Stay warm this winter
Nothing wrecks a ride more than numb hands… it’s time to fit heated grips
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.