Sunday, June 22, 2014

Temperature Gauge and Evaporative Cooling Vest

from    I wrote about receiving a box  Part 1  and then I opened the box and wrote about it here  Part 2   .

You know how I like to keep new things in their box but I relented and tried to figure out where I wanted to mount my new Formotion Thermometer  (link to product here)

I imagined it mounted to my handlebar but I didn't buy the mount

Then I thought about mounting it on my Madstat windshield bracket.  I know it would vibrate more but then again this thermometer is shock resistant and waterproof to 5 ATM

There are not a lot of places to put this Formation Thermometer and I wanted to be able to see it without looking down nor away from the road

It comes with a simple flat bracket with a slight bend and I wanted to keep it stock and not try to bend it too much

I found a high strength plastic mount from a bicycle store and tried out the mirror stem but it seems too distracting being so high

I decided to mount the bracket facing down so now it is tucked behind the brake fluid reservoir

Seems like a good place for it.   Will just have to leave it there for a while to see if I like it there.  My old digital thermometer is just to the left.  It is not waterproof but it survived the trip across the country last summer and it still works

The new Formotion Thermometer is very easy to read and does not require a battery.   The LCD one is hard to read in the sunlight and I removed it this evening

Generally when I buy clothing I keep it for a year or so before I get around to opening the package.  And removing the tags is an ordeal.    Here are the tags, which are still attached

I sure could have used this Evaporative Cooling Vest last year   (link to product)     It was my intention to buy one whilst "on the road" but I didn't go out of my way to find a motorcycle dealer and  they aren't stocked locally as we don't get that hot here.   Thinking back on it now I think I should have just ordered it on-line from   and then I would have had it

Here it is out of the package.  I noticed immediately that this garment is designed in California, USA

Not sure where it is made but it would be made to American standards so you shouldn't be concerned about the quality

Here I am modeling it for you.   Fits snug as a glove and it should so that you can get the full cooling effect .  Notice that the tags are still attached

Here's a closer view.  Of course in warm or very hot weather I would be wearing this over my tank top, but under my riding jacket so that the moisture doesn't evaporate so fast

Then I thought that perhaps it would be better to ditch the tank top, especially if it was 100°F like it was for weeks on end when I was crossing the middle of the USA in a prolonged heat wave

I'm trying my best to hold in my stomach.   I have lost nearly 6 lbs over the past 3 weeks but it is hard to hold this level.    I can't stop eating.   Right now I have been hovering around the 180 lb level.  I made it down to 178 lbs for 2 days and this morning I was 179 lbs.    Ever since  Richard and David started to gain ground on me I have been trying my best to adhere to a more stringent eating regimine.   I noticed that both of them are not posting their weights anymore so I don't know what progress they are making

So far I am liking this vest but it's still too cool to test it out and we are forecast for spotty rain the next few days and I will have to remove the tags when I soak it in water

Oh, by the way . . .   also sells the Viking line of Jackets and Motorcycle luggage.

Click here for   Viking Jackets  or   here for  Viking Bags


  1. I dunno. Looking at that gauge I think I would feel like a turkey being basted:) but if it actually works I may have to change my tune. Getting over heated is no joke.

    1. David:

      I like the idea of a thermometer. I like to know when it is 100°F and when it is near freezing. During Winter I don't mind riding when it is colder but I worry about ice and frost and slippage. Many times I have left home for work around 5°c but then it gets colder as I pass through New Westminster, or hit the shadows around the UBC area along Spanish Banks

  2. Bob,
    I've found through trial and error that wearing a light, long sleeved shirt under the wet vest and a leather or denim vest over the wet vest, or my leather jacket with all the vents open, really keeps me much cooler. The entire shirt gets wet right away and the wet vest keeps it that way.
    Hope you get those tags off and enjoy it soon!
    Sash - The Rude Biker Chick
    <a href=">See Sash Videos!</a>

    1. Sash:

      Your method seems like it would work. I like the idea of keeping your inner layer moist with the vest on top. The longer your vest is wet the longer it will be cool. I'm just waiting for our warm weather to arrive. It is forecast for rain tonight and more rain this weekend

    2. How can you stand all that rain?
      I'm so spoiled after living in warm weather all my life, that I have no tolerance for real weather. But I still do quite a bit of riding in the rain. Just not the cold. Ugh!

    3. Sash:

      Warm rain is refreshing when it is hot. Our cold rain is not desirable. I don't mind cold weather but it usually means ice or frost during the Winter. I would prefer dry cold

  3. I've seen those formotion temperature gauges before, do they get way hot in direct sunlight, leading to erroneously high readings? I use a cheapo aquarium temperature gauge, with a wired remote probe hidden in the headlight bucket to keep it out of the sun and wind.

    As to the evaporative jacket, they work pretty good, trouble is they dry out fast, so you have to stop to re-hydrate it, still, worth the money!

    1. Dom:

      I think that most thermometers would get false readings in direct sunlight. I may have to put it somewhere lower down and "covered". Cloudy days should be okay. I was also thinking that the "air flow" would tend to read the ambient temperature. We have to try it out but most gauges I have seen are not hidden

      I've read that many simply re-hydrate it when stopping for fuel and I passed many rest areas last year.

  4. The thermometer looks nice though the indicated temperature not so nice.

    I only used my vest a couple of times during my 2012 road trip. Nice to have, especially when it got into triple digit temperatures. I would soak it in a zip-lock bag before taking off in the morning and re-soak it in the same bag when it dried out.

    1. Richard:

      I have an area under my carport which traps the afternoon heat. Plus I was handling the thermometer case transferring body heat to it. That's why it was reading High. I was monitoring it for the past week, inside the house and it was matching my other thermometer. Perhaps it is getting false readings from the direct sunlight

      Can't wait to try out the Evaporative Vest but it's not warm enough yet. I would certainly bring it on my next trip. I like your idea of a large plastic bag to keep it wet until I needed to use it

  5. Bob I have that same vest and haven't tried it out yet. Forgot it on my ride down south a few weeks ago, charged it up with water last week and took it on a ride, but it was to cool to wear it. Maybe next week I will take a day trip to see how it works in 110 degree weather. Because of the reason Sash listed and the slimy feeling when it is wet I will wear it over my shirt.

    1. Paul:

      I suppose that it wasn't warm enough yet and you didn't think you would need it. I am sure you would appreciate having it when it's 110°F outside. I am going to try wearing it over a T-shirt but under my riding jacket

    2. I'll be interested to hear if it works for you Bob.

    3. Karen:

      I am positive it will work. We should have had them last year. I forgot to buy one when we were at Kissells in State College, PA. Never even thought about it

  6. I got a message from those sales people to advertise on my blog and boy did she get tart with me when I said no thanks.
    I don't mind the heat much but if I'm in some of that nasty dry heat I pour a bottle of water over my shirt and call it solved. I have a thermometer to match the clock, the clock is great, the thermometer doesn't seem very responsive. perhaps because its always hot around here.

    1. Mr Conchscooter:

      I generally turn down guest posts and items to review BUT for months I ignored their emails but then I started to respond to Kiara and we had a good chitter chatter over the preceding weeks, so much so that I decided to relent. You are not forced to choose Viking brands and certainly I didn't need bags nor jackets so I thought about it and then the light bulb went off. I needed the Evaporative Cooling Vest which I should have bought last year, and I had always wanted a thermometer, for which I was going to buy. I saw the one on your Bonneville, on the right side of your windshield and I had always wanted one but I should have also purchased the clock too. I like to keep the clock on my bike on PST but when I was in PEI we were 4 hours difference and I always had to subtract the hours to find out what time it was. I thought that I should have another clock which I can set to Local Time.

      Pouring water over your shirt doesn't last long. The vest has material which will hold more water

  7. Bob, when I get something I can't wait.

    Out of the box, out of the packaging, off with the tags, straight into use.

    1. David:

      I still have shirts, in original packaging which were never opened and I just donated them away. They were Woodward's brand and they went bankrupt over 20 years ago

      My Vstrom still has factory stickers on the gas tank

  8. I like that thermometer and the vest. I have a neck kerchief that you wet down and wrap around your neck and it really does stay cooler with it evaporating.

    As for mounting your thermometer, I suggest "industrial velcro", which can be bought at any hardware store or department. It's double sided and you can just about mount that thermometer on any flat surface.

    Maybe that round flat area just under your handlebars will work as a good position.

    Enjoy your new toys!

    1. Deb:

      I also have those neck Doos which you wet and put around your neck but I have never used it. The vest will come in handy next year when I go on another long tour.

      The thermometer does not have a flat back. There is a place to mount a screw to secure it to a mount so you can't use velcro. I like the clean lines of the thermometer face

  9. Bob

    I used one during my cross country trip in 2010 and let me tell you, it saved the day when we crossed Nevada on Hwy 50, aka, Loneliest Road in America where we hit 111 degrees at one point. I was riding the Kawasaki Concours at that time and the big windscreen was a killer. My vest was soaked with water and while riding it really helps to keep you cool.