Cycle World Reviews Venture Heat Motorcycle Gear

In case you missed the article in Cycle World magazine, here’s what they had to say about our heated vest liner, pants liner, gloves and insoles:

(See the original article here)

CW Evaluation: Venture Heat Grand Touring Collection Electric Clothing

Get warmly wired, from head to toe.

Leaving Abilene, Texas, the thermometer hadn’t broken 40 degrees and the windchill from the 35-mph breeze put temps slightly below freezing. I was headed north from the COTA MotoGP race, directly into the wind, and had a long ride ahead of me that had to happen as I was flying east the next day. It would prove to be one of the toughest days I’ve had on a motorcycle and there’s only one reason I rolled into my driveway 12 hours later: Venture Heat’s electric clothing.

The Venture Heat Grand Touring Collection vest, pant-liners, insoles and gloves had arrived the day before I left Colorado and they stayed neatly packed all the way to Austin, taking up valuable room in my small luggage and mocking me for this wasted space as I rode to Texas in comfortable 70-degree temps. I had replaced the Alpinestars insoles in my boots with the Venture Heat wired insoles and felt stupid every time I thought about it.

Motorcycle Heated Clothing and Gloves

Motorcycle Heated Clothing and Gloves

But that all changed five days later as I woke up in Abilene to whistling wind and the type of conditions that make even a Prius look good. I slipped into the vest and pant-liners, which are both extremely soft, flexible and have the same bulk as a good workout suit. I plugged the insoles into the bottom of the pant-liners, hooked the liners to the vest, plugged into my FZ1 and headed into the wind. Fifteen minutes later I stopped.

My hands were frozen and almost useless. I clawed through my luggage and pulled out the Venture Heat Carbon Street gloves. I’ve never been a big fan of cold-weather gloves due to the added bulk, reduced feel and reduced crash protection, but the Carbon gloves go a long way toward alleviating those concerns, especially in terms of protection. They have 3M Thinsulate insulation and a waterproof membrane. By definition they have to be a bit more bulky than the Alpinestars GP Pros I was wearing, but I was at the end of my rope that morning and literally could not have continued. Call me wimpy, but you had to be there to feel the misery. In 12 hours I saw only one other motorcycle on the road and twice I saw 37 degrees on bank signs. It snowed on me and I rode past miles of plowed snow left from the night before. The headwind never abated.

The Venture Heat stuff is outstandingly comfortable. The bulky coils of yesteryear have been replaced with hair-thin microfibers for instant heat and all-day comfort, which the company has dubbed “Xtreme Comfort Tech.” You will feel the insole wire running up behind your heel and it could get uncomfortable to walk in, but my Yamaha didn’t require me to walk. The Grand Touring collection pant-liners and vest each have separate power buttons that reside on a flap that sticks out about three inches for access on your left hip. I wore the clothing under a one-piece nylon riding suit and could access the power buttons through a zippered opening. One long push turns the gear on high (red glow from the power button), and two more quick pushes change to medium (yellow) and low (green), with another long push for off. I ran jacket and pants on high and then medium when I donned my rain jacket to blunt the wind sneaking through my suit’s shoulder seams. The heat hits immediately and I challenge you not to giggle when it comes on.

Glove power buttons are on the gauntlets. Plugs connect to cords that run up your sleeves to the vest. Due to the small fairing on my FZ1, I ran the gloves on high for most of the trip, switching to medium only twice when my speeds came down in larger cities. The fit and feel of the leather and nylon gloves improved substantially during the ride as they broke in, and a nice touch is the fingertip fabric on index fingers to access your electronic touch-screens when needed. Venture Heat also offers a full-sleeve heated liner for your upper body and the conditions I faced may have warranted that option.

This is a glowing review because Venture Heat has created an outstanding product in its Grand Touring Collection. Comfort and looks are exceptional and the gloves are the best compromise I’ve tried for cold-weather riding. Reaching the control flaps isn’t as easy as accessing a power-cord switch or thermostat, but each article of clothing can be adjusted separately, with the exception of the insoles; these are on any time the pant-liners are on and it’s interesting that I never felt true heat under my foot, but my feet were never cold. Venture Heat has found a good insole heat setting, at least for the conditions I faced. A handlebar-mount wireless remote is available to manage heat level without fumbling for the power flaps.

This outfit plugs into the bike’s 12-volt system and provides limitless warmth (as long as your charging system can keep up with the total draw of 170 watts for all the pieces), as opposed to self-powered rechargeable clothing that would not have lasted during my 12-hour ride from COTA. The fused power cord attaches directly to the bike’s battery and everything interconnects quickly. My maiden test with the Grand Touring vest, pant liner, gloves and insoles came in dire conditions and this gear was up to the task.


The Baghdad Battery Mystery

Probably won't work with your TV remote

Probably won’t work with your TV remote

1938 Baghdad, Iraq –  Measuring only 13 cm long (5 inches), archaeologist Wilhelm Konig found the most curious looking object around an ancient Mesopotamian ritual site.  The object was oval in shape and made of clay but what shocked Konig was discovering a copper encased iron rod at the center.  Once the clay jar with the copper rod was brought back for testing, it showed signs of corrosion as if wine or vinegar were held inside.

From this point Konig had a light go off in his head (pun may or may not be intended) that what he actually found was not a decorative item but a battery.  Replicas were made using the exact same materials used in what is know called the “Baghdad Battery” that could produce electrical currents.  But some historians are not convinced the clay pot was a battery.  Some of the critics say the Baghdad Battery lacks wiring and couldn’t transmit a charge.

There is no doubt that it served some sort of practical purpose.

What truly puzzles most researchers and scientists is what the heck the battery was used for?  Some theorize it was used for medicinal purposes which was seen in acupuncture techniques in China.  Ancient Greeks recorded that “electrical fish” probably eels had medicinal powers on injured feet.  The most likely use for the Baghdad Battery was electroplating.  This is the process of layering a thin sheet of metal onto another sheet of metal.

No one is quite sure except the batteries actually produce electricity.  In fact there’s even wild theories the batteries were used in a “Wizard of Oz” type fashion.  Dr. Craddock from the British Museums thinks it’s possible the batteries could have been linked together and been used in the Mesopotamian temples.  When subjects would come in if they did something that displeased the gods a simple touch from their hand to the idol could produce a tiny electrical shock.

604 Battery

This will not shock you

The only thing scientists agree on is they don’t really know what the batteries were  used for.  But one thing we know for sure is the descendants of those batteries allow us to be lazy on the couch watching football, power our cars and of course, power our heated clothing like this:  Men’s Battery Heated Fleece Vest.


Riddle of Baghdad’s Batteries

Smith College Museum – Ancient Inventions

Heated Vests: Taking Vests to a Whole New Level

Heated Vests: Taking Vests to a Whole New Level

Outerwear vests have become a staple for cold weather climates.  As a fashion statement, vests never go out of style.  Having the ability to be worn as a standalone, or paired underneath another jacket, the options of a vest reach far and wide.

One obvious drawback of vests is that because of the lack of sleeves, extreme cold conditions are no match for a standard vest.

Heated vests, on the other hand, give you style choices you prefer matched with the warmth you demand. Heated vests use long-lasting lithium-ion batteries to power the hair-thin heating panels. These heating panels are strategically placed on your body to keep your core warm.  Keeping your core warm is key in warming your entire body.

Utilizing micro-fibers in the heating panels, the amount of bulky insulation found in traditional vests is greatly reduced.  Insulated vests are designed with the thought of trapping your body’s heat. The drawbacks of this method of warming your body outweigh the benefits. The amount of bulk used in a traditional insulated vest is much higher than that of a heated vest as heated vests have the luxury of actually producing heat rather than simply attempting to trap heat.  This added bulk also limits your mobility and detracts from your style.


Heated vests not only improve your body’s warmth, but also give you greater performance by being sleeker, and more form-fitting allowing you to move freely.

If you currently enjoy the adaptability of vests, imagine the possibilities of a heated vest.  With a temperature controller, you have the option to regulate the heat to your exact desire.  Power up the heat to the maximum setting on chilly mornings then set the levels to to the low setting as the sun comes up.  When you head in for lunch, switch off the heat completely.  That is what makes heated vests so convenient, is that you are not limited to a single heat setting and can choose to wear the vest on its own even without the heat powered on.

When you are ready for greater control, more styling options, and ultimate warmth, then you are ready for a heated vest.