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This morning I visited Gerbing's #1 dealer (that's all he sells) in Mt. Airey, Md. (http://www.heatedclothing4you.com). He has a huge selection of jackets, vests, liners, pants, controls, etc. in stock. I bought a jacket and gloves to replace my old Widder gear at a very fair price. Great guy to deal with.
But, I was surprised at the various uses for what I always thought of as motorcycle gear. In addition to police departments, he sells to the FBI and Secret Service One of the uses is for snipers. They have a portable battery pack to supply power while in action - I guess while in a secure position for a period of time.
Golfers use the equipment while playing. They just plug the clothing into their golf carts and keep warm between holes. Farmers do the same thing while on their tractors and other equipment.
The one I liked was for people who have a medical condition (disease?) where they cannot keep warm in any weather. Mike Vlahos, the fellow I dealt with today, heard about a woman with this condition in the western MD area and offered to donate heated clothing to try. They use a small electrical device to convert house current to 12 V and plug in the clothing. It worked and now Gerbing's has a Medical Division to develop and market their items.
Just thought ya might find this interesting. :D
Don
 

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Very interesting. Their website doesn't really seem to be set up for sales, but does give product descriptions. They do list phone numbers and email address though, so I guess one could order from them that way.

I had used Widder vest and gloves for years, but I do like my Gerbing jacket liner and gloves much better. The connectors seem to be more durable, and having my arms and neck heated makes a big difference. The thermostat control allows me to adjust temperature as necessary while riding too. Available heat output seems higher - I've never had to ride with the thermostat all the way up.

To be fair, Widder does offer vests with optional heated collars, and also optional snap-on heated sleeves - and they have optional thermostat controllers. But I had one too many experiences where I had to take my gloves off in freezing cold weather to fumble with tiny screws and a pocket knife (wire stripper) to reattach a connector that had pulled off of the wire. Not fun.
 

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BobG said:
Widder claims to have "new improved hookups".
http://www.widder.com/html/Hookups/index.htm
Its about time! I still like the Gerbing connector better, but those do look more durable than what they used to have.

Bottom line: either brand will keep you warm in the cold weather. And that adds about 2 months to my riding season each year.
 

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dero said:
As for riding with electric vests, the average rider here wouldn't even know what a heated vest was or had even seen one.
Here too, it is surprising how many riders don't know about electrically heated clothing. I've had several check out my jacket liner & gloves with amazement over the past several weeks. They never heard of it.

I've been using heated gear in the cold weather for about 25 years. It is advertised in most cycle magazines. Unfortunately, the majority of folks who own cycles in the USA are casual riders at best. It amazes me how many buy $20,000 Harleys and put them up when the temperature falls into the 60 degree brackets. Many of them don't ride for more than 5 or 6 months of the year!

As for snow and ice, that's a show stopper for me. They plaster the roads with salt and dirt up here too - which can be very corrosive to metal parts. I'll usually wait until we've had a couple of good rains to wash that stuff off of the roads before I venture out again.
 

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I know some dude with a Harley that won't ride in the rain because he doesn't want his bike to get dirty. :lol:
 

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pauljo said:
Heck, I know a guy with two Suzukis who doesn't like to ride in the rain for the same reason! :wink:
I've had my 650 for five months now; bought a nice rain suit a week after I got it, but hadn't even had it out of the package until last weekend.

I've been fortunate to have unseasonably dry weather for the last five months, and on the few days when it did rain I just drove my truck.

Even on my Canada to Mexico run I missed any significant rain; just a few minutes' worth of light drizzle near Bellingham, Washington on my first day.

So last Saturday I figured it was about time to get my feet wet. I donned my rain suit and drove to a cousin's wedding in Corvalis, Oregon. Returned to Seattle on Sunday. 278 miles each way, and it rained virtually the whole time. 5 hours of non-stop downpour each way!

But between the 2-piece rain suit, the overboots, and the Burgman's outstanding fairing and windshield, I was high and dry the whole time. 8)

Except for my hands. :cry: I have deer-skin gloves, and I've never oiled them or anything. By the time I got to Oregon the leather had soaked through, and my hands were wet, cold, and stained black from the leather dye bleeding through. I'll re-dye the gloves and then give the a thorough treatment with boot wax or neatsfoot oil or something so it doesn't happen again.

I may also look into electric vests and gloves. Because I have a truck in addition to my Burgman I hadn't really thought about riding in inclement weather much, but it was actually rather enjoyable to be "out in nature's elements" for a bit, so I may expand my riding horizons.

I'll have to look into heated face-shields as well. Here in the Pacific Northwest cool and damp is the rule this time of year, and I've been having trouble keeping my visor fog free. :(
 

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I have a set of rubber overgloves made by First Gear. They come with a carrying pouch. I haven't used them yet - I was fairly lucky with avoiding rain this season, just had to ride through several brief showers. The main problem I'd anticipate with them is that they would cause your hands to sweat in hot weather.
 

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Heated clothing - not just for bikers.

Gail & I have just spent a week in Devon, just our luck that a cold and wet spell came in for the same period. However, having just got a Widder heated vest (with collar) each, time on the bike, even in the rain has been comfortable. We did not get the moulded connectors, and have already had the screw driver to the one connector after the wire detached. I will be contacting the supplier here in England about replacing the switch with one fitted with the moulding.
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Re: Heated clothing - not just for bikers.

ladnar said:
We did not get the moulded connectors, and have already had the screw driver to the one connector after the wire detached.
Yep, that was the biggest issue I had with Widder. It seemed that as the equipment aged, the problem became more frequent too. It is no fun trying to refit a wire that pulled out of a connector in freezing temps either - I had to do that a couple of times. If I ever buy Widder gear again, the moulded connectors will be on my "must have" list!
 

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Brian said:
But between the 2-piece rain suit, the overboots, and the Burgman's outstanding fairing and windshield, I was high and dry the whole time.

Except for my hands. :cry: I have deer-skin gloves, and I've never oiled them or anything. By the time I got to Oregon the leather had soaked through, and my hands were wet, cold, and stained black from the leather dye bleeding through.
In a pinch, try a pair of dishwashing gloves. They work pretty well. Larger sizes will fit over leather gloves. :D
Don
 

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DonRich90 said:
In a pinch, try a pair of dishwashing gloves. They work pretty well. Larger sizes will fit over leather gloves. :D
I have yet to find dishwashing/household gloves that fit my long hands. Good idea though, for many folk.

pauljo said:
I have a set of rubber overgloves made by First Gear. They come with a carrying pouch. I haven't used them yet - I was fairly lucky with avoiding rain this season, just had to ride through several brief showers. The main problem I'd anticipate with them is that they would cause your hands to sweat in hot weather.
I'll have to look into those.

My Tour Master overboots did an excellent job of keeping my shoes dry, so I can imagine that overgloves would work the same way.

BTW, I've heard a lot of people mention Frog Togs rain suits, but never the brand I have -- Nelson Rigg. Two piece, with suspenders/braces on the pants. Charcoal rubberized fabric with silver reflective striping. Noisy but reasonably comfortable, and bone dry even aftter five hours of rain at freeway speeds.

Zippered and velcro-tabbed legs went over my shoes easily then snugged securely. Storm-flap over the jacket's zipper worked perfectly, and there is a small pocket thermo-welded to the outside left breast for ID, petty cash, etc.

Two thumbs up, five stars, etc.
 

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Brian said:
pauljo said:
Heck, I know a guy with two Suzukis who doesn't like to ride in the rain for the same reason! :wink:
I've had my 650 for five months now; bought a nice rain suit a week after I got it, but hadn't even had it out of the package until last weekend.

But between the 2-piece rain suit, the overboots, and the Burgman's outstanding fairing and windshield, I was high and dry the whole time. 8)

Except for my hands. :cry: I have deer-skin gloves, and I've never oiled them or anything.

I may also look into electric vests and gloves.

I'll have to look into heated face-shields as well. Here in the Pacific Northwest cool and damp is the rule this time of year, and I've been having trouble keeping my visor fog free. :(
I live in the Seattle are too. Rode in some really heavy rain last week but my hands stayed dry - I bought some "waterproof" gloves that are heated with D cell batteries at an outdoor supply store in Everett ($29). Don't know how they'd feel after 5 hours though.

I'm looking at buying Gerbing since I want to ride year round. Also ordered the XL Clearview windscreen for more protection. Should get it later this month and I'll let everybody know how well it works. I hadn't heard about heated face-shields; guess I'll have to look into that as well. I'm hoping the Clearview vent can be aimed in such a way to clear my visor when I need it. Time will tell. :?
 

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ScooterSurvey said:
...I bought some "waterproof" gloves that are heated with D cell batteries at an outdoor supply store in Everett ($29). Don't know how they'd feel after 5 hours though.
Jerry's Surplus? Big 5?

Let us know how they're doing at keeping you warm and dry, and how comfortable they are. $29 seems like a reasonable price, if they work.
 

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Brian said:
ScooterSurvey said:
...I bought some "waterproof" gloves that are heated with D cell batteries at an outdoor supply store in Everett ($29). Don't know how they'd feel after 5 hours though.
Jerry's Surplus? Big 5?

Let us know how they're doing at keeping you warm and dry, and how comfortable they are. $29 seems like a reasonable price, if they work.
Yeah, it was Jerry's Surplus. Don't know why I couldn't recall that name last night! They are warm and keep me dry - I'll be riding into Seattle on Thursday so may learn a little more about how long they keep me dry. The down side is that they have a rough palm, nice for hunters, but lousy for wiping rain, etc. off of the faceshield. $31.40, including the governor's (whoever that may be) share. Made (in China) by Nordic Gear of Vermont, and insulated with Thinsulate. My 15 year old can't wait to try them for skiing!
 
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