Harley-Davidson Dual-Source Heated Jacket Liner

Editor Score: 85.75%
Aesthetics 8.5/10
Protection 9.25/10
Value 8.75/10
Comfort/Fit 8.5/10
Quality/Design 8.5/10
Weight 9.5/10
Options/Selection 8.0/10
Innovation 8.75/10
Weather Suitability 9.5/10
Desirable/Cool Factor 8.25/10
Overall Score87.5/100

Harley-Davidson’s 2015 technical MotorClothes line features a variety of new and/or upgraded apparel. We recently spent some time in the rain wearing Harley-Davidson’s two-piece High Tail Colorblocked Hi-Vis Rain Suit, and have been enjoying the warming massage of the Dual-Source Heated Jacket Liner. There’s also two new versions of the FXRG Triple Vent System Switchback jackets – one leather, one textile – a standard FXRG leather jacket, and FXRG Dual-Homologated and modular helmets.

Considering the cooler temperatures of winter are upon us, the Dual-Source Heated Jacket Liner has been seeing a lot of use. What is Dual-Source? In this case it’s the ability of the heated jacket to receive a 12-volt electrical current from either a motorcycle wired with the Battery Connecting Harness or a 12-volt current from the accessory lithium-ion battery ($99).

Big news for 2015 are the built-in temperature controllers for all of H-D’s heated gear. Each item features a four-level (Off, Low, Medium, High) temperature setting via a color-coded controller mounted directly on the garment’s sleeve, cuff or pant leg. Heated Dual-Source Jacket Liners feature a fold-down flap located on the interior, left front of the garment.

Individual controllers allow a wearer to set differing temperatures for each garment. On the color-coded temperature controller Green indicates Low, Yellow for Medium and Red for High. The green light on our test jacket liner is dim and hard to see. The yellow and red colors are brighter.

The fold-down flap on the jacket liner houses both the temperature controller as well as the wiring for connecting the liner to the bike or the lithium-ion battery. The flap makes for easy access to see what setting you’re currently on, as well as switching settings.

The rechargeable 12V lithium-ion battery measures about 1 inch x 4.5 inches x 4 inches (WxLxH), and weighs 0.8 pounds. Its fuel gauge registers from 1 (empty) to 9 (full). Charge time from empty to full is about three hours, while battery life is good for an average of 2 to 3 hours depending on which of its heating levels are selected.

If you’re wearing the heated liner while riding in the rain, the flap will be inside the rain suit, negating its usefulness. When off the bike, with the battery installed, you can continue enjoying the liner’s warming sensation. The fold-down flap looks a little goofy, but you can fold it into the jacket using the velcro closure. It’s not as comfortable and you lose some pocket space, but the tradeoff for staying warm is worth the inconvenience. Speaking of pockets, some electrically heated pocket warmers would be a nice touch.

The rechargeable battery allows a wearer to use the jacket liner while riding a motorcycle without being connected to it, or in a casual setting off the bike. The battery fits inside a zippered, internal pocket behind the flap housing the temperature controller.

The jacket liner weighs 2.3 pounds, 1.3 pounds more than a similar, non-electrical windbreaker from BMW. Add in the battery weight of 0.8 pounds, and you’ve a three-pound jacket. That’s the tradeoff for manufactured warmth. The jacket boasts a comfortable fit, a silky-soft collar and a thumb cuff that keeps the arms of the liner in place underneath the outerwear.

There’s an electric jacket liner for women too! As well as heated gloves and a heated soft shell jacket.

All told, Harley has 11 new offerings in the heated-apparel department: eight garments for men and three for the ladies. Each comes with a new three-year warranty.

Heated Waterproof 12V Dual-Source Riding Jacket S-3XL $450
Heated Waterproof 12V Dual-Source Riding Pants S-3XL $350
Heated 12V Dual-Source Jacket Liner S-3XL $295
Heated 12V Dual-Source Gloves S-3XL $235
Heated 12V Plug-In Jacket Liner S-3XL $295
Heated 12V Plug-In Gloves S-3XL $225
Recumbent Heated 7V Soft Shell Jacket S-5XL $250
Stimulate Heated 7V Vest S-5XL $200
Heated Waterproof 12V Dual-Source Jacket Liner XS-2XL $275
Heated Waterproof 12V Dual-Source Gloves XS-XL $230
Heated 7V Soft Shell Jacket With Battery & Charger Kit XS-3W $235

According to the wire on the motorcycle battery connector, our heated jacket liner was manufactured by Gerbing for Harley-Davidson. So, if you’ve been happy with heated Gerbing stuff in the past, there’s no reason you shouldn’t also be happy with some H-D-branded Gerbing stuff.

Harley tests the waterproofness of its High Tail Colorblocked Hi-Vis Rain Suit inside a facility known as the Hog Wash. We relied on good old Mother Nature. She participated fully on the ride home. Upgrades to the Hi-Vis Rain Suit focus on better waterproofing, more breathability, enhanced visibility and an improved warranty – one year, which is generous for a rain suit.

We briefly sampled H-D’s new High Tail Colorblocked Hi-Vis Rain Suit ($195). It wasn’t raining much during the photo session, but the ride home was torrential. Not only was it falling from the sky, water was pooling on The 405, so much that cars in the opposing carpool lane were sending sheets of spray over the center divider with enough force to give me pause. I made it home safe and dry, which, considering the circumstances, was quite impressive.

The FXRG Triple Vent System Switchback jacket is a multi-layer, all-season riding jacket. Both the leather ($795) and textile ($595) versions feature a removable outer shell, removable waterproof liner, and a removable warmth liner. The removal of the layers can be a little complicated, but it beats owning several different jackets.

The FXRG Leather Jacket with Pocket System ($695) is a waterproof jacket featuring two large extensive pocket systems on the front for extra storage. The garment is constructed of mid-weight cowhide leather and heavyweight leather at the shoulders and elbows, with a Cocona Technology wind- and waterproof membrane, as well as a removable PrimaLoft warmth liner.

H-D’s FXRG Dual-Homologation helmet ($495) is a full-face lid that converts to an open-face in simple fashion. To change from full-face to open-face, depress the unlock button and swing the chin bar over the top of the helmet to its aerodynamic resting place at the rear of the helmet. Voila, open-face helmet! The FXRG Modular helmet employs a swinging chin bar but in a more traditional modular fashion where the chin bar does not revolve to the rear of the helmet. Both helmets feature an internal sun visor.