The finger numbing chill of the previous New England fall still a sharp memory, contemplating a course of action to keep my hands warm during the upcoming fall season had me leaning toward heated motorcycle gloves versus heated handlebar grips.
To my way of thinking, heated motorcycle gloves offered the following advantages over heated hand grips:
Overhand Heating – Heated hand grips would heat the underside of my hand, not the side that was directly exposed to high wind-chill. While the heat would, to some extent, transfer throughout my hand – putting the heat where it was most needed, on top of the glove, seemed the better solution.
Flexibility – Heated motorcycle gloves by their very nature are flexible (not permanently attached to the bike). You can hook them up to any bike that has standard 12v harness (or quickly attached a harness). They can also be passed from rider to passenger if needed.
Price – Heated motorcycle gloves are roughly 20% cheaper than heated hand grips when comparing Harley Davidson heated gloves to Harley Davidson heated hand grips.
Decision made. Now, what to buy? This is where the wonders of the Internet come in. It didn’t take long to find several heated motorcycle glove manufactures, tons of retailers, and a variety of information on the various types of gloves. My research quickly drew me to the Gerbing line of heated motorcycle gloves. Why Gerbing?
Price. The Gerbing classic heated motorcycle gloves retail for about $139.00. (as compared to $185.00 Harley Davidson heated gloves.)
Gerbing Makes Harley OEM. According to my research, Gerbing has been producing the Harley Davidson line of heated motorcycle clothing since 2000.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GERBING HEATED MOTORCYCLE GLOVES
After testing them in sub-freezing conditions, I can attest that Gerbing heated gloves are nice gloves. The heating elements cover the top of the hand, and extend out to each fingertip and thumb. The gloves are made from a quality, flexible black leather with Kevlar reinforcements in the palms and knuckles.
A decent size gauntlet easily covers the sleeves of my leather jacket. The gloves maintain the heat well and are not so bulky that they hinder hand control manipulation (although it does take a little more “stretch” to activate the turn signals).
Using the gloves as a stand alone application (not in conjunction with a heated jacket or pants) equated to a small learning curve for hooking everything up. Kind of like learning the easiest way to put on leather chaps when you first start wearing them.
How I ultimately handled this was to hold one wire connector in each hand while putting on my leather jacket, bringing the connector ends to the front of the sleeves where they would attach to the heated gloves. Because I find the overall wiring harness length to be on the short side, I run the balance of the wiring harness down my front side, and not routed around my back. (A wiring harness and universal battery connector are supplied with the heated gloves.)
I find it more comfortable to route the wiring harness through the space provided where the sleeves on my leather jacket snap, instead of running the harness directly out of the sleeves. Once the sleeves are snapped and my jacket partially zipped, I plug each glove into the appropriate connector, and then slip the gloves on.
Pulling gently on the wiring harness (the part hanging inside my jacket), the connectors and excess wire from the gloves are fed into the sleeve. As noted earlier, the overall length of the wiring harness seems on the short side, so having as much available wire below the waistline of the jacket is a plus. The final step is to plug the end of the wiring harness into the universal adapter coming off your battery. The same kind of adapter you would use for a battery tender. Carefully mount the motorcycle, so that the wiring harness runs under your leg without becoming unplugged.
Once plugged in, the Gerbing heated motorcycle gloves can feel very hot. The rated temperature is 135 degrees, with a very modest 2 amp draw. Currently I start my morning commute with temperatures in the mid to low 30’s and generate a ‘wind-chill’ of 70-80 mph. Even under these conditions, my fingertips are very warm. I would recommend investing in a temperature control. The temperature (or thermostat) control from Harley Davidson is actually less expensive than the one from Gerbing and comes with a leather cover. If you are going to use the heated motorcycle gloves as a stand alone application, I would also recommend a wiring harness extension.