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Selecting Heated Motorcycle GlovesElectrical Gloves ____________________________________ By Timothy Steven -

What do you do with your motorcycle in the Winter time? Winterize it and put it away till Spring? Keep on riding it? Either way, you have a vested interest in getting some heated riding gear. If you have to put the bike away, at least ride it as long as you can. Staying warm helps you do that. And if you can ride all year round, it's still a lot more enjoyable if your fingers aren't tu rning into ice cubes.

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There's probably no part of your body that it is more important to keep warm when riding in the winter than your hands. If your hands go numb you may find it impossible to work the controls and then you're in big trouble.

Of course, some bikes come with heated grips as standard equipment. The Yamaha FJR1300A is one that comes immediately to mind. The Kawasaki Concours 14 is another. Lacking heated grips, there's another option that can make a big difference. I'm speaking, of course, about heated gloves.

There are a number of producers of heated gloves and I'm not going to get into making recommendations here. The best thing to do is go to your local motorcycle dealer and compare the choices they have on the shelf. I will discuss the features you ought t o look for.

One of the first considerations is where the electricity that is going to keep your hands warm is coming from. Most electric gloves have cables that run from a connection off your battery to the gloves. Provided that your bike makes enough juice that it can spare a little, this option will keep your hands warm the whole time you're out riding.

There are some drawbacks, however. You have to run those cables one way or another to the gloves, and that usually means doin g something like looping them up your back and then down your sleeves. That can be an annoying set-up to struggle with.

Another option is battery-powered gloves. The very best of these uses lithium-ion batteries that will keep you warm for hours and recharge rapidly. On the lower end are gloves that use regular AA batteries or something similar. These tend to be bulkier and do not last as long, especially the rechargeables. They do have the advantage that you can just swap in a fresh pair if the ones you're using run out of power. But your best bet is to carry a spare lithium-ion battery and do the same thing.

Whatever kind you use, the batteries generally tuck into a little pocket on each glove and no wires are needed.

Of course, none of that matters if the warmth isn't going to the parts of your hands where it's needed. Top-quality modern gloves use microfibers to wrap all around your hand and fingers to bring warmth all over, without being so bulky that it makes it hard t o do anything. If you're going with the less expensive sort, be sure at least that the glove puts good heat on the back side of your hand. This is where the blood vessels come from your heart and as the blood flows on into your fingers it will pick up heat here and transfer it to them.

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