Getting Started with Heated Motorcycle Gear

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Staying warm during the winter months is a common challenge all of us riders face. No matter how many layers we put on, the cold always seems to starkly budge its way in mid-ride. This is often the poignant moment of return towards home we dread, however there is a remedy available at the flip of a switch. That remedy is, of course, heated riding gear. Meant to supplement your current weather resistant outerwear, heated gear picks up where traditional gear stops. Our goal is to show you what types of heated gear is out there, break down how it works and ultimately how heated gear can benefit you no matter the style of riding you may do.

What Types of heated gear are there?

Heated Gloves
You can use a heated liner, or heated

gloves as seen here

• Heated Gloves/Liners - Heated gloves or glove liners are a great starting point if you’re wanting to explore heated gear. In most cases, hands are the first to get cold, but play the biggest part in controlling the motorcycle making it important to keep your digits from getting numb! If you have a great pair of gloves that you enjoy, you can go the route of a glove liner, which easily slip under any existing glove. Now some riders prefer to have both warm and cold weather gloves, and choose heated gloves for their winter mitts. Ultimately it’s up to you which option is best. Shop All Heated Riding Gloves and Liners

Heated Riding Jacket

• Heated Jackets/Vests – Heated jackets or liners do a great job of keeping the most important part of the body, the core, comfortable and safe. Similar to a lightweight windbreaker, a heated jacket is a lightweight, slim liner or vest that you wear above a base layer, and beneath your riding jacket. This a great way of adding a ton of warmth without much bulk, and is extremely easy to add to your heated configuration. Shop All Heated Jackets

Heated Pants

• Heated Pants/Liners– If you find your rear-end getting numb over the course of a cold ride, heated pant liners are an easy solution. Like other heated gear, these liners slip right under your riding pants, and provide full warmth to your lower half.

• Heated Soles/Socks – Feet are just about the hardest areas to keep warm with traditional riding gear. Luckily there are now a couple options to help fight off the cold without wearing ten pairs of wool socks. Heated socks or liners slip on over a pair of normal riding socks. If you have riding have boots with insoles another option simply swap out the existing set with heated soles. Both integrate easily to your heated configuration.

Configurations

With options head to toe it might be a daunting task figuring out where to start initially. What you need to do is analyze what gets cold when riding, and build from there. Here are a few options in terms of configuration from single heated pieces to full body setups.

Individual Item - A lot of times riders will go with individual pieces to supplement their current outfit. Like the example above, if your standard non-heated jacket, pants, boots, etc combo keep everything warm except your hands, then a pair of heated gloves are necessary. Same goes for jacket liners, pants, socks and all the rest. If larger regions (upper body, lower body, etc…) are hard to keep warm, then you need to look at combining multiple heated elements.

Integration – One of the advantages of heated gear, is the fact that pieces can be interconnected. From head to toe, you can have a cohesive unit made up of multiple elements plugged together. A heated jacket liner and pair of heated gloves is easily the most popular combination we see, but you don’t have to stop there. Most gear, no matter what brand have interchangeable connectors that allow you just to plug and play. You can even buy controllers with multiple “zones” so you can run different temps in once piece of gear from another, or even one rider from another.

Check out all the Heated Riding Gear Accessories including coax plugs, controllers, adapters, battery packs and more.

How To Power Your Gear: Battery vs. Hard Wired

If you’re wondering how exactly heated gear gets powered, you have two options: battery powered and hard wired to your motorcycle. Just about every type of garment will have a battery operated version that typically includes a rechargeable battery pack with a few different settings for heat adjustment. Battery pack powered gear benefits the rider by not having multiple cords or couplers attached to you and the bike at all times. Many riders purchase a battery powered pair of gloves or jacket if that particular piece of gear is the only heated aspect of their set up.

Heated Gear Harness

If you want to have multiple heated elements, then a battery set up is not ideal, given that you will have to control each piece individually, worry about charging each individually and turning each on and off. This is where a hard wired set up is preferred. A hard wired set up includes a harness that connects to the battery terminals, or 12v DC power source if your bike has it, and then feeds to a controller. From the controller you can plug in your gear and it will be powered as long as your bike is running. Since you’re drawing power form the bike’s battery, usually that provides more than enough juice to power multiple items or gear on multiple riders.

Tips For Heated Gear

We’ll admit, heated gear isn’t always as simple as it may seem, and may take a bit to learn the nuances of how it all works. Here are a few tips and things to remember or keep in mind.


  • • Heated gear should supplement existing cold weather gear.

  • • Heated gear should be worn over a base layer of some sort, preferably made of moisture wicking material (think Under Armour).

  • • It’s a good idea to turn off the system from the motorcycle before you start the bike to lessen the load on your bike’s electrical system. .

  • • Keep spare fuses and other possible components that are vital to a heated system.

  • • Plug everything for a quick check before taking off to make sure everything is working properly.

  • • If you’ve got a hard wired system, it can be easy to get hung up or tangled for a minute so make sure to pay attention because you are adding one more element to the act of riding.

  • • Read the instructions that come with each product!


With all that said with a little bit of common sense and patients you should have a heated system that is taking you well into the winter months.

Getting Warmer

The wonder of heated gear is that it can really extend your riding season, and honestly, what can beat more seat time? Just like most things related to motorcycles, there can be a bit of an adjustment period, but nothing you shouldn’t be able to master after a few rides. Check out all our heated motorcycle gear, and have fun browsing the different configurations and options available.

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