Motorcycle Heated Clothing Controllers – A Brief Guide

motorbike riding in snow
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Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, your heated clothing comes without a dedicated controller unit.

Without a controller, your heated vest/jacket will typically just have two settings – on and off.

Some riders find the default setting on too hot for most weather.

If you’re riding through a variety of conditions, or interested in squeezing the most out of a battery pack – a controller unit can be a great addition.

 

Gerbing 12V TC Portable Temperature Controller – Single

Gerbing single controller

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Gerbing’s 12V connects directly to your bike’s battery then to the connection plug of your heated jacket/vest/trousers.

Designed to be operated with winter gloves on, the button is held down to turn on – then easily adjusted using the colour-coded heat settings.

Smart memory function stores your last setting and will default to this when turned back on.

Customers report using this at 25-50% in most weather and suggest turning the output up to 75-100% in the very coldest of weather.

This controller will power a single piece of heated clothing.

Can be attached to tank or tank bag with a velcro strap.

Covered by a two year warranty.

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Gerbing 12V TC Portable Temperature Control – Dual

Gerbing Dual Controller

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This product is designed to power two pieces of heated gear.

It connects directly to your battery then to the connections plugs of two pieces of heated gear.

Like the single controller, the dual temperature controller has a smart memory function that will recall the last heat settings used when turned on.

Can be attached to tank or tank bag with a velcro strap.

Has the option to daisy chain gear together, but retain individual temperature control over each piece of kit.

Covered by a two year warranty.

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Keis Heavy Duty Temperature Control Unit

Keis controller

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Though the price is right with this controller, the feedback from riders can’t be ignored.

Consensus is that the default setting on a lot of Keiss gear can be too hot. With the controller sold as an optional extra, it’s hard not to be a little cynical.

That said, the build quality here is excellent at the price. Some riders report that the cabling is actually slightly too heavy-duty (therefore stiff) and can make storage in your vest/jacket pocket a little tricky.

All Keiss vests and jacket liners come with a dedicated pocket for controller storage.

This controller is not intended to be mounted on your bike. Some people might consider this a drawback.

You’ve got to stop and reach into your pocket to change the settings. I can see their point, but stopping to change settings is probably what we all should be doing – from a safety perspective.

The Heavy Duty Control Unit has three heat settings, indicated by LEDs and features a raised power button – easily used by gloved hands.

This is designed to power a single piece of Keiss heated gear (some Keiss vests/jacket liners come with dedicated controllers as standard).

During sales (or summer time) Keiss often bundle a free controller with any heated vest/jacket/liner.

If you’re not in a rush or reading this in the right season, it might be worth having a look around for a deal.

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Why Bother? Other Options?

 

My gut reaction here is this – if your heated vest/jacket liner doesn’t come with a dedicated controller, don’t immediately buy one.

Everybody’s different. You might find the default setting on your gear perfectly acceptable.

Bonus Tip: If you want to power multiple pieces of kit from a single battery without connecting two looms, consider a very affordable splitter.

Temperature control is nice. Again, if you’re working on a tight budget – it comes in after you’ve already bought your heated gear.

 

Further Reading

For more on heated clothing: