Electrically heated elements for motorcycle and rider

 

New Year’s morning saw me up fairly early, gearing up to go on an annual New Year’s Day ride with a local CMA chapter. Temperature was hovering around 42°, and as I was pulling on layer upon layer of warm clothes, I questioned myself, “What the heck am I doing? I’ve got to be out of my mind.” To those of you in colder climates, I’m sure that’s not a big deal. But that’s a bit chilly for us here in the Deep South, and this southern boy’s blood runs cold easy. I was not looking forward to freezing behind the handlebars.

If it weren’t for heated gloves and heated grips, I most definitely would NOT be venturing out on two wheels. But since I would be wearing a pair of REV’IT! Liberty H2O heated gloves, and riding the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ with its 3-level heated grips, I was willing to make a go of it. Phil arrived at the house, hands freezing without heated gloves or grips on his Harley Road Glide, and I scrounged up a somewhat warmer pair of mitts for him to borrow for the day.

A cold new year’s morning. Let’s ride.

The group met up at a local QT station to top off and determine the best route to our destination, a barbecue restaurant about an hour and a half north into the Georgia foothills. Great, even colder in longitude and elevation. But I was feeling somewhat encouraged, as the heated gloves and grips had genuinely kept me comfortable in my 30 minute ride to the meet-up point. “I think I’m going to be alright,” I mused in my helmet as the group saddled up to roll north.

Warm hands = warmer core

Riding “further up and further in,” ambient temps stayed in the low 40s even as the day brightened, and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was, from my hands to my core to my feet. I rode with the Tracer’s heated grips on the highest setting, and my REV’IT! gloves one level from the hottest. By keeping my hands warm, top and palms, the rest of my body was much more content with the ride, even if the temperature at speed still felt more like 20-something. Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT+ offers a scant bit of wind protection, but not a full windshield and fairing level of protection like Phil was riding behind. And yet I had ridden warmer than him, as we discussed at the restaurant, merely due to my warm hands. “I had heated grips on the old Street Glide,” Phil mentioned. “I definitely need a set on this Road Glide. And a pair of those REV’IT! gloves.”

The REV’IT! Liberty H2O battery-heated gloves, on the red, high setting. Toasty.

In all my years of motorcycling, these REV’IT! Liberty H2O gloves are the first heated gear I’ve ever owned, and I’ve only ridden a few motorcycles with heated grips. Odd, I know, given how many motorbikes we’ve ridden over the years, and how cold natured I am. But I must say, heated gloves and heated grips have drastically lengthened my riding season. I used to be reluctant to venture out in temperatures colder than about 55°. When my hands are cold, everything else is cold. Electric heat on my extremities makes a world of difference.

Both the REV’IT! gloves and the Tracer 9 GT+ have multi-level settings for heat- the gloves with four levels, the Yamaha with three. Both are easy to adjust while riding as well. The colored buttons on the back of the H2O gloves start at red, which is max heat, then with each subsequent button tap heat is reduced, from red to orange to yellow then light blue. The downside to these gloves is that they are battery powered, and the higher the heat settings, the quicker battery life is burned through. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, the battery life was reduced to about 1/3. I plugged them into the bike’s USB socket to try and get some charge back for the ride home.

The Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ heated grips setting, max heat. And they definitely heat the grips.

The Yamaha’s grip heat is accessed on the left handlebar, being activated and adjusted easily while riding. Geez, they get warm too. Even on our morning ride north, I had to adjust the setting down one level, as they were making my palms sweat in the REV’IT! gloves. Nice issue to have.

I’m digging heated grips and gloves. I might even look into heated vests, jackets and pants soon. As I’ve aged, I get colder easier, meaning my comfortable riding season has gradually been whittled away at. But with warmth applied to my hands, I can venture back out for a longer riding season. Heck, because of our lower latitude here in Georgia, I can find more days and more reasons to keep riding across the winter months.

Looks like it’s going to touch the mid 40s today. Think I’ll charge the REV’IT! gloves and take a ride. Y’all have a blessed day,

Rob

 

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