Get More Riding Days | Firstgear Heated Gear - Hot Bike Magazine
Here's the whole set of jacket and pant liners, gloves, and dual heat controls. Note that the connectors are located in zippered pockets for storage. The jacket is a close fit with Lycra panels on each side. It's a lightweight, breathable nylon shell that works well as a light jacket over a T-shirt. Wearing a windproof outer jacket will increase its effectiveness. The heating pads are in the front, upper and lower back, sleeves, and collar for complete coverage.
The dual Heat-Troller is a solid-state electronic unit with LEDs for visual confirmation that the unit is working properly. The LEDs flash at an increasing rate as you turn the dial to full, then stay lit. Many combinations are available for controlling the various garments. The jacket and pants can be connected and controlled from one dial while the gloves use the other dial. Or you could control the jacket and gloves separate from the pants.
The controller hooks up to your battery or you can get this adapter that allows you to connect any of the garments or the controller to the battery using an existing SAE battery charger jack.
Two indoor/outdoor temperature gauges with wired sensors were used to measure the heat differences. The outdoor temperature in the lower left of each gauge corresponds to the wired senor. The gloves have carbon fiber protection over the knuckles and feature a thumb-mounted, rubber face shield wiper. (This was shot in the garage)
Most of us ride less in the winter because when it's really cold, the ride is uncomfortable and even painful. And when our hands freeze up and get stiff, it can also be dangerous. Which is usually the case on our non-fairing '07 Road King Custom with our paws stuck out in the wind with no protection. So, if we wanted to squeeze in more winter riding days, we needed heated riding gear.
We got our hands on the Warm & Safe Heated Gear from Firstgear. Our setup consisted of Heated Carbon Gloves (MSRP $169.95), Heated Jacket Liner (MSRP $199.95), Heated Pants Liner (MSRP $189.95), a dual, portable Heat-Troller (MSRP $99.95), and a 6-inch SAE to DC COAX Plug Adapter (MSRP $9.95).
We set out on a cold March day to do some testing. Since we don't have a big budget for high-tech measuring equipment, we used a pair of cheap indoor/outdoor temperature gauges to measure the difference between heated and un-heated garments. Not indisputable scientific methods, but they at least gave us some relative numbers to evaluate.
We rode with our favorite riding jacket and a pair of jeans. For the gloves comparison, we used our regular leather glove on our left hand and a Firstgear heated glove on the right. For the jacket and pants liners, we just turned the heat off and on. We placed the temperature sensors inside the garments in frontal exposed areas but not on any heating wires. The outside temperatures ranged from 42 degrees Fahrenheit when we started to 51 degrees Fahrenheit when we finished. Here are the results.
The soft materials of the heated garments were warm and comfy with no binding or bunching. The controls were easy to use-just wait until you feel the heat then dial back for a pleasant setting.
The bottom line is that the Firstgear heated wear can change a frigid, stay-at-home day into a tolerable day of enjoyable riding. This allows us more riding days, and that's what we like.
|Riding temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit at 60 mph||Unheated||Heated|
|Regular leather glove versus Firstgear heated glove||71||93|
|First Gear Heated Jacket Liner with heat off and on||69||85|
|First Gear Heated Pants Liner with heat off and on||67||78|
Quality of Product *****
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