Instructions for Connecting your Gerbings Heated Clothing for Powersports

Instructions for connecting your heated clothing

Wearing Gerbing’s heated clothing keeps you warmer than you have ever been. To enjoy the most warmth from your heated clothing, follow the instructions below. Enjoy the warmth!

Connecting your Gerbing’s battery harness to your battery
Your vehicle’s electrical system directly powers your heated clothing. Your Gerbing’s battery harness connects your Gerbing’s clothing to your vehicle’s battery. To use your clothing you must first attach your battery harness to your 12-volt battery (unless you use a BMW plug instead).

  1. Access your 12-volt battery.
  2. You must disconnect the negative bolt and cable first. When you install the battery harness you must connect the positive bolt and cable first.
  3. Negative Terminal
    1. Remove the bolt that holds the negative battery terminal in place. The negative terminal is marked on the battery post with a -.
    2. Identify the negative wire of your battery harness. The negative wire does not have the fuse in-line.
  4. Positive Terminal
    1. Remove the bolt that holds the positive battery cable in place. The positive terminal is marked on the battery post with a +.
    2. Identify the positive wire of your battery harness. The positive wire has the fuse in-line.
  5. Replace the positive bolt and cable first. At the end of your battery harness is an o-ring connector. Place the bolt through the o-ring connector and tighten.
  6. Reconnect the negative bolt and cable. At the end of your battery harness is an o-ring connector. Place the bolt through the o-ring connector and tighten.
  7. Route the battery harness to the left side of the vehicle. Make sure the wires will not rub or be pinched between the frame and the seat.
  8. Let the battery harness plug hang a couple of inches out from under the seat on the left side.
  9. Zip-tie or use electrical tape to safely attach the wire to the frame or other points on the vehicle to prevent the wire from moving.
  10. Double check that your battery terminal bolts and cabling are correct and tight.


Accessory Plug on BMW Motorcycles
The accessory plug on many BMW bikes is strong enough to power Gerbing’s heated clothing, though most newer models require a direct connection to the battery. If you do have an accessory port on your motorcycle, check with your manufacturer to ensure that you have the correct fuse rating to safely operate your heating clothing without damage to your charging system. The factory installed fuse may not be strong enough to handle a full suit without replacing it with a high amperage fuse.

We sell a modified BMW plug that replaces the battery harness connection to your motorcycle’s electrical system. This plug connects to the BMW accessory port on one side and a Gerbing’s controller or on/off switch on the other side.

Always use a Gerbing’s battery harness or modified BMW plug to power your clothing. This insures full power to the clothing and a solid, trouble free connection. Also, do not adapt or modify Gerbing’s plugs. Other brands are wired differently and do not work with Gerbing’s clothing.

Connecting your heated clothing to the battery harness:
Grommet Style Connectors
Gerbing’s heated clothing forms a true interconnected system in which every item connects to everything else. You can wear a jacket, gloves, pants, and insoles with only a single connection to your battery.

  1. The long wire coming out of the jacket is the power cord, which connects to your battery harness.
  2. The shorter wire coming out of the jacket connects to the pants. (If you are wearing Gerbing’s pants without the jacket, then connect the pants cord directly to the battery harness.)
  3. The gloves connect to the plugs at the end of the jacket sleeves (or to a connecting harness when ordered alone).
  4. The insoles connect to plugs inside the bottom of the pant legs (or to a connecting harness when ordered alone).

Grommet and PDU Style Connectors
for Single (left) and Dual 2 (Right) Wiring

Connecting your heated clothing to the battery harness:
PDU Connectors
Gerbing’s heated clothing forms a true interconnected system in which every item connects to everything else. You can wear a jacket, gloves, pants, and insoles with only a single connection to your battery.

  1. The first plug coming out of the PDU is the power cord, which connects to your on/off or Temp-Controller. Then the on/off or Temp-Controller connects to the battery harness.
  2. The third port is for accessories; it will power your pants or insoles. If you are wearing Gerbing’s pants without the jacket, then connect the pants cord directly to a Gerbing’s on/off switch or controller. For a dual model, the middle plug powers your gloves separately from your jacket.
  3. The gloves connect to the plugs at the jacket sleeves (or to a connecting harness if ordered alone).

Connecting your temp-controller (or on/off switch) to the battery harness
Gerbing’s heated clothing is designed for serious warmth, warm enough to keep you comfortable in below freezing temperatures. So when riding in less than extreme conditions, there must be some way to control the heat and reduce your power draw at the same time. When using our heated clothing, you can use a simple on/off switch. We strongly recommend a Gerbing’s temp-controller, however, so you can dial in your comfort level and enjoy the rest of your ride without having to manually control the heating system.

  1. The temp-controller or on/off switch is plugged into the garment on one side and plugged into the battery harness (or modified Accessory plug) on the other side.
  2. For permanent temp-controllers only, make sure that the positive (+) wire from your temp-controller is hooked up to the positive wire on the battery harness and the negative (-) wire from your temp-controller is hooked up to the negative wire on the battery harness. Reverse these wires and the temp-controller will not work. Be sure to read all instructions provided with the temp-controller.
  3. Use only Gerbing’s temp-controller for a solid connection and proper operation.
  4. Do not attach the temp-controller to a different power source other than your bike’s electrical system. Otherwise your temp-controller may malfunction and void the warrantee.
  5. The portable temp-controller fits in your pocket or attaches with Velcro® to your vehicle. The permanent temp-controller hides the unit and mounts the control knob and LED in the fairing or saddlebags. Do not try to mount the portable unit as a permanent model.

Electrical Draw
Having your heated clothing run at optimal levels depends in part on the health of your electrical system.

  1. If you have a problem, first check all connections for tightness and wires for proper routing and insulation integrity. Also check the fuse.
  2. Some charging systems do not put out full power when the rpm’s drop, such as when in town or idling. You may wish to turn down the heat when you come into town.
  3. Other accessories use up electrical power needed to power your heated clothing. Add up your power needs and subtract them from your alternators peak power output (available from your dealer). For example, if the bike puts out 280 watts, and 130 watts are needed to run the bike, then 150 watts remain. There is plenty of power for a Gerbing’s jacket or jacket liner at 77 watts.

Wearing your Gerbing’s heated clothing
How you wear your heated clothing with other clothes can either enhance or detract from your overall comfort. Follow the tips below to obtain the most warming heat.

  1. Jacket liners, pant liners, and vests work best when worn under windproof clothing. Wind takes the heat away.
  2. Our outerwear is windproof due to the urethane coating on the fabric.
  3. Wear only one layer under Gerbing’s clothing. A long-sleeved turtleneck under a coat or liner is ideal.
  4. Pant liners don’t work well under denim pants. If you wear denim its best to wear Gerbing’s outerwear.
  5. If it’s real cold outside, wearing rain gear enhances the warming effect by sealing out more wind.

Connecting with BMW’s New Engine-Management Software
BMW’s motorcycle engine management computer accepts software upgrades. The latest upgrades only permit BMW brand heated clothing to function. Fortunately there is a simple fix for Gerbing’s heated clothing: Connect our accessory plug kit directly to your battery and connect your Gerbing’s heated clothing directly to the accessory plug. This fix is also described in the July 2006 issue of Motorcyclist, of which we reproduced the cover and the article.

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Owner of Powered Adventure
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