Halvarssons – Sweden’s best kept motorcycling secret?

Background

I bought my existing (Halvarssons) leathers way back in 1999 and they’ve served me very well for many tens of thousands of miles. They are still my only set of leathers and there isn’t anything majorly wrong with them; a button has gone AWOL and the Velcro has seen better days. At the same time I bought my leathers, I also bought a set of Halvarssons gloves. Unfortunately, as I used these gloves so much, I simply wore through them. I was very reluctant to throw them out, but the large holes that started appearing was the final straw. I looked around for a replacement pair, and I was quite sad to see that I couldn’t buy a new set of Halvarssons gloves in the UK. I tried a couple of other brands, but they didn’t really feel right and they didn’t really come close to the feeling the Halvarssons gloves had. You can imagine how my eyes lit up when at the NEC bike show in 2005, Halvarssons (and their sister brand Jofama) were showing off their latest range. FINALLY! I thought! Only to come across another setback when I discovered that they were only showcasing the Halvarssons brand and products. Never mind, these things are set to test us! All was not over as they mentioned that the closest importer of the Halvarssons products was located in Bedfordshire; a mere 1hr ride from our place.

Got them!

Halvarssons Dino Motorcycle Gloves, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The Halvarssons Dino gloves - a piece of artwork

Showing the stitching on the thumbs of the Halvarssons Dino gloves, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

Just look at the detailed stitching on the thumbs.

After a long wait, and a few problems along the way (these things are set to test us right?) Caz and I finally got our hands on a pair of Halvarssons gloves. We opted for the top of the range sports glove called Dino. These gloves are a piece of art in itself. They have a hard knuckle protector and some sort of textile fibres in vented areas. The main leather that the gloves are made out of is that Fosters sort with the pouch on the front; Kangaroo. Hence they are said to bounce well if you crash. Other spiffy brands used are Keprotec and Hi-Art Light. Marketing speech aside; these gloves are awesome.

Admiring the artwork

Before you even get to put them on your hand, you can’t but admire the stitching; it’s impeccable. Every little seam just seems so agile, purposeful and just beautifully put in place. I can’t really imagine how precise you have to be with a sewing machine to get a result like this.
When you pick them up you notice another thing; they’re very soft and supple, but still retain a curved-hand-shape. The fingers bend easily and all pieces just seem to be incredibly nicely put together.
As these are the top-dog-sports-glove you’re going to have to do a bit of fiddling before you get to stick your fingers in them (sound familiar, lads?). The simple reason is that there are actually four Velcro fasteners that make sure that once you’re in there, you’re not coming in the case of an accident. First the sleeve is adjustable, makes for a good nice flap-free overlapping to your leathers. There are actually two flaps that you put across each other, and the outer one has got a thick padding on it. Secondly there’s a wrist strap which actually locks itself into position, not only by doubling itself over the strap, but also by a little leather flap. I’m assuming this little flap is there, not to annoy you, but to prevent the strap being ground off should you be trying to do a handstand down the road at 100mph.

Halvarssons Dino Knuckles, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The knuckles

Get it on

Curled up fist with the Halvarssons Dino Gloves, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The inside of the fist folds nicely without any creases. Just as it's supposed to be. Lovely!

The fingers of the Halvarssons Dino gloves, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

Just look at these fingers. They're just lovely, the stitching is perfect, just cute.

When you’ve done the hard work of getting into the gloves you’ll notice that it was truly worth the effort. The glove just fits perfectly. One thing that struck me was that both gloves are actually of the same size – I can’t explain my annoyance with some glove manufacturers when I try both gloves on and I can clearly feel that they’re not the exact size. These are just wonderful. Your hand rests in a nice leisurely position that doesn’t have any strange stresses or blood-cutting-seams. Make a fist of your hand and you’ll notice the most important part of a well made motorbike glove; there’s no creases in the palm of your hand. None, zip, zilch, nada. Just smooth leather. In the past I’ve ridden long stretches with gloves that, somehow, has managed to make a crease in the palm, my reward for my stubbornness has been a blisters that usually have ruined the rest of my ride. Nothing I’d recommend. The Halvarssons Dino glove just curls up to grip the bars so nicely, no creases, no unwanted tensions.
Out on the road you’ve got great feedback from brake/clutch and the throttle. I haven’t done tons of miles with these gloves just yet, so they’ve still not moulded 100% to my hands (maybe 99%). I’m sure they’ll be perfect in a few hundred more miles. Right now, I can feel a slight strain at the base of my 2nd and 3rd finger (middle finger and ring finger). I can also feel a slight push at the back of my hand near the thumb. Both “problems” are on my right hand. If I were to compare these “complaints” to my previous pair of gloves I’d probably line up about 10 to 15 points on the old gloves.

Impressing my friends

When I’ve shown these gloves off to some of my friends, they’ve all been impressed with the quality and the comfort. I have then asked them how much they’d expect to pay for these gloves. The gloves “scored” a price range of £100 to £120 with a bonus of “You never know with quality gloves like these, they could go for £200”. Now here’s the 2nd best thing (1st is quality/comfort) with these gloves is the price; they R.R.P for £62 (yes, a measly six-two!). The “bang-for-the-buck”-ratio is overwhelming!
I’m really looking forward to riding a lot with these gloves. I loved my previous pair of Halvarssons, and I’m already having the same feelings for these gloves.
You can find more information about Halvarssons product range on the Jofama website and we got our gloves from
GLF Accessories
10 High Street
Flitwick
MK45 1DS
01525 717009
http://www.glf-accessories.co.uk/

GLF Accessories is a little gem of a shop, stocking only quality merchandise such as Daytona boots and made to measure leathers. And the service we received there was second to none. Well worth a trip if you’re in the vicinity.

Caz's thoughts

I'm a bit of an odd ball when it comes to gloves. Actually, if the truth be known, I'm a bit of an odd ball in generally, but that's another story. Despite the fact that I am approximately 171cm, I have small hands, and I want a protective glove in the correct size. Not an unreasonable request? There's a huge range of bike gloves available, you can pick them up for as little as £10 in the sale, or you can pay almost twenty times that and buy the top of the range all singing all dancing ones for approaching £200. With such a wide range of gloves available, I am reluctant to spend "silly money" on buying a pair, but in order to spend silly money, I first of all needed to find a pair that was a good fit. I tried many mid-range price brands ca £60, but couldn't find anything that tempted me enough to part with my hard earned cash.
Now cast your mind back almost a year to the 2005 bike show at the NEC. If you were there, you may have noticed a Swedish brand, Halvarssons, show casing their range. I spent quite a long while look at their products, partly because Jocke's leathers are Halvarssons and I've always been impressed with the quality, and partly because the more I looked at the range of products they had on show, the more I was impressed with their style and quality. I was particularly taken with their top of the range sports glove, the Dino. I was hoping to be able to try a pair on in my size, to see if they would fit my hands. Unfortunately, the smallest size they had their was a size 9, which was too big for me. But I quickly found out that there was a distributor not far from where we live. Fast forward now until July 2006, Jocke and I finally got our act together and decided to go on a bike trip to the distributor with the aim of buying a pair of gloves. Before we left home we knew that they didn't have the Dino in stock, but they were very helpful and said that if we tried on the ranges they did stock, then they would contact Halvarssons and ask them which sizes to order. So I decided to take the gamble, and handed over my credit card and parted with the grand total of £65 including delivery!!
A short while later, and I get home from work to find a nice note from Royal mail telling me that there is a package for me at the post office. I sneak out of work a bit early the next day and pick the gloves up.
I slipped my hands into them, and they fit better than I could possibly have wished for. They feel really well made, and they certainly look the part. So what makes them so good? The seams are on the outside, so they don't rub and leave blisters. They're made from kangaroo hide so they're lovely and soft and supple. They've got protection in all the right places as well as well as numerous Velcro fastenings so you can get them to fit perfectly. They certainly won't be coming off your hands in a hurry in the event of a crash.
These gloves didn't require breaking in, the first time I went out for a bike ride wearing them, they were really comfortable and fitted my hands perfectly. I didn't experience any of the usual folds of leather in your palm as the gloves shape to your hand. It sounds a bit like a cliché, but it really was like having a second skin.
I could rant about these gloves all day, and sing Halvarssons praises. But I couldn't do their products justice. Go and find a stockist and try them out for yourself. I promise you that you will be impressed.