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Old November 30th, 2017, 11:42 AM   #1
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Human Popsicle Season Gear Advice?

Brrrrrr.....

If I sneeze my nose might shatter into tiny fragments. My cobbled together cold weather outfit isn't cutting it this season so I have saved up $1300 give or take a little for new duds. Warmer ones...

So I'm looking and looking and reading reviews that I don't trust and looking at prices that are truly unbelievable in some instances. So many options I don't know what to choose. I can go to the Revzilla store in Philly to try stuff on but it would help if I went with the list in hand so I'm not relying on the recommendations of sales people who might not actually ride or use any of the things they are trying to sell me.
I need everything, boots, pants, jacket, gloves, neck protection etc.
I think my helmet is alright so I can keep that.

So given the budget what are some good values I should consider?

I'm not crossing the polar ice-caps. This time of year I mostly just commute to work and back and take some short joy rides on the weekends.
Temperatures are roughly low 30's to mid 50's. I generally don't go out when they have to start salting the roads for ice. After a potentially bad experience last winter I'm not sure which is worse the ice or the accumulations of the crap they use to melt it. it tends to get washed down to the corners of dark intersections for you to slide out on.

Last edited by philthymike; November 30th, 2017 at 11:50 AM.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 12:23 PM   #2
RSL
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Electric jacket.
Heated Grips
Assuming you have riding gear already: Add layer of cheap fleece.
Add inexpensive GoreTex motorcycle rain jacket and pants.
Winter riding gloves.
Neck is easily protected with the fleece tube.
Anti fog coating to inside of helmet visor.
You should be fine. With the above I'm good into the 20s.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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35 degrees and below is when I break out the snowmobile bibs - they make quite a difference. Seirus thin gloves inside regular ski/winter gloves, layered gloves are the ticket unless you're using heated gloves. Hippo Hands as well to take your hands out of the wind. Balaclava when it drops below about 25 degrees. The usual layers under your riding jacket. I hate it when it's balaclava time, lol.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 01:12 PM   #4
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I Ride: 13' Hyperstrada, 00' M900Sie
Wind is your largest enemy. Get some windproof layers for top and bottom. Wool socks for your boots. Heated vest and heated grips. Those things will get you 90% of the way there, and you can purchase extras as you see the need.

I recommend Aerostich windproof gear, a Venture heated vest, and oxford grips.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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With the heated gear, any experiences with the battery powered type?
My little Suzuki doesn't have accessory power. Its stator barely makes enough juice to light all the lights at the same time.
I still ride the little guy as much now as I do the HS so I thought it would be nice to have heated gear I can use with either bike. Reviews of the battery powered stuff are all over the map so not sure what to think about it.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philthymike View Post
With the heated gear, any experiences with the battery powered type?
My little Suzuki doesn't have accessory power. Its stator barely makes enough juice to light all the lights at the same time.
I still ride the little guy as much now as I do the HS so I thought it would be nice to have heated gear I can use with either bike. Reviews of the battery powered stuff are all over the map so not sure what to think about it.
Personally I would recommend against it. If you want to stay warm, batteries simply won't be able to sustain the output that a 12v vest/jacket would be able to. Even for short amounts of time.

Trying to free up watts on the Suzuki with LEDs might be an option?
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Old November 30th, 2017, 06:13 PM   #7
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I Ride: '13 Hyperstrada, '06 DR650, 2017 KTM 690 Duke
Another vote AGAINST "battery pack" powered elec. gear .... you didn't say how much output your Suzuki has? My DR650 only puts out 200W ... and it WILL NOT properly run Gerbing electric jacket, grips or anything ... clothing does not HEAT UP enough! ... and my battery gets run down in about 2 hours riding with gear on HIGH. So, a NO GO on my my DR650.

In your case, if you ride a low elec. output bike, you may have to run "battery pack" powered electric clothing. It will be fine for commuting as you can re-charge at each end of your commute (I assume?)

Are these new battery pack powered elec jackets any good? I've no idea ... no one in my riding group use them, because we ride bikes with HIGH electrical output (BMW's, big KTM's, Vstrom, and of course the HyperStrada which kicks butt with 490W output!)

I've run a Gerbing jacket for about 20 years and old Widder Vests before that.
ALL Junk compared to new, modern elec. gear, IMO. I also have (had) a new, unused Warm & Safe. The Gerbing put out more heat than the Warm & Safe but W&S was better made. You need very high elec. output to run either.

Enter Cycle Gear's Hot Wired electric jacket
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/hotwi...acket-liner-20

So far, my new Hot Wired jacket has been AMAZING! I'd say it puts out 3 times the heat of my old Gerbing. Warms instantly and so far, cannot run it on HI.
(too warm!) This jacket draws 90W ... so a a wimpy alternator output will not cut it. But even my lower output KTM 690 powers it fine with just 300W output.

But the real test of electric gear will be when temps get to freezing or below.
Watch out for ICE! I have not tested my new Hot Wired jacket in true cold yet.
Coldest so far was about 35F. That's light jacket weather for you guys in PA.

In our group of about 30 riders, so far 3 or 4 guys have switched over the Cycle Gear product. Everyone are impressed.
For years the in house Cycle Gear stuff was junk. Not any more! It's getting better and better ... and this elec. jacket is a great example! Very impressive!

This jacket includes a 3 step controller

To really keep riding you'll also need heated gloves. Heated grips do very little vs. good heated gloves. I wear thin, Silk glove liners which help ... but so far with heated gloves, no need! But will be tested in temps well below freezing soon!
I have these:
https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/hotwired-heated-gloves

As for the rest of riding gear, you don't have to spend a lot unless you want the latest overpriced Fan Boy crap from Noob companies like Klim and Rev'It.
Most is PURE HYPE.

For 25 years I've had great luck with First Gear, Tourmaster, Joe Rocket. If you have a good budget and really want the best?
See Motoport in SoCal. (but not the best in super cold)

Layering ... what I wear
Base: Merino wool blend long sleeve shirt
Mid: Electric Jacket
Outer: Riding Jacket (I own First Gear Rainier and AlpineStar Valpariso)

If really cold I can add a long sleeve, thin down jacket over electric jacket.

Lowers:
Base: Merino wool blend, thin, long johns (2 pair if really cold)
Leather pants
If wet of super cold, rain pants over.

It helps if your Electric jacket is not TOO LOOSE ...not super tight but not too loose either. I usually fit an XL jacket ... for electric jacket I bought a L. Perfect.
Keeps warm jacket close to your skin. Jacket has stretch panels for comfortable.

Last edited by Hyp Noob; November 30th, 2017 at 07:03 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 07:21 PM   #8
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Warm and Safe electrics seem good. ( Warm & Safe, the Home of the Warmest Clothing in the Universe) I use a liner and glove liners (powerlet, but they don't make them anymore). Never have to turn them all the way up - nice and toasty. Get the FIR or whatever they call the infrared stuff. I also use the dual remote heat controller.

Oxford and others have jackets for about $200 that seem good. I lucked out on a closeout technics some years ago for that amount. That , an electric liner, and a T-shirt is about it.

I have KLIM knee socks - they're pretty fairly priced. Columbia tights with that metal reflective stuff - seems to work.

These boots are on sale https://www.atomic-moto.com/collecti...ma-terra-boots and forma makes very good stuff.

With the electric glove liners - get any good glove - just one size larger. No need to spend a ton of scratch. Palm sliders and a pinky bridge seem like good ideas.

Last edited by appliance821; November 30th, 2017 at 07:32 PM.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 11:50 AM   #9
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I've had my 12V Gerbing liners for over 6 years with no issues. Originally bought them when I lived in MN and have kept me nice and toasty even when riding in sub-40s weather under my normal gear. I've had them soaking wet due to rain and have not been electrocuted.

I also have a battery powered jacket by Gerbing. Good for cool days, but not when it gets below mid-50s.

Instead of heated grips, I recommend heated gloves. They keep knuckles and the outside of the fingers warm also.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 07:56 PM   #10
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Riding home tonight it dropped to 36 degrees. On the parts where I wasn't crawling in traffic I was cruising at 80+ mph. My knees got it the worst. Then my hands and then my feet. The rest of me was fine.
I had two pairs of socks inside my Harley brand boots that are totally falling apart after one year use. I wore an athletic bottom base layer under some thick canvas work pants. up top I had an athletic top base layer shirt a merino wool blend sweater and another heavy sweater plus my Black Brand leather motorcycle jacket. My hands had a thin pair of generic glove liners and my generic riding gloves. I had a no-name fleece baclava with a rubber panel over the mouth and nose. and my HJC helmet.

The boots are garbage. Obviously not warm enough even with two pairs of socks and they are literally falling apart. The gloves again are garbage. The bottom base layer and canvas pants do block wind but offer no real insulation.

I think I can keep the leather jacket. It doesn't leak air, has a fairly warm liner and is a great fit. Unfortunately it has no crash protection though but that's another discussion. I have ridden in hard rain with this jacket and stayed dry even though the jacket needed several days to dry afterwards. But it doesn't leak. I'd say it was worth the money.

The baclava does a decent job of protecting my neck and face. I'll keep that too.

So I'm looking at boots, pants or a bib, gloves with heated liners (so I can still wear the gloves next season) and better base layers. I'd consider a heated jacket liner too if it means not needing so many layers on top. So given those items I should be able to get some fairly good quality gear.

I'm not going to go for battery powered heated gear. If I continue riding my little thumper than I'll just have to bundle up better when I do.
Just too many mixed reviews in addition to what I'm being told here. Seems like throwing money in the garbage.

I like the idea of heated liners more than actual heated gear like jackets and gloves. It seems a better economical choice in that I can still use the outer garment later when heat isn't required and gives me more options. Yes I know I can simply unplug the heat but it's still bulky and probably doesn't have any venting for warmer weather. And with the gloves I am used to having the inner liner and the big outer glove. It works for me.

So in regards to heated liners, any positive experiences?

I saw mention of leather pants. Are they a good idea when it's wet out?

Columbia tights with reflective metal stuff was mentioned too. I'm going to look that up.

I'll keep the merino wool sweaters I have. they work well.

Those Forma Terra boots look pretty nice. What's the best thing about them?

As for the Suzuki there's no getting extra juice with LED's. it has a primitive electrical system. Reduce the load on the stator and the regulator overheats from trying to turn the excess into waste heat. And the battery gets overcharged and heats up. A few have made LED's work on them but have had a ton of headaches too/ The stator and regulator were made for a fixed load - no more, no less. Same crap like old dirt bikes had. Dinosaurs had better electrical systems.
However since the regulator is under the seat and makes a ton of waste heat I could drill some holes in the base of the seat and at least I'd have a heated seat then
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