What is Heated Motorcycle Clothing?

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  • Written By: Britt Archer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 January 2020
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When the human body senses colder temperatures, it restricts blood flow to the extremities to preserve as much heat as it can. This quirk of the human body is a wonderful thing to keep us from becoming fatally cold, but it's a huge inconvenience to motorcycle riders everywhere, whose fingers and toes often bear the brunt of the chill on days with less than desirable weather. Heated motorcycle clothing comes in a variety of styles to prevent every part of the body from becoming chilled.

There are two main types of heated motorcycle clothing. There are models that run on rechargeable lithium ion batteries, and other models that can be plugged directly into the motorcycle's battery. Heated clothes that utilize batteries have the advantage of allowing the wearer to continue to bask in the heat when they walk away from their motorcycle, but the unpleasant disadvantage of the batteries running out of power after a matter of hours. On the other hand, motorcycle clothing that uses the bike's power does not allow the wearer to take the warmth with them after they have stopped riding, but gives the wearer relief from the worry of recharging or replacing batteries.


Items of motorcycle clothing that use batteries are typically marked as 7 volt, with some others marked as 12 volt. Heated clothes that are not powered by batteries come with different energy requirements depending on the manufacturer of the clothing, as well as which part of the body the piece of clothing is intended to warm. The required energy, or wattage, needed to power each item is usually marked as needing 77 or 100 watts of energy. The amount of power each item uses may put undue strain on motorcycle alternators that do not produce enough wattage, or the clothing may fail to heat adequately if not powered enough.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's care instructions when washing, repairing and using heated motorcycle clothing. Some clothing brands are hand-washable, and others are dry clean only or have other specific care needs. Heated motorcycle clothing, when used improperly or cared for improperly, may pose a risk of burns or shocks to the user. Some heated motorcycle clothing comes with a built-in temperature and heat controller, while other types require the controller to be purchased separately. Different brands of clothing may work differently and may not be compatible with each other, so it is important to contact the manufacturer of the individual items if there is a question about cross-brand compatibility.


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Post 2

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Post 1

I admire motorcycles. Whenever I see one parked, I go over to look it over. I wish I wanted one. I wish I wanted to ride one. They are so neat, so functional, get such good gas mileage. But they only have two wheels and no protection for the rider. Many motorists do not look out for them carefully enough. Donald W. Bales, M.D. retired

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