Heated Motorcycle Gear
Keep riding in cold temps.
On a nice summer day, you can get away with riding in your regular motorcycle outfit but heated motorcycle clothes let you extend your comfort zone substantially. As soon as night falls, or whenever riding in cold northern climates, keeping warm becomes a matter of security.
I know from experience how fast the body gets chilled and this makes the reflexes slow. Speed wind and cold = multiple times as much chill effect as if you are standing still. Add to that the fact that riding a motorcycle basically means sitting still, the body circulation simply can't cope it without help.
It used to be that you had to either let the bike stand until weather conditions improved - or bundle up bigtime, so much as to make any ride uncomfortable. The boots shown here were once waterproof but as any rider knows, protective gear wears out fast. After having done a 5 hr ride through rain the boots took 2 days to dry with frequent changes of newspaper stuffing. I can say 1 thing: during the ride my feet were freezing to the pint where I was concerned about their welfare.
These days, heated motorcycle clothes allow us to ride comfortably even in winter conditions and my days without heated gear are over - time to ride in comfort!
Image credits:family pics
Heated Motorcycle Gloves
As a mc-rider braving cold temps, the first thing to go is always the hands. It starts with a chill, progresses into finger numbness, to pain and lack of mobility.
Frostbite from riding is a real threat. Arthritis is another serious risk if you expose your hands to cold and wind for long periods. That will come back and haunt you in your older years.
Here is a selection of popular and effective MC gloves that all have some form of electric warming circuitry.
Heated bike jacket liner with endless power
When i started touring, many many years ago, if someone had told me that I could have had the same benefit of a warming blanket under my protective suit I would have been ecstatic.
VENTURE HEAT Jacket LinerI guess stuff like this did exist in those days but at a prohibitive price. Either of the two shown here are excellent choices that have a moderate wattage draw while providing a lot of warmth under your mc jacket.
I prefer these types of warmers that you plug in directly to the bike's power system instead of using a rechargeable battery.
The would be my choice but simply because of connectivity to Firstgear's other stuff. Just a personal preference and you can't go wrong with either of these. FIRSTGEAR 90 Watt Motorcycle Jacket Under-Layer
Electric socks and soles
Since the feet are closest to ground when you ride a motorcycle, they are extremely exposed to weather and wind. Whenever it rains, your motorcycle boots will be taking the heaviest hit. When I ride, my hands and feet are always my biggest problem and in short - that's why heated socks or inlay soles are something I always have on my gear-list.
Vest by ANSAIA nice compromise for when the full package is too much is to opt for a warming mc vest. Even when touring in a comfortable climate zone, early mornings and nights will make you cold, specially with the headwind containing morning dew.
Tourmaster heated rider vestWhen I go on adventure trips I go for textile clothes. When touring I like leather better.
The image at right shows a battery heated soft-shell vest. this is great for wearing inside or as a exterior warmer. the bonus with a battery system is that you take the warmth with you if you decide to go for a hike. this would be my choice for adventure riding.
The Tourmaster at left is a 12 volt heated motorcycle vest but would look just as right on a nice powerboat I guess. Leather, good styling, a high neck and attachment to any 12v cigarette connection gets this one a featured spot in my wish-list!
Frosty bike riding
If you wonder how cold can it get and still be able to enjoy a ride on a motorcycle, the answer is: as long as your tires have grip so you can tour safely.
Ok, but what about comfort? That's what the electric heating is for. This pic is from one of my October rides. Saddle is frosted so I had to tag it with the Adventure rider forum sign :)
Anyway, I had ok gear on that day and simply brushed off the frost and rode on.
Heating Pant LinersAsk any biker who has ridden in all sorts of weather for many years and most of them will testify to having knee problems. this is a serious issue and gets worse with age, even if you stop riding.
The main problem is that your knees work as a bone shield and it takes a lot of exposure before you start to feel the chill. By then it is too late though because warming up bone takes a lot of time. It's like having ice cubes strapped to your knees. The many times you chilled those knee-caps may seriously limit your mobility.
As with the other motorcycle gear with heating, I prefer a 12v system that plugs right into the bike's power. This lets you go on indefinitely since the heating runs as long as the engine is on.
Heated Biker Clothing or Not?
I like to ride in any weather and will dress accordingly. What about you?