Top Heated Motorcycle Kit

Top Heated Motorcycle Kit
Top Heated Motorcycle Kit
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Many motorcyclists approach winter in the same way some animals do; stock up on luxuries, hunker down and wait for spring and the onset of better weather. Others use a more arctic approach, adapting to the conditions and continuing to ride throughout the darker months. Part of the solution is heated motorcycle kit.

We know from experience that it is fairly straightforward to cope with temperatures and conditions that are reasonably typical of a British winter; a set of proper base layers, perhaps a mid-layer and a good outer layer with proper gloves and boots. However, what do you do when this simply is not enough and the mercury really drops?

In this case, it’s time to break out the heated motorcycle kit. I know from personal experience that this can make a massive difference to your ride.

While even the best winter clothing is designed to try to keep as much heat in as possible, sometimes the combination of speed, exposure and temperature are too much and you need to actively generate heat within your clothing to maintain your temperature for not only comfort but also, safety.

Thankfully there are plenty of options to help you do this, that work from your chin down and will generate heat for every part of your body.

One thing you will need to consider is how often and for how long you will be using heated motorcycle kit. This is because it can generally either be powered by rechargeable batteries or hard-wired directly to the bike’s battery.

Related: Best winter motorbike clothing

The advantage with batteries is that they are portable and you can hop on and off the bike as you need to without worrying about disconnecting.

The downside is that they have a limited life – a couple of hours perhaps – and if you are riding for longer or are wearing multiple garments then hard-wiring means you will never run out of power. Which you opt for depends on your riding.

Here is a selection of heated motorcycle kit if you want to get the maximum warmth and comfort from your winter riding.

These gloves from heated motorcycle kit expert Keis are designed to either be worn on their own as a lightweight heated glove or go inside your normal, larger winter gloves for a gentle heating action all over the hands useful as the hands can be one of the first areas of the body to start to feel the cold.

They are supplied with a hard-wire lead to connect to the bike and a Y-lead to power both gloves, though optional batteries are available. Unlike more traditional heated gloves, they give a single level of heat, though external controllers are also available.

Pros

  • Work well on their own
  • Add heat to normal winter gloves
  • Wire direct to bike’s battery

Cons

  • Single level of heating may not be enough

This mid-layer from clothing expert Gerbing features some 30 metres of heating wire inside it to offer warmth on even the coldest rides. It is intended to be worn close to the skin as a mid-layer and features heating elements on the chest, the back, the collar and down the sleeves for all-over warmth.

The sleeves feature wiring connectors for matching gloves and the jacket comes with a bike hard-wiring harness though no temperature controller. The material is also wind-resistant to help maintain the warmth within.

Pros

  • All-over heating
  • Form-fitting design
  • Hard-wired to bike

Cons

  • No temperature controller included

While not strictly clothing, British motorcycle kit giant Oxford's Hotgrips are de riguer additions for riders using their bikes in chilly conditions. A variety of styles are available, including these Touring grips and they offer heat from the grips themselves, allowing thinner gloves to be used in colder climates to prevent hands getting cold.

Many riders prefer heated grips to heated gloves and if you’re one of those, then these will see you right.

Pros

  • Variety of designs to suit different bikes
  • Universal fit
  • Range of heating options

Cons

  • Won’t heat fingers or backs of hands

If you don't need or like the heating effect of a full jacket, then this vest from Keis could be for you. It is a breathable lightweight garment that fits against the skin to distribute heat evenly as you ride, with heating panels on the chest and the back.

It can be powered by either the company’s rechargeable battery packs or directly from the bike – the hardwire kit is included – and like other items in the range, will connect to trousers and gloves. It doesn’t come with a temperature controller but the company’s new Bluetooth version will work.

Pros

  • Heat to the chest and back
  • Less restrictive than full jacket
  • Dual power options

Cons

  • May leave arms cold

These heated socks are Amazon's Choice and they get good reviews online. They are very tall, so will keep the lower legs warm thanks to the velvet liner but the batteries provide electrical heating of the foot to keep the cold at bay.

They come with two rechargeable batteries and provide four levels of heating, from 38°C to 70°C. Battery life ranges from three hours on the highest setting to up to 18 hours on the lowest and the battery tucks away in a small pouch at the top of the sock.

Pros

  • High-leg to keep leg warm
  • Electric heating of the foot
  • Good value

Cons

  • Battery powered so limited life

These heated trousers from Macna will keep your legs warm in even the coldest of rides. They are formed in polyester but have an integral heat-reflecting layer to help keep the generated warmth inside and hence, close to the wearer's body.

The heating elements run throughout the whole trousers, to ensure an even heat distribution and they can be powered either directly from the bike or by one of the matching Macna battery systems though neither is supplied with the trousers. There are also connections for jacket and socks too.

Pros

  • Even, all-over heating
  • Heat-reflective layer
  • Connections to jacket and socks

Cons

  • No power-supply options come with trousers
Price: £242.99 (was £299.99)

They're not cheap but these heated gloves from French brand Furygan are worth every penny I know, I have a pair and have used them throughout winter and found them to be comfortable and perfectly warm.

Feel is excellent and they are warm even before the heating is activated. There are three levels and once they are paired with your smartphone via the app, one button controls both, making them safer. There is D3O armour for protection and they are waterproof as well.

Pros

  • Excellent feel
  • Warm even without heating
  • One-button control system

Cons

  • Optional hard-wire kit is expensive

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