Heated Gear

I decided to take the plunge into heated gear. I have a trip where I have to cross the rocky mountains in May where the average temperature will be 50 making the wind chill about freezing at 50 mph.

I tested the gear when it was between 33 and 35 degrees with my bike showing an average external temperature of 34.5 degrees and I have to say the heated gear really did its job and worked, however the big gloves, the extra layers and all the gravel and salt on the roads didn’t make it a super enjoyable ride even though temperature wise I was comfortable.

Outside Tempature

There are lots of different types gear on the market but I chose HotWired because its design had integrated heat controllers while many others require a separate device to control the voltage for temperature control. The effect of this is you dont need a dial that fine tunes the amount of heat is going into 1 or 2 zones. The hotwired gear has three levels of heat (RED=High, Yellow=Medium, Green=Low) per each article (gloves, pants, jacket) so while you have 3 levels of heat instead of 10 you do have 4 channels of control not just 1 or 2. Here is an example the left glove and right glove can have different temperature settings while the pant liner and jacket liners also have different heat settings. The settings are easy enough to set and visually check but you may have to take your eyes off the road to validate the setting which is not ideal

All gear all the way up

How I wired my kit up

Never use cam bus right? Because its not really fused, and its all ran by the computer and if the computer senses to much of a power draw it will shut down the port; unless it fries your whole computer and then your screwed. However even if that’s all crap the very real issue is that there is not enough amperage on the 2014 BMW GS because the GS/Adventure/R/RS is only 5 amp on the cam bus outlet (the RT is 10amp) but you will need between 10 and 15 amps so cam bus is not really an option just based on amperage draw requirements.

My Ural has a standard battery and a standard battery tender plug where as my GS has a lithium battery with a Shorai Battery Management System (BMS 5-pin) and a standard battery tender cable in order to power my cycle pump. Since I already had a proper battery connection and did not want to put a 3rd harness on the GS I decided to just use the battery tender cable that’s already on both bikes. A simple $10 Firstgear 6in SAE Connection to DC Coax Jack Adapter and I was able to use the heated gear on both bikes without any additional wiring.. or so I thought.

Power Draw

The batter tender cable comes with a 7.5 amp inline fuse which it turns out is plenty to run the heated jacket liner and pants liner at full power but will absolutely blow the fuse as soon as you power up the gloves. The HotWired gear comes with 15 amp fuses but I believe that is if your going to include heated boot insoles. I was able to run the jacket liner, pant liner and both gloves all at high for an extended time on just a 10 amp fuse. However to be on the safe side I packed extra 10 amp and 15 amp fuses on both bikes. I also ended up re-wiring both battery harnesses to make them easier to change the inline fuse if needed and to work better for running the heated gear.

Extra Fuses

How hot does it get

With the outside tempatrue at freezing and averaging 60 MPH the gear gets plenty warm and ou end up not needing it turned all the way up and you actually might end up turning the gloves off as they are warm without needing to be turned on at all. I did a second test on the URAL (which does not have a windscreen or leg protection) and went out in 50 degree weather for over an hour with an average speed of 40 MPH and did not turn the gloves on at all and ran jacket and pants at the lowest setting.

I then tried to be a little more scientific and took all the gear off in my garage that was 50 degrees cranked the gear all the way up and measured it with an infrared thermometer which read 118.6 max and zones of 117.5 degrees.

Infrared Temp

What about power consumption and battery drain?

There are lots of good articles about heated gear already.
I am going to reference the ones I used and save you some time and not just plagiarize stuff that’s already been done well.




I did all the math on the amp draw and the size of the alternator and all that stuff and then I just said screw it and blew some fuses and then rode around for an hour with all the stuff on and when the voltage warning lights failed to light up on the bike I figured I was good. The final test being that when I shut down the bike and was able to start it back up off the battery.

Details on the exact gear I got

Hotwired 12V Heated Jacket Liner Evo
XL even though L fit very snuggly with just a tshirt
• Lightweight nylon outer shell
• Carbon fiber heating elements
• 6 zone heating elements (1 on the back, 2 on chest, 2 on sleeve and 1 on collar)
• Integrated smart soft touch temperature controller with 3 temperature settings
• Thermal protector with automatic temperature cut off
• Connects to Hotwired gloves and pants via integrated connector wires
• Two year warranty
• Includes battery harness and fuse
• Power consumption: 74 Watts (6.2 Amps)
Hotwired 12V Heated Pants Liner Evo
• Lightweight nylon outer shell
• Carbon fiber heating elements
• 2 zone heating elements, 1 thigh to shin panel on each leg
• Integrated smart soft touch temperature controller with 3 temperature settings
• Thermal protector with automatic temperature cut off
• Approximately 38 watts
• Two year warranty
• Includes battery harness and fuse
Hotwired 12V Heated Gloves
• 600d abrasion resistant fabric and leather combination
• Brushed fabric lining with comfort insulation
• Use independently with direct battery harness or use in conjunction with a Hotwired Jacket Liner with pre-installed wiring system
• Built-in temperature controller with 3 push button settings
• Automatic temperature cut off
• Reflective piping
• Pull through wrist strap
• Cuff adjustment tab
• Two year warranty
• Power consumption: 22 Watts (2 Amps)

Final thoughts on heated gear

The Gear takes up some space – its not heavy but its a considerable investment in space and will need to be considered for the upcoming Alaska Trip.

Heated Gear Storage

Even though I can ride at winter would I? Probably not a lot.
Gravel is still all over the place and the cold tempature make the tires super slippery and there is nothing really to see in winter time. I can always take the URAL out and not worry about the road conditions but I just dont dig cold weather and I think its all the bulky layers and oversized gloves that are a pain in the rear no matter how good they are, they still suck. So in the end Heated gear is great for transiting cold locations or being comfortable for those few nice days in winter and while it might extend my riding season there is no way I would use it all winter.

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