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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA




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  #1  
Old 8 Nov 2019
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Heated clothing in 2019

In old threads about heated clothing Gerbing got good reviews from anyone that had it. Is this still the case or has technology overtaken them?

I am putting together a plan to go to Nordcap in Norway next September / October to see the Northern Lights and don't want to freeze whilst doing it.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 11 Nov 2019
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I’ve been doing a bit of research lately into heated clothing.
At the moment I have an EXO2 gillet, which has been fine for all year round riding in the UK. My wife has a Gerbing jacket (old style).
Warm and safe seams to get the best reviews at the moment but most of my friends have Keis - I think mainly due to VFM - and are very happy with it.

Gerbing has all new upgraded kit out and I think this is the way I’ll go. They offer all a complete clothing package - jacket, under trousers, gloves and socks. It’s the socks that have swayed me - better than insoles I think.

They’re all pretty good these days - most even run off a battery when you’re off the bike. This is important for me as I don’t wear much with my heated gillet.
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Old 11 Nov 2019
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That is very helpful - thanks.

One quick question - do you have an idea of the power that they use - I would like to think that I am rufty tufty enough to cope with a little cold so wouldn't have to run the jacket and socks at full tilt the whole time - hopefully that would mean that my bike will be able to keep up in terms of power - it is an old BMW R80 that has a 280W alternator and I may have to factor in an upgraded charging system when putting the plan together.
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Old 11 Nov 2019
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Checkout the Gerbing site: https://www.gerbing.com/battery-harness-installation
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  #5  
Old 11 Nov 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
That is very helpful - thanks.

One quick question - do you have an idea of the power that they use - I would like to think that I am rufty tufty enough to cope with a little cold so wouldn't have to run the jacket and socks at full tilt the whole time - hopefully that would mean that my bike will be able to keep up in terms of power - it is an old BMW R80 that has a 280W alternator and I may have to factor in an upgraded charging system when putting the plan together.
As Tim says check the various manufacturers web sites ....... I believe that modern stuff doesn’t draw like it used to but check in case.
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  #6  
Old 11 Nov 2019
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I'm happy with the Gerbring kit I bought two years ago with the one exception that they are mean with cable lengths. They are fine in summer but I had to buy extension leads to get the controller outside my tank suit and waterproofs.

The CB500 alternator keeps up fine with jacket and gloves.

Andy
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  #7  
Old 12 Nov 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
I am putting together a plan to go to Nordcap in Norway next September / October to see the Northern Lights and don't want to freeze whilst doing it.
You don't need heated clothing, just a smart use of layers. When I was there last August, it was +6C at Nordkapp itself. September to October seems to be about the same in terms of average temperatures - but be careful, it's not impossible to get snow and ice that early in the season, especially if you are riding through inland Sweden or Finland. (The Norwegian coastline is warmer than one might think, because of the Gulfstream.)

I had a textile touring suit with the thermal lining, a softshell/fleece under it, and thermal underwear. And it was fine. The biggest problem was keeping my hands warm, and woolen glove liners under my moto gloves worked for that.
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Old 12 Nov 2019
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You don't need heated clothing....The biggest problem was keeping my hands warm....
Moose mitts for your hands. I don't even bring anything heavier than summer-weight gloves when I've got Moose Mitts. Don't bother with the cheap imitations.

I've never used heated clothing or grips, and I've survived so far. But I've got a practiced ability to absorb suffering, and I have gotten hypothermic--not to mention I've taken expensive hotel rooms of pure desperation to warm up and dry my gear.

What's convinced me not to bother with the plug-in clothing is that everyone I meet who uses it talks about how wonderful it is....or was, before this connector or that one failed. Last thing I need is one more potential point of failure to stress over.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
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  #9  
Old 12 Nov 2019
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FWIW, we don't - ever - travel without heated vests. When you're seriously cold, your BRAIN stops working well, long before noticeable hypothermia sets in, so you're NOT SAFE TO RIDE. Either stop, or buy a warm layer or three as needed, OR just plug in.

Heated vests are compact, have a bit of a layer effect even when not plugged in, and make a MASSIVE difference in pleasure on the road. What WAS unpleasant, is now just fine with a little heat. And personal preference matters too - Susan is usually on HIGH on the back behind me, and I'm on half or a quarter. We love the rheostat system that Warm'n'Safe uses - mines even a remote, and works a treat - I can mount it up front with just velcro, with no wires, and just dial in the heat I want.

Another important tidbit when people say "I was fine without...etc." is the question of a fairing vs naked bike.
HUGE difference to your upper body.
A Boxer twin vs a single - HUGE difference to your feet.
Hand protectors or not - HUGE difference to your need for a heated grip or gloves.

Personally, heated grips and a vest is fine. We've ridden in below freezing with that and, from the inside out, a light synthetic long sleeved undershirt, t-shirt, electric vest, heavy warm fleece layer, and riding jacket with waterpoof liner. Note that's on a faired bike, (both our R80G/S with handlebar fairing and 1200GSA with a smaller than standard screen), with hand guards.

Re failures - I've been using heated kit since 1981, and have never had a failure while riding. I've seen connectors fraying and fixed them BEFORE they fail, but even that is rare - in fact one was on a 30 year old vest!

BIG TIP: You WILL fail to remember you're plugged in, and get off the bike while connected, giving the connectors a big yank and stress! So when mounting the cable, make sure 15cm / 6" dangles freely, not fixed, so that when you get off the wire just straightens out and unplugs itself nicely.

Note that when new, the SAE connector many use is very tight, so keep the connector lubed with silicone so that it's easy to self-disconnect.The other type isn't usually an issue, but make sure it's easy.
hope that helps!
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  #10  
Old 13 Nov 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
That is very helpful - thanks.

One quick question - do you have an idea of the power that they use - I would like to think that I am rufty tufty enough to cope with a little cold so wouldn't have to run the jacket and socks at full tilt the whole time - hopefully that would mean that my bike will be able to keep up in terms of power - it is an old BMW R80 that has a 280W alternator and I may have to factor in an upgraded charging system when putting the plan together.

A 280W alternator is plenty if it's working as it should. I measured the current draw on my old Gerbing (as in I bought it a long time ago and still use it) and it was around 80W initially, dropping to around 65W as it warmed up. That's a full jacket with heat 'panels' at the front, back, down both arms and around the collar. Gloves and boot inserts run around 15W each and I've no idea about heated trousers as I've never used them.

I've also got a second jacket that has a much lower power requirement (about 20W) but only has panels at the front. That's nothing like as effective (as you'd expect) and often it's hard to tell if it's working or not. There's no doubt when you turn the Gerbing on - you can feel heat seeping in within a minute or so. I don't have a controller - they're either on or off.

My experience with using this stuff has been mixed. Firstly, I don't get on with electric gloves. I've had two pairs and thrown them both away. Fiddly to set up and uncomfortable to wear. Heated grips are much better (IMHO). I've only had one pair of boot insoles and the cabling drove me crazy. When the wiring broke in one 'foot'I didn't replace them. I've been wondering about more recent clip on battery powered ones but so far I've done nothing. Bizarrely I've found the jacket sometimes makes things worse on a long cold trip as the heat supply stops your body peripherals having to adapt to the cold. That might sound like b*llocks but I've been on a number of winter trips where the contrast between my warm(ish) core and freezing other bits has been hard to put up with. Without the jacket everything gets cold and you end up having to stop. That's on a naked bike. Add some wind protection and the equation changes. With decent wind protection I've done trips down to -10C wearing the jacket but not feeling the need to turn it on.

My rule of thumb (for dry + cold) with the jacket is to wear it over a shirt + thin jumper so the heat can get to you but you have some protection against 'hot spots'. I then wear a down jacket over the electric jacket to stop the heat escaping and my bike jacket over that.
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  #11  
Old 13 Nov 2019
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Given the replies and my current (no pun intended) bike being a naked BMW R80 with heated grips the route I think may be best suited to me is to fit some bark busters to give some wind protection for my hands. Then to add a heated jacket to give some warmth to my upper body. The engine will protect my feet. I may at some point fit a screen to reduce the wind chill / buffeting / noise.

The additional drain on the battery will be around 110W so should be achieveable - I would be interested to know if Grant fitted a higher output alternator to cope with normal running plus two sets of heated gear. If I have any doubts about too much current drain then that can be alleviated by fitting a higher output alternator - there is a 450W version that can be slotted straight in. I am fitting a voltmeter to keep a check on the battery.

I have no doubt that I will, at least for the first year or three, get off the bike without unplugging a high proportion of the time so I will be making sure that I can unplug without damaging the wiring.
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Old 13 Nov 2019
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I'm gonna eat my earlier words a little bit here... went on Amazon and looked at prices. I can get a heated vest for ~40-50 euros and it's even USB-powered, so I can just wear it as an underlayer and plug it into a powerbank in my pocket when necessary without mods to the bike.

At that price and ease of use, definitely worth it.
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  #13  
Old 13 Nov 2019
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USB 2 is rated at 2.5W. The Gerbring jacket is 110W. My 90's home made one was 60W. USB3 100W when controlled.

Won't this be like trying to heat your house with a light bulb? The only thing likely to warm you up is the cable catching fire?

Andy
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Old 14 Nov 2019
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I don't know. But it's a quarter of the price of a Gerbing, so it's probably worth trying, and returning to Amazon if it doesn't work.
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  #15  
Old 15 Nov 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
Given the replies and my current (no pun intended) bike being a naked BMW R80 with heated grips the route I think may be best suited to me is to fit some bark busters to give some wind protection for my hands. Then to add a heated jacket to give some warmth to my upper body. The engine will protect my feet. I may at some point fit a screen to reduce the wind chill / buffeting / noise.
That's what I ran for many years, worked a treat, especially with a screen. NOTE - without heated grips!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
The additional drain on the battery will be around 110W so should be achieveable - I would be interested to know if Grant fitted a higher output alternator to cope with normal running plus two sets of heated gear. If I have any doubts about too much current drain then that can be alleviated by fitting a higher output alternator - there is a 450W version that can be slotted straight in. I am fitting a voltmeter to keep a check on the battery.
We ran stock 280w setup for years, had no issues unless both of us were running on full on 80w high beam for a long time, then the battery WOULD go down - I had a battery strength led indicator light to help with that. I DID after the trip fit a high output alternator after the trip, from Motorrad Elektrik. NO issue with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
I have no doubt that I will, at least for the first year or three, get off the bike without unplugging a high proportion of the time so I will be making sure that I can unplug without damaging the wiring.
...or for the first 30 years or more... DAMHIK!
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