Shima is a relatively new brand of motorcycle protective apparel that is based out of Poland. The company aims at providing high quality and premium features for a thoroughly competitive price. The RS1 gloves are a shining example of that philosophy, and so I went and bought myself a pair. These are my thoughts after a couple of months of use.
The RS1 is a pair of full gauntlet riding gloves constructed from natural goatskin, with a pleasantly soft liner that feels plush against the skin. The gloves use a single cuff-closure system, but also get a separate velcro wrist closure covered by a protective flap of leather. Mobility is good thanks to elastic leather piping used in the thumbs and first three fingers, as well as a floating knuckle protector which prevents unnecessary tension on the knuckles.
The gloves aren’t heavily vented but do offer a little airflow on the sides of the fingers that is just sufficient enough to keep them usable in Mumbai’s heat. Since I have skinny wrists, I’d have liked a larger, stronger velcro closure on the cuff, but the wrist closure provides a very secure fit. In fact, it’s so secure that getting the gloves on and off takes a fair deal of effort. Comfort is enhanced by external stitching on the fingers that prevents the seams from digging in and causing distraction and irritation. Unfortunately, there’s a thick seam behind the thumbs which leaves a deep mark in the skin and causes soreness after a few hours on the bike.
Shima says these gloves are CE Category 2 certified, but there is some ambiguity here. Category 2 only regards the type of protective apparel and states that it requires certification by an external test body. The tag on the glove confirms that the certification is in fact to CE Level 1 certification. To be fair, internationally, very few gloves (the Knox Handroid is one) meet the extremely high standards of full CE Level 2 approval, and they’re about double of what Shima is charging. Still, it would be nice if the brand was clearer regarding the rating.
There are numerous protective features on offer, starting with the pinky finger connected to the ring finger, similar to what Alpinestars does with their gloves. This helps prevent the finger getting twisted away in a crash. The first four fingers also get hard plastic protectors while the side uses a Superfabric slider, which is composed of tiny armoured pieces that have a much higher abrasion resistance than leather. Knox supplies their trademark Scaphoid Protection System, which comprises of two hard plastic pieces in base of the palms that help the glove slide when you land on your hands. Finally, there’s also Poron’s impact-absorbing XRD material under the knuckle protector that is soft to press, but almost instantly hardens on impact.
For the price, these gloves offer unbeatable levels of equipment, and if Shima fixes the seam issue, they will also become very comfortable. As for longevity, it’s unknown for now, but we’ll update this review on our website after a few more months. Until then, the RS1 gets full marks for the value it offers and I hope I’ll never have to test its crashworthiness!
Price: Rs 7,500