Stay warm this win­ter

Noth­ing wrecks a ride more than numb hands… it’s time to fit heated grips

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -


Trim to fit

Although many af­ter­mar­ket kits are universal, take ad­vice and choose one rec­om­mended for your bike. To fit, first re­move the bar end weights – usu­ally fas­tened with an Allen key or screw. Next check the length of the new grips against the ex­ist­ing ones (they should be the same). If they dif­fer check the in­stal­la­tion in­struc­tions and see if they can be trimmed. The length of the right grip is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant.


Loosen your grip

Once you’re sat­is­fied the grips will fit both sides, you need to re­move the orig­i­nals. Take a long, thin screw­driver and gen­tly tease it un­der the edge of the grip, then lift it away from the bar slightly and spray a con­tact cleaner into the gap. Move the screw­driver around and keep spray­ing the cleaner, it will dis­solve any glue and lu­bri­cate the in­side of the grip and help it slide off eas­ily. Re­peat the process on the other grip.


Make a mod­i­fi­ca­tion

Some throt­tle tubes have raised ribs on them to help pre­vent the orig­i­nal grip slip­ping, but quite of­ten these will make the tube too wide and will pre­vent a heated grip from be­ing fit­ted. This is where you have to de­cide whether or not to mod­ify your bike’s throt­tle tube by re­mov­ing these ribs. We trimmed a raised sec­tion of our 2003 Honda VFR800’S grip us­ing a Dremel.


Route mas­ter

Think about the best way to route the elec­tri­cal wiring – re­mem­ber the throt­tle is mov­ing all of the time so the wire must not catch. Fit the grip us­ing the supplied glue, and check the fi­nal po­si­tion al­lows the throt­tle to op­er­ate smoothly. Re­place the bar end weight, and recheck throt­tle op­er­a­tion again be­fore fit­ting the clutch-side grip.


Power up

Gain ac­cess to the bike’s bat­tery, in most cases it will be un­der the seat. Be­fore spend­ing time care­fully rout­ing the wiring out of sight it’s al­ways best to check that the grips work prop­erly first. There will usu­ally be two wires from the loom, a pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, one of which will have an in­line fuse. Con­nect the loom’s ter­mi­nals to the bat­tery.


Fol­low the loom

Start tidy­ing the wires, you should aim to in­te­grate them along­side the bike’s loom – you may find you will need to undo some ex­ist­ing cable ties and bands to do this, so try to make it as neat as pos­si­ble. Run the wires from the bat­tery along­side a main loom that goes to the front of the bike, bear in mind that you might have to lift the petrol tank to do this. Make sure that you still have ac­cess to the in­line fuse holder.


Take con­trol

The con­trol unit needs to be some­where that you can eas­ily ac­cess while rid­ing. Our kit came with a bracket that raised it above the clutch lever perch, but it snagged on the fair­ing at full lock, so we mounted it to the top yoke. Route the wires to the front so as not to catch them be­tween the bars and the tank on full lock.


Test­ing times

Con­nect the con­troller and grips then check the func­tion of sys­tem. Make sure the grips get warm and that the con­troller works by switching through the var­i­ous heat lev­els. If it all works well, dou­ble check to see if the throt­tle is smooth and free of bind­ing; you should check for bind­ing on both left and right full lock.


Tidy and toasty

Tidy the wires care­fully on the han­dle­bars – check that they don’t stretch when the han­dle­bars turn, so check full lock both ways, pay­ing par­tic­u­lar attention to the throt­tle grip. With the grips now fit­ted you should be aware not to over­load your bike’s charg­ing sys­tem by run­ning too many ad­di­tional heated items, like waist­coats or in­soles, as this can dam­age elec­tri­cal com­po­nents like the reg­u­la­tor/rec­ti­fier.

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