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MCN  says:

True or false? Electrically heated clothing is for wimps

There's a long standing debate in the MCN office about heated clothing. While heated grips are seen by most as acceptable, if not a necessity, for winter riding, plug-in clothing brings a different reaction. It's seen by many as a cop out, cheating - the preserve of Goldwing riders and wimps. But some of the office - especially those with long...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (15 January 2013 10:27)

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Feb 10

Posts: 1953

SlowLearner says:


Got absolutely bone-chilled on Sunday,  wish I'd had some heated gear for that.   Haven't felt right since. :unsure:

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Apr 12

Posts: 320

DazLoczy says:

Stupid Question

There's an ex-forces guy I know tough as nails, does ice-water swimming, endurance events, does MMA fighting etc proper hardcore guy - definitely not a wimp. Yet he, like me rides every day and covers many miles but he has full heated jackets, trousers, boot liners and gloves and I survive with 'only' heated grips. Believe me, if I could afford it I'd have the full heated gear too. 70mph for an hour on a frozen motorway ain't fun. Simples.

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Nov 10

Posts: 5

MatrixMac says:

These hard as nails, 'no heated kit cuz it's girly', guys are the very same guys who drive their cars in the winter with all the windows down and the blower, full blast, on the cold setting, as heating is for wussy types. These are the very same real men who strip off in the summer and ride in shorts. We know the type - short sighted and amateurish.

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Feb 12

Posts: 22

vanandy says:

I always thought heated grips were for pussies until i bought a bike with them fitted, winter riding is a lot more fun and when i get to work or home I don't cry with pain from frozen fingers coming back to life.

Looking forward to trying out some heated clothing, I'll try a hot water bottle stuffed in me jacket first, bit like a run from the chippe without he smell of vinegar or burnt chest.

Come to think of it I could buy a cheap diving drysuit and fill it with hot water, that'll work won't it? great in a crash.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4779

philehidiot says:


It depends. I'd say it certainly has its place in touring and long distance riding, especially if your bike isn't well protected. When you get bored on motorways you'll feel the cold easier. I tried heated kit but didn't like it as it made me too warm and cosy which doesn't produce the right mind set for riding. Personally I find that once I've got going I'm too focussed on what I'm doing to notice the cold unless it's really bad. I also find the kit I have keeps me at a perfect temperature when wearing a T shirt... aside from the gloves, which are 3 season at most. Really they're more 2 season but I have hand guards which makes these just about usable down to about minus 2C. After that I need the thicker ones but I don't like these as they diminish control that bit too much. If you've not spent a great deal on your normal kit then yes, you'll probably get cold. I'd personally get the right kit to start with, making sure your neck is covered and that the cold can't get up your sleeve, etc than go with multiple layers and heated stuff. I think the heated stuff should also stay off until you start feeling the cold a bit as otherwise they could slow your reactions by making you too warm... the Germans turned off their heating in their watch towers for a reason. Also, in these temperatures (-1C to -6C according to the weather people today) a buff is not enough for your neck. You need a buff and either another properly thick one underneath or a scarf on top. Or both. I use a scrim scarf which is absolutely excellent and also reduces helmet noise markedly. For real emergencies (like when I had to use vented summer gloves in minus figures) I have heated grips but I don't use them every day and I'll only turn them on for longer journeys due to small battery. Even then all they do is warm your palm when it's the back of your hand which is the problem. They're best combined with muffs. Want to stay warm? Get the right kit first. And frankly if you're on a tourer or something with a proper fairing you shouldn't get cold at all and you're definitely in the wrong kit. If you're getting cold in the right kit, it's probably a sign you need to pull over and have a break / eat something.

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Jan 11

Posts: 8491

snev says:

Over the years I have tried many ways to keep warm and dry in cold and wet weather including.... Fisherman's socks, thermal undies, newspaper, bin liners, Wax cotten, Leather, Textiles and heated gloves, vest's and Grips. It has been very difficult indeed to find the perfect answer for all conditions but I guess that's part of the "Fun" of being a biker.

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May 08

Posts: 45

mickra says:

Oh please

Get a bloody life you lot! wear what you flaming well want, it's no-one elses business and I don't give a monkeys! spanners!

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Jan 13

Posts: 13

YamAustin says:


So I guess to those people thinking its for wimps believe its better to be cold resulting in loss of full concentration when riding. Nice one lol

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Feb 12

Posts: 22

vanandy says:

Come to think of it....this stuff and other stuff like it...alls its gonna do is make your battery and electrical system explode or melt into a big ball of unpickable stinking muck....or you'll forget its plugged in, get off your nice bike and pull it off its side stand.....followed by an explosion and melting wires.....jacket will be alright thou.... where can i get one.

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Oct 11

Posts: 2708

Piglet2010 says:

Really now...

I rode to the nearest large city and back (~10-hour round trip) and back in -5 to -15°C weather without heated gear except for the grips on my Honda Dullsville, and was fine. I did stop at a bike shop get a balaclava (as well as a used Honda CBR600F4i) before the trip home, since it cools off a bit after the sun goes down.

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