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Heated gear can give weeks—even months—of comfortable riding. At Eagle Leather, we think it’s worth every penny. But it isn’t cheap. And that means it’s worth your time to get the most benefit from your heated gear.
Your gear might include a jacket liner or vest, pants liners, heated insoles or socks, or heated gloves or glove liners. Old-fashioned heated gear relied on copper wires, which heat up due to resistance when electricity passes through them. Newer gear uses more sophisticated technology, such as Gerbing’s Microwire®. It’s lighter, more reliable, and more evenly distributes the heat.
Heated liners are meant to be worn under windproof top layers so the heat is retained and not blown away in the wind. What might not be so obvious is that you also need a layer of clothing between the heated gear and your skin. This layer doesn’t have to be thick. It serves two purposes: It can keep you from being burned if there’s a hot spot in your gear and it keeps the dirt and oils of your body off your heated gear.
Sandwiched as it is between the wind-proof outer layer and the inner layer, your gear will stay clean and daisy-fresh. Some riders can actually go years between washings. When you do wash your gear, keep it out of the washer and the dryer. Instead, wash it in cold water in the sink or in a tub using gentle hands and a mild soap like Woolite®, rinse it twice in clear, cold water, and then air dry.
Your gear is designed to put out a lot of heat—more than you’ll need most days. The gear is always on maximum output and can easily put out enough heat to make you really uncomfortable. So, get a heat controller, which controls the gear’s on and off switch. When you need just a warm-up, set the controller at its lowest setting and it will cycle every few seconds, keeping the gear off more than it’s on. Set the heat controller for higher temperatures and it will change the timing within the cycles so the gear is left on (heating) longer.
Unlike other gear, heated gloves are meant to be stand-alone, worn next to the skin without an outer layer. Such gloves have their own insulated layer, something thin and flexible such as Thinsulate™. Your heated jacket liner has clips at the cuff that connect to and power your gloves. If you don’t have a heated jacket or liner, you can get a Y-harness that will hang in your sleeves and carry power to the gloves.
Any heated gear must have the right fit. Your gear should be snug but not tight, leaving room under it for an extra layer (or at least a layer of air) between your skin and the gear. Your gear should be lightweight and limber, so you can stay agile on your motorcycle.
With the minimum of care, your investment in heated gear will last for years, giving you many weeks and many hundreds of miles of comfortable riding. Our well-trained staff at Eagle Leather can help you find the heated gear that’s right for you—with the right fit.