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Thread: heated gear test ride

  1. #1

    heated gear test ride

    hey all, in case anybody is interested, i took a 70-mile test ride in the low 40s (fahrenheit), cloudy, not much wind, in order to test my heated jacket liner. backroads mainly, but sometimes higher-speed two-lanes. my bike is a naked classic airhead, so there was no wind protection at all. here's a summary of my perceptions, including not just the heated gear:

    gear:

    1) olympia AST jacket with gerbing heated liner instead of the olympia liner. mid-weight merino-wool long-sleeve undershirt as base layer.

    2) gerbing T-5 heated gloves.

    3) olympia ranger pants (with liner removed) over levi jeans.

    4) alpinestars ridge boots with mid-weight wool socks.

    5) nolan N-104 modular helmet.


    even with the jacket heat on full, my chest and arms got chilly at times, especially on the fast, exposed (windy) roads. the jacket leaks enough air here and there to not be totally wind-proof. but i could move around so as to bring the heated liner closer to my skin and that helped. without the heated liner i would have been miserable. so far, i'm not happy with my purchase of this jacket, which was intended solely as an outer shell over gerbings for winter riding (i have rev'it tornado for the spring, summer and fall). today i'll try again, this time with a thin merino-wool long-sleeve undershirt under the mid-weight wool base layer.

    the gloves worked. interestingly, my hands never really felt "warm", they just never got chilled at all. i have heard this same experience from other people on heated glove reviews. i turned them off at one point just to see if i could tell the difference and within seconds my hands got cold. i turned them back on and my hands were comfortable again.

    my legs got kind of chilled but not too much. today i am going back out with the liners in, we'll see if that makes another difference. also today i'll be wearing flannel-lined jeans.

    boots: comme ci, comme ca. my feet never really got cold, so that's a good thing.

    helmet: this i where i was really bummed. i've noticed that i get cold drafts against my cheeks, right above my molars and below the outer ends of my eyes. i think it's because my helmet is modular. i just ordered a neck warmer from revzilla so we'll try that out next week. it's the kind that you can pull up and over your jaw.

    that's it for now. i'll post a reply if i can carve some time (i'm working from home) to get out for 30 - 60 minutes today with pants liner and thin wool undershirt added.

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Those boxer cylinders make pretty nice foot warmers for sure. If they're Nikasil, even moreso.

    I'm pretty susceptable to "monkey butt" on longer rides and have noted in the past that heated pant liners accelerated onset of this for me. This was before discovery of LD Comfort shorts, however, so maybe I should try again. Since then, however, I now have a bike with a heated seat.

    Most of my winter riding has been in the same suit I ride in the summer, i.e. a BMW Airflow. In winter this means Gerbing underneath and the rainsuit over it to stop the airflow. This has worked fine, although lots of zipping.

    I do have what I call a "coat style" suit, i.e. BMW Savanna, and am not convinced that the more form fitting nature of the Airflow isn't actually better for chilly riding. I can at least zip the Savanna coat and pants together like I always do the Airflow, but I'm not always so inclined as it's more difficult to accomplish. But, I think this might help with drafts, which I think the coat style might actually be more susceptable to. FWIW the new-technology C-Change liner fits the previous generation Savanna perfectly and brings some heat control as well as waterproofing--the original just Gore-Tex liner mostly only the latter.

    PS: to me, "coat style" means the bottom of the jacket is at thighs. On the Airflow, bottom of jacket is at waist, like 2-piece leathers. I'm not sure what the benefits of coat style actually are (other than maybe pockets), but it's for sure the stereotypic uniform for a GS rider. I'm not much of a GS guy, so learning may be deficient.

    PPS: When talk comes to fairings, most of it seems to be about windshields. The true value of a fairing IMHO is however protection of the chest and lower body from wind effects. Keeping warm during winter riding on a "naked" bike is a tall order for sure.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    i went back out today with the pants liners in, flannel-lined jeans, and i added the olympia jacket liner to the setup (gerbing liner closest to my base layers).

    it made all the difference in the world, although i felt like the michelin man with the jackets and two liners.

    my next bike will definitely be an R100Rs or RT.

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  4. #4
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwicky View Post
    ............. (gerbing liner closest to my base layers).

    it made all the difference in the world,

    -eric
    I've found this to be a most effective solution as well, the closer the heat source is to my skin the better. I will typically put on a very light long sleeve tee, widder vest with arm chaps, mid weight layer either fleece or merino wool, and my jacket. Micheline man, you betcha but still comfortable and motion not restricted to the point of it being unsafe. I have a Motoport ultra 2 with zip in wind/water proof and thermal liners (which I love, best jacket Ive owned). I've also found that windproofing is a must either with gortex/aerotex, or rain gear, probably the single most important feature to increase the effecience of the heated gear. An Aerostitch wind triangle up high under my chin seals the neck area well in my case. Couple of folded paper towels lets me keep the wind vents open and not freeze my bald head and still keep ventilation sufficient to reduce fogging. Glad you found a solution that works for you.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ezwicky View Post
    but i could move around so as to bring the heated liner closer to my skin and that helped.
    That may be part of your problem. The liner should be tight enough that it is always close to your skin. Moving around shouldn't make any difference.

    My typical winter riding gear is long sleeve, zip turtleneck undershirt, shirt, older warm-n-safe heated liner, Darien wind blocker liner, and Darien Light shell. That keeps me warm in any temperature I care to ride the bike. I don't usually bother turning the heated liner on until the temperature gets to around 50. I've got the liner controller turned maybe 1/3 when riding in the 40s on my GS.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    That may be part of your problem. The liner should be tight enough that it is always close to your skin. Moving around shouldn't make any difference.
    i tried the next-smaller one and it was too tight and the sleeves were too short. i think i am understanding now that i can't just have the liner under an outer jacket, and that i need to layer better.

    but i could have accomplished this already with the rev'it tornado jacket and pants i already have.... i got the AST specifically as an outer jacket that i could remove the liner from and substitute the gerbing, but now i see that won't work. so i shelled out the bucks for the AST needlessly.

    well, there's always ebay, or i could keep it for the times my wife might ride on the back with me in the warmer seasons.

    thank,

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    A windshield would do more for your comfort than any single addition of clothing, provided you are not opposed to riding with a windshield. The loss of heat by convection is severe when riding in low temps with cold air flowing across the body even at 50 mph. Preventing the air from hitting you directly will the biggest single improvement that could be made.

  8. #8
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Ezwicky, you are on the right track. Every bike and every body is different. Just keep experimenting until you find a combination of gear that is right for you.

    I have a Rev'it Sand suit that I wear under all conditions. BOTTOM HALF: jockey shorts, light synthetic long underwear, thermal liner, rain liner (cold weather, 55F or less.) In warm weather I substitute light trousers for the long underwear and remove the thermal liner but keep the rain liner in. I find these layers actually keep my legs COOLER in hot weather - the air between these layers insulates my legs from engine and road heat. TOP HALF: (cold weather, 55F or less) thin synthetic long sleeve shirt, Gerbings jacket, rain liner in. For me on my bike, I'm comfortable to 50F without turning on the heat. Below that, I need the heat, and I find a variable control for amount of heat essential. If you think you need another layer, maybe a sweater, be sure to put it OVER the heated jacket. You want to keep that electric heat close to your body, not away from it.

    I too have Gerbing electric gloves but don't like the control feel and find I do pretty well until close to freezing with thin (and cheap) glove liners in my Held Warm'n Dry gloves - not cheap. Again, my hands and mirrors that partly protect them.

    There are many "under helmet" options to keep that cold wind on your neck away. I have a thin balaclava thingy which works well - but only when installed exactly right. Otherwise a seam presses into my skull and gives me a bad headache in a half hour of riding. And I still have not figured out the perfect socks for my BMW Allround boots.

    As I said at the beginning, keep experimenting to find the gear that keeps you comfortable over a fairly wide range of temperatures, so you can turn on/off heat and maybe zip/ unzip while riding rather than having to stop to add/remove garments under your outer riding gear. When you find the right combination for you, WRITE IT DOWN IN THE ORDER YOU HAVE TO DON THE GEAR. It is a real piss off to have made your personal "best gear" discovery - and then not be able to remember what it was, or the order in which you put it on! While I have no intention of joining them, I can understand the mindset of the perfect day riders who prefer NONE OF THE GEAR.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  9. #9
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    I recently switched from Gerbing to Warm and Safe pant liner. I bought the windblock liner. First, they actually fit like they should - not baggy like the kids like to wear their pants these days, and the Gerbing fit me.

    My first test of the W&S liner left me a bit skeptical they'd be warm enough. Temps were in the 50s for a short ride. Kept me warm but I was used to the uneven heat of the Gerbing and wasn't feeling the hot spots. Then I rode to Dallas, leaving Clovis at 29 degrees. I was surprised that the pant liner worked as well as it did. When I was looking, Mike Coan replied to my email asking about the wind block - he said it was the best option so that's what I got. They do work well.

    Now I'm awaiting the wind block jacket liner to try. My preference is the wear LDComforts, heated gear and my Stitch. Not a fan of bundling if I can avoid it because I don't like the restriction of movement when I layer.

    YO - W&S - YOU LISTENING???
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    Steve Aikens, Clovis, NM
    BMW MOA #6218
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  10. #10
    Registered User dbaliko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwicky View Post
    i tried the next-smaller one and it was too tight and the sleeves were too short. i think i am understanding now that i can't just have the liner under an outer jacket, and that i need to layer better.

    but i could have accomplished this already with the rev'it tornado jacket and pants i already have.... i got the AST specifically as an outer jacket that i could remove the liner from and substitute the gerbing, but now i see that won't work. so i shelled out the bucks for the AST needlessly.

    well, there's always ebay, or i could keep it for the times my wife might ride on the back with me in the warmer seasons.

    thank,

    -eric
    Eric,
    I have used the set-up you describe, Olympia AST with Gerbings jacket liner, without any problems in temps in the 30's. I usually wear a long sleeve mock turtleneck under the Gerbings. The Gerbings can't be loose and should be relatively snug. They make tall versions of almost every size that gives you plenty of sleeve length.

    Doug
    Doug
    '12 R1200RT - The Green Machine
    '07 R1200RT - (sold)

  11. #11
    Nick Kennedy
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    Hi Gents
    The weekend before Thanksgiving I went on a 3 day 1000 mile loop from Santa Rosa Ca north up to 101 to Willow Ck to Happy camp to Yreka, Hornbrook Ca and back down the 3 to Fortuna and the lost coast, Cape Mendocino, and down the 101 to the 1 to Jenner and Santa Rosa.
    Leaving Hornbrook Ca in the morning it was 18f. Cold for sure.
    Riding a K 75Rt with a Tourmaster heated jacket liner, and really layered up; it was OK.
    On my lower I had a ski duofold undies, carhartt pants, Tourmaster wind proof riding pants
    On my upper a Long Sleeve cotton t shirt, heated liner, Tourmaster Riding jacket
    I put on a rainsuit over everything
    On the inside of my full face Multitec I wiped on some dish soap and that really helped with the fogging due to the low temps.
    Luckily I have really warm hands and just used my ski gloves
    What a Ride!
    Sunny, no wind, no traffic and no cops!
    That Tourmaster heated jacket liner comes with a 4 position controller included in the price of about $220.00
    There is also a thermostat in the liner that works great.
    I give that Tourmaster stuff a thumbs up, it just seems to fit my body and it holds up
    Nick Kennedy

  12. #12
    I have a Gerbing jacket liner and the T-5 gloves. My first trial was in 19F weather. Clothing was a long sleeved shirt, with the jacket liner over it. On top of this was layered an insulated pair of Stone Lake leather overalls and a real, genuine, actual leather jacket over that. Helmet was a Shoei X-Eleven with Pin-Lock.
    The ride was around 82 miles at speeds mostly around 65-75mph. When I stopped, I could barely feel my feet, my legs were cold, but the rest of me was nice and warm. The dual controller allowed me to crank up the heat in the gloves and my hands didn't get cold until I turned off the power in the parking lot.
    Every other ride has been just like that first one as far as the heated gear goes. I don't think much more is needed than to cover the jacket liner with a truly windproof layer. Every jacket I've used has been leather with an absence of mesh.
    As an aside, when I entered the diner during that first ride, everyone in the place grew silent and just stared at me as I walked to a table. A waitress then came running up, handed me a cup of hot coffee and exclaimed "we saw you getting off that motorcycle, you idiot, and we figured you could use this...it's on the house, honey."
    Last edited by RogerWilco; 12-14-2013 at 03:15 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #13
    It's been my experience that blocking the wind is essential to staying warm with heated gear. I was using a mesh jacket with the rain liner in which worked okay. But putting my FrogTog's rain suit on top of it really made it toasty. Just bought a Tour Master Transitions 3 jacket which I'm looking forward to trying.

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