Trying to compare the new G701 Keis heated gloves to the G601 Keis heated gloves I used through last winter is more complex than I thought it would be. Both are excellent. Both keep my hands warm. Yet thanks to the advancements in technology, they work in different ways.
According to the people in the know at MotoHaus, this is because of the “micro carbon fibre heating panels – with Far InfraRed Radiation heat-generating technology – providing reliable, controllable warmth, whilst still allowing plenty of dexterity and feel for delicate handling of the controls.”
Yes … Absolutely. Talk with MotoHaus a little longer and you will discover that they are motorcyclists the same as you and me, and live in the real motorcycling world. Translate the marketing speak and you end up with … the desire to improve on the already wonderful G601 Keis heated gloves.
Technology keeps moving forward, and after a lot of development work by Keis, and some real-world riding by us, here are our thoughts on the G701 Keis Heated Gloves.
The reason the G701 Keis Heated Gloves are different, is due to the change in how the Keis gloves are providing the heat. Previous generations of heated gloves have delivered heat in a similar way to heated grips. The advantage for gloves being that they heat all of your hand not just the palms.
The objective for the next generation G701 gloves is to provide a warm environment into which you place your hands, rather than apply direct heat to them, resulting in a much more comfortable way of staying warm.
The radiant heat, coming from the micro carbon panels in the Keis G701 heated gloves, heats the inside of the gloves without you feeling the heating elements.
The sensation is a little strange at first but in a good way. My hands haven’t been cold, but neither have they felt the heat that I associate with my (old model) Keis heated gloves, jacket and insoles. So I decided to turn one glove off to see how effectively the heated gloves were performing.
It was an odd feeling having just one wonderfully warm hand. Remind me not to do that again, but I’ll get back to how good the G701 gloves are as a straight-up motorcycle glove later in this article.
Beneath the surface layers of the Keis gloves is a semi-bonded Hipora™ waterproof and breathable membrane, which keeps water out and allows perspiration to escape. It is a great idea, that has been used to make rain jackets waterproof for several years.
The normal drawback with this method is that the outer layer of the glove would become waterlogged, and whereas none of the rain gets through to you, the water draws heat as it evaporates and you get colder, making the task of heating your hands even more difficult.
Being real-world motorcyclists and knowing this problem exists with membrane gloves, Keis designed around the issue and constructed the outer layers of the G701 gloves from Ballistic Spandex, which is hydrophobic, which I’m told means water-repelling rather than scared of water.
The G701 hydrophobic outer layer is so “scared of water” that in the manufacturing tests when the gloves were fully submerged for over 2 minutes, the water did not penetrate this outer layer.
I’ve tried running the gloves under a tap for a full minute and, yes, the outer layer became damp. However, the water didn’t penetrate or soak into the outer layer. Remember there is still the Hipora™ waterproof and breathable membrane to get through before the rain would get to your hands.
Put simply, the gloves do a damn good job of keeping my hands dry.
For more information on waterproof membranes take a look at our Best Motorcycle Rain Jacket article.
Under the arms of the vest are small power sockets, into which I can connect cables to power the G701, G601 gloves or G102 Keis heated inner gloves.
There is no requirement to have the jacket powered on – only plugged into the bike – to supply power to the gloves. That said, I will admit to having had the jacket on during a few damp rides just recently. Why not be warm if you can be?
However, a Keis jacket isn’t the only way to power the G701 Keis heated gloves.
In the cuffs of the G601 and G701 heated gloves, there are zip pockets designed to hold the 2600 mAh rechargeable batteries. This has to be the easiest way of powering the gloves. Any reservations you may have about battery weight will be forgotten in a short few miles.
The weight is on the underside (palm) side of the gloves’ cuff and above your wrist, so there is no interference with riding the bike. Two minutes down the road, and I’d forgotten about them.
Batteries go flat and need recharging and this is where I sometimes read some confusing points of view.
The Keis heated gloves, jackets, and heated inner soles all require a 12-volt power source. This makes sense if you are plugging them into a 12-volt motorcycle.
USB is only 5-volts, and sadly you can’t charge a 12-volt battery from a 5-volt source. Hence, the Keis batteries require a specific 12-volt charger.
If you want to power the Keis heated clothing directly from your motorcycle’s battery or 12-volt accessory feed, Keis provide connectors for just about everything, including a connector that fits the Optimate lead, I use to maintain my battery when the bike is parked up in the garage.
For me, this is the simplest solution. With the Keis heated kit connected up, I plug into the bike and ride off warm and toasty. On the KTM 1290, my colleague Carle has his Keis gloves wired directly to the battery and has the connector available between the seat and the tank.
Other people I’ve seen, plug into the “fag-lighter” accessory socket and ride off with warm hands. Each to their own, but this is why the Keis heated kit is 12-volt and not USB compatible.
Controlling the Heat
Not every day needs maximum power, so to control how warm your hands are kept, the G701 gloves have a built-in three-stage heat controller.
Press the centre of the Keis triangle on the back of the glove and hold it down, and the glove will power on at maximum heat and the triangle glows red. A single press of the triangle will reduce the power to medium and the colour changes to yellow. Press again for low and the triangle is illuminated green.
Pressing the triangle a fourth time and the power will cycle from low back to maximum power. To turn a glove off, press and hold until the triangle light goes out.
Real world testing
The facts, figures and explanations are all very interesting, but until we have ridden in the wet and the cold, it is all just theoretical.
With that in mind, early one rather damp Saturday morning, I departed in the direction of Wales, on a 250-mile round trip to test out the G701 Keis heated gloves.
Six degrees centigrade is showing as the outside temperature as I rode off the driveway, which by the time I was travelling a 70mph, is somewhere around two degrees after the wind chill is factored in.
So far, so good. My hands are warm, as is my core as I also had the jacket on low.
Arriving at the meeting point, it is still not quite light and I’m fighting with my (expletive!) TomTom that is refusing to load the route I’d planned the night before. Why is this important? I’m not struggling with cold hands while arguing with the TomTom.
The G701 gloves have touch screen material in the index fingertips, but I’ve taken the gloves off because my hands are not cold.
During the day we had a mix of weather. For stretches, the clouds would suggest that they were going to break up and leave us with a bright October day, only for them to darken up and rain on us once again. This pattern repeated itself through the day until the late afternoon when it finally dried up for the last 50 miles.
And … the result? Perfectly comfortable hands all day. The outside of the gloves may have become damp, but I never noticed, in the same way as I never notice the rain running off my Weise Outlast laminated jacket. My hands were warm and dry all day.
Not satisfied with one long run, I also used the gloves on the run to Cromer for Chips and an Ice Cream – the route is on Free Touring Routes page – and again I had warm and dry hands all day.
As the weather gets colder, I’ll update you on how the G701 Keis heated gloves perform. There is nothing better than a ride when it is two degrees to see if the heated clothing is up to the task.
Heated gloves are a luxury and few of us would be able to justify the cost of them as something we only use occasionally. For heated gloves to work, they also have to be effective motorcycle gloves we can use every day, heated or otherwise.
As a pair of motorcycling gloves without heating, the G701s are warm comfortable and have armour across the knuckles and scaphoid sliders on each palm. They are waterproof, have a Hipora™ waterproof and breathable membrane and a layer of 3M Thinsulate™ insulation. So as a standard winter motorcycle glove they match up with numerous other winter gloves.
Now add in the fact that they can add heat for those days when no amount of thermal layers are going to prevent the cold getting to you, and the G701 Keis heated gloves are an excellent choice.
We were supplied with a pair of the Keis G701 heated gloves as part of a testing program. There is never an obligation on us to say good things about the products we test. Full details can be found on our testing philosophy page.