Heated motorcycle gear – what's hot this winter
Let's face it, riding when you're cold can become quite a miserable experience. It can also be quite a dangerous one, too, if we unwittingly begin concentrating more on our own shivering than what's happening on the road around us.
Many riders 'layer up', of course. After all, this is a common, cheap, and well-established method of managing cold, and there's an excellent selection of stylish Triumph-branded clothing from linings, base layers, under-protection, to extensively tested protective clothing from which you can choose.
Alternatively, most motorcycles in the Triumph range including the Bonneville Bobbers and Speed Triples offer heated grips as a superb comfort accessory that can easily add to your winter riding comfort and enjoyment, while several other Triumph ranges including the Tiger 1200s and Tiger 800s and heated seats. Heated grips and seats have the added advantage of being ready and available if you begin to get cold and you don’t have any cold weather clothing to hand.
But if you really want to treat yourself, there are some fine technologically advanced heated motorcycle clothing options too.
Types of heated motorcycle gear
Riders have a great choice; heated motorcycle gloves, heated jackets, and even heated socks are all available.
Heated motorcycle gloves – The hands are often the first to feel the chill, as they're extremities that are continuously taking the full force of the cold air. But of course hands (and fingers) play an essential part in riding, making it vitally important that you do everything you possibly can to avoid the cold setting in. Before you buy, however, bear in mind that while some riders love heated motorcycle gloves, others report that the temperature can heat fingers up to an uncomfortable degree.
Heated motorcycle jacket – Whether you choose a vest, liner, body warmer or electric heated jacket, all these are premium items intended to keep the rider's core temperature at a comfortable level. Heated jackets have panels that are usually positioned to warm the chest area and the lower back area, and often come with small convenient plugs for connecting heated motorcycle gloves, and heated legwear.
Heated motorcycle socks – Once your feet are feeling cold, it can be difficult to warm them up again while you're riding. Heated motorcycle socks aren't cheap but, unlike heated insoles for example, they should effectively keep the tops of your toes and feet all nice and toasty during cold journeys.
How to power your motorcycle gear
Heated motorcycle gloves – Heated gloves are a slightly more affordable introduction to heated equipment; the better quality ones have small rechargeable lithium-ion batteries so you don't have to wire your hands up to an associated heated jacket.
Heated motorcycle jacket – The power source for your heated jacket is commonly via a plug that can be hard wired into your motorcycle's 12v power socket, although some more expensive products are fitted with rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs.
Heated motorcycle socks – These connect to an accessory point of a heated jacket or heated legwear, or can be plugged into a 12v socket on your bike.
Heated motorcycle gear considerations
While heated motorcycle clothing provides an extremely practical way of utilising new technology to add more comfort to your cold weather riding, many riders report a few little niggles.
Most heated gear should be worn over some light base layer, to help prevent the elements from getting too hot directly against the skin.
And if you plug all your gear into your 12v socket before starting up your motorcycle, then it's possible that over time you could overload your bike's battery more than it might like.
Finally, heated gear is a definitely luxury option, and there's always a premium cost with a luxury item. If you particularly love riding (or need to commute) during cold weather, and you have the budget, then heated motorcycle gear could be a good investment for you...
...just don't get your fingers burned!