Heated Motorcycle Gloves vs. Grips: The Ultimate Comparison


As a true hardcore motorcycle rider, finding yourself out in some cold weather is expected. But as long as you have the right gear, you will be all set. Your hands are one of the first things that can get cold while riding, so it would be a good idea to keep them warm. But which is better, heated motorcycle gloves or heated motorcycle grips?

The type you use will be up to your personal preferences. Each has benefits when you compare them to the other, but as with anything good, there are negative aspects. Read on to go into a deeper comparison of the two.

A Quick Comparison

Heated motorcycle gloves and grips have some distinctly different attributes:

WarmthComplete HandPalm
CirculationComplete CirculationComplete Circulation
WaterproofCompletely WaterproofNot waterproof
ConvenienceMust Remember ThemAlways Ready To Use
Wired to BatteryDirect Wired Or BatteryDirect Wired
ComfortEasy Fit With Light WeightHard To Grip After Awhile
CostMore ExpensiveCheaper

Heated Motorcycle Gloves: The Good And Bad

Heated Motorcycle Gloves

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Heated motorcycle gloves are an excellent addition to your riding gear because they will keep your hands warm in all types of weather. They come in two different styles that have their own benefits. The first time works off batteries that are installed into them, and the second type is the ones that are wired directly into the battery. Both offer the same positive benefits.

  • Complete Warmth – No matter how cold outside, your hands will be snuggly hidden from the weather. Heated motorcycle gloves offer your entire hand warmth, regardless of where your hands are.
  • Weight – These specially designed gloves are much lighter than the gloves you use when riding in bad weather, which are the average thermal insulated gloves that are big and bulky.
  • Ease of Use – Heated gloves are simple to use and put on. The ones that have batteries in them, which are the most common ones sold today, usually are rechargeable. Like all the other technology on the market, you should be able to remember to plug them in to charge when done riding.
  • Completely Waterproof – These gloves are designed to offer complete protection against wetness. While out cruising, your hands will never be wet unless you submerge them in a lake. 
  • Blood Flow – A big part of keeping your hands warm relies upon the amount of blood flow that you have to your hands. These gloves fit snuggly to keep you warm, but they do not pinch off any vital blood that circulates throughout the body, keeping you warm when out in the cold.

You can see that there are many positive aspects of heated motorcycle gloves. They work great when driving in town, or on the highways. They may not be the best choice for playing offroad, though. 


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Let’s look at a few of the bad things.

  • Cost – Heated motorcycle gloves usually cost more than the grips do. The fancier the gloves are, the more you will pay for them.
  • Not Attached – They are not permanently attached to the bike, so you must remember to grab them when you head out the door.
  • Dead – Unless you opted for the style that plugs into your bike’s battery, you always run the chance of the batteries going dead, leaving you without warmth.

There have also been some instances where the heated gloves left burns on the riders wearing them. Burns are bad enough to blister up and create a very painful experience while trying to keep control of the bike. 

If you check your gear out every time before riding, you should be safe from this. But every product on the market can malfunction, so be aware of the issue so you can be prepared for it if it does happen to you.

Heated Motorcycle Grips: The Good And Bad

Heated Motorcycle Grips

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Now on to the heated motorcycle grips. These are simple to install, but they do have to be wired directly into your motorcycle battery to work. Bikes not equipped with a 12-volt battery system will not be able to use this option because they do not hook up to the system correctly. Let’s take a look at the positive aspects associated with heated grips.

  • Always Available – Heated motorcycle grips are permanently attached to your bike and ready to use if you should run into bad weather during a trip. 
  • Easy Operation – You can turn the heat on and off without ever having to take your eyes off the road. This is very important when riding a bike in traffic or in areas of the nation that have excessive temperature fluctuations within a matter of minutes.
  • Control – You will have better control over your bike, especially when offroad driving. You do will not have thick gloves between you and the throttle or the brakes.

Heated grips are always on the bike and ready to go. That is a beneficial option that many bikers have opted for because they do not want to dig out the gloves every time the weather changes for a minute or two. 


Person on black motorcycle holding handlebars with 1 hand
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Let’s see some of the negative aspects of the grips now.

  • Battery Charge – Anything directly wired into the battery will cause extra drains of power from it. Plus, if there is a short circuit in the wiring, you will find yourself with a dead battery.
  • Harder to install – You have to hook the system to your bike’s electrical wiring and make sure the wires don’t hang weirdly.
  • Hand position – The grips heat your hands, but you must tighten your grip on the bars to maximize the heat. This causes fatigue and can cause some cramping in your arm.

The negative aspects of heated grips are not anything that you should not expect from something that is wired directly into a battery. You have dealt with all types of transportation that rely on wiring harness power. You know, the ones that make you trace through the entire system to find the short. Electrical wiring gets brittle and breaks, so it is not a problem as long as you are aware of the issue.


The argument between bikers about which is better will continue for decades. Heated motorcycle gloves have become extremely popular throughout the last couple of years because of the improved technology designed into them.

The heated motorcycle grips have their advantages over the gloves, though. So, it all boils down to what you like, what you are comfortable with, and your bike type. Some motorcycles may only offer you one compatible style, while others will leave it all up to you.

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