Question on powering heated clothing...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by rdhood, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    You'll have to forgive me because I really have no experience with large scooters or heated clothing:


    I have a 2004 Honda Reflex, and am looking at a 2013 Kymco Downtown 300i. My question: Are larger scooter electrical systems able to run a heated jacket (90watts) and a pair of heated gloves or grips? In particular, can the Reflex and the DT supply enough power for heated clothing?.. and a gps and maybe a phone?

    Do the manufacturers post specs indicated what kind of power load they will supply? I haven't seen any for either of the above bikes, just some info that the 2004 Reflex had an upgraded capacity system.
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  2. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    Probably not. I have a 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 750. When I ride in vert cold temperatures, I have to turn the headlight off to have enough power to run a pair of Widder heated gloves. You will need to check the power output of the specific scooter you have in mind, then the power you need to run your heated clothes, and make a guess. There is no way to tell how much power the scooter itself uses, and heated clothes can use more power the colder it gets. Trying to draw too much current from the electrical system can result in everything from a dead battery to a fried stator.
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  3. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    The upgrade in 04 on the Reflex was to support the antilock brakes. I don't know how much if any power was left over after adding the antilock system.
    According to the honda service manual for the reflex, thru 03 has a 290w output at 5k rpm, 04 up has 400w output at 5k rpm.
    There is no mention of how much is used by the bike in normal operation. If every bulb on the bike was on at the same time, it's a little over 200w. No mention of the draw for the cooling fan, fuel pump or ignition system.

    My best guess would be a big no on the heated clothes. If you rode at 5k all the time, used low beam only so only one headlight runs and stay off the turn signals and brake lights, you might run the jacket. Soon as you slow down, power generation will drop to below sustainable levels. It might could be done with some very judicious monitoring of voltage levels and killing the heat when at low speeds. It would still be iffy and you still have to make sure you have enough left over current to charge the battery.

    I can't speak to the Kymco at all. Never had any experience with one of them. I know my People 50 won't run heated anything.
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  4. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    Mostly what I am looking for is exactly that.

    My Reflex does not have ABS. If I changed a bunch of the signal lights to LED, that would give more overhead. To me, that sounds like about 200w of surplus at 5k rpm. The jacket I want supports up to 90w, gloves about 30w. For the highway at 200w of surplus power, one could run them at 100% all day long. For mixed rpm riding... who knows? The trick, I think, is to keep a voltage meter where you can see it. I am going to test this. What would be NICE is if one of these heat controllers could cut power as the voltage/rpm drops, so that it would not draw but a trickle current if the voltage drops below about 12.5V or 12.8V (attempting to run a piece of heated clothing at a stop light), and then ramp up again as voltage/rpm increases.
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  5. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    the heated layers are more efficient, can be self powered by batteries also.
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  6. sro99

    sro99 one odd owl

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    The Forza outputs 32A or 380W. I've read it's the same for the Reflex and Big Ruckus and that there is 6-8Amps extra for accessories.

    I had a 2015 Forza with heated grips and a heated jacket that would draw 4.9a (grips 3.4a, jacket 1.5a) and saw 14.1v at the battery, at idle. I didn't test current draw on the Forza but I did on my Vespa.

    The Vespa Gts250 outputs 26a or 312w. With the same jacket and grips and the bike at idle the battery was losing 1.4a, but at 5,000rpm 1.5a was going into the battery. With just the grips on high (3.4a) at idle was 0.0 but at 5,000rpm 2a goes into the battery. I don't do a lot of idling in city traffic so I'm confident I won't drain the battery. I ran just the grips on high the last 3 days and the battery reads 12.8v today so i think I'm good.

    Crossbolt on the Kymco forum said the Downtown 300i "stator is rated at above 12 amps @5000 rpm at 14v" or 168w. Seems low to me and it's the only spec I found. Read it here, third post down... https://www.kymcoforum.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=vdcgl6o3q79imild12mboj5rn7&topic=26700.15

    Nice power usage chart for the Vespa Gts250 and shows a output of 22a hot and 26a cold... http://modernvespa.com/forum/wiki-gts250ie-electrical-power-budget

    My Vespa heated grip experiment is here... https://advrider.com/f/threads/drug-home-my-first-vespa-lots-o-pics.1399708/page-7#post-38324845

    The grips and jacket experiment is here... https://advrider.com/f/threads/drug-home-my-first-vespa-lots-o-pics.1399708/page-7#post-38331105
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  7. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Yeah...if you don't have the abs, that extra 110w of output should be available for whatever and with some led swaps you should be definitely good.
    Just watch your voltage the first few times. Hate to hear that you got stuck somewhere and had to get a jump to get going again.

    If you could find a heat controller that did that, you wouldn't have to worry at all.
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  8. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Battery Tender(the brand) sells a small thumbnail size digital voltage meter that plugs into an SAE connector for cheap readout- it will tell you the voltage while running. It's already been calculated most likely like above.
    battery operated gear is common now. True, non-electric, winter riding gloves will protect you in really cold weather. I've used mine (Olympic) riding snowmobiles in CO weather far colder than I'd EVER! choose to be on a MC or scoot.
    I sold my electric pants as modern cold weather pants can do that job so well when you have VG gear. I kept my Gerbings(old style not newer thin wires) jckt. It can be used on my Vespa GTS OK. I've always used a Warm & safe heatroller- it's a rheostat type dial thing and never have I gone above 1/2 way as it will get waaay to hot, thus a must to use one. Obviously it reduces the current draw. Even crossing Jellico Mtn form KY into TN in dead of winter I never have used electric gloves and believe me hands are old, worn out and get cold rather easily compared to my youth.
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  9. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    kantuckid,

    you got me thinking about the thumbnail sized digital voltage meters, and it turns out there are a gazillion waterproof digital voltage meters on Amazon for about $7. I ordered two.


    I have purchased the jacket liner (90watt, $172) and glove liners(22watt, $40) . I may yet purchase the W&S Heat-troller, but I am going to try to DIY with one of these first: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X43YGC7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 . They are a little bigger than I want, but they are 12v/15A, and come with the correct connectors to hook right into the first gear/warm &safe stuff... I have already hooked up and tested the connectors for continuity with the jacket. Yes, my jacket came today, so I am going to test it out tonight and I will tell you guys the result.

    I know what you mean about the correct gear, and I kind of have it... for other sports. For example, I have excellent backpack and cycle gear... all kinds of thermal layers and windproof/down/gortex heavy duty quality stuff. I also have a 10 degree sleeping bag, but don't mind one of those 12v 40watt car blankets at night while camping! I will always be prepared for the worst but take any advantage that I can afford. I am not sure how much of it is applicable to 50-60-70 mph riding in the winter. I have been a fair weather summer scooter rider thus far, so I am sorting all of my different options out right now to find something that works.

    Anyway, I should be able to run this stuff easily on the Reflex. I asked about the Downtown because I have an opportunity to buy a very low mile DT at a really good price, and if it happens I wondered about it's capabilities. I want a 30hp (~300cc/fuel injected) scoot... I think it is really the minimum you can use to travel interstates in GA.
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  10. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    Remember that turn signals are rarely ever used, that also applies to the brake light. Switching those to LEDs won't really gain you anything. The headlight is what uses most of the power not used to run the ignition and EFI if you have it. I installed a small toggle switch under the headlight of a few motorcycles to turn the high beam off, then set the headlight switch on high so the light wouldn't work at all. If stopped by a cop (I never was) I could always act surprised, then flip the headlight switch to low beam and it would come on. But most bikes, especially scooters, probably don't make enough power to use heated clothes. I had a 1985 Goldwing with an analog fuel injection system, and a stator output of 400 watts. The R/R couldn't handle that much power, and would get super hot. Once it even set the wiring on fire. I consider that just a design issue. But for some reason bikes just don't have the power output it seems like they should have. A car will charge a battery at idle, while a bike discharges at idle.
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  11. bikeridermark

    bikeridermark Long timer Supporter

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    I've run Gerbing gloves on both my 2001 and 2006 Reflexes with no problems.
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  12. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    I run my Gerbing jacket liner on full...no controller, just plug straight in. I would only have concern if all I did was stop go riding where not enough time spent revved up.
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  13. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

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    Scooter generators aren't powerful but I think most scooters should be able to handle about 100W load when revved up. The key is to switch off the heated stuff if you sit in traffic and only use it when you really need it, and also to have a good battery charger at home which you connect to.

    There is also the possibility to install a larger secondary battery under the saddle which you may, or may not, want to connect in parallel with the engine battery (probably not). A deep cycle ~50AH battery might work and isn't too expensive, albeit it probably weighs 30lbs. There are ways and devices to hook it up so that it's charged from the generator (smart battery isolator) but otherwise disconnected from the rest of the bike. Then you connect your heated gear to this battery rather than the main battery. Such a battery, if hooked up correctly and boosted from the generator, should be able to power heated gear drawing 200W for many, many hours. And since it's a deep cycle battery you can recharge it at home if it drops a bit. Just some ideas.
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  14. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    That is all true. Even on my small scooter, a chinese gy6, an upgraded 11 pole stator outputs about 80 watts more than the bike takes... at 5krpm! Even that would run a pair of 22 watt gloves! The battery idea is interesting, but very very heavy. A 100ah deep cycle battery would weigh in at about 40 lbs.. or more... but could supply 40Ah of capacity.. enough to run a 110watt (10 amp) jacket/gloves for 4hours (40 aH). Most sealed lead acid batteries can discharge 40% of their capacity without damage, and be recharged. If you assume that the scoot can supply something (that gy6 could kick in 65 or more watts over 4 hours, stretching ride time out another couple of hours). So with the cheapest chinese stuff around coupled with a 100ah battery... one coule run a 110watt jacket/gloves at 50% for 10 hours. So with a BETTER scooter stator and a smaller reserve (or a proper electrical system and minimal reserve) one could achieve the same thing. It is an idea worth exploring I find I need more capacity.
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  15. MarylandStrom

    MarylandStrom Long timer

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    I agree with Kantuckid. Install a voltage meter on your handlebars and monitor your battery. If it starts to run low, turn off the heated jacket.

    As was suggested, buy the Heatroller from Warm N Safe. Unlike other controllers, Warm N Safe's Heatroller continually turns the power on and off rapidly based on your heat settings. That saves a lot of juice, especially if you have it on a lower setting.
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  16. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    I installed voltmeter... something I think everyone should do! It's enlightening. When I turn the key on the Reflex to the run position, the voltage drops from about 13.2V to 12.6V. When I hit the starter, it drops far enough (instantaneously) to cause the VM to issue a low voltage warning. You definitely should NOT plug in clothing until you achieve idle! At idle, though, the bike hums along charging the battery at 13.2V. On the center stand at 4000rpm, it hits about 13.8V. I am going to do some clothing tests later today. I am going to see what kind of load a jacket/gloves (separately and together) puts on the bike's electrical system at idle.
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  17. rdhood

    rdhood Adventurer

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    Lunch hour working from home....

    First, I bought those $6 PWM controllers that I posted in the first few replies of this topic. When I got them, I thought that the cables that came with it would be the thing. Not so. They were only something like 24 gauge wire on a 15A device! Since I already have an SAE connections tender on the bike, I purchased and SAE to SAE cord ($8) and an SAE to Coaxial cable from First Gear (about $12) and constructed my controller. Tested just a few minutes ago. Here is the result...

    With the bike warmed up at idle, I was putting out 14.2V. I was not getting that high a voltage an hour ago, but during this test the bike was putting out 14.2 V. When I hooked up the jacket (wearing it) and turned the jacket all the way up, voltage dropped by 0.2V to 14.0V. I repeatedly turned it all the way up, and then all the way down, and watched the voltage cycle between 14.0V and 14.2V. Additionally, I was starting to sweat!. Next, I am going to build a plastic ABS box out of sheet ABS and acetone, and cast my $14 controller ($26 if you include the sae to coax cable as part of the controller) in epoxy to sort of waterproof it. I will not be using this setup in the rain!

    BTW, MarylandStrom , I believe that when you say "cycles on and off", they, like me, are referring to a 15A PWM controller. The biggest advantages of prebought are 1) size, 2) waterproofness 3) a PWM that is specialize for heating clothing. But this definitely works. Weather permitting, I'll do an on the bike test this weekend.
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  18. MarylandStrom

    MarylandStrom Long timer

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    I am no expert on the controllers, so take what I say with a grain of salt. What I read somewhere on this forum was that the Gerbing controller was a constant draw on power, no matter what setting it was on. Whether it pulled the same voltage on low verses high, I am unsure of. But it was explained that the Warm N Safe controller rapidly switched on and off to achieve the lower heat setting. Thus using a lot less power on the lower setting.

    Of course this would be helpful if your scooter was on the edge of being able to power a jacket. Maybe run the jacket on low while riding slowly, and then on high when you have the engine rev'ed out.

    With all this said, Gerbing has been known to copy Warm N Safe technology. So it's possible Gerbing now has a similar technology.
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  19. Travman

    Travman Long timer

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    I use a 90w WarmnSafe jacket liner on my GTS 300 Vespa and have Koso heated grips. When temps are in the 30’s I add heated gloves. The jacket and gloves are controlled by a dual remote controller. So far have not had any issues the last couple winters.
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  20. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

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    I ride with a Gerbing Liner and Oxford Grips on my X Max and TW and just keep an eye on the volt meter . Like others said, just install a digital battery voltage display and turn stuff down at low RPM's. The adjustable thermostat is worth the price for the liner and my grips have several levels too!
    #20