Gerbing Heated Clothing and Vulcan 900s - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Gerbing Heated Clothing and Vulcan 900s


I've seen and participated in a number of threads regarding how much of an electrical load the 900 can handle, specifically regarding heated clothing.

As mentioned in the forum, the 900s can only handle 70 watts total accessory load, according to the owners manual.

In that my wife has an older Gerbing jacket liner (we both have 900s), I checked the Gerbing site for wattage for their current liners: 77 watts.

I called Gerbing to see if their older jacket liners were also rated at 77 watts and they confirmed that they all are.

According to their site, you could use their gloves liners (27 watts) and their boot insoles (15 watts) with no problem (total of 42 watts) but you don't want to hook up their larger clothes using your 900's battery.

I don't know about the Widder heated clothing line (or if they're even still in the game) but I suspect all of the heated clothing will have the same problem. Takes a lot of energy to heat something.

Thought others might like to know all of this.


Mine: 2009 Vulcan 900 LT (did own a 2006 LT before this one)
Wife's: 2006 Vulcan 900 LT
Best bike ever: Vulcan 900 LT
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I have been running the Gerbing Jacket and gloves both on mine all winter with no ill effect. The alternator should be putting out 448 watts of power at 32A x 14 V. Not sure what the rest of the bike is using. Used this setup on a day long trip as well without the battery dying.

Widder is out of business.

2008 Vulcan 900 Custom
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 02:31 PM
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Also just put an OHM Meter on it. Now I rode to work yesterday and back home running this gear the about entire trip. I do not have a thermostat, so it basically is on full blast all the time. The OHM meter read out at 12.5 volts.

2008 Vulcan 900 Custom
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 09:10 AM
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I had many of the same questions and did a fair amount of research. If you look at the Powerlet website, they have typical values for bikes with and without fuel injection and the consensus is that a fuel injected bike, like the Kawasaki 900, uses ~285 watts for the bike. With over 400 watts being generated (granted at cruising speed) there should be over 100 watts available for accessories (this also fits with the accessory fuse of 10 amps or 120 watts.)

I ended up getting Gerbing jacket liner and gloves and have not had any problem. I went for a one hour ride at 30 deg F with the jacket and gloves on at ~50%. When I got back, I plugged in the battery tender and once it went through the checks and started charging, it was fully charged withing a minute or so (this indicates that the battery was being charged by the bike's charging system.)

A couple of hints that I've seen in some of the forums are:

1) Use a Heat-troller of some sort and only use what heat you need. For instance, when the jacket is at 1/2 power, it is only drawing ~38 watts or so.

2) If you are using heated gear in city traffic, you may want to turn it off when idling at a red-light. The rated power output of the alternator system is at high rpm (I think it's rated at 5000 rpm.)

3) If it is real cold and you are using full heat, try to give the bike at least a few minutes of higher rpm driving with the heated gear turned off before you stop the bike. This will give the charging system a chance to charge the battery

Incidentally, you are better off using a solid state heat-troller from Warm-n-safe or Gerbing as opposed to a home-made rheostat. The controllers turn the heat on and off quickly as opposed to a rheostat that wastes the excess current through a resistor.

Good luck, you'll like the heat.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 08:38 PM
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efoltyn, I agree with your comments. I already went through a stator in April of this year.
I ran a heated vest and a 42 watt speaker set up all winter last year. Fortunattly it was covered under warranty by Kawasaki. A 700.00 bill plus towing, that wasn't covered. They didn't tell me what happeded to the stator but it would only put out a couple tenths of an amp when the bike was running, not enough to keep it running.
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