Heated Vest Connector for 2009 ZX-6R

Warning

I am not a mechanic or a representative of Kawasaki or anything else official. This page is only my notes on doing this procedure myself. Although I believe what I have documented here is correct, I make no promises and you do this at your own risk.

Objective

I’ve used a heated vest for riding for many years now, and have come to consider heat a near-necessity – it extends our riding season here by several months. The time to install heated accessories is in summer while the weather is warm, not in the autumn with the snow flying and numb hands.

I use an Aerostich heated vest and have been very pleased with it.

One challenge is always where to connect the power. You want a power connection that is convenient, non-ugly, and that will survive if you try to walk away from the bike without disconnecting.

For my ZX-6R, I mounted a jack under the rear tail, protected with a weather cover. This jack is driven by a variable-heat controller that also controls my heated handgrips.

  • Click here for the installation of the variable heat controller and the heated handgrips. (The controller used in this article has two controls, the second being for this vest connection.)
  • Click here for the installation of the automotive relay to switch the power.

Heated Vest Jack

Most bike maintenance is easier if you support the bike on a swing-arm stand so it is held vertical. This is optional, but a good investment if you plan to do any kind of work on the bike.

The Aerostich vest uses a 1/4″ phone plug. I purchased a 1/4″ phone jack with a spring-loaded weather cover from Electro-Sonic and installed it under the rear tail section.

Other vests will use other connector types, but this location should work for most. (I’m not sure there is enough room for one of those huge “cigarette lighter” style plugs here. And they’re ugly.)

The jack opens into the area under the passenger seat. Position it carefully to ensure there is enough room for the plug when it is inserted.
In this photo I have already pulled through the wires from the temperature controller under the seat – one grounded to the frame, and one providing the controlled power.
I soldered the wires to the connector and fastened them in place with a zip tie.
That’s it. The dual-control temperature controller mentioned in the link above now controls the power to this plug, a convenient place to plug in the electric vest.

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