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Widder apparenty Going out of business


Skywagon

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Interesting. I couldn't find any further info. :(

 

Of course I *just* bought a jacket, so can't justify buying another one, even if the price is right!

 

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Widder sounds like another victim of this economy.

 

I have an unheated windblock fleece vest that has served me well for 10 years, but is starting to get a little threadbare. With the air management of an R1100RT with a Cee Bailey windscreen, I have yet to feel the least bit cold, down to about 30 degrees, so I'm not really sure I need an electric vest, but this would be a tempting Christmas present to myself, and I'm planning to do a lot more long distance riding in 2009. I suppose I could use a heated vest without the cord for most of the time, and plug in only when needed.

 

Those of you who own Widders, how do you like them? The Tourmaster Synergy heated vest is about the same cost as the clearance price on the Widder, but comes with a 3-temp solid state controller, rather than just an on-off switch. Is there anyone with experience with both?

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Widder made high quality products and is known for good customer service. I've read some time ago that they are closing shop not because of economy problems but because they are simply retiring. It's possible that with all the newer electric garment competition and some of it made in China or whereever, the business is not a very sellable item.

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Having compared the Widder vest to the competition I can see why they might go out of business. YMMV

 

I have a Widder vest and a Warm n Safe liner. Guess which one I take with me when riding. (Hint: not the Widder) ;)

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I can understand people liking Widder if it's the only thing they've ever run and they're comparing it to frostbite but I originally bought Widder heated gear (gloves and vest) and this season just got the Gerbing gloves and heated liner. The quality of the Gerbing kit is head and shoulders above the Widder.

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I can understand people liking Widder if it's the only thing they've ever run and they're comparing it to frostbite but I originally bought Widder heated gear (gloves and vest) and this season just got the Gerbing gloves and heated liner. The quality of the Gerbing kit is head and shoulders above the Widder.

 

More to it than that......

 

How many watts does your liner use??????

 

How many watts does the Widder vest use??????

 

My KTM nor the FJR could handle two liners.

 

They could handle two Widder vests at full strength all day long.

 

 

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Widder Sym 2 vest = 35 watts

Widder gloves = 20 watts

 

 

Gerbings vest = 54 watts

Gerbings gloves = 27 watts

 

 

Care to guess which ones above make the most heat?

 

I have owned both products & hands down the Gerbings are warmer.. I think overall the Gerbings use less power as once I have been on the road a few minutes I turn the Gerbings vest down to ½ power so with an electronic controller that is only 27 watts.. Always ran the Widder gloves at full power & only run the Gerbings at about ½-3/4 power so less power used there also..

 

Twisty

 

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My buddy has always been happy with his Widder vest. I went Gerbings because if it is cold enough to want a vest then my arms are cold too. Widder's arm-chaps thing looked too kludgy to me, compared to a Gerbings liner.

 

The Widder flat electrical connector may be more rugged than the smaller Gerbings round connector. It looks like it to me. But my Gerbings is holding up just fine.

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Penforhire, you want to properly compare the Widder to the Gerbings come on up here to Michigan about this time of year & we will do 200 miles at 8o+ mph in 12°f ambients.. Won’t take you long to figure out which one works best.. Same on the gloves,, big difference when it gets cold & at speed..

 

I actually like the new Gerbings connectors much better then the older style Widder flats..

 

Twisty

 

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Widder Sym 2 vest = 35 watts

Widder gloves = 20 watts

 

 

Gerbings vest = 54 watts

Gerbings gloves = 27 watts

 

 

Care to guess which ones above make the most heat?

 

I have owned both products & hands down the Gerbings are warmer.. I think overall the Gerbings use less power as once I have been on the road a few minutes I turn the Gerbings vest down to ½ power so with an electronic controller that is only 27 watts.. Always ran the Widder gloves at full power & only run the Gerbings at about ½-3/4 power so less power used there also..

 

Twisty

 

My Widder gets so hot it feels like my skin is gonna burn through the t-shirt.

 

 

I have nothing against Gerbing, matter of fact I loved the liner the one time I used Mr Olson's in MT. It is by far the best electric gear I have ever seen, but I feared it would kill both the KTM and the FJR had I used them. I'm sure the extra 38 watts also scared me off the vest at the time.

 

 

When the Widders finally fails I will get Nando's advice on Gerbing gear be happy to purchase two liners.

 

 

Keep in mind it's 80 degrees here today.

 

 

Whip

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Whip, I use the Gerbings on my old Honda’s & older four-wheeler.. None of those have much if any reserve charging output..

 

The secret I have found is the newer pulse width modulated heat controllers.. Unlike the older resistance heat controllers the new pulse width modulated units use very little power when the power is turned down as they don’t use an internal resistance to drop the garment operating heat.. The current goes down almost directly in proportion to the controller setting..

 

 

Twisty

 

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Whip, I use the Gerbings on my old Honda’s & older four-wheeler.. None of those have much if any reserve charging output..

 

The secret I have found is the newer pulse width modulated heat controllers.. Unlike the older resistance heat controllers the new pulse width modulated units use very little power when the power is turned down as they don’t use an internal resistance to drop the garment operating heat.. The current goes down almost directly in proportion to the controller setting..

 

 

Twisty

 

Thanks

 

I'll remember that

 

:thumbsup:

 

 

BTW...What's your home number in case it don't work on the way home from DV????

 

 

:wave:

 

 

 

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Widder is not going out of business because they're failing. The husband and wife who own the business simply decided to retire. They have grown children who have their own professional careers and who do not want to carry on the family heated clothing business. They are also not interested in selling the company along with the family name. They've got enough money to retire, so they're simply going to do just that.

 

Everything else is absolutely unfounded speculation by people who have done absolutely no research.

 

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They are also not interested in selling the company along with the family name. They've got enough money to retire, so they're simply going to do just that.

 

Everything else is absolutely unfounded speculation by people who have done absolutely no research.

 

Ah the internet! :dopeslap: The Widder door closing subject was covered many months ago as they clearly had a intrest in informing their customers they were done. Yet, we always seem to get these types of threads, time and time again, in multiple subjects with completely unfounded "information".

 

It really only takes a few moments of research to uncover truths but what fun would that be...

 

 

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I have a Widder and like it just fine. Of course, where I live (Southern California), cold is not often a problem. I use the vest when temps are in the 40s and high 30s, for example when I ride in the mountains, up to Northern California, or to Death Valley in the winter. By the standards of those who live in really cold places and ride a lot in chilly weather, I have hardly tested the vest.

 

One problem with buying a new Widder now is that all warranties are void as of January 1. For this reason, when I wanted to buy my brother a vest for Christmas, I read the WebBikeWorld review and bought the TourMaster Synergy. Got it for $110 at the Honda shop in Glendale.

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I can understand people liking Widder if it's the only thing they've ever run and they're comparing it to frostbite but I originally bought Widder heated gear (gloves and vest) and this season just got the Gerbing gloves and heated liner. The quality of the Gerbing kit is head and shoulders above the Widder.

 

More to it than that......

 

How many watts does your liner use??????

 

How many watts does the Widder vest use??????

 

My KTM nor the FJR could handle two liners.

 

They could handle two Widder vests at full strength all day long.

 

 

 

The ol GT handles 2 Gerbings jacket liners and two pairs of Gerbings gloves.

Plus Motolights and PIAA's.

Heated seat too.

Cruise.

Not to menton, but I will, GPS, XM, Autocom, etc.

This is one of the great features about the old warhorse. :thumbsup:

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Love my Widders. Just completed my collection (everything is 35% off on their site) by buying the leg chaps. No warranty now, of course, but I've never ever needed service work done.

 

It's sad to see an American family company close. I do find it difficult to believe that no buyer was found, but I think Paul Mihalka's explanation is the only one that makes sense.

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I visited Widder's shop in Ojai once and it is quite small. A moto bud who lives in that town told me that Widder used local seamstresses on a piece work basis. Labor laws have all but eliminated this concept of the past in our Land of Outsourced Offshore Manufacturing. Not saying the retirement story isn't true, but continuing business in that manner makes it extremely difficult to compete with China.

 

Jeff

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I've had exceptional service from my Widder for many years. Quite honestly the reason I bought theirs was that it was a name that I knew of and nobody had any of the other brands in stock for me to try on.

 

It's a shame to see a good company with good (rare) customer service go out of business

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This is from a message that Pat Widder posted on the LD Riders list in January 2008:

 

I'm surprised this news took as long as it did knowing the speed of the Internet. We actually put the disclaimer on our website on December 30th. After a 37 year run, Joyce and I made the decision this past summer. We are staying open this year to cover any warranty issues and sell the remaining inventory. It was a hard decision because of the thousands of great people we have met through the years, but the main reason is we are ready to do other things now that our sons have been raised. There is a certain amount of irony in the timing because my father George Widder who founded the company passed away on December 27th. Seven weeks earlier, my mother and his wife of 65 years passed away.

 

I was very happy with my Widder gear - it was much more compact under a Stich and packed in a saddlebag smaller than a Gerbings liner. Plus, Pat Widder was a great supporter of LD riding for many years.

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