Saturday, January 14, 2012


PLAYING SANTA FOR MYSELF this most recent holiday season, I violated at least two rules I usually hold dear: A) I purchased something on-line rather than from a local dealer and 2) I purchased something simply because it looked so damned good.

Last summer, I bought a pair of Held Air Stream motorcycle gloves that I find myself wearing consistently on the GSA. They are comfortable, well constructed and seem durable. The nearest dealer carrying Held products is the BMW shop in Modesto, some ninety minutes south.

Viewing Held's line up of hand protection, I was taken by the look of their touring glove called the “Classic.” They seem to be a throwback to the days when gloves were made simply of leather – that stuff that comes from the hides of animals. Not available locally, not even from the guys in Modesto, I took the bait and purchased them directly from the US distributor. Back ordered from continent – they’re manufactured in Germany – the six-week wait was worth it.

No sooner had the Fed-Ex truck sped away than I was ripping through the packaging anticipating a test drive of these classic Classics.

Yet another dry January day
IN THE COMBINED MONTHS of December and January (2012) my area has received a scant .07 inches of precipitation. The valley fog has been held at bay and the days have been comfortably warm – in a rather uncomfortable way. No snow in the winter means a lot of bad things: poor water shipments to area growers, and a long and nasty fire season. The upside is the extended riding season. In the past month, I probably have 1,000 miles in the Held Classics.

The soft cowhide leather is supple and, well, glove soft. Tooling around on the Guzzi Breva, with hands exposed to the windblast, the gloves nicely protect my digits. Even with temps hovering around 50 degrees, I haven’t felt the need to pull out my thick, old winter gloves. The interior polyester-cotton fabric is soft and likely would serve to wick moisture, were it hot enough for my hands to produce any.

Not being a big fan of Velcro® (hook and loop style) closures, I appreciate the two position snaps at the wrist that secures the glove. I know they’re closed and they won’t blow open, although it is a bit cumbersome to snap the second one closed while wearing the first one; and with my Tour Master leather jacket, the closure seems to want to compete for that real estate at the end of my jacket sleeve.

Once I get ‘em situated however, extended days with the Held Classics are shear comfort. I never feel insulated from the controls and I’m not fumbling with switchgear. Plus, the combination of black leather on the palms and brown leather on the back looks really stylish to a sixty-year-old guy such as myself. (I almost want to keep them in the pickup for those days I know are coming where ice has glazed the windshield and the steering wheel feels as if it spent the night in the freezer.)

I like these gloves a lot and am almost willing to sacrifice the state’s agribusiness industry and the threat of wild fires for the extended riding time I enjoy in this product.


© 2012
Church of the Open Road Press


  1. From a Pashnit rider residing in Slovenia:

    I have a pair and they're very warm and comfortable.

  2. Playing Santa to oneself is not allowed by BMW MOA members- send those gloves to me post haste and I'll make certain they get back to Santa to give out appropriately.