heated gear

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by szramer, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. tokig

    tokig 17 Husqvarna 701E

    Joined:
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    I ride a BMW R1200RT. Completed a ride last year in Montana, Canada, Wyoming and such. I was concerned about keeping warm before leaving east coast as I did not want any day of riding with regrets about keeping warm. I did not have time to screw around with forums or blogs at that time , so I turned to Revzilla online and ordered First gear jacket liner, gloves, pant liner, socks and a remote controller that I could Velcro to the clutch cover and twirl as I rode. The bike has heated grips and heated seat, either can cook food if maxed out.

    firstgear_heated_jacket_liner_90_watt.jpg firstgear_heated_pant_liner.jpg firstgear_heated_socks.jpg Firstgear_Heated_Gloves_Black.jpg

    First day of real cold riding I put on all 4 pieces of heated gear......the remote was set to heat jacket/gloves on one knob, while the pants/socks were controlled on the other knob.
    Oh yeah, I wear Joe Rocket Sonic leather LT jacket and Aerostich custom fancy pants (cant remember model) and Chippawa mc boots.

    Outside temp in the 30s, all gear on med heat, grips on med, we set out for "Going to the Sun Road". Pretty soon it became evident that I was going to sweat and cook into a toasty mess. However the gloves were on, but not providing heat I needed, and the lower heat pants/socks was not needed at all.
    So I learned to ride with an open zipped jacket to allow heat to gloves, as the outside of your hands will freeze while gripping on a red hot grip.

    Since the trip, I have put the gloves on one knob and the jacket liner on the other and have somewhat gotten satisfaction. I don't seem to need lower extremity heat, but stowed in case. The first gear leather gloves are okay but don't heat the thumb at all.

    So I recommend the First gear jacket liner, first gear remote, the gloves are okay, but I want thumb heat.
    #81
  2. Secundius

    Secundius Adventurer

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    Airblaster "Ninja Suits"! Similar in appearance to "Union Suits" but with a Hide-Away Hoodie and rated to 0*F. Prices vary from $66.00 to $116.00 USD...
    #82
  3. codefoster

    codefoster n00b

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    I have a Gerbing vest that I use directly without a controller and just wanted to let folks know that that's an option if you want to get into a heated vest at a lower price point. Usually the full power just feels great, but in the off chance that I get too warm I can just unplug while underway.
    #83
  4. JohnHB

    JohnHB Adventurer

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    I have learnt that we people are not built the same. I have read many threads proclaiming the satisfaction from keeping ones core warm with a jacket/vest, and the blood flow to ones extremities will stop hands and feet from going numb. That theory might work for many, but it does not work for all. I need jacket, gloves and socks when the temperature is near freezing. Heated insoles did not work for me.
    I don't think there is a great deal to choose between the brands, I would buy from a trustworthy retailer who will offer support if things go wrong.

    I hope this helps someone with their purchasing decision.

    John
    #84
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  5. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

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    I was not aware that the Firstgear controller was electro-mechanical. Mine is most definitely electronic but maybe a newer or older version was different.

    IMO, if you are riding alone, somewhere where a heated gear failure would be life threatening, or if you just want to have an option in case of emergency, it would not hurt to carry a jumper cord with an in-line on/off switch. You would have to adjust temp by constantly turning the jacket on and off but it would at least prevent you freezing. If you really want to McGuyver things, a load-independent (LED) 2-pin flasher relay in line with a jumper cable will give a permanent half-heat setting.
    #85
  6. tokig

    tokig 17 Husqvarna 701E

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    east coast
    Is anyone running two wireless heat controllers allowing separate control of 4 pieces?
    Will this work? Or will they override or confuse ?
    I am not asking theoretically, but someone who has this or tried this., thanks
    FirstgearDoubleHeatTroller4Pieces.jpg
    #86
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  7. tokig

    tokig 17 Husqvarna 701E

    Joined:
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    east coast
    Anyone running Firstgear gloves and suffering "unheated "thumbs?
    Firstgear_Heated_Gloves_Black.jpg
    #87
  8. RTinNC

    RTinNC Long timer

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    Totally agree. Until I got a Gerbings full liner once my hands got cold they stayed cold. Now they may start to get cold but once my core gets want they warm right up. And if you think about the science related it makes sense. Your core pulls warmth and blood from your extremities stay warm.
    #88
  9. MWValley

    MWValley Pro Motorcycle Gadget Guy (ret.)

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    I apologize if this has already been mentioned: Do not buy anything from the Powerlet website. It appears they have gone out of business but at least a few days ago their website was still up and accepting orders (and taking your money). If a known and trusted reseller still has some of their products, knock yourself out but do not buy anything from the now unattended Powerlet (Coliant Corporation) website. For 12 years I was a full-time professional motorcycle gear outfitter and introduced thousands of riders to the Powerlet line of goods. I got to meet and dine with the founder, John Swiatek, in the early days of Powerlet products. Sorry to see them go.
    Oh and by the way, nothing keeps my hands warmer than the Powerlet heated glove liners even in winter, in the mountains of NH.
    #89
  10. matt of carlisle

    matt of carlisle n00b

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    I have Oxford Rain Seal Handlebar Muffs over heated grips on my F800R (previously on my SV650), found here:
    https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/oxford-rainseal-handlebar-muffs
    I can go down to the mid 40's wearing my standard summer glove - below that, or in rain, I wear my lightly insulated A* WP gloves.
    The only thing that gets cold under my Icon Raiden DKR jacket is the center of my chest - the zip in liner stops and leaves about a two inch swath uninsulated. Last week I plopped a Hot Hands heat pack in the pocket of my cheap Old Navy puffy jacket beneath the DKR, and was good for my 40 minute commute at 38F. Other than that, inexpensive Tourmaster Flex pants, sans the insulated liner (I feel like the Michelin Man) and A* Roam boots w/ smartwool socks, and I'm good to 35ish.
    #90
  11. JamesRF

    JamesRF "Look! Up in the sky! It's a..."

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    I haven't noticed the unheated thumbs with the gloves, but they do seem to run small. Otherwise, the gloves and jacket liner by Firstgear do great keeping me comfortable.
    #91
  12. arbalest

    arbalest Been here awhile

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    I have a previous generation of Gerbing heated jacket liner. I love it. I have a pair of First Gear heated glove liners. Love them. They work fine with the Gerbing digital controller.
    #92
  13. Villac

    Villac n00b

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    Central Pennsylvania
    i use:

    oxford grip heater (love the voltmeter)
    rocket burner gloves with built in battery
    tourmaster vest, still have a channel open on my controller.


    unheated gear:

    under armour coldgear balaclava, wickers long underwear, and a firstgear 1 piece suit

    this setup has me good for 4hr at 20 deg F on a klr.

    some notes:

    if cold, stop and fix it!!!! it will get worse. hands will get clumsy and worst of all brain will get slow.

    my hands were most vulnerable. I love the combo of battery gloves and heated grips. the batteries are finicky ( shorter life in cold OF COURSE, but convenient on off)

    with vest/core heating, I personally don't feel arm /leg coldness (years of skiing?), and usually run vest at 50%.

    fat handgrip guards make a big difference.

    with this setup, toes get cold first on the hilltops where wind has an open shot at me.

    have fun and stay safe!

    C, central PA
    #93
  14. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I've never had good luck with electric gear, probably because daily use in the constant wet of the Northwest is too hard on it?

    My solution has been catalytic hand warmers. They run 12 +hours on a single filling, and a major advantage is I can use them all day long while working too. Kinda surprised nobody else has mentioned them.
    [​IMG]
    #94
  15. RTinNC

    RTinNC Long timer

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    I have a Gerbings vest that I use for warmer weather trips when I just want to have heated gear along just in case and it packs up nice and small and works like a champ. Also have a Gerbings full liner that is my really cold (below 40 degrees) liner. Both are the micro wire but bought before the company was sold. They are great items.

    BUT .... my buddy and I bought some Venture Heat full liners at Americade this past June. I have not used mine yet but he has and gave it thumbs up. It comes with a built on controller AND the heat is not done via wire but is actually done via a heated fabric. They claim this provides much better heat distribution and it certainly makes it pack up much smaller. I am riding this weekend so will be giving it a try.
    #95
  16. GrayDuck

    GrayDuck GrayDuck

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    I have read all five pages (so far) of this thread and have only seen one mention of heated glove liners. This surprises me since these address many of the drawbacks mentioned with other approaches. When I was commuting daily through several Puget Sound winters, where temperatures rarely go below 30 deg. F., I found these a very good solution: my hands were warm all over (palms, backs, fingers, thumbs), the current draw was low enough to put no noticeable stress on my Ducati's electrical system, there was no interference with my bar-end mirrors or the handlebar controls, and there was no noticeable added bulk under my Aerostich merino-lined elkskin winter gauntlets, which offer very good control feel and dexterity. I ran the wires through the body and sleeves of my winter leather coat so I could easily plug and unplug the liners whenever I took off the gloves. I forget the brand but they came with a sliding controller, which allowed me to dial in exactly the right amount of warmth. Oh, I also bolted up my Plexifairing during the winter months, which helped tremendously with wind blast and rain without making the bike look or handle funny.

    I agree with the points made about keeping your core warm, but that never became an issue for me since my leather coat with its fleece liner vest zipped in, a fleece scarf to block the front zipper draft, and an additional fleece vest or jacket depending on the need, took care of my core, while leather overpants and good wool socks under my riding boots kept my lower half cozy. My only problem was cold, clumsy hands. The liners took excellent care of that with modest expense and no interference with the bike or the rest of my riding gear. Unlike some of the other posters, I seldom rode for more than an hour or so at a stretch so that may well have changed the equation about adding heat elsewhere - heated socks might be my next purchase.

    I never rode in the bitter cold described in some of the other posts for two reasons: It rarely gets that cold here, and whenever it does drop below freezing we get patches of black ice - if I even suspect black ice I take the cage instead of the bike. I don't care how good a rider you are or how good your tires, black ice is likely to put you down and it's really hard to detect it before it's too late.

    YMMV, but this worked with my bike's configuration and capabilities, my own physiology, the gear I already owned and liked, and my riding situation.

    Anyway, I encourage you to look at heated glove liners under a good pair of winter riding gloves. I can't offer any wisdom about heated clothing on the other parts of your body, but this was a great solution for cold hands without some of the drawbacks mentioned with other approaches.
    #96
  17. rcskier

    rcskier Adventurer

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    I have had the Warm and Safe Gloves for at least 10 years and have not noticed unheated thumbs - yet!! Just recently (as in last week) bought the heated jacket. Will be getting out hopefully on Wed or Thurs this week to try it out. Went with a controller for each as it does not take too much to heat my hands, and wanted to keep them separate till I figure out what will work best. We shall see!!
    #97
  18. ls6777

    ls6777 Been here awhile Supporter

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    You guys know you can wire it so the dual controller can control different parts (e.g. I have one knob control gloves and socks, and the other control jacket and pants). This gives you all the combinations and how to wire them:
    https://www.warmnsafe.com/pages/wiring-diagrams
    #98
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  19. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Don't forget to still have some layers with you in case of a break down.
    #99
  20. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Face Plant

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    OK - a three Alaska trip veteran weighing in.

    1. Get a heated jacket liner, not a vest. Cold arms suck. I have Warm-n-Safe - but be aware that their jacket liner, unplugged, offers Zero insulation. If you're like me, you'll slip into hypothermia in a matter of a minute or so when you unplug if it's 30 Degrees F or colder. Areostich jacket liners solve this problem with windstopper Fleece built in - but this adds insulation bulk.
    2. Since you now have the heated jacket liner - you'll have the glove pigtails at the end of your sleeve. I use the Firstgear heated gloves - and like them. Mostly waterproof and they warm the backs of my hands.
    3. If you don't use a controller, you're an idiot. The controllers (these use a simple switch mode or pulse mode design) allow you to precisely dial in the amount of heat. I hard wire mine in, but there are other good designs. Turning to system from full on to off to adjust the temp is a no starter. Don't do it.
    4. My legs and feet rarely suffer - I use long underwear and windstopper fleece liners, riding socks, SIDI leather boots and so forth. The BMW Boxer engine seems to throw off some heat that warms my feet in addition to blocking the wind.
    5. As noted wear the jacket liner right next to your long sleeved tee shirt for maximum effect. To reduce the hypothermia effect noted in #1, you can wear a polar fleece pullover on top of the liner. This buys you a couple of minutes more.

    [​IMG]