Alright lets vote! Not political lol!

New Commuter700

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After a season of trying different things I settled on long john bottoms (if it's cold enough I could wear them all day), a winter parka, a sweatshirt, a neoprene balaclava and ...gloves. All that first winter I tried different things but I would get to work and my fingers would be so cold that I would go into the bathroom and run warm water over them until they felt better. I tried; my old gauntlet leather gloves, lithium battery heated gloves and larger snow gloves with silk liners. At the end of the season I bought snowmobile mittens that would fit over my snow gloves but we didn't have another cold day. I was looking forward to the following season to see if they were really workable since mobility would be a bit limited. I did think about heated grips but I wasn't sure they would be effective for me and it meant another modification. After all, my problem wasn't that my hands were cold, it was my fingers. The battery powered heated gloves would almost burn my palms but the fingers stayed cold.

That next fall a coworker gave me a gift certificate to a motorcycle only website since he was done riding and I looked at the plug-in heated glove liners. They were designed to plug into a heated jacket but I could instead run them right off the battery with a controller that I mounted to the frunk with velcro. they made ALL. the. difference. I started using them on the lowest setting even if it was only 45 degrees on the way to work, but with them I could now run at below 30 degrees. Yes I still was cold when I got to work but my fingers were toasty and it felt good to get in my truck and warm up over the next few hours.

So my vote of the most important accessory for cold riding is my heated glove liners.

Oh and apologies to my northern neighbors, I live in AZ where after a summer of riding in over 100 degree heat, 30 degrees feels REALLY cold.
 

Klap

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I suppose we can take it for granted that we dont all go out in teeshirts and shorts in cold weather, so a good winter suit is a given. As such I think the OP was thinking in terms of items used in addition to that. The clue was in "heated".
I had to re-read the OP’s post, and the way I read it, the accessory doesn’t necessarily have to be “heated”. Although I do own some heated gloves, and have heated grips on my NC ( not on my big bike though) , think he was referring to any item that helps with riding in colder temps.
I’d have to add an anti- fog shield or pin lock to my list- makes it much easier to see in coolish temps!
 

12xoldy

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My #1 accessory improvement was Barkbuster Storm handguards. Have to keep wind chill off hands.
 

anglachel

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Most important? A warm house to stay in when it gets cold.

I'm in MN, I stop riding when the over night lows get below freezing. I don't want to run into ice on a bridge. But winter in only 9 months of the year....

I don't know which is most important, but I've got bark buster storms, a mad stad windshield to keep the wind off if me, and I've had various inserts in my helmet to keep it from fogging up. No heated gear, but good wind/water proof boots, and wool socks, lots of layers everywhere else, and a buff scarf my wife made that I wear from the top of my head (under the helmet) down around my neck. Stay off the highway when it's below ~45°f, and don't ride over certain bridges when it's cold (cause the wind in the river valleys is always colder.)
 

FezUSA

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I got heated grips first as I wanted them installed from the get-go when I picked the bike up from the dealer. Great at setting 1 for taking the chill off, and at 5 they can keep my hands warm even in my winter snowmobile gloves. My previous ride did not have heated grips, and with just that change I would say my comfort rose considerably. I do also have handguards and 3 different gloves for the seasons though. But with the heated grips I can wear my summer gloves down to 50. Then I switch to my spring/fall gloves. Once I'm low 40's and below I will use the snowmobile gloves.

All that being said though, it's the core and neck that are most important. Losing heat from your core will pull the blood back from your extremities regardless of how they're being kept warm. I have a thin neck gaiter for the summer and a fleece for spring/fall. In winter I have a thin balaclava that will go under the fleece and cover from the shoulders over my head, under my helmet. My core is then kept warm with appropriate layers.

I am thinking of getting a heated jacket liner this year as our vehicle situation has changed and I will have to ride until the freezing point arrives. When it's time to replace the snowmobile gloves I will look at heated gloves too!
 

670cc

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My question about heated riding gear is, what do you do when it breaks? Is there a plan B? Say you are on a motorcycle trip a long, long way from home and a long way from any motorcycle shop. The weather turns cold and the heated gear is keeping you warm. But then, say a component of the heated gear fails, like the controller, and now the heating gear is compromised and inadequate. Would you also need to pack along enough conventional clothing in order to stay warm, or do you pack spare parts like extra controller or connectors? Do you just end the trip and immediately head for a warmer climate? Just wondering what is common practice.
 

CapeMan

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My question about heated riding gear is, what do you do when it breaks? Is there a plan B? Say you are on a motorcycle trip a long, long way from home and a long way from any motorcycle shop. The weather turns cold and the heated gear is keeping you warm. But then, say a component of the heated gear fails, like the controller, and now the heating gear is compromised and inadequate. Would you also need to pack along enough conventional clothing in order to stay warm, or do you pack spare parts like extra controller or connectors? Do you just end the trip and immediately head for a warmer climate? Just wondering what is common practice.
A good question, one I hadn't really thought much about. When I'm on a multi-day trip thru cold country, I always bring along something warm to wear when I'm off the bike, so there's that. And if you plan on refueling every, say, 200 miles, you're at most 100 miles from some form of civilization when the hypothetical failure happens, so some form of shopping is likely available there. (Is it even possible to be further than 100 miles from a Walmart anywhere in the US?)

But in a broader sense, the question also applies to the entire rig and all of its critical components. Do you carry a 17" inner tube in case you have a tire sidewall failure or bent rim? Do you carry a spare master link for the chain? Or a short section of chain and chain breaker? Fuses? And so on.
 

670cc

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A good question, one I hadn't really thought much about. When I'm on a multi-day trip thru cold country, I always bring along something warm to wear when I'm off the bike, so there's that. And if you plan on refueling every, say, 200 miles, you're at most 100 miles from some form of civilization when the hypothetical failure happens, so some form of shopping is likely available there. (Is it even possible to be further than 100 miles from a Walmart anywhere in the US?)

But in a broader sense, the question also applies to the entire rig and all of its critical components. Do you carry a 17" inner tube in case you have a tire sidewall failure or bent rim? Do you carry a spare master link for the chain? Or a short section of chain and chain breaker? Fuses? And so on.
I can’t agree more that we put faith in the entire rig when we go out on adventures far from civilization. In Alaska or the Yukon, even though there might just be some gasoline within 150 miles at a (possibly unmanned) dispenser, there usually ain’ no Walmart or motorcycle shop for many hundreds of miles. My approach has been to minimize complexity and rely on systems that are nearly foolproof, like a plain old non electrified jacket. I think if I went with the luxury of electric gear, I would still need to pack plain old warm clothes as well.
 
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GregC

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A good question, one I hadn't really thought much about. When I'm on a multi-day trip thru cold country, I always bring along something warm to wear when I'm off the bike, so there's that. And if you plan on refueling every, say, 200 miles, you're at most 100 miles from some form of civilization when the hypothetical failure happens, so some form of shopping is likely available there. (Is it even possible to be further than 100 miles from a Walmart anywhere in the US?)

But in a broader sense, the question also applies to the entire rig and all of its critical components. Do you carry a 17" inner tube in case you have a tire sidewall failure or bent rim? Do you carry a spare master link for the chain? Or a short section of chain and chain breaker? Fuses? And so on.
I've carried an entire pannier of tools and repair supplies for 5 years, and all I've ever needed was a zip tie. Can't bring myself to leave it at home, but realistically I'd probably call roadside assist if it was at all serious. Can't see me doing a major repair on the side of the road.

As to the heated gear -- I've had heated grips since day 1, but just recently got a heated jacket liner and have ordered heated glove liners (based on the excellent experience with the jacket liner). That said, in my other pannier I have rain gear, and during the cold months a set of thermals and a Columbia OmniHeat jacket that will go under my Kilimanjaro. I've ridden that set up in the high 30's, so I suppose that will be my backup if the heated gear fails.
 
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