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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia, on a kinetic green 2019 FLTRX
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HEATED winter gear: battery or plug-in?

Most of you might be about to enjoy some summer riding at last, but down here - well, in the far southeast of Aussie where I live - the temperature will be in the 40s soon for my 50-mile night ride home from work.

Looking at heated clothing for the first time in 40 years of riding, now that I finally have a bike that is year-round. I am well aware of the brands, and of Gordon's Heated vs Gerbing history. I know the options.

I am sure that they all work pretty well.

The idea of going cordless really appeals to me. Don't like the idea of something I am wearing being plugged into bike battery, to be honest. and the thought of having wires potentially snagging/slapping paint etc is a drawback at this early stage. Though of course, I do own a bike now that has a 12V cig-lighter style plug at left of fairing, and USB at right glovebox.... am I over-thinking this?

Venture website seems to indicate hi-tech cordless with battery packs. I do like the sound of that. I would like to buy USA-made (nothing made down here) from Gordon's, but their products are all battery hook-up.

Pros and cons from those who use this stuff? Thank you.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 06:01 AM
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Riding in Wisconsin 40 degrees would be a warm day. If you are only riding short trips the battery pack type may work for you. They do not really hold charge all that long. Also if you use them and then put them away for a long time the batteries go down hill they do not last.
Long term and most effective will be wire ones. Like all things there is a learning curve . Where to clip on the controls that works for you. Where to run the hook ups. My gloves the wires run down the sleeve and get attached at he cuff some they stay up. I use the HD control that straps to my leg easy to adjust and come right off when I want it off.
For a power point run it direct from battery fused.. The stuff is not cheap but if you look long term it is not bad. A Hd heated gloves lasted 11 years of hard use. Glove liners work well for some also. To work well any heated gear gloves ,liners vest need to fit snug.
Be warned a once great company Gerbing was sold out years ago, those that purchased it do not run it as the family did. The family latter started over as Gordon's and made the new company what the old one was.
IMO you much better off spending your money with Gordon's.
Snowmobile does work but is often bulky and watch out for 6 volt stuff. Warm hands make for a better ride in cooler weather.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:33 AM
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I use plug in's and agree with gordon. I keep my control in front pocket. I very seldom need to change my settings.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 11:24 AM
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I use the battery tender plug in under the left cover. Keeps the cord shorter while riding. Bike power stuff is warmer than cordless stuff.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 11:40 AM
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I just got back from Maggie Valley NC and when we started our trip in Ontario Canada it was 42F
I plugged my heated vest into the cigarette lighter and all went well and I was glad I had it.
Its been one of my best investments as I’ve had it a few years now.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 11:50 AM
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I just have gloves that are heated. Battery lasts more than 6 hours, works fine for me.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:03 PM
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My opinion is to use corded hookup to your jacket/vest and wireless remote control for comfort and convenience. Jacket vs vest, I find my jacket keeps helps keep my hands warmer than using vests.

I use a company called First Gear, not as well known as Gerbings or Gordon and they did have some growing pains when they were first introduced. I use a close fitting lightweight heated jacket and gauntlet type heated gloves. The jacket fits under my riding gear just fine and the gloves make all the difference in the world to my hands with my poor circulation (diabetes). The wireless remote allows me to control the temp setting of my hands and jacket separately and I have it in a little leather case with a spring clip belt type holder. I clip it to the upper fairing vent, stays there while riding and easy to reach to adjust the settings for my hands and jacket. Having a wireless controller makes for much easier "on the go" adjustments instead of fumbling with a fixed controller at your waist, trying to see it and what setting it is on. The jacket is pre-wired with the heating zones and for the connections to the gloves. All wire connections can be concealed in zippered compartments so the jacket can be worn without cords dangling everywhere. I find that using the heated gear allows me to wear less bulky layers and use the outer shell of my riding gear to keep out the wind and moisture.

Do not use the battery tender pigtail and an adapter to power your heated gear, the wiring is too light gauge to handle the power demands of heated gear.

Buy the proprietary battery harness connection for the brand that you choose and use it to power your heated gear, you can usually get an adapter back to the battery tender pigtail if you need to charge your bike for prolonged periods of time. The proprietary battery harnesses are cheap, its the wireless remote controls that will set you back a few bucks.

The drawback for battery powered gear is the hassle of charging frequently and weight of the battery pack. In your case, you will be using it all the time, and you don't want the battery to die half way home on that 50 mile commute. That battery pack always seems to hang somewhere in a pocket and makes the fit of the garment more uncomfortable for me. Good quality battery powered heated gear will cost just as much or in some cases more.

Invest in good gear, battery or corded, and it will last you much longer.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great and informed answers, guys.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:40 PM
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I've done both, battery was really handy for staying warm off the bike. Riding to cold touring sites in Colorado (can be cold in August) means getting off the bike and taking a walk sometimes. If you're plugged in, that warmth goes away fast when you dismount. However on long rides (I did all 48 lower a few years ago) there's just no comparison to the warmth and endurance that plug-powered heated gear give over the long hours on the road. That said, don't get a blue-tooth or wireless controller. Those things die before the heated gear does then you're hosed no matter which way you go.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:04 PM
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I haven't used either type and hope not to need them, but I do have a question. A couple of you have mentioned that the negative for the battery type s that you could run out of juice on your way home. If Dave is typically riding an hour each way, certainly that shoudn't be a problem. I would think that you should get 6+ hours out of a charge. Can someone weigh in here with their actual experience with the battery life hours per charge?

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