Harley’s Heated Seats Bring Comfort to Cold-Weather Riding

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MoCo offers tips that will keep your butt toasty this fall.

Just in time for Fall’s frosty weather, Harley-Davidson has released a cool, new video about their heated seats. The company’s heated products include a variety of hand grips, a heated backrest, and four heated seats.

Their two-minute video, “How To: Heated Seat Operation,” was recently published on the company’s official YouTube channel.

In the clip, field service manager Martin Ginns seeks to dispel the myths about heated seats. Warranty coordinator Yvon Carvalho is on hand to answer questions and offer a few tips. The video was filmed from inside the bricks of Harley-Davidson’s headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they know a thing or two about keeping warm during cold months.


“This is a very sophisticated seat, actually,” says Carvalho of the heated seat. Not only does it have an electronic thermostat to reach the target temperature, but “it has electronic controllers to keep the temperature steady,” Carvalho says. Two switches on the side of the seat control the rider and passenger heating areas independently. Both heating areas are designed to warm up to 107 degrees on high, and 97 degrees on low.

And don’t worry if you’re out riding and the seat suddenly get cold. Carvalho explains that the heated seat comes with an automatic shut-off to turn itself off after riding for one hour to protect the the battery. “So even though the switch may be in the on position, you need to turn if off and on again for it to resume operating,” Carvalho instructs.

After flipping the button on, Ginns asks why the seat doesn’t feel warm when he places his hand on it. “It may take up to 15 minutes for it to fully warm up,” Carvalho answers. He adds that the seat’s thick padding slows the heat transfer from the heating element to the seat’s surface. (Also keep in mind that it may take longer for your buns to get toasty if you’re wearing thick clothing.)


Ginns then asks if there’s anything special to know about removing the bike seat. Carvalho advises being extra careful because the wiring harness at the front of the seat is easy to miss. If you accidentally tear out the seat’s wiring, don’t expect it to be covered by warranty. “It’s not a warrantable condition, guys,” Carvalho says. You may want to have this done by a pro at your local Harley dealer. Or, you can read how to do it yourself in the seat’s kit instructions.

Reading through the kit instructions for their “Hammock Heated Rider and Passenger Touring Seat,” we found another bit of useful information. If your bike’s accessory switch and seat heater switch are both left on while the key is in ignition or access position, the seat will begin heating even though the motorcycle is turned off. This could result in a drained battery next time you’re ready to ride. And that would not be cool.

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Dan Gregory is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums and Ford F-150 Online.

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