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Topic: Heated gloves vs. Heated grips  (Read 2420 times)

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« on: November 19, 2018, 10:41:17 pm »

So... with it being winter, I was thinking about heated gear, and wanted to clarify some points in the whole heated gloves vs. heated grips debate.  I remember around this time last year, I was trying to make this decision, and I didn't really find the internet all that helpful (gasp), so in the spirit of trying to help someone else that may now be in the position I once was, I decided to write up my experiences with both heated grips and heated gloves.

I initially felt the absolute way to go was heated gloves.  Cheaper-ish, more versatile, easier to install, and, with owning 2 bikes, after purchasing a second wiring harness, I could use them on both of my bikes!

That was until I realized that I've never turned them on, or even wore them (outside of testing after installation) in the past year!

I lived in Kansas for a little while, and that's where I started riding. Throughout the year, Kansas has a large temperature range. However... on the day-to-day, the temperature typically keeps to a pretty similar range throughout the day.  A hot day is hot, a cold day is cold, and planning for the weather wasn't much of a logistical nightmare.  I rode through the winter, as most of the winters I lived there were pretty dry, and my commute was short enough to manage with a larger windshield and a fleece lined waterproof riding suit.  If it was cold, I just bundled up, and it was manageable.

I've since returned to my home state of California, but now live in the High Desert, settling with Barstow as the next closest beacon of civilization.  It's a long ride to get to a good mountain road, and a large variety of climates in a relatively short period of time.  If you head south, as soon as you get over the Cajon Pass, the humidity spikes, and the temperature drops.  In an area where people consider 80 to be a heat advisory, less than an hour away the Summers are consistently well over 100 daily.  To make things worse, in the desert, the temperature often swings wildly.  This current winter I'm looking at mid 40s in the morning and then it jumps to the high 70s, maybe low 80s by the afternoon, and then back down again in the evening.  Simply bundling up isn't really an option, and I don't care for carrying a whole weekend trip's worth of riding gear for my daily commute.  Enter heated gear.  Heat without bulk, and only when you want it (sorta).

I asked for heated gloves last Christmas, and got them, because I convinced my better half, and myself that it was the more economic choice, as opposed to heated grips.  But they've added to the pile of gear growing in my garage reserved for long trips.  And even then...  I haven't pulled them out.  Mostly because these gloves are VERY warm, even without the heat on.  I don't regret purchasing them.  If I had them in the Midwest, they probably would have seen lots of use.  I plan on working my way across the country, maybe Canada, maybe Europe...  and heated gear is a great investment, especially for longer days in the saddle.  I still plan on purchasing a heated jacket to run along with the gloves.

But what about the daily commute?

This is where the heated grips shine...

Funny enough, I wasn't even interested in the heated aspect of the grips themselves when I first saw them.  At the AIME in Las Vegas, I ran across the AME heated grips booth, and saw the “Chicane” shaped grips on a bar.  For the Interceptor, I was running Grip Puppies at that time, because narrow sport-bike handle bars give my hands real bad cramps.  The Grip Puppies were doing a pretty good job of mitigating those cramps, but still weren't as comfortable as I would have liked, and still seemed to want to wiggle their way off my bars.  If you haven't wrapped your hands around AME's Chicane shaped grips, they feel great in the hand.  They're tapered at the ends, and fatten up in the middle, with a channel that runs around the very center of the grip.

As for the heated portion... at the time I couldn't really care less about the heated aspect of it, but they had a special going for the expo, at a pretty similar price to what my wife paid for my gloves.  I loved the feel of the grips, and I didn't have anything against heated grips, so I went ahead and made the impulse buy.  I'm very glad I did.

If you don't have a dinosaur of a bike with throttle cables that are in dire need of lubrication, they install pretty easily.  I do.  Installation is pretty easy, except for throttle, given the aforementioned issues.  I wrestled with those cables for much longer than I should have.  They're well lubricated now.

The AME grips don't require glue.  The clutch side gets tightened down with a set screw, and the throttle side replaces your entire throttle tube.

I don't know about other brands, but AME grips also have a voltage sensor that turn the grips off if your battery drops below a certain voltage, to prevent you from killing your battery.

So here's where I converted.  Now that I have grips, I use them almost daily.  I can wear pretty much whatever gloves I want (save for the really cold days), and just crank up the heat on the grips to whatever is comfortable.  No more carrying 3 pairs of gloves.  I have a short commute, so I can suffer a little bit of extra chill for few minutes, but it helps keep my load light.  Additionally, the next long trip I make, you best believe I'm probably going to keep the option of running the grips in tandem with the heated gloves when I push into those higher elevations.

I found the heated grips, ultimately, to be more versatile and useful than the gloves, and, with some bargain shopping, they could probably be had well within the comparable price range of heated gloves as well.

There are a couple major disadvantages they have to the gloves however...

The first major disadvantage over gloves is installation.  For gloves, all you have to do is install the wiring harness.  Extra harnesses are pretty affordable, if you have multiple bikes.  Typically, every piece of heated gear comes with its own harness anyway, but only needs one harness to power all the gear.  For example, like I said, I plan on buying a heated jacket liner.  That liner fits the same harness as my gloves, and has additional connection points at the cuffs to provide power to the gloves.  I can run 2 pieces of heated gear on 1 harness.  I plan to install the extra harness from the jacket on my 2nd bike.  

Next disadvantage is compatibility.  The ease of install for heated gear is also universal.  Heated grips are a little more bike specific.  I plan on keeping both of my bikes for many years to come, however I know many people who like to trade up rather frequently.  If you stick with the same type of bikes, you may be able to move your heated grips from bike to bike, if your new bike doesn't have them already.  But if you plan on transitioning from a cruiser to a sportbike, or vice-versa, your grips probably won't be compatible on your new bike.  Same may apply if you transition from a cable throttle to a ride-by-wire/electronic throttle.  You can buy one pair of gloves, and they'll work on every bike you'll ever own.  You can't say the same for heated grips.

Again, I hope this helps anyone that was once where I was, trying to figure out which way to go.  In short, I'd make the following recommendations:

If you plan on keeping your current bike for a long time, commute with it frequently, and like to run light, I'd say go with heated grips.

I you are on your first bike, and you plan to trade-up soon, I'd recommend you wait on grips until your next bike, or maybe look to go the heated glove route if you don't plan on keeping the second bike for very long either.

If you like to trade-in bikes frequently, I recommend going with the heated gloves.

If you own multiple bikes, and are on a budget, I'd recommend going the heated glove route, but if you can afford grips for both, that's probably the better way to go.

If you can afford it, I'd recommend getting both grips and gloves, because options are always a good thing!
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 11:10:58 pm »

On three of my last four bikes I have installed VStrom handguards AND heated grips. I actually put the handguards on my ZX14 but they contacted the stock fairing so I had to pull them off. The guards keep most of the wind off your gloves which goes a very long way to helping with the cold.

I hate all the wiring that goes with the electric stuff. Although I do have electric pants.    
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 11:19:53 pm »



I hate all the wiring that goes with the electric stuff.


I use the Mobile Warming vest which is battery powered - so no wires. And I can wear it off the bike. I just bought some Mobile Warming gloves but haven't tried them out yet.
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 01:01:24 am »

I finally broke down a year ago and purchased a set of Heated Grips. The one big complaint that I had was.... Where do I mount the control knob?  Headscratch

I found the solution in the Koso Apollo heated grips. No control knob required, the control is integrated into the left grip. As mentioned in the original post, an important feature is the automatic turn off. The Apollo grips have that feature built in. These are a true universal fit.

http://rpmracingca.com/proddetail.asp?prod=KOSOGrips&cat=1


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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 02:43:02 am »


On three of my last four bikes I have installed VStrom handguards AND heated grips. I actually put the handguards on my ZX14 but they contacted the stock fairing so I had to pull them off. The guards keep most of the wind off your gloves which goes a very long way to helping with the cold.

I hate all the wiring that goes with the electric stuff. Although I do have electric pants.


I'm not a fan of running wires either, but when it's done right, it's done!  Although, the electrical portion of the installation for both the gloves and the grips are pretty straightforward.

I looked at mounting hand guards before also, but they aren't something that fits aesthetically well with either of my bikes.  Definitely a good option, just not the one for my current stable.


I finally broke down a year ago and purchased a set of Heated Grips. The one big complaint that I had was.... Where do I mount the control knob?  Headscratch

I found the solution in the Koso Apollo heated grips. No control knob required, the control is integrated into the left grip. As mentioned in the original post, an important feature is the automatic turn off. The Apollo grips have that feature built in. These are a true universal fit.

http://rpmracingca.com/proddetail.asp?prod=KOSOGrips&cat=1


Fred


That's a pretty slick way to deal with the controller placement issue.  I zip tied my controller to the left side of the triple tree for now.  I haven't decided if I'm going to keep it there, or figure out a way to mount it a little more stealthily up by the tachometer.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 02:49:26 am by HotPursuit » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2018, 09:56:39 pm »


On three of my last four bikes I have installed VStrom handguards AND heated grips. I actually put the handguards on my ZX14 but they contacted the stock fairing so I had to pull them off. The guards keep most of the wind off your gloves which goes a very long way to helping with the cold.   


It looks dorky -- but I've done the handguards on a sportbike.   Like Blue I find that often, just keeping the wind off of my fingers make all the difference in the world.  My heated grips are great for cool spring mornings, but usually they're best in temps where I don't NEED them, they're just super nice or let me use thinner gloves.  When it gets colder, the heated gloves are key...  
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 10:06:50 pm »

My FJ-09 has the factory handguards but if they do any good at all, I sure can't tell.
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 11:30:29 pm »




It looks dorky -- but I've done the handguards on a sportbike.   Like Blue I find that often, just keeping the wind off of my fingers make all the difference in the world.  My heated grips are great for cool spring mornings, but usually they're best in temps where I don't NEED them, they're just super nice or let me use thinner gloves.  When it gets colder, the heated gloves are key...  


I put handlebars on my ZX14 so the handguards didn't look too bad. I've got them on my 1250 Bandit and my FJR. I don't mind the looks at all.

And you are right about the temp. I think without handguards the heated grips are a "comfort" item. The worst feeling I have experienced on a bike was when I put heated grips on my 2005 FR1300. When riding in 25* or 30* weather my palms were warm but the outside of my fingers were COLD. That was the last time I used heated grips without wind protection.
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 01:16:28 am »

A situation that presented itself back in June that surprised me. I was at a Rally in Arkansas, temps in the lower 90's. We ran into some afternoon thunder storms. The temps dropped into the lower 80's and we continued to ride, about 1 1/2 hours. We all got soaked to the bone, but nobody really complained much. One thing that bothered me, was that the tips of my fingers were getting that tingly feeling from the water logged gloves. I turned on my heated grips and I couldn't believe how much that helped.



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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 11:11:55 am »


My FJ-09 has the factory handguards but if they do any good at all, I sure can't tell.

You're in OK, so you don't get that much cold (yea, I know that cold is relative, but I lived and rode in OK for 14 yrs).
I know this thread is about cold/heat, but handguards are GREAT if you ever get caught riding in hail.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 06:22:51 pm »

Have you considered Oxford Hot Hands? They are a grip wrap. I have them on my bike and like them quite a bit.
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2018, 06:25:30 pm »

Blue,

 When I put the Strom guards on the Bandit, they hit the ZG sport touring screen. I solved it by epoxying a small spacer on the steering stop. Technically it reduces steering lock, but I have not noticed it even in full lock turn arounds.

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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2018, 06:45:41 am »

My 2 cents.

Heated grips are the bees knees in most situations (rain & rideable cold weather).  I have heated gloves that sometimes are used in conjunction with the grips when it's really too cold to ride but I have no choice (e.g., vacation trip in the northern states or Canada).

In either case, I find if it's really bad, I wish I had some kind of shell or shield installed around the grips to deflect wind chill.
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2018, 07:52:49 am »


My 2 cents.

Heated grips are the bees knees in most situations (rain & rideable cold weather).  I have heated gloves that sometimes are used in conjunction with the grips when it's really too cold to ride but I have no choice (e.g., vacation trip in the northern states or Canada).

In either case, I find if it's really bad, I wish I had some kind of shell or shield installed around the grips to deflect wind chill.


Install them!! ---  I'm a tele-evangelist on this one ---It looks dorky -- but is awesome on multi-day trips where you don't know what weather conditions and temps to expect.    
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2018, 08:09:11 pm »

The one thing that heated grips have over heated gloves is that they won't be sitting at home when it turns out that you need them a bit unexpectedly.

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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2018, 03:39:22 pm »

Count me as another big fan of heated grips, BUT ... I can say from experience that they won't keep your hands warm in temperatures of 12F and below ...
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2019, 10:38:29 am »

I'm a have both, and recommend having both.  

The heated grips are always there; you can't forget them at home.  They extend the temperature range that I can comfortably wear non-insulated leather gloves, which I prefer.  They are also nice in when the ride in the cold will be brief, so that from a time involved standpoint, it may not make sense for me to dig out the heated gloves and get them hooked up.

I have handguards on my TEX as well.

I usually only use the heated gloves if I expect to be on the bike for more than 15 minutes in cold weather.  The all-over warmth they give versus the palms only heat from the grips makes what could be an uncomfortable ride enjoyable.

Having the handguards  really helps as well- not as much wind to carry away the heat.
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2019, 12:44:52 pm »

I found an old set of Fox Mudmuckers in a box tucked away in the garage. I forgot that I even had them - bought them in 1989 back in my motocross mud-race days. I tried them on my dual-sport bike and the difference was like night and day. I was able to ride all day, in regular dirt gloves, and my hands never got cold.



They were kind of old and crusty so I ordered a couple pair of these. One for the DR650 and one for the FJ-09 or my wife's bike depending...

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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 07:24:55 pm »


The one thing that heated grips have over heated gloves is that they won't be sitting at home when it turns out that you need them a bit unexpectedly.



Snowdog nailed this one, this is a huge point in favor of heated grips in my view.  In my area heated grips aren't just for Winter, I use them a lot in Spring and Fall because it's amazing how often one needs them unexpectedly (like any time it turns out the weather guessers got it wrong again and the temperature does not rise as high as they said it would or as fast as they said it would).  But even if you did bring warmer gloves along the grips will carry you through to the next gas stop so you need not stop just to don warmer gloves.  Of course, if you remembered to bring your heated gloves along with you ... and the heated jacket liner that they plug into ... and the controller ... then you'd be fine too.  

That said, don't underestimate the need to keep your core warm - keeping your core at proper temperature feels like it increases the efficiency of heated grips 200%.  So I usually do have my heated liner on.  But having bought a single controller when I bought the liner, to add gloves would cost me for the gloves and a new dual controller, and for that money I can buy 2-3 sets of heated grips.  While I'm more willing now to make that investment I still wouldn't give up the heated grips just because of the "need them unexpectedly" factor.

Other good ideas:  Blocking the wind is huge, though I had added hand guards to a previous bike and I can't say they helped a lot.  I do make sure my gloves have a layer of "wind-proof" fabric on the back of the hand, that helps the most.  And those rubbery, silicone grips that slide on over your brake and clutch levers for "better grip" are in fact much warmer than the bare metal of the levers in cold weather.  Finally, I tested those glove liners with silver metal fibers that are supposed to reflect your body heat back to you.  They never did much for me off the bike and my hands were always still cold, but I had to test them on the bike.  Well, on a bike with heated grips I found they pretty much prevented 99% of the heat from the heated grips from reaching my hands!  That was the coldest my hands have ever been riding!
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 09:36:04 am »

The heated grips are sometimes nice even in summer, If you started with summer clothes and I'm cold despite 21 degrees in the evening. They always work and with all gloves. Don't have to charge or plug them. They're just always there.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 09:39:25 am by Wittionfer » Logged
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