Power play: How to hard-wire heated motorcycle gloves into your bike

How to: Hard-wire in heated motorcycle gloves
How to: Hard-wire in heated motorcycle gloves

Heated kit is a brilliant addition to your winter riding kit. It allows you to wear less insulating clothing and instead, generate heat to maintain your body temperature while remaining comfortable and in clothing that isn’t too bulky. If you put in a lot of miles in the cold, you can hard-wire heated motorcycle gloves to the battery.

One of the first bits of heated kit people usually choose is a pair of heated gloves. The hands can be very exposed and fingertips and the back of the hand won’t be kept warm by heated grips. But this guide is equally applicable to other items like socks, trousers and vests.

Many heated gloves come with batteries, but housing these in pouches somewhere on the glove – usually around the cuff – can make them bulky and uncomfortable, depending on how you wear your gloves and jacket cuffs.

MCN’s Saffron Wilson tested the Keis G701 heated gloves:

Tested by Saffron Wilson for 6 months, 1200 miles

If you're riding this winter, heated gloves are a must- have, and this pair has three heat settings which aren't overpowering-it feels like you don't get cold rather than accidentaly touching the hob. Adjusting the temp is easy too with buttons on the back of the hands and a colour-coded system.

Admittedly they're a little difficult to turn on with a hand on the throttle, but if you're changing temp, it's a quick click. If you get caught in a rainstorm, the Hipora waterproof membrane and Ballistic Spandex outer shell keep you comfortable even if it's not icy out, although during a heavy downpour I got slightly damp.
One thing to note is you'll need to buy accessories separately. Available battery packs fit into pockets on the gloves (heavy, but aren't as cumbersome as you'd think), or you can connect to the bike via the supplied lead. And if you've already got a Keis jacket, you can plug in there, too-which is, er, handy.

Battery power also has a finite life and if you’re on a long or multi-day ride, and need them on more than one day, you could run out of power or have to charge them overnight.

The answer for many is to connect the heated kit – which can include gloves but also vests, jacket and socks – to the bike’s battery using an appropriate hard-wire kit. This means that you can run your heated kit at whatever level you want, safe in the knowledge that the energy won’t run out at any point. Here’s our guide to hard-wire heated motorcycle gloves.

Step 1:

Start by using the key to remove the seat. On our Himalayan, it nestled between the pannier mount and the seat on the left-hand side, under the front of the pillion pad

Step 1

Step 2:

The pillion seat comes off first, followed by…

Step 2

Step 3:

…the rider’s seat, revealing the fusebox, relays and the battery.

Step 3

Step 4:

Here is the Enfield’s battery, tucked away to the side of the area with the familiar cover over the positive terminal.

Step 4

Step 5:

This shows how to hard-wire heated motorcycle gloves. But most clothing will come with the same; a harness to go on the bike and one to go in the clothing to connect to it.

Step 5

Step 6:

The bike harness comes with pre-fitted ring terminals and an inline fuse holder. We left the fuse-holder empty at this stage.

Step 6

Step 7:

We started by fitting the earth terminal. The screw holding the main terminal to the battery was tight but not overly so.

Step 7

Step 8:

With the retaining screw removed, we held the terminal onto the battery so there was no interruption to power for the bike, so we didn’t have to reset the clock, for example, or disturb any electronics.

Step 8

Step 9:

We fitted the retaining screw to the terminal with the flat side of the harness terminal against the battery and started the screw back into the captive nut in the battery’s terminal.

Step 9

Step 10:

Once we were sure the screw had started properly (make sure you don’t cross-thread it here) we tightened the screw down fully.

Step 10

Step 11:

To get to the positive terminal of the battery, you need to move the cover to the side, exposing the screw. Be careful not to touch any bodywork with the shaft of the screwdriver when removing this screw.

Step 11

Step 12:

We repeated the process from the earth terminal with the positive on the battery, with the harness connector flat-side down and tightened the screw.

Step 12

Step 13:

We routed the harness cable so that the cover over the battery’s positive terminal could be refitted in the right place to protect it.

Step 13

Step 14:

The harness has plenty of length to it, allowing you to position the connector plug wherever you want.

Step 14

Step 15:

We tend to prefer the connector at the front of the seat area, so it is easier to connect to the garment wiring at the hem of the jacket.

Step 15

Step 16:

The wiring kit we used came with a bag of fuses and no real indication on which to use, so we went for 5 amp, to begin with. This gives good protection but isn’t so low it trips when the gloves are on full power.

Step 16

Step 17:

Once we’d finished, all that is visible to the outside world is the connector socket at the front of the seat. There is plenty of slack inside so that it can be pulled out as required.

Step 17

Step 18:

Now it’s time to fit the harness to the jacket, to carry power from the connector on the bike to the gloves themselves.

Step 18

Step 19:

We usually feed the main connector plug on the jacket through a drawstring fastener at the hem, so that it keeps it in place.

Step 19

Step 20:

We pulled the drawstring fastener tight to keep a decent grip on the cable so it can be pulled out if necessary to meet the connector on the bike but will also keep the cable out of the way if you’re not using the electrical heating.

Step 20

Step 21:

The other end of the jacket harness is a pair of connectors, one designed to go down each sleeve to the cuff, for connecting to the respective glove.

Step 21

Step 22:

Start by feeding a cable down each sleeve, between the thermal liner and the jacket outer.

Step 22

Step 23:

Put your hand up each sleeve and grab the connector, gently pulling it out until it emerges from the cuff.

Step 23

Step 24:

So that the cables don’t end up retracting themselves into the sleeve and you lose them, we usually run them through one of the popper loops used to hold the thermal liner into the sleeve of the outer. Choose the best position to hard-wire heated motorcycle gloves. On ours, they were at the bottom of the wrist.

Step 24

Step 25:

Now time to connect it all up to make sure it works. Start by sitting on the bike and pulling some of the bike’s harness out and plugging the jacket into the socket.

Step 25

Step 26:

Then do the same with each glove; it may be a bit fiddly but a little extra cable may help. Before you set off, make sure you tuck any excess cable out of the way, so it won’t interfere with your riding.

Step 26

Step 27:

There you go – ready to head off into whatever the elements have in store for you with warm fingers and hands.

More heated gloves we’ve tested:

Tested by Ben Clarke for 2 years, 2000 miles

Price: £151.73 (was £209.99)

These heated gloves from Macna can be powered three ways. You can either run them from your bike’s battery (power cables are £27.98), use battery packs (£89.99)or connect them to the brand’s Core heated jacket. Rather than using a bulky single battery in the cuff, the Progress has three much thinner batteries per glove that fit into their own slots.

The cuffs themselves have an elasticated inner and an outer that means you don’t get wet hands in the rain. The elements do a great job of warming your entire hand evenly and the hottest of the four temperature settings is really toasty.

You can control the gloves with Macna’s Bluetooth app, but it’s not really worth the bother when the control is on the back of your hand anyway. It’s useful for checking the battery levels though. They score
a typical “1 KP” rating in CE tests.

Tested by Michael Guy for 18 months, 7000 miles

When I first started using heated gloves five years ago I expected my hands to be toasty whatever the conditions, but from my experience, that is not always the case. Rather than having hot hands, I’ve found that heated gloves in fact just prevent them from getting overly cold.

However, these Five gloves are the best heated gloves I’ve used. They are well made, comfortable, fully waterproof and easy to operate with a single button – enabling you to select any one of three heat settings. On the highest heat setting, they last just long enough to complete my 2.5-hour daily commute.

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Jim Blackstock

By Jim Blackstock