Date reviewed: February 2018 | Tested by: Simon Hancocks | Price: £159.99 | gerbing.co.uk
I’ve been using Gerbing’s heated gloves for about four-months while I commute the 140-mile round trip from home to work. I’ve used the kit on my Yamaha Tracer 700, a Triumph Bobber and a KTM 1290S Super Adventure.
I have the large sized gloves, which fit me well. If you can get to a shop that stocks Gerbing kit, or one of the motorcycle shows, try some sizes on. For guidance; the span of my hand is approximately 8-inches and the medium is a perfect fit.
Before you can use the gloves you need to wire the power lead onto the bike. There is a loom included which you need to attach to the positive and negative terminals. It took me about five minutes to fit to my Tracer 700, so isn’t a massive chore if you want to use them on multiple bikes. Once fitted, the power lead will hang down on one side of the bike when not in use and has a rubber cap to stop any detritus from getting into the plug. When you come to use the gloves you first have to plug the heat controller into power lead that is hanging off the bike. Then plug the two long wires that come out of the controller into the gloves.
The best solution here is to thread the long wires that come out of the controller through the sleeves of your jacket, that way they are not going to tangle of flap about as you ride. It also means the plug is located close to the cuff of the glove. If you were going to use the gloves all winter and only wore one jacket, I’d spend a night with a needle and thread and fix the wires in place for convenience.
Before use you also have to ensure that you insert the correct fuse into the loom that remains on your bike. You will have a selection of fuses included ranging from 5A to 20A. You should select the smallest fuse you have that exceeds the amperage draw of any heated kit that uses that controller. For example: Gloves 2.2-amp + jacket 6.9-amp = 9.1-amp, fuse required: 10-amp.
Power and control
At the time of testing I was using the Gerbing 12v heated jacket which meant the controller was designed to carry, and adjust, the current of both the gloves and the jacket. I did use the specific Gerbing 12V Junior Controller (pictured above) that came with the gloves and found it worked well although the control button is slightly smaller and harder to find than the combined unit’s.
The gloves heat up fairly quickly – not as quick as the jacket does but you can feel them working within a minute. I found that I needed the gloves on the highest setting to get the most out of them. The heating elements in the gloves cover the back of the hands and fingers, as with all of Gerbing’s kit the wires are extremely small and barely noticeable.
Through the coldest days of the winter I did still find that the tips of my fingers would become numb after an hour or two of riding. One way I found to solve this is to quickly move your fingers around inside the glove as if you were playing the piano! By doing this enough you force the colder air at the tip of the finger out and allow some of the warmer air from the back of you hand into its place – You’re welcome! I have to add that it was much warmer and more comfortable than when riding in normal un-heated winter gloves.
The XRS12 gloves are full leather sports touring style glove with a textile insert on the palm. There is a reinforced knuckle protector on the back of the hand and padded areas on the back of each finger. The cuff is short and not suitable for wearing over a jacket which I found slightly tricky when wearing my Richa Atacama jacket; the cuff on the Atacama is very closely cut and didn’t allow much room for the glove to tuck in.
There is a Velcro strap to adjust the fit of the glove on the back of the wrist which not only secures the gloves but also helps to prevent heat loss over the back of your hand.
The gloves have an soft thermal lining which is on a par with the lining of any good quality winter glove. They are bulkier than summer gloves but I never had any problems using the bikes controls or opening or closing the vents on my helmet.
I found that the gloves were waterproof when worn in the correct way - with my jacket covering the cuff of the glove.
One of best things about these gloves is the way they feel on the bike. The way the gloves are cut and the materials used means you have plenty of feeling on the bars and levers, removing some of the ham-fistedness you can encounter when wearing winter gloves.
My main form of transport is a Yamaha Tracer 700 with heated grips and hand guards. For the most part these features combined have provided me with enough protection from the elements. That said I have been able to feel the extra warming effect from the gloves and can imagine that on a bike that didn’t feature any weather protection, they would be a welcome addition.
As it is heated gloves only have heating elements on the back of the hand, to stop the wires from getting in your way. The day a manufacturer can create a glove with 360° heating elements is the day that my heated grips will become obsolete. Until that happens, the Gerbing XRS-12s are my default riding glove during winter.