Riding a bike can be a great pleasure or a daily essential for commuting. Whatever your situation, let’s take a look at how you can extend your riding season by getting more from your motorcycle or making your daily commute more comfortable.
As the cooler weather nudges towards cold weather, you are only aware that we need to dig out more of our warm riding gear to keep comfortable.
However, we can keep comfortable riding for long periods with heated handlebar grips and heated gloves in our arsenal to fight off the cooler and colder weather.
So, what’s best, is it the heated grips or heated gloves?
Clearly, if you decide heated grips are a good option for you, then there is a little installation you will need to undertake.
There are a variety of grips on the market, all essentially doing the same job trying to provide a decent amount of warmth to your hands.
Some grips will need to be trimmed to fit your particular setup. They are all slightly different, as you know.
First, figure out which is the best grip style for you. Some are better suited to trail bikes instead of road bikes having a thicker grip.
The grips come with glue. Glueing the grip onto the plastic throttle is relatively easy, and not much glue is required. Be sure that there is enough clearance from the electronics housing for your grip to move smoothly and return to the spring.
The left grip may need slightly more glue to prevent any rotation when using the clutch.
You will need to route cables and connect to the wiring harness or even directly to the battery.
If you are wiring directly to the battery, there is no need to worry about forgetting to switch off the unit and drawing your battery.
Luckily, the head unit you have chosen will have circuitry that recognises if your bike is not running and then switches off the unit to save battery life.
The important thing apart from the heat generated is that you feel comfortable, and the grip fits you.
Heated grips come with more than one setting. They are not just on or off, so selecting a mounting point that suits your hand positions can be challenging, but once done, you will find the heater controls simple to use.
Do They Work?
The quick answer is yes, they work! Is this a better question to ask? The answer is yes and no!
Why do I say yes and no? Well, it depends on what the weather conditions are. If it’s a dry, cool autumn day, the grips are fantastic and almost a little too warm on the maximum setting.
However, if it’s raining and the air is very cool with the wind slamming into your gloves, then it can be a different story.
If your journey is short, then no problems. The grips work very well. Extend your journey, and some of the performance starts to drop off. The tops of your hands are not heated, and although having your palms heated is very lovely, it can still be an uncomfortable experience.
Heated gloves are another proposition, and you can buy a heated liner that works well in terms of warmth surrounding your hands.
Heated gloves come in a couple of different guises. You can purchase a battery-powered unit or have the best of both worlds and use a battery hybrid configuration that links directly to your bike’s power supply.
The latter ensures you never ride without a heat source and depleted batteries.
What’s very cool about heated gloves is that each glove can have different heat settings, and if linked to a heated jacket, all three can operate independently should you desire.
If you take the battery option, there are some clear advantages and a couple of disadvantages depending on your riding.
Battery gloves need no installation, so if you are a casual rider who uses your bike on high days and holidays, this could be the perfect option.
From experience, casual riders are also enthusiast riders, and they like to have the best options just in case they decide to take that long ride.
The great thing about gloves is they provide a very natural riding style. There isn’t any need to adapt to something that has altered the way your throttle feels and maybe an intrusive control panel staring them in the face.
The hybrid heated gloves are typically connected directly to the battery, which is simple and can be done without the assistance of a mechanic.
A separate splitter lead feeds into the connections of both gloves.
If you are using a heated jacket in combination with the same supplier, you will connect from the jacket power supply.
However, depending on the manufacturer of the heated gloves, you may have the option to plug directly into a power bank.
This is the perfect solution for both the casual, enthusiast rider or the pro rider.
Power Bank offers sustained battery life to meet your daily riding needs. However, if you forget to charge the power bank, then there is only one result.
Grips or Heated Gloves, Which is Best?
If you are a pro rider or a rider whose bike is the main form of transport and If money is no issue, a combination of both is the perfect solution.
You are guaranteed warm palms, and the back of your hand will be warm simultaneously.
Unfortunately, not many of us live in an ideal world, so heated gloves are better for both the casual, enthusiast rider and the pro rider.
The gloves offer battery use or are connected directly to the bike’s battery, so you are never riding with cold hands again, extending your riding season.