After several month-long trips to Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France, I have been intrigued by the “scooter fashionistas” in the urban environs of Europe. Europeans, in general, have a distinctive flair for fashion, and urban motorcyclists and scooter pilots are no exception.
Recently, this urban mod look has started leaking into North America. Interestingly, one of the more visible companies, Corazzo, is located right across the Cascade Mountains from me in Portland, Ore. Corazzo bills itself as a company that designs technical riding apparel that is as practical on the street as it is sipping an espresso at an outdoor cafe. The Velocitta gauntlet gloves are one of their Euro-inspired offerings.
First, a bit of clarification: The Velocitta gloves are not a shameless fashion statement posing as real motorcycle gloves. These are real riding gloves for serious riders designed in the Pacific Northwest.
The Velocittas are made of tanned goatskin. Like kangaroo hide, goatskin has been a respected glove leather for years, albeit not as mass produced as cowhide gloves. Why goatskin? Well, goatskin is considered to be both lighter and more durable than cowhide. Similarly, goatskin is softer and suppler, which means less break-in time. Finally, goatskin is relatively breathable and water-resistant.
Narrow, suede leather panels are sewn on the front and back of the index finger, as well as on the back of the gauntlet above the wrist. In addition to serving as an attractive contrast to the smooth goatskin, the suede on the index finger functions as a face shield wiper.
Located on the outer edge of the palm is a Kevlar-infused patch for abrasion resistance in the event of any contact with the pavement. An elastic band is sewn around the wrist area for a more contoured fit. Coupled with the adjustable Velcro wrist strap, the gloves will remain in place in an accident.
The inside of the Velocittas is fully lined with a Tricot fleece material. This provides both comfort and warmth on cooler days. However, I would not consider them as winter riding gloves for extended rides in sub-freezing temperatures. Although water resistant, they probably will not offer the best weather protection in monsoon conditions—they were designed for urban riding.
The Velocittas are very lightweight for a gauntlet glove. Fingers are pre-curved and overall construction appears to be excellent with nice attention to detail. The styling is akin to road-racing gloves, but not as particularly snug as road-racing gloves can be.
Virtually no break-in period is necessary. The gloves felt soft and supple the first time I used them. The fingers flexed easily, providing a natural reach for the brake and clutch levers. The gauntlet fit comfortably over the sleeves of a thick leather jacket. In spite of the Tricot fleece lining, the Velocittas were very comfortable in mid-70-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.
I have said this before: For me, quality riding gloves should be totally non-intrusive. In other words, nothing about comfort, fit and dexterity should distract you from the riding experience. So, if you forget that you are wearing them, that’s good. The Velocittas fit the bill nicely.
The Corazzo Velocitta gloves sell for $59 and are available in three colors: black/black, black/red and red/white. Sizes are XS–XL. Warranty is for one year.
A brief comment about sizing: I always wear a size L riding glove. However, the Velocittas seemed to run a bit small. My guess is that the Tricot lining takes up some space. For me, the size XL gloves were perfect. You might want to check with the company prior to ordering other sizes to be on the safe side. Their website has a glove size chart as well.
To order, or for additional information, contact Corazzo through their website www.corazzo.net or 503-446-5031. You can order Corazzo products directly through their website or click on the “dealer locations” link to find a stocking dealer in your area.