the palm of the glove that help the hand to slide along the floor as opposed to digging in if in a slide. The kangaroo leather on the palms gives a great feel to the handlebars and don’t show any sign of excessive wear.
They are slightly dirty (think that’s more down to old handlebar grips), and I have worn them for about 25k miles in both hot and cold weather. Speaking of weather, these are primarily a track/summer glove, so there is plenty of ventilation which keeps the hands nicely temperate during warmer rides. The vent holes helping to get rid of moisture too. They do however lack some thermal quantities in winter. If you have heated grips it shouldn’t be a problem. This was my method and I had no issues.
The gloves are comfy for extended use, I have worn them for hours an hours on long trips riding and not had any discomfort; they feel right.
Innie or Outie?
The boa fastening system is another great idea; it tightens equally around the glove, released by pulling the toggle loosening the tension and allowing a quick open and removal.
They open wide enough to allow me to tuck my sleeves into the cuff in both my leathers and just leather jacket. They have a leather wrist strap to secure the glove onto the palm, I usually tend to keep this fastener a little loose; however, this is personal preference. Too tight and I feel that it almost cuts off circulation. It just needs to stop the glove coming off over your wrist.
Most of the time I’m riding, I’ll be wearing them. There have been a handful of occasions where I have rode without them. In one instance, I wore my Handroids on Saturday and got soaked. I left them out, leaving them to dry out naturally overnight. Going out on Sunday I just wore some ordinary summer gloves, and it just didn’t feel normal. The lack of protection was easily noticeable and left me feeling vulnerable.
They are priced well; RRP is around the £220 mark. Luckily I managed to get a pair of smalls at Motorcycle live for £130. Available in white/black, black on black and red, white and black.
The only downside is no matter where you go, somebody will ask you about them, your friends will also magically appear with a pair a few weeks later too, but this is a small price to pay for the protection in the glove.
I can say I have tested the Knox Handroid, in anger. A low side crash at Donington Park on the Ron Haslam school (read more here), saw me sliding down the track on the palms of my hands. The plastic inserts on the palms did exactly what they were supposed to do, and allow the hands to glide over the track surface. Palms digging in is a common cause of arm and shoulder injuries, including the infamous broken collarbone.
The kangaroo skin leather on the palm held up and looks completely undamaged. Knox offer a repair service however I don’t deem them sufficiently damaged, and I’m still wearing them.
Check out the full range of Knox products including body armour, thermal layering, and casual attire here.