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http://www.widder.com Widder electric vests are legendary. A few years back I got one after freezing my tush off somewhere, and I'll take it if I'm going any distance when there's any chance of getting below 50 degrees. Fifty isn't very cold normally, but one can become hypothermic if exposed long enough, especially in the wind.

Just made a ride to Boulder City, Nevada (about 800 miles, RT) and the temperature ranged from 28 to 42 degrees F. Wore the vest, along with polypropylene longjohns, wool socks and sweater and a layer of cotton under the Belstaff cotton rain suit. Only turned it on when it got into the thirties, but it felt soooo good.

Widder also makes electric chaps, arm chaps, gloves and all the connectivity necessary. Pricing is below what you'd offer God for heat on only one really cold ride.

There are some other recent competitors out there, but I don't know anything about their quality or reputations.

Posted because I just ordered the wiring necessary for the Monster - already have it on the others. Might siamese some connectors on one bike for passenger use. Also thinking of using the outlet to charge cel phone and laptop so those could be carried on any of the bikes.

Next - a radar detector. Woulda saved me some money two days ago.

-Don
 

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Just ordered a Gerbing vest today. Been freezing my bollocks off on the last few rides.

http://www.gerbing.com/pages/clothing/vests.html

Don't know how they stack up against the Widder products, but they seem to be popular with the BMW set. We all know how fussy they are.. ;D

Biggest factor was I got to try one on at the motorcycle show, so I know the size I ordered is going to fit.
 
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I am about to order a new set of Vanson Leathers. I have a one piece race suir from them already. But I wanted something for commuting and weekend riding. They now have a heated liner option which I plan to take full advantage of. I still have some questions for them first.
I know veddor offers a thermostat for there vests as an option. I am told by the people I know who have it, that it is a must. Set it for around 70 to 80 degrees and leave it on. I was told with out it, the vest heats up to full and gets too hot. So you are constantly turning it on and off. Hopefully Vanson has this option too. Or I might just get a Veddor instead. I love to ride to work, but I work nights. And even in the summer time here in PA, it can get in teh 40's heading thru the mountains to work. So my 6 am ride home is often freezing.
 

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Come on you California guys , electric heat is for wussies!!!! ;D
I wouldn't go out without my Widder vest and gloves in this Pa winter!!!
Vest and gloves seems to be all I need, the rest of the body seems to stay warm as long as hands and torso are warm!!!
Widder is great and they recently redid thier wiring , and they are great. The old style would pull apart frequently after many uses, we would carry a small screwdriver and electrical tape with us . But the new wiring has eliminated that problem.
 

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WOOHOOOO!
My vest just arrived! :)

Now I've got to find someplace to mount the controller where I can twiddle the knob with my eskimo gloves... ;D

Well, you may be right Deb, but I'm going to be a warm and happy wussie. ;)
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How and where do you run the wire on the bike that plugs into the vest?

Between the seat and the tank? That's a pretty tight fit on my bike, and i don't want to rash up my tank either. ???
 
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How do you like your electric vests?

I was speaking to the Gerbing rep about a distribution program and he sounded a little down on vests in general. I understand that the jackets have hook-ups for gloves and pants but I thought a vest would be enough.

I'm in California and don't ride more than a couple hundred miles at a time with the type of bikes that I own..so I was looking for some opinions of people that have sport bikes in colder climates.

Is a vest enough?
 

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Moto, Gimme about 24 hours and I'll have a good answer for you... ;)

If I had one of those land yachts, locating the temp troller would be easy :-/
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We wimpy California guys are riding every day, BTW.

Thermostats.
 

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We wimpy California guys are riding every day, BTW-Don
BTW, I in Pennsylvania and ride evryday too, today it was 28 degrees, 2 weeks ago it was 18!! ;D
My plug comes out just above the seat, but , yes it does rub against the tank a bit, but
 
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I totally admire your dedication. It's hard for me to get motivated when the temps drop too low, but you've given me inspiration! Time to invest in the electric warmth and extend my riding season . . . to intinity and beyond!!!!
 

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Good for you!!! Get out there and ride!! ;D
 

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Here's my impressions, after the installation and one ride.

Installation was easy. There's no bodywork to drill holes in to mount the controller, so I ziptied and wedged it between the upper tripleclamp and the little cover below the gauges.



I'll make a proper mount for it at some point. That cute little LED is fairly hopeless in the daylight, I'll ask a 'sparky' friend of mine what I can do to implement a brighter LED. The wiring is just long enough to get the controller to that location.

The vest is very nice, two 'slash' pockets on the outside, and two regular pockets on the inside. Zipper goes all the way up to the end of the collar, so you can fold it up and zip it up under your chin. It has an accessory plug for pants or whatever.



That collar is chock full of heating wire, so it really keeps your neck warm. Heat felt pretty even all over; I didn't feel any cold spots. I was wearing a T-shirt, sweater, and polypro thermal lowers under my leathers. Bicycle shorts too. :) And a fleece turtleneck thing. I'd guess it was in the lower 40's at the coldest part of the ride, and I was still comfortable.

I have no idea how it compares to the Widder product, I've never seen one. I got to try on the Gerbing at the Motorcycle Show, so I knew I could order the right size in one try.
 

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Nick, this is the Widder setup, the vest, the gloves, the battery plug, and the wiring in my jacket.



 

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Good stuff, Deb. Nice patch on the vest! ;)

Gotta come up with different routing for the plug-in, or some tank protection. I snuck mine up between the seat and the tank, and it put a little rash on my tank in just one ride. :'(
 

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Nick, can you configure it that it comes up from under the seat behind your leg?? My wire has made a "rash" on my tank panel.
 

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I'll give that a try, not sure if I've got enough wire, but I think it may work. I just don't want to come unplugged when I hang off in the corners. :)
 

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I just don't want to come unplugged when I hang off in the corners. :)
I've seen you "hang off" Nick - you're like me, half a skinny cheek barely poking out to the side. Unless you're really going to hang off, I wouldn't worry about coming unplugged ;D

-R.
 
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I just tested out my new Gerbing jacket with my new Cycleport coat, on the Monster.
 
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