Motorcycle gloves by Roland Sands Designs

Roland Sands Designs continue to reshape the look of motorcycle riding gear with their 2012 apparel range. This time round I’ve managed to get my hands on in a pair of their latest gloves named “Diesel”.

The Diesel gloves come in two colour variations, black and what they call ‘tobacco’. To try and break my addiction to black riding gear I decided to go for the tobacco glove in a large which is the same size as my Icon Pursuit gloves. Let me say now that the opportunity to review these gloves came at the perfect time. My Icon gloves had packed it in only a couple of weeks prior to the release of the RSD gloves. I had over 4 years of solid use out of the Icons and I was getting ready to order a new pair because I liked them so much. These gloves had to make a good impression if they were to stop me from placing that order.

Since receiving the gloves I’ve done about 700kms wearing them, including a 3 hour ride. The major thing I have noticed about these gloves compared to my old ones is that my hands don’t as fatigued, which I assume is because of the fact that the ribbing on the back of the gloves supply much more give. This is a huge benefit for me because of the amount of city riding I do. Lane splitting and moving in slow traffic means a lot of brake/clutch play and in a more restrictive glove it doesn’t take long before your hands start to cease up.

I was also really impressed by how warm these gloves are. Again I think the ribbing along with the protective padding on top of the fingers contributes to this. Although I would not recommend them for very low temperatures or wet weather riding, they are certainly suitable for cold morning/evenings. Because the leather is so soft they soak up liquid very quickly, in a light rain it didn’t take long for the leather to change colour and start feeling heavier. I would recommend spraying them with a leather protectant to stop this from happening so quickly.

According to RSD the Diesel gloves are constructed from “A grade” cowhide which has a very soft, supple feel. The gloves are very easy to slip and the interior has an almost velvet feel to it. A single zip along the back of the hand and a velcro fastener with faux button hold the gloves securely in place. I was able to remove the gloves without undoing the fasteners but I took a fair bit of tugging to remove them. If you are unlucky enough to come off I’m confident these gloves aren’t going to get flung off your hands.


The Diesel gloves don’t offer the protection levels sport riders generally look for in a glove but they are designed to take a beating. The armour covering each finger (rather than knuckle) is filled with a type of foam that has enough give to flex but is dense enough to protect against hard knocks. The palm and outer edge of each glove have double layers of leather with double stitching, offering protection and extra padding in high pressure areas.

The design of the Diesel gloves is easily their most distinctive feature. I received several comments from people about their retro look and “unusual” colour. “They look like something off the set of the original Star Wars movies” was one description that I thought was pretty accurate and one friend refers to them as my “ET” gloves which gives you an idea of how the Tobacco colour looks.

All up I’m happy with these gloves and for their $80USD price tag I think they are great value. It’s not often you find gear that looks as cool as these at an affordable price. Roland Sands Designs are setting a new style standard in motorcycle apparel and while it’s not all about the looks, I’m sure there are plenty of riders out there who have been waiting for a range of riding gear like this to come out.


  • Comfort – Feel great on the outside and the inside. Plenty of flex and after long rides no evidence of pressure points.
  • Temperature – Surprisingly good on cold days/mornings/evenings. Stay nice an cool on hot Australian Summer days.
  • Secure fastener – No way these are coming off on their own.
  • Retro looks – Perfect for your retro ride or for Han Solo to pilot the Falcon in.


  • Colour – Tobacco isn’t the shade of brown I was thinking but that’s just personal taste
  • Loose strings after short time – I noted that a few threads started to appear in the first two weeks. Passing over them with a naked flame cleaned them all up just fine. Not a serious con but one I thought I’d mention. I had the same thing happen on a $1000- Dainese jacket!
  • Look like ET’s hands – not sure how I feel about that.
  • Soft armor
  • Quick to soak up water/oil/etc without a protectant spray.


RSD Diesel in black


Check out the other gloves in the range on the RSD website: