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Thread: Regardless of price which is better: Heated gloves or heated grips?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Durham, North Carolina

    Regardless of price which is better: Heated gloves or heated grips?

    I ride a 1975 R90/6 and am strongly considering either heated gloves or heated grips. I have upgraded to electronic ignition (Omega III). Please advise.

  2. #2
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Sugar Valley, Ga
    Looked at your profile and really can't tell a thing about the who, what, where, or how you ride. The charging system on the /6 and earlier is kinda minimal at best. The electronic ignition has NOTHING to do with this decision nor how your electrical system can keep up with heated grips........I remember someone a few weeks ago mentioning they had heated grips on their /6 so it must be a can do proposition. If you are using the bike as a daily rider in a part of the world that it is COLD every day from late October til March then YES......Whatever you have to do to get the job done.......BUT.......If you just ride on a weekend here and there or live like on the Gulf coast or southern California then I would totally say the gloves............God bless........Dennis

  3. #3
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    My experience is that good electric gloves are dryer & warmer. They are also more cumbersome to operate the hand controls. A bit of a trade off.
    12 R1200 RT
    83 R100 RT

  4. #4
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Santa Cruz CA
    Heated gloves also require you to fiddle with wires and connectors.

    Heated grips are *much* more effective if your bike's grips are shielded from the wind, either by handguards or a sufficiently wide fairing or windshield.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Camas, WA
    How long and how cold??? Gloves are better, they'll keep the backs of your hands warm, as well as the palms. Grips are for light-duty, inconvenient, cold. Gloves are for no-kidding, hypothermia-is-dangerous cold.

  6. #6
    I have no horse in this race, because I haven't used either heated grips or gloves. In my old age, I probably never will subject myself to cold. As a freind of mine once said, "I ride for pleasure so when it becomes a chore, I don't ride." Riding in bitter cold would be a chore to me.

    However, I have had some experience in the cold, so I thought I would add my 2 cents.

    I rode my old R90/6 13 miles to work each and every day back some 20 years ago, here up in Ohio and during that year, we had temps down to 0 with regular falls of shows. I did this because it was my only transportation that year unless I took the family car which would have left my wife and 4 kids with none.

    I purchased motorcycle "mittens" that had long cuffs. Without any electric, my hands were toasty warm all winter. I also used to race what were called "hare scrambles" in the winter. Each race took about 2-1/2 hours through grueling circumstances, cold, snow, terrible terrain, and creeks that were icy along with cold water. I am not sure how they would work on longer trips or in other types of riding, but they worked really well for me. Yes, they were bulky for the buttons, but after you get things turned on, the only buttons I used were hi/low beam, horn, and turn signals. All easily done with the thumbs.

    So, if your type of riding is similar to mine, and your temps/weather are similar this may help you make your decision. Personally, I would go with the heated gloves.

    I would only caution that you monitor the charging. It takes time for the older systems with lower alternator output to build the system back up after even just a startup. Using a bit of electric will slow that process down even further, so you need to ride long enough to make that happen. Short trips not good unless you have access to charger (battery tender) in between to get system back up and keep it up.

  7. #7
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Pleasure Island. NC

    I have done both

    If I am on the bike for an hour or two, my heated grips do just fine. But if I am doing a long ride, I want my heated gloves.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    2009 R 1200 RT,1996 R1100RT, 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    All of the above is right- I've used them all.

    When young and poor, those snowmobile mittens worked really well- no cold separate fingers. Had to use my bike every day in snow county, no other transportation. Clumsy though, not my choice now.

    Handguards are the most important thing for cold weather riding. Can be Barbusters (shield) type or enclosure type (lie Hippo Hands). The latter are extremely effective but a bit of an acquired taste.

    Re the glove, if you have shields there is no weather you can't ride in with good cold weather gloves. The BMW Winter Gloves are excellent.

    Electric gloves a a step up from winter gloves BUT they come with the complications of plugs and wiring.

    Got no idea about that airhead charging system but electric gloves are normally used with at least an electric jacket. The combo will use about 100W....

  9. #9
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    DeLand Florida
    Even with heated grips my hands sometimes gets cold. A couple of years ago I added a pair of heated liners to my riding gear. There are no wires since each of the liners run off of it's own battery. My longest ride so far with them is about 2 hours and the batteries was still keeping them warm.


  10. #10
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    I find that electric gloves keep the tops of my hands from getting cold while the heated grips, on the low setting, keep the palms of the hands comfortable. This combination works well for me on my R1100. The K does not have heated grips, and the gloves seem to work fine with this bike, although the mirrors are setup as a wind block on this machine.

    As others have mentioned, it is inconvenient putting the gloves on with the wiring, but for a lengthy, cold ride, certainly worth the hassle.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  11. #11
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    50+ with no rain Grips fine. Wet, below 50- or both Gloves a must for me.
    Last edited by pffog; 11-26-2013 at 02:38 PM.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  12. #12
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Sixteen years in AK and several rides up and down the roads to AK have convinced me that heated gloves are the way to go.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  13. #13
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central WA
    While I like the overall warmth of the gloves, they are just a bit too bulky for me. The newest stuff might be better though. (my Gerbings were a couple years old)

    On my last trip for the season, I used some removable grip covers from Aerostich. They got pretty warm, so I unplugged the pant liners and used the dual controller for the jacket liner and the grips. Perfect.

    I also brought along some Givi Covers in case it got real cold or if it was looking like rain. This is what they look like on my Honda Rebel. Completely block wind and rain and allowed me to use my lighter weight gloves when it was 19F out.

    Too damn many bikes to list

  14. #14
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Grips are better because you can use them with light weight gloves.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  15. #15
    Registered User dwyandell's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    People's Republic of Vermont
    You'll always have your heated grips with you . . . .for that day when you stayed too long, it got dark too fast, you took that detour that ended up going over a high mountain pass, or the temperature dropped unexpectedly.
    I use both but the heated gloves are for longer and better planned cold weather trips. Good heated grips with handguards are one of the best mods I've made on my airheads.
    Dave in Vermont
    '84 R80ST
    '81 R100 hack

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