Heated Vest? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Heated Vest?

It's that time of year again, trying to squeeze in a few more fall rides.

A friend hooked me up with the wiring he still had from an old Versys he sold and lent me his Aerostich vest.

Vest/jacket is going on my Christmas list so I'm looking for reviews.

At a slim built 6'-4" I'm not sure I'm going to get the sleeves of any jacket to fit right so I may have to stick with a vest.

What is everyone using, likes, dislikes?

Also, where are you mounting the plug on the bike, right now I have mine on the left side of the seat, where the lowest post of the seat meets the side plastic.

Thanks,

Mitch
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 11:20 AM
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Have a Widder (now out of business) vest. Works well with my Roadcrafter down to freezing. I have the semi-factory set-up under the left plastic.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 05:22 PM
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Just saw at home depot that milwaukee makes a jacket and hoodie that run off their mini rechargables, and have pocket wiring for charging phones and whatnot

Got me interested as i already have rechargable gloves. Idk if id ever go the route of wiring to the bike
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 02:16 PM
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I've had a couple of Gerbings jacket liners, and First Gear & Warm n Safe heated gloves. I bring up the latter as a reason to consider a heated jacket liner: easier to get power to your gloves. Connecting them to the jacket sleeves is much nicer than connecting them via a long y-cable.

Both Gerbings and Warm n Safe have outstanding customer support.

If I didn't have a Gerbings liner I'd consider the waterproof Warm n Safe liner. I think the Warm n Safe is uninsulated, allowing it to be comfortable in warmer weather than the Gerbings. Not sure since I haven't used one. OTOH it could mean wearing a layer over it, or using more power on the coldest days.

Gerbings jacket liners come in chest size & length, increasing the chance of finding one to fit you.
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 06:02 PM
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I have a Gerbings jacket liner which works okay but myself I wouldn't order from them again. Twice over the last year or two I have e-mailed for some technical information and never heard back either time. Warm 'n Safe I have heard good things about and when I e-mailed them for some info I heard back within a few hours, to me anyways that makes the difference.

2013 Versys1000
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 11:01 PM
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$85, with battery and charger. Site says it stays warm up to 10 hours, and max heat output is 135F. Just ordered it tonight, will post an update once I get it.

http://www.mobilewarminggear.com/men...d-fleece-vest/

'09 Versys
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jmason View Post
$85, with battery and charger. Site says it stays warm up to 10 hours, and max heat output is 135F. Just ordered it tonight, will post an update once I get it.

http://www.mobilewarminggear.com/men...d-fleece-vest/
Look at the battery capacity of that one. It doesn't translate into much power for long.

I haven't seen any battery powered units that are well suited to motorcycle use, though some people use them--and maybe they're fine for short rides in the cold. Maybe with enough insulation over it you'd be comfortable running it on low power? And they do sell a bigger battery--it's still not much, though you could take multiple batteries, and charge one on the bike.

It's better to get a plug-in unit for riding.
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by davidg View Post
Look at the battery capacity of that one. It doesn't translate into much power for long.

I haven't seen any battery powered units that are well suited to motorcycle use, though some people use them--and maybe they're fine for short rides in the cold. Maybe with enough insulation over it you'd be comfortable running it on low power? And they do sell a bigger battery--it's still not much, though you could take multiple batteries, and charge one on the bike.

It's better to get a plug-in unit for riding.
Thanks for pointing out the battery limitations.

This would be used mainly for shorter rides, my commute to work is generally 30 minutes or less, and weekend rides of 1-2 hours outside the Denver area.

'09 Versys
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 11:13 AM
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I have the Gerbings vest and gloves and have a hard time recommending them. When they work they are great but I've had several issues with them.

First off the gloves. This may be a personal issue but I had a hard time finding a pair that fit me well. I wear a large in most glove brands (Held, RevIT) but the medium Gerbings are too big and the small too small. I went with the medium but I can easily wear a liner underneath them. They also do not get as warm as I would like. They are warm enough that I've never got cold but you don't really feel the heat. This is probably the ideal setting but my hands are also tucked inside Hippo Hands and I'm not crossing any mountain passes. I doubt they would be warm enough if my hands were open to the elements in foul weather. But this might be a side effect of them not fitting so well on me?

The vest on the other hand can cook me. It warms up very quickly and I typically have it on a pretty low setting. Even without it turned on it does a great job (maybe too well) of keeping your body heat against your body. There is sometimes a delicate balancing act of when to wear it as it's easy to overheat just by having it on.

My real problem is I have had two electrical faults with the vest in a couple of years and I wouldn't say I've worn them a whole lot or put them through abuse. Twice now the wire in the vest that provides power to the gloves has broken. I have sent it off for repair once and the good news was the turnaround was fast (maybe 10 days door to door? Can't remember now). Bad news there was no visibility at all on the process. I mailed them off and there was no communication from Gerbings at all. I only knew they received them due to USPS tracking. I had no idea what the status was and was just about to call them for an update when they arrived back at my door. Vest worked fine for about 3 months and now I have the same problem again. Will need to send them off before winter gets here.

Talking to friends who have Gerbings you either have no problems and love them or like me, have continued problems. If I was starting out all over again I would try a different brand.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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This is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for, keep the reviews coming.

Thanks,

Mitch
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by alba View Post
Talking to friends who have Gerbings you either have no problems and love them or like me, have continued problems.
I'm in both camps.

I had failure of power to the gloves in my jacket liner a few times. I sent them off to be repaired and got quick turnaround. The last time I looked closely to see what was wrong, and the wire failed at the base of the glove connector inside the insulation. It appeared to me the strain-relief was too stiff to protect the wire from sharp bends when you tuck it under your glove gauntlet.

The current models use a better cable, and I do not expect such failures again. Also making sure the wire isn't kinked at the base of the connector when you tuck it into the glove gauntlet might help. FWIW my long y-cable also seems to have better strain relief than the old jacket, and treated the same way it never failed. I think that's also a Gerbings product.

The company has changed hands a couple of times. They still give me great customer service, and they're making a better product now.
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 03:21 PM
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... the wire failed at the base of the glove connector inside the insulation. It appeared to me the strain-relief was too stiff to protect the wire from sharp bends when you tuck it under your glove gauntlet.
That was definitely the problem I had first time round. Not sure what broke this time. Glad to hear they are improving though. Heated gear is fantastic when it works
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Slow-Steady View Post
It's that time of year again, trying to squeeze in a few more fall rides.

A friend hooked me up with the wiring he still had from an old Versys he sold and lent me his Aerostich vest.

Vest/jacket is going on my Christmas list so I'm looking for reviews.

At a slim built 6'-4" I'm not sure I'm going to get the sleeves of any jacket to fit right so I may have to stick with a vest.

What is everyone using, likes, dislikes?

Also, where are you mounting the plug on the bike, right now I have mine on the left side of the seat, where the lowest post of the seat meets the side plastic.

Thanks,

Mitch
Recommend a jacket liner with heated collar over vest liner as they are more versatile and much warmer. Also you can replace your regular liner with a jacket liner where as you can really only supplement your existing liner with a heated vest liner. You'll want heated hands if you are riding in cold enough temps to use a heated liner so also consider heated gloves. No need for heated pants but textile motorcycle pants are essential in cold temps. Jeans even with a base layer are not windproof and just not warm enough IMO

Gerbings lifetime warranty is worth the cost IMO as the connectors can fail with use.

Last edited by twowheels; 09-16-2014 at 04:27 PM.
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 10:29 AM
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Whatever you do, get the 12V type that plugs into the bike electrical system.
Get the jacket. We first went the vest route.... GET THE JACKET.

For what it's worth - ALL heated gear will have problems, sooner or later. Keep your receipts. If it comes with a registration card, then make sure to register your product. Read the return policy. Typically, you must return it to your place of purchase. In our case, we had purchased a set from motorcyclegear.com. I called them and they sent me a pre-paid shipper and I had a new jacket within a week. No muss, no fuss. I'm sure that other vendors do the same thing.

We currently have the Warm-n-safe AND the Tourmaster sets. The Warm-n-safe has a little bit of insulation but not worth mentioning. The Tourmaster has some gee-wiz thin insulation that really works, and is our favorite gear. Of course, the Warm-n-safe stuff is no slouch. Their controllers are much more heavy duty than the Tourmaster.

One big thing is to wear the jacket over just a t-shirt. The closer to the skin, the better. Also, there's a huge difference in performance.... the tighter it fits to your body, the better it works. They are all like this. If it's a little loose, you could put a thin jacket or hoodie or whatever over the heated jacket to take up the room between your over-jacket. Note that the heated jackets don't work well all by themselves. Having a jacket over it makes a lot of difference in the performance. The tighter they are to your body - the better they work.

Gloves: Note that they don't heat the underside of the fingers or the majority of the palms. Think heated grips if you are going to be out in cold weather for extended periods of time.

Last edited by kballowe; 09-18-2014 at 10:36 AM.
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 06:11 PM
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I have two Tourmaster Synergy heated jacket-liners. The NEW ones come w/ a controller that has FIVE positions for heat, while the early ones had OFF, LO, MED and HI. MUCH better w/ the 5 levels!

They REALLY take the edge off when riding in rain, UNDER your rain-gear of course...!

- -

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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I have two Tourmaster Synergy heated jacket-liners. The NEW ones come w/ a controller that has FIVE positions for heat, while the early ones had OFF, LO, MED and HI. MUCH better w/ the 5 levels!

They REALLY take the edge off when riding in rain, UNDER your rain-gear of course...!

- -
We have those - plus the Tourmaster heated gloves. Freezeout head covering, heavy fleece longjohns and leather chaps.

Two years ago we left Galveston @ 37 degrees and rode 550 miles in heavy overcast. High temp for the day was 42 degrees.

Yeah, heated gear is the best thing since sliced bread.
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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 03:54 PM
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Heated gear

Check out Cycle Gear!! They sell both a Sedcici vest and jacket liner for cheap? With a quality waterproof controller and necessary electrical hookups for under $120.00. I've had, my jacket liner setup 4 more than 2 yrs and am very pleased. 4 heat settings max eats ~ 8 amps and will positively burn you up above 50' high gets 6 amp and cozy til 40' ,med 4 amps, low 2 amps. I been riding with Widder, tourmaster, firstgear for many yrs this setup is far better than all the former! and yes I do recommend the jacket liner as warmth in the arms is most welcome. The only setup that has never failed at the worst moment and left me bone COLD... Burr... I highly give 5 ***** and available in various sizing HINT you want a snug fit for best heat and wear a thin long sleeve undergargent.

Lean/Two
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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 04:11 PM
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Heated Gear

And P. S. buy a short coaxial extension cord and Velcro the controller on the side "pod" as I've found that trying to look for the controller at speed is dangerous!!!

Lean/Two
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
Have a Widder (now out of business) vest. Works well with my Roadcrafter down to freezing. I have the semi-factory set-up under the left plastic.
I've had a widder vest/controller since about 2001.. and it's been balled up and stuffed in many different bags over the years and keeps on working! If it crapped out I'd probably get one with sleeves. On the other hand the smaller draw of the vest still works on my DR-with very little extra power and doesn't kill the battery.

sleeves or no, it's a huge improvement over freezing your butt off.
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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by oaklandopen View Post
Just saw at home depot that milwaukee makes a jacket and hoodie that run off their mini rechargables, and have pocket wiring for charging phones and whatnot

Got me interested as i already have rechargable gloves. Idk if id ever go the route of wiring to the bike
I'd like to hear more about those gloves.
(I hope this is not too blatant a hi-jack )
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