Home make heated apparel. | GTAMotorcycle.com

Home make heated apparel.

ungoloth

Well-known member
Someone I know who wrecked their vehicle, gave me their salvaged, crappy-tire heated seat cushion... So I was thinking of removing the heating coils and installing them in one of my old, unused light weight (spring/fall) jackets. I know I have some math to do because the truck battery obviously has more jam than my bike's battery but this could be fun and inexpensive way to keep warm. Any comments or concerns? Happy apexes.
 

Ash

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Newer heated seat warmers are composed of woven carbon fiber mats, which heat up better and are much easier to work with than the old resistance wire. I've had one slipped into the back protector pocket for a couple of years now. It works really well. It is always in my jacket and takes up no space, unlike my heated vest.

At a minimum, you will want an on/off switch. There will probably be a temperature limit sensor sewn or glued onto the heating mat, which will automatically cut the heat off as a safety measure. If you leave that in place, the mat will cycle on and off, which is good if you are using just an on/off switch or the original high/low switch. If you have a proper heat controller (about $100), remove the temperature switch from the mesh so that you get nice constant heat instead of cycling hot/cold.

If the seat is composed of resistance wire, you won't have to do any math if you keep the original wire length (resistance). If the seat is the carbon fiber mats, you should be able to use just one of them (there will be one in the seat area and one in the back area), but you should check to see if they are wired in series or parallel.
 
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mikbusa

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Couple issues, heated seats in a 4 wheeler draw lots of power, your bike probably doesn't generate much in excess, some
bikes can run the battery down with moto specific gear. Without a layer to stop the wind, heating elements will not keep up
with the windchill unless they are really cranking out the heat, a light jacket might not be the finest starting point.

Inexpensive? possibly. Fun? Not so likely.
 

Ash

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I've got an old one of the carbon fiber mats here. It's a bit beat up, but the resistance measures at about 12 ohm. Someone can check my math, but at approx 12v that's 1amp, or about 12 watts. So relatively speaking, that's quite a low draw and any bike should be able to handle it. My heated gloves draw 32 watts and my vest draws 53 watts. On my VStrom, the voltage monitor doesn't complain if I have the back insert, heated gloves and heated grips all on high. It does start warning me if I use the heated vest with all the other stuff instead of the back insert.
 

regder

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Don't see why it wouldn't work. I assume it runs on 12V. No difference than the heater elements Kimpex and others sell for under your grips. Like the heated grips, you'll probably want to figure out some sort of resistor switch so you can regulate temperature.

Now saying that, spending the money for a proper neck to toe heated gear setup (mix of Gerbing, Warm&Safe, and FirstGear) with a Warm&Safe remote troller (this is key!) is some of the best money I have spent on this biking habit. Memory is foggy, but I think with some careful shopping everything cost me about $400.
 

regder

Well-known member
Site Supporter
That's actually kinda funny, my FirstGear heated socks have a bad habit of burning my feet if riding in them all day with the heat all the way up. Actual 1st degree burns with mild blistering. Need to remember to wear a pair of socks underneath them.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
It's just 12v, I don't know watt the big deal is
Exactly. Still surprised that people think you can get shocked from 12 volts on a vehicle.

Anyways, Ash's math is solid. If the heating pad itself is physically capable of being repositioned into a jacket or vest I see no reason whatsoever why this isn't worth trying. Hell, I'll be following the outcome actually - it could be a dirt cheap way to make some heated gear, especially since the off the shelf stuff costs 6 arms and 4 legs but the heated seat things at Canadian Tire go on sale for a song quite regularly.

I have some RV holding tank heating pads kicking around that might also probably work - Princess Auto sells them in all different shapes and sizes.
 

Iceman

Well-known member
I don't think anyone is worried about shocks from a 12v heating pad. Burns however are a different matter.

Sent from my SM-A500W using Tapatalk
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Burns however are a different matter.
I'm going to go down the path of assumption that they had some sort of thermal regulation, otherwise they would arguably have presented a burn hazard in their original ***-warmer application as well.

And assuming one is not under some sort of medical condition (diabetic for example) that reduces the sensation of heat, again....if things are getting too hot, turn off the power.
 

Ash

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Yeah, all the Cdn Tire stuff has temperature limit switches (usually 60 C) built in, glued right to the heating elements. You can feel the mat get hot, then the switch trips and cuts off the heat until the switch resets.

I've got a spare Heat Troller for the car, so I always remove the original high/low switch and the temperature limit switches.
 

ReSTored

Well-known member
My Warm and Safe heated jacket has 90 watts of power/heat and this is distributed throughout the jacket including the sleeves. My Heat Troller is usually set at about 30 - 40 % power for rides at about down to about 6 - 8C. I've never measured the actual temp of the jacket at this setting, but it sure isn't 60C, which would burn you. The CT bun warmer probably has padding that reduces the temp at the contact point so unless you find some way to pad the jacket install or reduce the power ( a Troller ) the pad will likely get too hot to use safely.

A web search will reveal that members of other forums have made heated gear using resistance wire or carbon tape relatively inexpensively.
 
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Ash

Well-known member
Site Supporter
The distance between your skin and the heating element is an important factor. In a jacket there's much more of an air gap than in a car where your entire weight is pushing your butt into contact with the pad, which is one reason why the wattages on most motorcycle gear are a lot higher.

I've been running this setup in my back protector pocket for years now, usually with the heat troller on 100% (with the original temp switch removed). It is really just comfortable, not anywhere close to burning. I even arch my back to get more contact with the heating element if it feels a bit too cool.

The collection of temperature limit switches that I've removed ranges from 55 degrees to 75 degrees C. They are always bonded directly to the heating element, so they trip before your skin reaches that temp.
 

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