Bad to plug in heated jacket liner before starting? - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bad to plug in heated jacket liner before starting?

I finally decided to take the plunge and I bought the H-D Heated Jacket liner, which is great. It's nice and toasty on my morning rides to work.

BUT....the manual that came with the jacket liner says not to turn the switch to on until the engine is running and it is at a certain RPM. It says otherwise damage could occur to the jacket liner as well as the bike's electrical system.

I understand that the instant I turn the jacket liner on, my battery starts to drain. So I wouldn't want to keep it turned on without the engine running for long periods because I'd drain the battery. But if I plug it in only 30-60 seconds prior to me starting the bike, could that really damage anything. I've tried it a few times (before reading the manual) and no ill effects at this point. I'm kind of thinking that their reasoning is that I'll drain my battery and to keep the battery at peak efficiency I should wait to turn it on.

I have an Electra Glide Ultra Limited, so it can easily handle the jacket liner's power draw.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would imagine that the apm draw on the battery is more their concern with the bike NOT running, then WITH the bike running.

When you turn the key/run switch on, there's ignition, fuel pump, lights and accessories all turning on. The battery is designed to start the bike with XYZ load in place, based on its current XYZ cranking amps.

Add to that load, and a weak battery may fail.

I don't see it being the end-all to starting your bike with a healthy battery, but I can see whay it's suggested.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been using a heated jacket liner for years. I plug in when I get on the bike before I start it BUT I don't click the controller on until the bike is actually running. I have hooked up with the controller on and bike not running and usually have had no problems but once or twice the inline fuse popped. Not rocket science just don't leave the heated gear turned on for any long length of time with the bike not running.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgunner1 View Post
Not rocket science......
What if you're wearing the heated vest IN a rocket?
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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then you might be in Gaza
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As for the jacket, it has to do with voltage. The voltage on the circuit with engine off is likely 1.5-2 volts less than with it running above idle.

With an unregulated power supply, which the jacket controller likely is, the voltage has a significant impact on the way the resistor (the heating elements in the jacket) draws current. I can certainly see how, if it is somewhat sensitive, that this could damage the jacket. Especially if, as suggested by others, the battery was a bit weak or otherwise discharged.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgunner1 View Post
. . . Not rocket science . . .
Actually, some of the first heated clothing was developed for use by bomber crews in WWII. The open bombers were VERY cold at altitude and so the gun crews wore electrically-heated clothing that was powered by the systems on the bomber.

So, knowing the ties between military aviation and the space programs, I am going to say that it sort of IS rocket science!!!

Seeing your avator and user name, I thought you might get a kick out of that!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave63 View Post
What if you're wearing the heated vest IN a rocket?
Then I wouldn't be worrying if it was on or off before plugging it in. My crew would do that for me. .

"Actually, some of the first heated clothing was developed for use by bomber crews in WWII. The open bombers were VERY cold at altitude and so the gun crews wore electrically-heated clothing that was powered by the systems on the bomber."

Chasarms I actually did know that. My grandfather was a tailgunner...
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When you start the bike it creates a huge draw on the battery, which can in turn cause fatigue in the wiring loom.

It may be that the only purpose for your life is to serve as a warning to others.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray-zer View Post
I finally decided to take the plunge and I bought the H-D Heated Jacket liner, which is great. It's nice and toasty on my morning rides to work.

BUT....the manual that came with the jacket liner says not to turn the switch to on until the engine is running and it is at a certain RPM. It says otherwise damage could occur to the jacket liner as well as the bike's electrical system.

I understand that the instant I turn the jacket liner on, my battery starts to drain. So I wouldn't want to keep it turned on without the engine running for long periods because I'd drain the battery. But if I plug it in only 30-60 seconds prior to me starting the bike, could that really damage anything. I've tried it a few times (before reading the manual) and no ill effects at this point. I'm kind of thinking that their reasoning is that I'll drain my battery and to keep the battery at peak efficiency I should wait to turn it on.

I have an Electra Glide Ultra Limited, so it can easily handle the jacket liner's power draw.

Thanks for any advice.
i use the Gerbing heated clothing. They make the Harley stuff and if you just call Gerbing they will explain everything to you. I've found that there are no problems if i just follow the guidlines. This is my second cold season with the heated gear with no problems so I guess they are right.
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