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Thread: Heated Gear

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Tampa, Florida

    Heated Gear

    I'm thinking about buying a heated jacket liner and am debating between a vest and liner with sleeves. I live in Florida and wouldn't need it except possibly a couple of times during the winter season. However, I've started taking some longer trips through the Carolina's, Tennessee, Michigan, etc. I'm thinking the heated liner would be nice riding through the mountains and when the temperature drops. Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Bob, MOA#143234
    2014 R1200RT

  2. #2
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Sheboygan, WI


    PM coming.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  3. #3
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Silver City, Montana
    I typically advise people to get a jacket and not a vest. Being able to warm the arms makes a big difference on a cold day and many vest buyers end up eventually getting a jacket. However, given where you are, a vest may work just fine for you and the smaller size to stow will be an important benefit. I can imagine you will start rides wearing the vest and by the end of the ride it will be warm enough to take it off.

    When I lived in Fairbanks I had the occasion to attend a conference in St. Petersburg one September. As I recall, it was getting into the 70s every day with overnite lows in the 50s. There were days during my visit when the temperature differential between my home in Alaska and the hotel I was at in Florida exceeded 100 degrees. On my way to the airport on the Saturday I departed I stopped at BMW of Tampa to look around. It was around 9:00 AM and a group of riders were assembling at the dealership for a ride. These guys had on Hippo Hands, balaclavas, and other cold weather gear that made them look like they were preparing for their final assault on the summit of Mount Everest. I guess cold is what you are used to.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  4. #4
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    I have a Widder vest with arm chaps. It is an old vest but it still works very well.
    IMHO that is all about you need here in Florida but it depends on your personal comfort level and how your body reacts to cold.
    To me warm feet, head and hands are the best way to stay warm but that is just me. I'd get the jacket too as I don't think that vests are available with the add-on arms anymore...
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2017 R1200RT White
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA

  5. #5
    Jacket liner. It's not even a contest.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Absolutely the full jacket liner. It also gives you the option of connecting gloves later, without any "extra" wiring.
    As your riding progresses to longer trips, you'll really appreciate that, regardless of the season: higher elevations are colder, and bad weather can happen ANY time of year.

  7. #7
    Registered User beemermyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Richmond Hill, Georgia
    I've had two different models of the Gerbings heated liner and they've been great. I replaced the original with the "microwire" design because it heats up faster. If you were to buy a Gerbings, get the heat controller (rheostat) as well because you'll start to cook in it if you can't regulate the temp!
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2016 R1200GSW

  8. #8
    Warm and Safe is an excellent product.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  9. #9
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    Initially bought a vest. Used it for one season before picking a Gerbings full jacket liner. In my case, my arms always get cold before my torso.
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders #298 & Knights of the Roundel #333

    2018 Volunteer Committee Chair

  10. #10
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    God bless Gordon Gerbing! After selling his company he is now, he is now back in business as Gordon's Heating Clothing (check name on Google) but it is not the old name of "Gerbings" which IMHO went downhill in terms of quality after the change in ownership. I agree with Mr Glaves that Warm N Safe is also quality gear.

    Ride fast safely

  11. #11
    Registered User mylanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Cape Elizabeth, ME

    My Vest Works Just Fine Down to 22 Degrees!

    Another question of personal preference . . . I've ridden in New England for prolonged trips down to 22 degrees using a vest and have been quite comfortable having donned appropriate layers.
    2012 F650GS

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    southwest Michigan
    FYI I saw a Gerbing jacket for sale on the marketplace
    Winter is coming

  13. #13
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Central Maine
    Tolerance to cold is a VERY personal thing, having grown up in Maine I've can tolerate cold reasonably well compared to those raised or living in the south, but wouldn't think of riding in spring or fall without added heat, it's been my experience that when I get cold my concentration level decrease's a noticeable amount. That said, I've had a Widder electric vest for just shy of 30 years. My wife bought me some arm chaps to go with it about 25 years ago and the thing keeps me plenty warm in temps down into the teens with properly layered clothing. The Widder was a quality product, sadly the closed when the owner was ready to retire and couldn't find a buyer. NOS vests can still be found at some rally's with some older vendors. If I was to purchase now, I'd do as others suggested, go for a quality full upper body liner and probably spring for a quality temperature controller as well. Layers are important with heated gear, the closer to your body, the more effective the heat. I will typically wear a merino wool long sleeve turtle neck and put the vest on over that, then a fleece layer then my riding jacket with thermal liner and waterproof/windproof liner. That combination will keep me riding all day in comfort down into the teens. It's also been my experience that heated grips and good goretex gloves are a must in those temperatures. Lower body and feet are another thing altogether. I know people who's feet freeze in what I consider reasonable temperatures, you'll need to assess your tolerance and find suitable products should you encounter an issue. Personally, I've had good luck with merino wool long johns and a quality pair of insulated riding pants with integral Gortex liner.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  14. #14
    I was raised in North Dakota. Moved to Iowa. Moved to Kansas. Moved to Texas, 30 miles from Mexico. I know cold. I know warmer. I like warmer. You guys in ND, MN, SD, WI, IA, and the entire North East have both my admiration and my sympathy. I don't have to live there anymore; thank goodness!!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  15. #15
    Registered User GotFog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Defiance, MO
    It seems odd that snowmobile riders tolerate far more serious cold than the average motorcycle rider ever will. Yet both ride fairly similar open cockpit style machines. The chasm between the two is not as wide as first seems. I think the gap is closing rapidly and once the cold mindset is broken, a whole new avenue to explore opens. I personally love riding cold weather. Appropriate gear and mindset is all it takes.

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