For motorcyclists who park their bikes and wait for the
winter to pass because they find the cold weather unbearable, electric
clothing may be the necessary answer to their cold weather blues.
After two years of bundling up for those frosty rides,
I realized there was a better way. Not only did I find increased
mobility with electrics, I also added another 35 degrees to my rideable
temperature range. After researching, I chose to buy from
Wearing every piece of thermal clothing I owned, my main problem had
always been keeping my hands warm. The tips of my fingers would always
threaten frostbite. My decision to buy Widder was based mainly on the
fact that their gloves had heating elements that surrounded each finger
and thumb and also ran across the back of each hand. The wiring is part
of the glove and not an insert. This, along with the use of Thinsulate,
gives better dexterity.
The gloves are also water repellant, have a leather palm, reflective
piping and a suede index finger for visor wiping. The fingers are
pre-curved so you don't have to go through an awkward break-in period.
There are Velcro straps above and below for a snug fit.
Another selling point for me was the heated ultra-suede collar on the
vest. Before buying this vest, I always found it necessary to wear some
type of neck wrap which made turning my head difficult. The electric
vest is also made with Thinsulate, making it very light. It has two
pockets and a dual zipper.
I find that I can wear the electric chaps over my pants and under my
leather on days when the temperature is over 35. But I prefer to wear
them under my pants on colder days as these garments work better closer
and tighter to the body. Widder suggests they not be worn directly on
The company says motorcycles 500cc or bigger can usually handle all
three garments running together without overtaxing the charging system.
I have found this to be true. All three consume roughly the same power
as a 100-watt headlight and on those zero-degree days I have had the
thermostat maxed out.
I have the bi-metal temperature controller. In contrast to Widder's
electronic controller, mine cycles on and off instead of maintaining a
steady preset temperature. This seems to prevent sweating. This device
is no bigger than a pack of cigarettes and attaches the vest _ to which
the gloves and chaps are attached _ to the batter connector. Both the
battery connector and the thermostat connector have soft surfaces to
prevent paint or chrome scratches. This connection will not come apart
due to inadvertent tugs, but will disconnect easily if you walk away
from the bike before unplugging.
When ordering, remember the vests run small and the gloves run large. I
ended up returning my first pair of gloves because they were too large
and I was experiencing frozen fingertips. The gloves absolutely must fit
snug to the fingers.
Widder was very accommodating and suggested I trace my hand and send it
to them. I am now very happy with my new, smaller, gloves. Widder
provides a wide variety of mix and match items. With the efficiency of
the gloves and vest, I have found that the arm chaps are not necessary
as I have ridden comfortably in 35 degrees with just a T-shirt under the
vest covered by my leather jacket. Installation is easy. Just unscrew the
battery terminals and attach the battery cord.
I find Widder electric
clothing to be comfortable and safer than wearing thick, restrictive
heavy garments. With my leather vest pressing Widder's electric vest
close to my body, I feel like I'm wrapped in my favorite electric
blanket. The chaps remove the chill I used to feel through my leather
chaps alone. My fingers have not gotten cold even during the long
commutes to work in frigid weather. I highly recommend Widder products.