Keis - the UK’s leading heated motorcycle clothing brand - are reminding riders that heated garments can be a practical addition to the kit cupboard throughout the riding season in the UK, and not just in winter.
Wayne Harrison, Keis’ Head of Marketing, explains: “Many riders think of heated clothing purely for winter, but increasingly unpredictable weather - and other factors that may not be so obvious - means the ability to turn on the heat any time in the riding calendar is a real bonus.”
Even in Spring and Autumn, the average temperature range in the UK is relatively cool, and can catch riders out if they’re not prepared. In April - the start of the riding season for many British bikers - mean temperatures only reach a daily high of 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit) and can go as low as just 4°C (39°F).
Wayne adds: “Even at that top mean figure of 12°C you can start to feel the cold after only a few minutes on the bike. And if your riding takes in early starts or goes past sunset, the temperature can quickly plummet, leaving you caught out in the cold.”
Windchill is also a major factor that is often overlooked; riding at just 50 mph in an ambient air temperature of 4°C the windchill takes it to -4, and at 70mph that will drop to a seriously uncomfortable -5°. Hitting the mountain passes - a popular choice of route when touring - can also have a dramatic effect. For every 100-metre rise in altitude, the temperature decreases by about 1 degree Celsius.
As well as being uncomfortable, prolonged exposure to low temperatures like these can quickly affect the body’s core temperature, and a drop of just 1-2 degrees Celsius can affect concentration, coordination and cause drowsiness – all potentially disastrous when in charge of a motorcycle.
Wearing heated clothing enables riders to warm up at the flick of a switch and Keis design theirs specifically for motorcyclists, so it can be used as regular riding kit.
For example, Keis Heated Vests are made from lightweight stretch fabric, so they can be worn as mid-layer, while Keis gloves are made to the CE standard for motorcycle gloves, featuring protection from impacts and abrasion, without the bulk associated with traditional winter gloves.
Most feature a dual power design, meaning they can draw power either directly from a motorcycle’s 12V battery or Keis’ portable battery packs, for use off the bike too.