The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Maplin currently have lots of heated kit on offer, it all runs off AAs but could easily be converted to run off the Bike. With winter on the doorstep this could be a cheap solution.
Well spotted - the vest actually looks quite good - just like a sleeveless fleece.
It would be a bit dodgy using on a bike though, for a start you would have to put a minimum 14v through the vest designed for 9v and I bet the heating element is weedy probably less than 10w since otherwise the batteries would be flat in 10minutes!
I dont know how much 10w would actually heat you up? looks like you need 60w + for a vest.
it's amazing how much these things cost, i'm sure it would be pretty easy to make your own, just a bit of resistance wire, and old fleece and a connection to your bike....
I've seen a few comments about buying the Maplin (battery powered) vest and converting it to run off the bike "because it's cheap", with the comment "9V is close to 12v so it can't be that hard" !!
No is the most likely answer. This jacket runs off two sets of 3 x AA batteries, so each pack is only 4.5V. Most likely the heated wire elements are set to run off each side independently so the overall wire resistance can be low and also get a reasonable battery life. So making a guess that this jacket generates say 10w from each battery pack (any more would pull too much current), the wire resistance that would be attached to get that power dissipation is about 2ohm. (P=Vsq/R). This would draw around 2.25A current (V=IR).
Upping everything to 12V will generate 70W !! Given bike voltage is more like 13V then the power would be even higher. Power is related to the square of voltage, not simply linear. If your fuse doesn't give out then it's goodbye jacket and you in flames !
Bike heated clothing also has to cope with a lot of wind chill factor so their typical power dissipation is around 45-50W, warm enough without burning. The electronics is designed around this, namely the wiring element, to dissipate that power from 12V to 14V needs to be a resistance of around 3ohms drawing a current of about 4A max.
I've made some assumptions but the message is it's not that simple to take lightweight garments like this and make them bike suitable.
If you google DIY heated clothing, you can find various instructions about how to make it. Maplin do a pulse width modulator motor speed controller that can be used to control the 12V bike supply and get a variable heat control. But the Teflon coated wire of resonable resistance is only available from RS components (a trade supplier). You will then be faced with working out how to get about 30-40 feet of cable inside a jacket !
The Heat4Jackets kit works fine, we bought one before doing Alaska to Ushuaia last year. Sue stitched hers into her new bike jacket liner she bought in Anchorage, fairly straightforward just make sure you fasten the lead securely to the liner. Cheap as chips and in hindsight we should have bought one for the lining of the trousers.
Here's a pretty detailed article on rolling your own heated gear.
That's a very useful article if you're diy minded. I've been p*ssing about trying to make my own heated clothing on and off since the 70's (!) and always stumbled at the where do I get the wire from stage. Now that the cold weather has arrived I'll probably give it another go - once my fingers have thawed out.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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