Ride year round through winter
1. Heated grips are a bare minimum for me personally, however my commute is only 10 miles each way though city traffic, if I had any motorway miles I would use my heated gloves. The reason I donít use them for my usual journey is that I find I lose a lot of dexterity with Gerbingís, very nearly had an accident using them fumbling over a brake, although it was probably more due to my incompetence than fault of the gloves.
2. Guards will shield to a degree, however if you want better protection muffs would be more suitable. Most couriers in London use a combination of heated grips and muffs, this allows them to use very light summer gloves, or even no gloves at all, allowing them quick access to their mobiles etc. I donít know if I could bring myself to install these though as they are extremely unsightly
my work colleague has a pair on his Hornet that he absolutely swears by.
3. I use the same gear year round and just use layers to increase warmth or shield the elements. My daily gear is single layer rokker jeans, if itís raining I have a pair of old army gore-tex pullover trousers and if itís cold I have a pair of merino leggings. Jacket is klim gore-tex and if itís cold either just a jumper underneath or really cold will add a merino long sleeve vest.
Again, this is all for city miles, if I was doing considerable distance including motorway, I would use the heated gloves and also probably invest in a heated jacket, Iíd probably also buy a GS for it lol.