BearTek Bluetooth Moto Gloves

Feb 20, 2014 View Comments by

BearTek Bluetooth Moto GlovesWhat will they think of next? With the recent proliferation of Bluetooth audio and communication systems, Willie Blount Jr., BearTek’s founder, had an idea. The idea turned into a Kickstarter campaign, which then became a product and a company. So, what is that product? It’s a Bluetooth-enabled glove capable of controlling your phone, or other Bluetooth device, by simply touching your fingers together. BearTek makes several models of the glove for different applications, but we’re interested in the motorcycle version.

Let’s start with the gloves, because no matter how well the Bluetooth part works, if the BearTek product can’t protect your hands, be comfortable, and generally perform well as motorcycle hand gear, there’s no point. Not to worry, however; these are some seriously high-quality gloves. Thick, soft leather makes up the majority of the gloves’ exterior while carbon-fiber knuckle guards provide first-class protection. These are long, gauntlet-style gloves that extend midway up your forearm. The material and build quality of the gloves is excellent. Now, let’s move on to what makes them unique.

BearTek Bluetooth Moto GlovesThe heart (or brain, depending on how you look at it) of the BearTek gloves is an interchangeable module housed in a small zipped pocket in the cuff of the left glove. This is the Bluetooth controller and battery that powers the system. To begin with, you have to pair the device with your smartphone (in my case an iPhone). It’s a simple process of turning the module on via the on/off button on the left thumb and then selecting “Bear-Tek” from the list of Bluetooth devices on your phone. That’s it; you’re connected. The glove has two silver-colored touch points each on the left index, middle, and ring fingers (to go along with one on the tip of the thumb). Once it’s paired, you can control various functions on your smartphone by simply touching your thumb to the point that corresponds to the action you’re trying to accomplish. Some of these include playing or pausing your music, skipping to the next track, fast-forwarding or rewinding, and answering or declining phone calls.

I mentioned earlier that the module was interchangeable. That’s because you can also pair the gloves with a GoPro camera if you buy the corresponding module. So, how does the system work in the real world? I admit that it takes a while to get a feel for actually using the touch points to control your phone, and there is a bit of finesse involved. But once you figure it out, the gloves work well. I successfully performed all the aforementioned functions, including answering a phone call, by simply touching my fingers together. I must say that I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the controls while in your living room before heading out on the road. BearTek claims an 80-hour battery life, which I didn’t scientifically test, but I did accidentally leave the gloves on for a really long time, and they still had plenty of juice. So you shouldn’t have to worry about the battery dying on a long ride. One thing I think is a glaring omission is that there’s no way to change the volume with the gloves, which in my experience is one of the most important things to be able to control since the volume you need tends to depend on how fast you’re going. However, BearTek has promised to add this functionality with a firmware update sometime in the future. Still, I’ve got to give BearTek kudos for a good idea and an even better design and execution.

Sizes: S–XXL
Color: Black
Price: $145 gloves only (add $140 for either the Bluetooth or GoPro module; $280 for both.)
www.beartekgloves.com

 

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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.