Adapting Gerber Heated Vest to ’19 Gold Wing OEM 12v Outlet

2019 Honda Gold Wing OEM accessory 12v outlet is North American style cigarette lighter size

On the last day of our late September tour, the air temperature dropped to a bone-chilling 2 degrees Celsius as Robyn and I departed Fort Macleod northbound on Highway 2.

It was cold, even layered up with a light fleece pullover and the insulated liner of my Olympia jacket. I have a Gerbings electric vest, but at the last minute, realized the vest used a Hella male power plug (commonly called a BMW plug or DIN plug.) The Honda accessory 12v outlet is a North America cigarette lighter style.

Gerbing heated vest. Power cord exits left bottom of vest, with Gerbing’s female connector
Gerbing’s accessory controller enables on/off and heat to be adjusted. Top male plug goes to power
Gerbing vest attached to accessory controller and DIY home-spliced female Gerbing plug into North American cigarette male plug for use on the Honda Gold Wing

A last minute, day-before trip departure, visit to two nearby bike shops to find an adapter chord with a female Hella and male cigarette plug was unsuccessful. So I hoped the Gold Wing’s large-ish windscreen and fairing, heated handgrips and saddle would provide sufficient comfort if the weather turned really ugly.

(Top to bottom) SAE flat plug, Hella/DIN/BMW male plug, NA male cigarette plug

After the trip, I realized that my 2 Gerbing power cords had the correct 2 plugs, but each was attached to different wires. The one cord had the cigarette male but with an SAE flat plug at the other end. The second wire had a female Gerbing plug with a Hella male plug.

I’m not a DIYer, so I handed the two wires over to long time friend and master electrician, Rod, who cut and spliced the female Gerbing plug to the male cigarette plug.

Yesterday, I went for a 550 km ride and the morning was a fairly constant 8-9 degrees Celsius, and I realized how even in this (relatively) warm temperature, how much more enjoyable the ride was with the Gerbing vest turned on.

An electric vest is the easiest way to extend by a good one month our very short riding season in Western Canada.

For folks who’ve never used an e-vest, I liken it to wearing a black t-shirt on a really hot, sunny summer day. The feeling of heat radiating on your back is a delight when the temperature gets really cold.

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