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Old 09-23-2001, 06:24 PM   #1
Baldy OP
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Thumbs down Widder vests: sorta lame?

So I've been riding with Widder vests and arm chaps for about two years, and of all equipment we own (including boots), our vests are the lamest.

The quality of construction's fine, but turning the nob to Dark Toast feels more like Cool Day to me. So then you put on those Mickey-Mouse arm chaps in an attempt to get warm, making your arms warm in spots and cold elsewhere. What am I missing?

I am sure there are contrary opinions on this board. Widder lovers, defend thyselves.
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Old 09-26-2001, 09:37 PM   #2
drholm
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Widder vest

Ok...I guess I'll jump to the Widder defense. Granted, my only experiences have been at upper 30's temps, and I didn't spring for the fancy Knob Kontrol...I'm an on and off kinda guy...worn over a long sleeve shirt and under a windproof jacket, it keep me toasty all ride long, no sleeves attached. I did have a light fleece under the jacket which, I think, helped trap the heat. If I needed a little extra shot, I just arched my back a little to press the vest closer and warmed right up. Could be the t-stat won't let the vest come to full temp...try it without it. Also, they need to fit pretty snug...you may want to try a smaller size or put on a few extra pounds before the cold weather sets in.
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Old 09-27-2001, 07:54 AM   #3
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Hey Baldy

I have a Widder vest and a Gerbings Jacket liner. The vest collects dust in my closet and my Gerbings goes everywhere with me.

I am sure you know this already but to make any of this electric stuff work you must only wear a very thin layer under it. If you are not warm enough then layer over the electric stuff and under your jacket.

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Old 09-27-2001, 09:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Conrad Sudduth
Hey Baldy

I have a Widder vest and a Gerbings Jacket liner. The vest collects dust in my closet and my Gerbings goes everywhere with me.
You know, I don't think I've ever heard different from someone who owned both. I think I'd probably love my Widder if I hadn't tried a Gerbing to feel the difference.

But I think the Widder people are far better marketers and their vests do look nice in the store.
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Old 09-27-2001, 01:04 PM   #5
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Thumbs down The OTHER electric garment

Hey,

When I bought my Darien Hi-Viz, I also bought the Aerostich Unobtanium electric liner - without doing a lot of research. While the liner looks good and is very comfortable, I find that functionally, it's kind of sucky. The heat produced is rather weak and uneven. I've used it on cold days and have been fairly uncomfortable - wishing I were a lot warmer. The Aerostich Unobtanium is really nice to just wear around though... expensice, but nice.

I've looked at, and plan to purchase the Gerbing's electric clothing, produced in nearby Union, WA. I'm just waiting for the November motorcycle show for a good deal. IMHO, the Gerbings looks like a good way to go.

Marc
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Old 09-27-2001, 02:02 PM   #6
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Marc

If you can wait for the Cycle show to buy your Gerbings, do so. You can try the jackets on. If the people treat you like they did me at the show they will throw in other tid bits for free and not charge sales tax if you let them mail it to you rather than take it home from the show. It all added up to a good chunk of change on a big $ item.
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Old 10-02-2001, 09:19 PM   #7
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Question GR8 Designs Vest?

Anybody tried Doug Grosjean's GR8 Designs vest?
The idea: conductive fabric, rather than wires, is great, how does it work in real life? The vests are more expensive than the competition, but seems like they would outlast the wired vests.

BTW, I have a Widder with the big thermostat (white with pointy knob) and it works fine - nice and hot. If I had to choose between an electric vest and heated grips, I'd take the grips any day.

Left Truckee this morning to go to a meeting in Sacramento - about 38-40 degrees at 0700. I wore a short sleeved shirt, light fleece and my bitchin' new hi-viz 'stich. Plenty warm enough with the heated grips on low. Left Sacramento at 3 pm and it was 100 degrees or better - hotter than a baker's apron. Not bad whilst moving, but murderous when stopped. Back to Truckee, down to a delightful 80 or so - had to zip my cuffs back up...

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Old 10-03-2001, 07:45 AM   #8
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Re: GR8 Designs Vest?

Quote:
Originally posted by pbansen
Anybody tried Doug Grosjean's GR8 Designs vest?
It's the best vest ever. Those who insist upon collars and sleeves don't have a Gr8 option. Those who don't so insist will have the most comfortable of all.

- S
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:25 PM   #9
kehale
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http://www.cmgonline.com/articles/CM...electricvests/

Online review of all 3.
-T
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:41 PM   #10
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Tell you what I don't like about the Gerbing, and that's the really poorly thought out electrical connection.

Now I may be a dope, but I'm certainly no worse than the average dope. And I've broken one heat troller and lost another on rides.

For the life of me I can't figure out why Gerbings hasn't discovered coiled wires. Instead they insist on using straight wires that are too long. With the wires too long, and the accessory plug on the GS down by the shifter, gee, guess what happens? A misplaced foot while you're riding and the thing's yanked out and either dragged down the road or it's gone completely.

It's a stupid design and a real letdown for a jacket that's otherwise truly first rate.
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: Re: Re: Re: GR8 Designs Vest?

Quote:
Said Razorbak:
Looks like Doug's having supply problems and has had to temporarily halt production.

Hope he gets things worked out soon. I'm on his waiting list.
\

Sounds familiar, that's what I saw on his page about a year ago. How long ya been waiting?
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:26 AM   #12
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: GR8 Designs Vest?

Quote:
Said wxwax:
\

Sounds familiar, that's what I saw on his page about a year ago. How long ya been waiting?

Well, 10-04-2001 was the date of his post.
Let's hope he's got it by now! :)
-T
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Said wxwax:
Tell you what I don't like about the Gerbing, and that's the really poorly thought out electrical connection.

Now I may be a dope, but I'm certainly no worse than the average dope. And I've broken one heat troller and lost another on rides.

For the life of me I can't figure out why Gerbings hasn't discovered coiled wires. Instead they insist on using straight wires that are too long. With the wires too long, and the accessory plug on the GS down by the shifter, gee, guess what happens? A misplaced foot while you're riding and the thing's yanked out and either dragged down the road or it's gone completely.

It's a stupid design and a real letdown for a jacket that's otherwise truly first rate.
Did ya try bundling up some of the slack and pop a rubber band on it?
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Old 02-25-2003, 04:55 AM   #14
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I don't have a problem

Baldy,
I too have the Widder vest and arm chaps with no heat controller. Yes the arms do develop a hot spot. but the vest itself is great. I have used it on my K100RS last year down to 20 or so degrees. I was comfortable but never hot. I wear a sweatshirt, vest, light fleece shirt and an insulated Toumaster jacket. my only problem is the tops of thighs. Last year no heated grips, This year 1150GS with heated grips and no riding. Too much ice in the yard to take the beast out.
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Old 02-25-2003, 06:14 AM   #15
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Hi wxwax,

Hardwire to the battery with the supplied Gerbing harness and pop it up between the tank and the front seat. Heat control on/in tankbag. Easier to use for charging battery than accessory outlet.

Use the BMW accessory plug for passenger, routing the wires through the frame away from foot and muffler (temporarily use electrical tape to attach in place).

Gerbings newest jackets have a male/female plug similar to glove and sock plugs only larger.
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