When temperatures dip close and even below the freezing point, that's usually when most riders come to terms with the fact that the riding season is over and that they have to get their bike ready to hibernate. Not everyone is deterred by the cold, however, and a few brave souls extend the riding season as far into winter as the weather allows them. Dare we say the cold never bothered them anyway?
Thankfully, no matter how late (or early) into the season you choose to ride, there's a wide selection of heated gear to help you stay warm and keep hypothermia at bay. You can pretty much find "everything" heated so we did some online window shopping for you and found some of the best-rated gear currently available and turned to RevZilla's trusted customer rating and review system to inform our choices.
Disclaimer: before you go and buy one of everything, keep in mind that the more gear you connect to the battery, the more power you will need. If you go berserk with the amount of gear you plug-in, there's a risk you'll use more power than the engine is able to regenerate. To help you figure that part out, the guys at RevZilla came up with this thorough guide about how much energy you can "borrow" from your motorcycle's battery and how to safely and efficiently connect everything. Note that if you buy all the items from the same brand, there's also a chance that they can all be interconnected which reduces the number of connections you need to set up.
Heated headliners are a thing but a bit overkill in our opinion (unless you plan to ride your bike to the South Pole in the dead of winter.) To keep your head warm, considering most helmets provide protection against the wind, you can get away with adding a simple balaclava to your set.
They're inexpensive and efficient at keeping your head and face protected from the cold while also being breathable and moisture-wicking. Bonus: you don't have to worry about plugging it to the battery.
Dainese Total WS EVO Balaclava - $44.95
Freeze-Out Warm'R Balaclava - $17.99
Keeping your core warm is a key step toward staying warm everywhere else. Your body will sacrifice your hands and feet to make sure that the most important organs (brain, heart, lungs) keep warm. That's why your hands and feet have a tendency to get cold first. To help counteract that natural reflex, make sure you are warm enough from your shoulders to your waist.
There's an excellent selection of heated jacket liners that act as a mid-layer between your clothes and your jacket. If you plan to keep riding in all sorts of conditions, this is possibly the single most important piece of heated gear you need to consider.
The jacket liners are the most expensive heated piece of gear you'll buy, but this is the kind of purchase that's worth every penny. Note that while there are wireless options, the most efficient and best-rated ones are ones that connect to the battery.
Firstgear 12V Heated Jacket Liner - $229.95
Hotwired 12V Heated Jacket Liner Evo - $219.99
Oh yeah, heated pants are a thing! We told you that you can find heated "everything". Depending on the type of temperature you are willing to face and on how long you plan to face them for, then a pair of heated pants can be an option to consider.
From our perspective, this item leans more on the superfluous end of the spectrum but you know what? If that means that you're warm and toasty at all times and that there's no such thing as a "riding season" for you, so be it! Who are we to judge what's superfluous or not? Suit up, buttercup.
Even your tippy-toes get to stay toasty when the going gets cold. No matter how well insulated your riding boots are, after a while, when the boots' material itself gets cold, it's only a matter of time before your feet feel it too. If you're planning to spend long hours in the saddle, in the cold, then a pair of heated socks could come in handy.
If you opt to pair the socks with heated pants, then ankle-length socks like the FirstGear model work great. If the pants aren't part of your plan, then socks like the Gerbings that sit high on the calf and keep the lower leg warm are a good compromise.
Firstgear 12V Heated Socks - $79.95
Gerbing 12V Heated Socks - $99.99
... And Hands
Hands aren't part of the song but they're probably the second most important part of the body you want to keep warm after the core. After all, the hands manage the throttle, the clutch, and the braking and a frozen hand isn't nearly as reactive as you want (need) it to be.
That's also why there are so many potential ways to keep your hands warm. If you have a really good pair of riding gloves that you absolutely love, then you can opt for a heated liner that will fit underneath.
You can also shop for a pair of four-season, weatherproof, heated gloves that can be worn on their own—some even have their own battery so you don't need to worry about hooking them up.
Finally, a third option is to shop for heated handgrips—a more permanent solution.
Highway 21 7V Radiant Heated Gloves - $209.95
Hotwired 12V Heated Glove Liners - $89.99