Saturday, January 23, 2016

Heated Grips v2

In my last post, I was hoping that splicing the wire was sufficient to fix the throttle side heated grip. Unfortunately, it still didn't work and I haven't dug into it anymore. It may be that when I tightened a set screw on the throttle lock it dug into the heating element sufficiently to cause it to fail.

My next attempt at reliable heated grips are these that I picked up at the local Harley/BMW/Honda/Victory/Polaris shop. They are sold for use on Polaris snowmachines aka snowmobiles. I'f they last at least as long as the grips I figure that I am ahead as they are a fraction of the price. Even being purchased locally. After going to all of the shops, none had any generic 7/8" motorcycle grips. What they had on the shelves were for snowmachines and ATVs both of which don't have throttle tubes. So I ordered some generic gel grips from Amazon made for, as they put it, BMW Ducati Harley Honda Kawasaki KTM Suzuki Yamaha. Even with Amazon Prime it'll still take a week for them to get here. Fortunately, the weather the next couple of weeks is supposed to be really pleasant unlike some other parts of the country.

When I had Aerostitch repair my Roadcrafter last fall (under warranty), I mentioned that the zipper pulls had come off of both of the main zippers. Their solution was to completely replace both zippers. After I got it back, both zippers were hard to slide since they were new and I didn't receive the little one-time-use package of zipper lubricant like I did originally. When I initially applied their lubricant to the zipper, I immediately recognized the smell as what I used to use for chain lube on my bicycle back in the day. I finally got around to picking up some of the bicycle chain lube and applied it to the zippers. Now they slide very easily just like the old zippers used to do. The Tri-Flow goes on wet but dries very quickly leaving bits of teflon on the zipper.

I'm still liking the Apple Watch. I discovered a new weather app that includes random comments as part of the report and predictions. This is a screen capture on the watch.

Here are the next six PBC videos. Nothing very spectacular or even interesting in any of them.







  1. Richard, it certainly sounds like you found a bargain by going with alt-make heaters.

    Many years ago I went snowmobiling with my brother, and I noticed that the grips could be extremely warm, much warmer than those I would later experience on my GS. Will these new heaters burn any hotter than what you’re used to, or is temperature controlled by another component in the system, such as a switch or a dial?

    Last summer I wanted to replace the rubber on my GS grips, as it was worn through in spots on both sides. I thought it would be as easy as purchasing new covers, but it seems that BMW doesn’t offer that option, requiring complete replacement, heaters and all (at those oh-so-special OEM prices, of course).

    I went with thirteen buck Grab-On grip covers instead. Sure, they add a bit of thickness and sponginess over stock grips, but—dang it!—I’ll replace grip heaters when they fail, not when the rubber is just a bit worn.

    1. The heat pads that I picked up have two trace options with different resistance i.e. a low and high power traces. They didn't come with a controller at all but I have several from previous sets of heated grips that i am going to try. The controllers just cycle the heat pads on and off with the duty cycle being a function of the five different heat settings. If they don't work, I'll just try a switch on the low power setting.

      The recommended method for installation is to remove the existing grips, thoroughly clean the bars, stick on the heat pads to the handle bar and throttle tube, use some sort of "grip cement" to slide the new grips over the heat pad. The aftermarket grips that I purchased from Amazon are just generic silicone rubber grips which should stretch sufficiently to install over the heat film and stand up to whatever heat they put out.

      The other possible installation method is to coil the pad and insert them into the handlebars. Getting good contact with the metal inside the bars without them hanging up is the challenge. The benefit is no movement on the throttle tube side. The problem is that heat transfer from the bar to your hand through the throttle tube and the grip is poor so they would need to get really hot. This is how the grips on my '83 BMW are set up and the clutch side is much warmer than the throttle side.

  2. I like the Oxford heated grips on my rig. Fit is fine and they seem to last a bit. In fact, the pair on my rig now are from my 2011 rig.

    I hate wires, so heated gloves, though tried, don't do it for me.

    In combo with my new grip covers, all nice and cozy. Of course, our temps here aren't cold when compared to yours.

    1. Do you, by chance, know the model number of the Oxford grips? Vendors don't seem to post that information probably on the fear of you ordering it from somewhere else (say with free shipping?). Since I have the heated liner I'm already tethered to the bike. Plugging the gloves into the liner isn't that much more of a hassle except when they don't stay plugged in.

    2. Sorry RichardM, that was quite a while ago....however, I found similar ones here on ebay:

    3. Thanks for checking. I was looking at the Oxford grips. The most recent set came from Ural NW and it was ShowChrome brand. They are hard plastic on the inside and the first set was too loose on the left and too tight on the right. The second set fit but the glue has come loose on the right and now it just stopped working. The glue seems to be not able to stand the heat...

    4. good point on the glue that comes with the grips, it will fail after a while and has to be re-applied.

  3. Well I hope that solves the grip problems. Aerostitch sounds like a goid company to deal with. Maybe one day I give one a whirl.

    1. I doubt that it'll completely solve the grip "problem" as there are still moving parts.

      Aerostitch makes great riding gear. Waterproof, easy on and off, a great reputation for protection, and reasonably ventilation.

  4. This comment came in via email:

    I too was interested in obtaining the zipper lube that Aerostitch issues
    with their new suits, jackets, and pants. It turns out that the one time
    use package that they include with a new suit is Dupont's Teflon Multi-Use

    I've tried to purchase this lubricant at a couple of places selling it. I
    was interested in utilizing Amazon's free shipping that comes with their
    "Prime" program but any time I got to the shipping portion of the order it
    always advised me we "can't ship to your address." I don't want to pay $$$$
    in shipping costs for a $5.00 to $10.00 item. No one is going to mail it to
    Alaska, that is for sure.

    I gave up trying to get the Dupont product to Fairbanks and am now using A
    Finish Line lubricant designed and sold, much like Tri-Flow as a bicycle
    chain lube. I think all three of these products are probably very similar
    in regards to their chemical make-up. The Finish Line lube also indicates
    that it at least sheds water with was one of the reasons Aerostitch includes
    the Dupont product with their suits. Because we all know that "waterproof
    zippers" are not waterproof and in some cases they are barely zippers. The
    lube really does help.


    1. I had the same experience when I tried to order through Amazon. I looked at the Finish Line product and the Tri-Flow at REI as they carry both but just picked the Tri-Flow due to familiarity.