Obviously, motorcyclists need to wear multiple layers to ride in the cold. However, when it comes to gloves, you may only be able to add one thin layer of glove liners before you start to limit finger movement. And while heated grips feel great on the palms of your hands, they don’t do much for the tops of the hands or the thumbs.
Powerlet offers electrical outlet accessories of all sorts for your bike, and the natural extension of that is to connect the rider to the power outlet. These heated RP-5 rider gloves are made from premium leather with suede accents on the first two fingers. They feature a curved hand with heat coverage on the back of the hand and two heating elements in the thumbs. Velcro straps on the high gauntlet and a cinch strap on the back keep them snug. Even when not powered up, they’re warm and comfortable thanks to the Porelle waterproof, breathable Thinsulate liner.
Powerlet heated gloves are rated at 24 watts per pair. That makes them perfect for all motorcycles, even those without much electrical capacity. While these gloves are engineered to match Powerlet jacket liners and vests, and they work with other brands of heated clothing, they can also be used alone.
I used a Powerlet portable, dual-temperature controller. Wiring a liner or gloves direct to battery, with no variable control, may prove to be too warm for all but the coldest of temps. The advantage of the dual controller is it also controls the temperature of my jacket liner as well as the gloves, and it comes packaged with two Powerlet adapter cables. One can be wired directly to battery terminals and the other plugs into a standard Powerlet accessory socket. Riding with heated clothing powered from the bike’s battery means no portable clothing batteries to recharge, and I’ll never be left out in the cold.
By Steve Lita
Originally published in RoadBike magazine, March 2011
Hard Data: Powerlet, Heated RP-5 Rider Gloves, $149, Dual Temp Controller, $110, 586/276-0900, www.Powerlet.com