When taking up motorcycling, one of the first lessons you learn is to dress the part. And no attire is complete without protective riding gloves. The best gloves for beginners help you to control your bike by allowing you to maintain a secure grip on the handlebars and operate the various controls with ease, even in bad weather. Not only that — they’re also comfortable, protecting your hands from hot sun, cold winds, and drenching rain. Most importantly, they offer vital safety and protection by shielding your hands from bruises, scrapes, and even serious injury in the event of a fall or impact with flying debris.
In fact, 76% of riders wear gloves, lowering wrist, palm, and fingers injury risk by a whopping 82%. Enough convincing? All in all, don’t sacrifice safety for style — motorcycle gloves are more than just a fashion statement! And you can ride with style and safety by investing in a good pair tailored to your specific riding needs from our top picks for affordable best motorcycle gloves for beginners:
- AGVSPORT Mayhem — Best All-Round
- Scorpion EXO Klaw II — Best Sport Touring
- Alpinestars SMX-1 Air — Best Touring (Summer)
- Joe Rocket Cafe Racer — Best Cruiser
- AGVSPORT Laguna — Best Sport (Special Exception for Extra Race Protection)
- Fox Racing Dirtpaw — Best Motocross
- Klim Dakar Pro — Best Dual-Sport
- Joe Rocket Speedway — Best Off-Road
- AGVSPORT Mercury — Best Street (Best Value)
Besides taking into account your budget (under $75) and riding mode, the choice of good-quality motorcycle gloves is also determined by factors like weather conditions you’ll be riding in (sunny, rainy, or moderate), the riding season (summer, winter, mid-season, or year-round), and your personal style (vintage or retro urban). Others include finger coverage (fingerless or full-fingered), design (short cuff, semi-gauntlet or long-gauntlet), and additional features such as carbon knuckles, air vents, touchscreen compatibility, or visor wipe.
Yet the most crucial aspects to consider are size, certification, and the material used to make the gloves, whether it’s leather, textile, or a combination of both. And if it’s leather, what type of animal the leather was sourced from.
Common Materials Used in the Construction of Motorcycle Gloves
A majority of riders, constituting 68%, prefer leather gloves over textile gloves, while the remaining 32% opt for textile ones. The material choice and construction can affect how the gloves feel, as well as their overall quality and lifespan. Now, let’s take a closer look at this aspect below:
Leather has that retro vibe that gives it an edge, improves over time, and surpass textiles in terms of durability and resistance to abrasion. Just the same, you probably don’t want to ride in leather only gloves under extreme heat or cold. It’s neither breathable nor the most thermally efficient material – feels colder or hotter than the ambient temperature.
Best leather motorcycle gloves are sourced from:
- Deerskin: Strong and soft, conforms nicely to the contours of the hand. Not weatherproof.
- Kangaroo: Supple, thin, highly protective leather, easy to clean and care for. Expensive and less common. Popular in MotoGP racing.
- Sheepskin: Not as durable or abrasion-resistant as cowhide or deerskin, less commonly found in motorcycle gloves.
- Cowhide: Durable, accessible, relatively thicker, offers good value for money, and is versatile in its applications.
- Goatskin: Softer than cowhide yet tougher, more flexible, economical, and highly resistant to water and abrasion. More durable than cowhide but not as much as kangaroo leather.
For vegan riders, there are also animal-free motorcycle protective gloves available, made from synthetic leather, including several entry levels like the sport-riding Joe Rocket Atomic, summer-riding Olympia 760 Men’s Air Force Gel Black Mesh Sport, and the urban-riding Covert Tactical gloves.
P.S: Leather gloves are naturally windproof, so they don’t need a special insert for wind protection. But they alone are not waterproof, and you need sealed seams and a waterproof liner like Gore-Tex for protection from rain. Click here for tips on how to break in leather gloves. Or, leave a comment if you have any questions about caring for your leathers.
Top Picks: Best Leather Cleaners and Conditioners
Best Leather Glove Cleaner & Conditioner Size (Ounces) Average Rating Availability
Lexol All Leather Spray Cleaner & Conditioner 8 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Adam’s Polished Leather & Interior Cleaner 16 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Aero Cosmetics Leather Cleaning Kit 16.9 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Dainese Leather Protection & Cleaning Kit 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Revzilla ➤
Meguiar's® Gold Class™ Rich Leather Wipes 25 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Turtle Wax Luxe Leather Conditioner & Cleaner 16 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Motul Perfect Leather Cleaner 8.45 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
On the other hand, textiles offer breathability, flexibility, versatility, and weigh less, which appeals to 32% of sport riders as shown in the chart above. You will notice that textile gloves combine leathers, plastics, and other super fabrics like:
- Gore-Tex: Enhances waterproof, windproof, and breathable properties in gloves.
- D3O™ Armor: Flexible smart material that provides shock and impact protection.
- Hipora™: Waterproof and breathable material used as lining in gloves.
- Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU): Enhances protection with abrasion-resistant and durable properties.
- 3D Mesh: Made from a network of synthetic fibers, creating 3-dimensional spaces in the structure for optimal air flow.
- Kevlar: A synthetic fiber about five times stronger than steel. Used to reinforce other fabrics, increasing tear resistance.
Textile motorcycle gloves are generally enhanced by overlays that improve grip, functionality, and protection. An excellent illustration is the Richa Arctic Thermal, one of the best motorcycle gloves for winter that utilizes a Hipora membrane to keep your hands warm in frigid winds while also allowing moisture to escape. But after a long ride, your gloves can quickly become dirty from muddy roads and other debris. To maintain their pristine condition, it’s recommended to wash them regularly to remove any dirt and debris trapped in the fabric.
Top Picks: Best Textile Glove Cleaners
Best Textile Gloves Cleaner Size (Ounces) Average Rating Availability
The Laundress Stain Remover 1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Emergency Stain Remover Spray 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Ecover Stain Remover 6.8 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Nikwax Tech Wash and Wash-in 13.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Oxford RainSeal WP Spray 16.9 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Revzilla ➤
Molecule Textile Wash Kit 8 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Cycle Care Wash Mitt 1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Revzilla ➤
CE Levels of Protection in Motorcycle Gloves: Level 1, Level 1-KP, and Level 2-KP
On the left is CE Level 2-KP, and on the right is CE Level 1-KP. To comply with EN13594:2015, gloves must have one of these certifications.
Motorcycle gloves that pass rigorous tests get the CE rated labels, indicating the level of protection offered, which can be either Level 1 (lowest) or Level 2 (highest). Level 1 gloves are lighter and provide better dexterity, while Level 2 gloves are heavier and stiffer. Under the EN 13594 standard, motorcycle gloves can be CE-certified to three different levels of protection: CE Level 1, CE Level 1-KP, and CE Level 2-KP.
- CE Level 1 – Basic Protection for Low-Speed Riding: Gloves with a CE Level 1 certification offer basic protection, except for impacts to the back of the hand. These gloves are only suitable for low-speed environments, such as cruiser and motocross riding.
- CE Level 1-KP – Most Common Level for Public-Road Riding: CE Level 1-KP is the most common CE-certified protection level in motorcycle gloves. It’s designed for public-road riding, including high-speed riding, and offers significant impact protection to the back of the hand.
- CE Level 2-KP – Highest Level of Protection: CE Level 2-KP is the highest level of CE-certified protection for motorcycle gloves. In the past, it was only available in professional racing gloves, but several manufacturers have now developed comfortable and tactile gloves that meet this standard.
Pro Tip: Gloves must have knuckle armor that passes impact-absorption tests to be CE-certified as Level 2-KP. Gloves without knuckle armor or with armor that doesn’t meet the standard cannot be approved as Level 2-KP.
If you’re looking for helmet certifications, check out our other post:
How Do I Know My Motorcycle Glove Size? Finding the Right Fit for Your Hands
Size Inches (in.) Centimeters (cm) Meters (m) Feet (ft.)
XS 2.5 6.4 0.064 0.21
SD 3 7.6 0.076 0.24
MD 3.5 8.9 0.089 0.29
LG 4 10.2 0.102 0.33
XL 4.5 11.4 0.114 0.37
2XL 5 12.7 0.127 0.42
3XL 5.5 14 0.14 0.46
To determine your motorcycle glove size, measure your dominant hand’s circumference just below the knuckles with a flexible measuring tape. Then, find your size on the manufacturer’s chart in inches or centimeters, which varies between brands, and try on gloves in that size. Choose a snug fit without excess material and ensure finger mobility for better protection and comfort while riding. Opting for a slightly snug size rather than too loose is also important as gloves can stretch slightly over time.
Note: Sizing information is provided by the manufacturer and doesn’t guarantee a perfect fit.
Unveiling the Best Motorcycle for Beginners Selection Methodology
My quest to bring you the best motorcycle gloves for beginners starts with considering the eight major riding styles/modes and selecting gloves that are available for purchase online on reputable sites such as Revzilla, MotoSport, or Amazon and priced under $75. Even these are too many to choose from, so I looked into the manufacturers’ reputation, ensuring that they have been in operation for at least 10 years.
And to factor in the various riding disciplines and use cases, I considered different glove sizes i.e., short-cuff, semi-gauntlet, or gauntlet gloves. Still on fit, I chose unisex gloves and offered alternatives for women where applicable. In terms of safety, I picked motorcycle gloves with palm sliders, waterproofness, knuckle protection, thermal efficiency, and double stitching to keep the armor and padding in place during a crash. A certification of either CE Level 1, CE Level 1-KP or CE Level 2-KP was an added advantage.
Finally, I considered additional functionality like touchscreen compatibility as most new riders are young, and manufacturers are releasing new beginner bikes with touch input technology.
Now, here goes…
Top 9 Best Inexpensive Motorcycle Gloves for Beginners Under $75
Best Motorcycle Glove Size (Inches) Average Rating Availability
AGVSPORT Mayhem 5-13 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Scorpion EXO Klaw II 5-11 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Alpinestars SMX-1 Air 7.5-11 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
AGVSPORT Laguna 5-13 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Klim Dakar 8.25-10.6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Joe Rocket Café Racer 2.5-5.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Fox Racing Dirtpaw 8-14 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
Joe Rocket Speedway 2.5-5.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
AGVSPORT Mercury 5-13 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazon ➤
1. AGVSPORT Mayhem Textile Gloves — Best All-Round
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Right off the bat, we have an all-rounder offering incredible value, the entry-level AGVSPORT Mayhem glove. At an affordable price point, I couldn’t find anything else that delivers nearly as much value while being able to do just about anything from daily commutes to street battles. Features include clarino synthetic leather, hard TPU armor, and metal mesh on the knuckles, as well as shock-absorbing memory foam finger protection. The entire glove is double-stitched with high-tensile strength nylon thread, and it comes with a wrist strap for easy on/off.
But that’s not all, you get a reinforced finger joints with lycra elastic expansion panels, CE Level 1-KP (street riding) certification, smart touch on index finger and thumb, a soft polyester lining, and vented and preformed fingers. And there’s more! You can enjoy the comfort of a short neoprene cuff as well as the abundance of motion panels that makes it a bliss to wear.
While it may be considered a beginner glove, AGVSPORT Mayhem rivals even high-level gloves — like the Alpinestars SP-8 V3 (a perfection of the previous three SP-8 models), which is a sports and sport touring glove but optimized for everything else — in terms of versatility. The two share similar features such as the loop wrist closure, hard knuckles and, I dare say, the same refined feel for the bike’s controls. In fact, I would venture to say that the AGVSPORT Mayhem glove perfectly fits a beginner more than the Alpinestars SP-8 V3 in terms of quality and value, as it’s available at a fraction of the cost.
2. Scorpion EXO Klaw II Gloves — Best Sport Touring
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The Scorpion EXO Klaw II, with their sleek sporty appearance, are the perfect choice for globetrotting riders. Made of goatskin and backed by TPR and TPU molded finger and knuckle protectors, these leather riding gloves provide ample protection for regular sweeping turns and are suitable for most spring and summer rides, depending on your location. Both the men’s and women’s versions fit snugly and feature a neoprene wrist-relief, making them comfortable to wear.
The pre-curved fingers and palm provide for a more natural grip and a broken-in feel straight from the box while the rib-stretch knuckle expansion panels combined with the soft and supple nature we love about goatskin give superior flexibility for commanding the inputs to the bike.
If you want a little more air cooling, check out the perforated Vortex Air glove with high-flow mesh and less leather, also from Scorpion USA. Or, our best candidate for summer riders below:
3. Alpinestars SMX-1 Air Gloves — Best Touring (Summer)
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For you budding entry-level motorcycle explorers, behold the Alpinestars SMX-1 Air gloves! I couldn’t find a better glove that flows tons of air without sacrificing crash protection during your shorter summer rides. The carbon knuckle surrounded by double stitching will not move in case you slide and need it, although you will be missing a palm slider and make do with the synthetic leather reinforcement.
The glove really stands out for flexibility with natural articulation and wrist movement thanks in part to the stretch material integrated into the synthetic and natural leather construction, especially in between the trigger fingers. Speaking of which, the inner index finger is touch enabled, a must have for the best motorcycle touring gloves.
If you anticipate lots of riding in the rain, simply opt for the all-rounder Moose Racing ADV 1 Short touring gloves. Like the high-level Dainese Air Maze and Alpinestars SP-Z Drystar gloves, the ADV1 can keep it together through the rigors of a proper adventure.
4. AGVSPORT Laguna Leather Racing Gloves — Best Sport (Special Exception for Extra Race Protection)
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The AGVSPORT brand is synonymous with racing, and this legacy is evident in their exceptional motorcycle gear. The AGVSPORT Laguna gauntlet exemplifies this commitment to excellence, as it’s a high-performance racing glove that features genuine carbon fiber armor and CE Level 1 knuckles for unparalleled protection. Moreover, the glove incorporates a slider that serves as the last line of defense in high-speed slide scenarios and includes shock-absorbing foam padding on the wrist area to enhance safety.
What sets AGVSPORT gear apart is their unrelenting dedication to providing the best technical materials for superior performance, even on budget items. For example, the Laguna gloves come armored with extra palm pads on the base and outside and are double-stitched with high tensile strength nylon thread stitching throughout to prevent tearing without restricting movement, the same kind you find in high-end MotoGP gloves like the Alpinestars GP Plus R V2.
But that’s not where the similarities end, the high-profile protective double cuff closure guarantees a secure fit, rivaling another top performance racing glove, Knox Handroid MK4. It’s Impressive how much value Laguna offers for only a fraction of the price.
5. Klim Dakar Gloves — Best Dual-Sport (Dual-Purpose)
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The name “Dakar” in Klim Dakar and Klim Dakar Pro gloves immediately gives away the dual sport riding intent of their design. The Dakar Pro gloves are ideal for riders who plan to tackle some serious miles on the pavement before hitting rugged trails. The gloves feature a blend of stretch weave and goatskin leather fabric for their main construction, with pour-on XRD knuckle protection foam and palm pads that contribute to the glove’s sleek design.
Klim undoubtedly makes some of the best dual sport gloves on the market but keeps their design language low-key. What is conspicuous about this pair, however, is the integrated 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material, which improves visibility under low light and rainy conditions.
Perhaps what sets the Klim Dakar Pro apart from other beginner dual-sport gloves is the refined design with real world rider feedback. Similarly, the Klim Dakar gloves offer a great feel for the bike but lack the beefier impact protectors needed for pavement riding. Because of it, the “just Dakar” version is lighter and gives you an easier time on your single-track trails like, say, the adventurous, but quite pricey, waterproof Klim Adventure GTX Short, perforated Alpinestars Celer v2, and REV’IT! Sand 4 gloves – advanced summer gloves that are designed with the protection of a road riding touring glove and the breathability of off-road gloves.
6. Joe Rocket Café Racer Gloves — Best Cruiser
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After deeper research, you’ll likely conclude the same way I did; that all cruiser and café racer gloves are street gloves but not the vice versa. And the Joe Rocket Café Racer, arguably the best motorcycle gloves for Harley, is no different, especially with that unique articulated full-flex panel on the cuffs and fingers similar to the signature fins on an air-cooled Harley-V-Twin.
But it’s not just the looks, these gloves feature a flexible and high abrasion-resistant full leather construction with high density knuckle and thumb area padding for added protection. Adequate protection for low-speed cruising in urban environments where high-speed crashes are unlikely!
The Joe Rocket Café Racer may have a modest price tag, but it offers just as much protection as pricier cruiser options like the Dainese Blackjack, REV’IT! Monster 3, and REAX Tasker leather gloves. Plus, the YKK zipper entry with a gusset on the Joe provides a better aesthetic and more secure fit than the simple Velcro closure found on the Monster 3. I especially appreciate its embroidered logo design as well. The modern Icon Pursuit CE Glove (MD) is also a beginner-friendly option worth considering.
7. Fox Racing Dirtpaw Gloves — Best Motocross
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For riders who are prone to blisters and have sensitive hands, the Dirtpaw gloves by Fox Racing are an excellent option. These gloves feature a heavily padded clarino palm and silicone-infused trigger fingers, which provide a secure grip on clutch and brake levers. The compression-molded neoprene cuff ensures a snug fit, while the mesh between the fingers allows for proper aeration and breathability. On the knuckles, soft rubber padding and some more mesh further back to promote better airflow.
What’s more, the clarino material is not only soft and flexible but also conductive and compatible with touch screens. This means you can easily pause and post Instagram photos in between motos without having to take off your gloves entirely. And with the simple Velcro closure system, removing the gloves is a hassle-free process.
Competitors include the cheaper BILT Breaker Off-Road and Troy Lee Air gloves. But the Dirtpaw’s built-in stretch will outperform BILT’s 4-way breathable stretch fabric, which results in a puffier construction while the Troy Lee lacks out on strength as the micro-mesh (used all over for added airflow) becomes their weakest link.
8. Joe Rocket Speedway Gloves — Best Off-Road
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The off-road, Supermoto and Motocross riding disciplines encompass the most demanding type of riding with constant need for man to engage machine at the control by the millisecond. And while the budget is low, it’s hard to find a match for the Joe Rocket Speedway gloves. This hybridized dirt glove combines stretch spandex, lycra, and goatskin which makes the best leather motorcycle gloves for optimal slide and tear resistance without sacrificing agility and comfort.
This glove features a respectable hard knuckle PVC guard and TPU palm slider comparable to the racing pedigree $59.95 Alpinestars Megawatt enduro racing glove. It even includes touch screen support, but again you don’t really need it because the hook-and-loop wrist closure is not that difficult to undo.
Another worthy competitor is the O’Neal Butch Carbon, an equally rugged off-road glove with state-of-the art ballistic knuckle protectors but an inferior nano-front-palm compared to Joe Rocket Speedway’s drum-dyed cowhide leather.
9. AGVSPORT Mercury Mesh Gloves — Best Street/Urban (Best Value)
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The AGVSPORT Mercury makes for an excellent value clarino synthetic leather glove with a lightweight build and designed to complement the AGVSPORT Men’s Airflow Mesh motorcycle jacket when traversing the urban jungle. From the simple velcro closure to the memory foam knuckle protection, nothing is sophisticated about the Mercury except the simplicity itself.
The vented mesh and nylon back glove is a stylish and functional option for those on a budget. Its dual-layer upper hand panels, intricate stitching, and cool color designs add a touch of fashion, while its shorter profile and non-restrictive qualities make it ideal for running errands. Whether you’re picking up groceries or grabbing a coffee, this glove will keep your hands protected without sacrificing style or comfort.
Still in the road-going category, you can find the similarly-rated Joe Rocket Super Moto Gloves with their goatsking and stretch span combo, which gives them summer breathability. And speaking of breathability, perhaps you might find the air-mesh construction of the EVS Assen Street Gloves a bliss for shorter sunny rides. But the AGVSPORT Mercury will provide better grip under wet conditions thanks to its faux leather underside.
Great job! You’ve finished reading the reviews, and I hope you’ve found the perfect motorcycle glove for your needs. Once you’ve made your choice, I recommend checking out my other post on: How To Break In Motorcycle Gloves – Maximize Comfort, Durability, And Protection. It’s a valuable resource that will help you get the most out of your investment.
My Two Cents Worth on the Future of Motorcycle Gloves
Leather vs. textile is a debate that has lived out its whole purpose. Currently, and as evident in our best picks above, there is not much difference between leather and textiles. Whether it be D3O™Armour and TPU crash and slide protection or the advanced moisture-wicking and heat-conserving properties of Gore-Tex™ and Hipora™; we increasingly find traditional leather motorcycle gloves in need of new synthetic materials to be up to date. And this trend continues into the future.
The future will have more discerning customers (including beginners) forcing manufacturers to do better. It would be great to see some law enforcement in this area too, and mandating the best CE Level 2-KP for public roads in place of the current and voluntary level 1-KP. This will improve the safety of riders in all disciplines by locking out inferior gear. And we are a proud contributor to that future!
People May Also Ask (FAQs)
Are There CE Level 2 Heated Motorcycle Gloves?
As of March 2023, only Keis offers CE Level 2-KP heated winter motorcycle gloves, specifically the G502 Heated Motorcycle Gloves – SPORT Premium.
What Are the Best Women’s CE Level 2 Gloves?
The Alpinestars Supertech, Five RFX1, ON BOARD PRX-1, Rainers SPV6, OJ Spin, Garibaldi Motion, LS2 Swift, and Bogotto Veloce gloves are widely regarded as the top-performing CE Level 2-KP glove choices for women, despite being unisex by design.
Can CE Level 2-KP Motorcycle Gloves Have Short Cuffs?
Yes, short-cuff CE Level 2-KP motorcycle gloves can be certified but must have a cuff length of at least 5 cm (2 in) to meet the certification requirements.
How Can Some Super-Armored Motorcycle Gloves Only Be Certified as CE Level 1-KP?
It’s possible that these gloves were certified before the demand for CE Level 2-KP gloves, or they may have failed the seam-burst resistance test. Some gloves like the Held Titan RR gloves (which could easily achieve a CE Level 2-KP certification), are only certified as Level 1-KP gloves.
What Gloves Do Motorcyclists Recommend?
The best recommendations are full leather perforated CE Level 2-KP motorcycle gloves with added features such as pre-shaped finger construction, carbon knuckles, touchscreen compatibility, or visor wipe for added protection and functionality. You can still find these features in the best motorcycle gloves for under $100, so you don’t have to spend too much.
What 3 Features Would You Look for in a Motorcycle Glove?
Prioritize size (short cuff, semi-gauntlet, or gauntlet), certification (CE Level 1, CE Level 1-KP, or CE Level 2-KP), and material (leather, textile, or both) when selecting motorcycle gloves. Plus, check for quality double stitching to ensure that padding or armor won’t come loose during a fall.
Are Motorcycle Gloves Necessary?
Yes, motorcycle gloves are necessary for protection from the elements and injury in the event of a crash. Furthermore, they increase grip, comfort, and confidence to manipulate the bike’s controls and in some cases improve the rider’s visibility hence safety on the road.