Harley-Davidson® Women’s Heated Motorcycle Gear Review
I often tell people, “I’m like a lizard, I need a heat lamp on me at all times,” whenever the topic of Winter arises in conversation. If you’re like me and prefer warm temperatures throughout the year, but also hope to ride your motorcycle comfortably during the winter months, then perhaps this review of the Harley-Davidson Women’s Heated Gear will come in handy for you!
June of 2019 marked my eighth year riding motorcycles. From the hottest temps, at over 115 degrees through the scorching Arizona desert, to the coldest temperatures, dipping into the teens and 20’s in central Texas, I never invested in heated gear until winter of 2018. I’m here to tell you that was, quite possibly, the dumbest thing I’ve ever waited to do.
I’ve tried all the tricks in the book, and plenty of “cold weather” styles of gloves. Fleece liners in my gloves, rubber gloves in my gloves, hand warmers, hand guards and fairings/windshields to reduce the wind….at a certain temperature, it’s just downright cold. You can’t hide from it. Your hands will get so cold it takes hours to “thaw” them back out. But not with heated gear.
Harley’s Heated Gear for Women
For Christmas last year, my boyfriend got me the newest women’s Heated Jacket (98320-17VW) and Gloves (98322-17VW) from Harley-Davidson®. Over the past 12 months I’ve been able to put these two pieces of gear to the test. While these are my first interactions with heated gear on a motorcycle, they’ve become a necessity in my riding attire for colder days on the bike.
Women’s Heated BTC 12v Waterproof Leather Gauntlet
Heated gloves once resembled giant, puffy snow mittens, with little to no ability to feel your throttle. For me, that was always concerning, as having control over my machine is a top priority. The latest Harley-Davidson Women’s heated gear has dramatically improved. These gauntlets are just a hair thicker than the gauntlet gloves I’ve been using in the winter for the past five years, and offer so many beneficial features, including:
- Waterproof Leather
- Power Stretch Knuckles, Padded Palms, and Pre-curved Fingers
- Elastic Wrist with Bungee Cord and Toggle Cuff
- Carbon noncore heating system which allows fast, evenly distributed warmth to the back of hand and each finger
- Ability to be worn and powered without the heated jacket, via the BTC 12V Switch (Sold Separately)
Even without the gloves powered on to deliver heat, they make a great addition to my winter riding wardrobe.
Women’s Heated BTC 12V Quilted Jacket Liner
While the initial appearance of this jacket may be a bit offsetting—yes, I am openly admitting that I’m not a fan of the quilted styling’s appearance—the functionality of this jacket is top notch. Beyond the abundant bar and shield quilted styling, the jacket does have positive fashion features, including:
- 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation
- a mock neck to add extra wind protection
- extended cuffs with thumbholes, allowing for optimum layering abilities and keeping body warmth from escaping near the wrists
More importantly, this heated jacket liner does it’s functional job by delivering heat to my chest and back via it’s three core heating panels, and that’s significantly more important than my personal fashion preferences. When layered with a base layer and under a wind-resistant outer layer, this jacket functions as advertised.
The jacket has a built in three-setting heat controller, which transfers to the heated gloves when everything is plugged together. Whether you need a little bit of heat or a lot, you’ll be able to choose your heat setting through the temperature control flap located on the bottom left side of the jacket, allowing for you to change settings without taking your hand of the throttle.
When you don’t want to take advantage of the jacket’s heating abilities and/or direct connection to the gloves, you can easily tuck away the chords and controller via the snap fixture inside the jacket, as well as the zipper compartments on the sleeves.
Testing the Harley-Davidson® Women’s Heated Gear
To give the Harley-Davidson® Women’s Heated Gloves and Jacket Liner a run for their money, I decided to test them out during a rip around town, on a chilly, 40-something degree day. I layered my heated jacket under my thinnest lamb skin leather jacket for true testing. As we climbed up in elevation, the temperature began to drop, but my body stayed toasty. I turned up the temperature setting from low to medium, and could instantly feel the warmth across my back, and in my hands. I never once had to turn the temperature control to it’s third and highest setting.
Months later, as I attempted to beat a snow storm rolling onto the Colorado Front Range, I was fortunate to have my heated gear with me as I rode in sub-40 degree temperatures for over 800 miles in two days. This time, I did turn up the heat to the third and highest setting. As the miles rolled on, the gear made all the difference. I could feel the heat on my back from the jacket as well as on the tops of my hands while the wind chill was probably in the teens or single digits.
There’s honestly no way I would have been able to ride for hours on end in those temperatures without heated gloves, at the least. While everyone’s body is different, my hands have always had trouble staying warm. Having this Harley-Davidson® women’s heated gear made a world of a difference in my long distance, cold weather riding.
What would make this set up even better? Only one thing: heated arm panels. While the jacket delivers a substantial amount of warmth to the core, the arms only receive natural body warmth.
I’m only missing one thing….
Where are my PANTS?! Yes, Harley-Davidson® does offer heated pants that plug in and operate with their heated Jacket and Glove offerings. However, they’re made for men, and not women specifically. Is this a major ordeal? Not at all. I’m not that picky, or easily offended. However, when it comes to staying warm, I want the closest fitment possible, not a baggy pair of pants in an attempt to warm my legs.
Are you in the same boat as me and want a quick fix to this? If you need some warmth in a pinch, throw your rain pants on over your boots and jeans. Or, get some high-quality long-jons to wear under your riding pants. Wind and water resistant materials do wonders when you need an extra layer.
Invest for the Ride!
Bottom line: I’m a believer. I wish I had listened to all of my older, wiser, “biker” mentors years ago. Heated gear is here to stay in my cold weather riding arsenal. Ringing in at $250 for the heated jacket, and $230 for the gloves, you’re looking at a $500 investment to stay warm. Instead of buying/adding another leather jacket to your wardrobe this winter, perhaps invest in expanding your gear options, so that you can stay riding longer.