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Discussion Starter #1
Just ordered a Widder electric vest with collar (System II) and gloves. Should have them in time for next Sunday's ride! :D

Our local dealer gave me a 20% discount 'cause I ride with the informal group they started this summer. They also figure they can rig the wires to the battery with just a small notch in the glove box (probably along the side edge).

Can't wait! A bunch of us want to keep riding as long as possible this winter (and early spring). 8)

Bryna
 

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Byrna,

Great! You can let us know how the new Widder gear works out.

Did you get a thermostat control, or just the on/off switch?

(I used to use the on/off switch with my older Widder gear but I have a thermostat control with my Gerbing setup...)
 

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Sounds like that "cold weather riding" could be fun, may have to try it some day. :lol:

Sorry, just could not resist
 

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Cold-weather riding R me.

As "mad" bikers who have been out in -4 degree conditions, the addition, two weeks ago, of Widder vests, with collars, has added a whole new dimension to cold weather riding - being warm without layers of clothing under our jackets. We have the on/off switch set up, not the thermostat, and warm can get very warm indeed. We are both very happy with the new setup. We must have old stock connectors, because they are the ones where the wire is held in with a screw, not the moulded jobs on the USA web site. Sad to say, one has already had to have the screwdriver treatment, the wires having come out during a disconnection, there is not much to grip on.
Regards from two warm bikers
 

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Discussion Starter #7
pauljo said:
Did you get a thermostat control, or just the on/off switch?
Hey Paul,

I got something in between, I think. I got a 7-level switch thingy (technical term :wink: ). Was $20 extra but was better than just turning it on and off.

Will definitely do a review for the Forum.

Bryna
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Randal and Gail,

Got a question for you, which you kind of hint at. Let me give you an example: Today, it was in the 40s when we started out. I had on a long-sleeve t-shirt, a short-sleeve t-shirt, a thick leather vest, a heavy fleece sweater/jacket and my textile jacket. Was plenty comfy even at 65 mph on the highway (not sure about the km there, probably 90?)

Could you give me a sense of how much less clothing I might be comfortable with under the same circumstances?

Cheers,

Bryna
 

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Byrna,

With electric vests, you don't want to layer cothing under them. Doing that keeps the heated garmet from working properly against your body. A light shirt is fine, then the vest. You can put a sweatshirt over the vest. Since you don't have heated sleeves, you may want that added layer for your arms. I wear a textile riding jacket on the outside - and for the coldest weather I zip the jacket lining in too. (I do not need the sweatshirt over the heated garment, because my Gerbing jacket liner has heated sleeves.)

Another trick when it is cold out is to turn your heat control to the highest position for a moment or two to get the gear heated quickly. Then click downward in settings until you are maintaining a comfortable heat level.

Down to 45 degrees or so, you may find that the vest under your riding jacket is sufficient. Below 45 degrees, you'll likely want a sweatshirt or sweater between the vest and your riding jacket.

The nice thing about that big trunk in the scooter is that you can always carry that sweatshirt or sweater along in case you need it - or stow it if you find yourself getting too warm. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much, Paul! :) That makes a lot of sense. Wow, they really work that well! Now I can't wait til mine arrives! Thanks for the info and the tips.

Happy and toasty riding,

Bryna
 

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Cold Weather riding R me

Hi Bryna
Pauljo has the order of clothing right. We are wearing a light T shirt, then the vest, then our armour jackets with a lining. We have been riding daily in temps of 40 to 55F this last week. We both feel that the vests with the collars, as we have, probably offer that little bit extra, because you can lose a lot of heat from your neck.

At the lower 40F range, vest on all the time. At 40 to 60 mph its fine, keeping us toasty. Slow down to 30 and below for going through villages and we start to feel the warmth, but it is not uncomfortable enough to switch off.

At the top 50 F end, it seems to run to about 5 minutes of vest on, 10 minutes off.

So, if your budget stretches to it, the thermo thingy will probably be fantastic, but by the time our Govt taxes imports, getting two of them was just going into crazy prices.

Neither of us has found the lack of heated sleeves or gloves a problem, but we can get both the sleeves and the gloves from the Widder agent here in England. Or, I could get heaters for the bars.

Nobody seems to do Gebring here in the UK. It would have been ideal to have been able to do a comparison before purchasing.

We look forward to your review.

We are sadly having to take a five day trip this coming weekend in our car, as a rear wheel bearing has gone on our 650 at just over 5000 miles, and we are waiting to see if Suzuki will do a warranty repair. (See thread "Rear Wheel Bearing failure on rotor side")

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks so much, Randal and Gail (not sure which of you wrote it :) )

My buddy wore his on today's ride (overcast skies, temps probably no higher than mid-50s, speeds ranging from villages to two-lane highways). He said he was very toasty.

And he said the mechanic at the dealer is already thinking about how to rig it just right for me. They're really great guys. :)

Bummer about your 650! :( I hope it gets better really soon!

Bryna
 

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Went on a 170 mile ride on the 650 today. Beautiful sunny late Fall day. Temperature was 45 degrees when I started out, and 75 degrees at the end of the ride!

Started out wearing a corduroy long sleeved shirt, Gerbing jacket liner and gloves, fabric riding jacket (left the zip-in liner at home).

Began the ride with the Gerbing themostat about 2/3 turned up. Nice and warm. Gradually twisted the thermostat down lower as the outside temperatures began to rise.

Pulled over in a tiny country town about 60 miles into the ride. Gerbing power cord and gloves came off and went into the trunk - no need for electric warmth now. Put on my Icon Deer Skin gloves. I left the Gerbing jacket liner on as a clothing layer - just no power going to it now.

Sidebar: This is an isolated, very tiny town (Pisgah, Iowa). Population maybe 300. The "downtown" stretch consists of just a few dilapidated old buildings. One of the storefronts has a wooden sign proclaiming "Tanning Salon". :shock: It's not too clear what businesses occupy most of the remaining buldings - but they seem to be in use. This town could be a setting for an old western movie... A guy comes scurrying out of one of the buildings down the street, coffee mug in his hand. He wants to know what I'm riding. He has two BMW motorcycles at home. I gave him my 10 cent tour of the AN650's features. He was fascinated - enough to get down on the ground a couple of times to look up underneath the scooter. 15 minutes later, we shook hands, and I resumed my ride.

Next stop was in Soldier, Iowa. Bought gas at the local convenience mart. Also got a small cup of coffee. This town has a grain elevator, the convenience mart - not much else. But I love to stop at this convenience store. In these tiny rural towns, these are the social hub of the town. The folks at this one are always friendly. I had to give two more 10 cent tours of the AN650 while I was drinking my coffee. Folks out in rural Iowa love looking this big scooter over. Decide to toss my Jacket liner in the trunk before departing. Opened the top vent on my Shoei helmet.

Bugs start coming out. Splat, Splat, Splat, Yech! My original style Large Clearview provides just the right amount of wind protection for my tastes - but bug protection it ain't got, as I look over the top by at least several inches. Stopped in Onawa, IA to wipe down my faceshield. Another smallish town, but it proudly boasts of the widest mainstreet in the USA on a billboard as you come into town. The Omaha Indian casino is also located in the outskirts of Onawa.

I pass over the old metal drawbridge that spans the Missouri river between Onawa, Iowa and Decatur, Nebraska. 75 cents toll. A long metal bridge can be unnerving on a motorcycle, because the wheels want to wander side to side somewhat. Tire tread patterns do make a difference - some tires are downright frightening on a steel bridge. The Pirellis do fine though. Just a minor amount of oscillation in the handlebars, and I've learned to keep a relaxed grip.

I proceed South down the Nebraska side of the river on route 75. Last stop I make is in Tekameh, Nebraska. This moderately small town has the greatest convenience mart. You can buy gas, food, rent movies, gamble (pickle cards), pick up your dry cleaning - just about everything the country folk who live there might need. It is always busy. I bought a packaged double cheeseburger and a drink. Warmed the burger in the microwave, and sat in a booth in their glass enclosed dining alcove to eat. Simple fare, but I was hungry and it tasted great. Before leaving, I unzip the vents on my riding jacket - it was about 73 degrees out.

A ladybug hitched a ride on the front of my windscreen. Huddled down and hung on while I cruised down the rural highway at 70 mph. About 30 miles later, I had to stop at a light in Blair, NE - and the ladybug said "thanks for the ride" and flew away. Or maybe it was "you drive too **** fast" - I really couldn't be sure...

A great ride, and a good demonstration of how you can be comfortable as the temperature changes by 30 degrees, with very minor adjustments. A versatile textile outer jacket, a heated garment, and two sets of gloves (one set heated), do the trick quite nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
:lol: Hey Paul, maybe the ladybug was thinking, "I've got to get me one of these Burgies! :D

Thanks for a great ride description and examples of how your electric gear handled the temps.

Yesterday, I did a 180-mile loop through South Jersey and back. Rode with my usual motley crew (based at the local Suzuki/Victory dealer...we don't have a name yet) and a bunch of Red Knights riders--firemen, some of whom spent months doing recovery work at Ground Zero. They're great guys--use hand signals, keep to reasonable speeds, etc.. We hit some true Piney towns, so small and rural that you'd be surprised they're only 40 miles from Philadelphia. We also stopped at Batsto, an old iron-works village in a state forest.

Then back to the ride leaders' home for homemade chili, cornbread and non-alcoholic beer. (Many of us were still riding home.) :D

Next weekend, we're going to a brew pub about 40 miles away--the dealer has gift certificates he's given our group (free lunch!). Hopefully, I'll have the electric gear for the ride. :D

Bryna
 

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I wandered over to the Gerbing heated garment display area while I was at the dealership today. I looked at the heated overpants. Nice! Windproof, waterproof fabric. Zippers that run on the side of the legs from the ankle to the knee to ease pulling them on over boots and jeans. Big velcro-sealed pockets on the front of each thigh. And over on another rack, heated foot warmers. Pants plug into vest or jacket liner. Foot warmers plug into the bottom of each pants leg. Of course, Gerbing supplies individual harnesses with each garment so you could hook them up separately if you wished. They also include a battery harness with each garment.

Sigh... The pants are $225 and the foot warmers are $49.95 - just don't have it right now. But adding those garments to my Gerbing jacket liner and gloves would allow me to ride in comfort even in temperatures in the teens! The truth is though, that living in Nebraska, the snow will end my riding season before the extreme cold would.
 

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Paul,

I enjoyed your report of the 170 mile trip. It's nice to know that little country stores like the ones you stopped at are still viable in this land of "big box" retail.
 
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