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What it's Like to Crash a Motorcycle

“Damn it. John Burns thinks I’m a dick.”
That was one of the predominant thoughts going through my head as I slid down a Florida highway at 60 mph back in March.
It’s weird how the mind works. Time slows in a crash. Every tiny image burns into memory, so your brain can replay it over and over and over at night for the next who knows how many weeks.
In the moments before I crashed, I was riding the Harley-Davidson Street Rod along County Road 34 in central Florida. I’m not sure which county. The accident report simply records it as “County Code 61,” but the internet can’t agree on which county that is. Maybe I was in Indian River County; maybe I was in Suwannee County; maybe I was in Flagler County; I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t matter; I was somewhere. The road passing through that somewhere was long and straight – not the sort of place where one usually crashes – and the weather was perfect.

“My God, I am so happy,” I was thinking. “I am so incredibly lucky to be here – to live t…

Gear review: Buffalo Bay leather motorbike gloves


I'll admit that I bought the Bay motorcycle gloves by Buffalo in something of a panic. Summer was on its way and the Furygan Revol Evo gloves I had been using through winter and early spring were getting to be uncomfortable. 

With temperatures pushing north of 16ºC my hands were getting sweaty in the Furygans, soaking the fleece lining and making them difficult to put back on after a stop. Unfortunately I had no money to speak of, so I bought the cheapest pair of gloves I could find that looked like they could hold up at least until my next paycheck.

That was in 2013. I've put in thousands of miles with the gloves since then, including using them almost exclusively during my trip to Italy back in July. And only now, with their third summer having come to a close, am I thinking of replacing them.

That will be hard. They have become my favourite gloves to wear –– so comfortable now, so broken in, that I don't really notice I'm wearing them.

The leather of the glove is decently thick. I wouldn't trust it at the sort of racing speeds suggested by the glove's design, but in any sort of spill below 45 mph I'm confident it would keep my skin intact. 

Anything above that speed and, well, honestly I don't know. I'd really prefer not to find out. Though, whatever protection this glove offers at highway speeds will obviously be better than nothing.

The stitching is good, by and large, and the glove secures well to the hand. A strap goes across the top of the wrist and two Velcro flaps help secure the glove at the carpal area. Lots of extra little padding at the palm and near the ulna and radius bones give the glove a robust feel. As do solid knuckle and joint protectors.

Venting in the knuckle protector and on the fingers helps to move air into the glove. When I was suffering borderline heat stroke on the Italian motorway, the only things not bothering me were these gloves.


However, as you'll see in the picture above, the stitching on the Velcro patch of my right glove is coming undone. If it were a more expensive item, I'd simply have the patch repaired and carry on using these gloves forever. As I say, they are really comfy.

But with their low cost in mind, I can't help feeling I should use this as an excuse to get something a little more upmarket. Something that I would actually trust at higher speeds.

Additionally, it should be noted that even when slathered in Nikwax these gloves are in no way waterproof.

All in all, though, I'd recommend the Buffalo Bays. They're worth the money as long as you are honest with yourself about what £30 will buy. It's not a Klím Induction or the like, true, but take the Bay for what it is and you should be happy for a few seasons..

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