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Old 21 Jan 2013
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Location: Istanbul & Baku TR
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Question Heated grips cause headache !

Hi All,

Tried to put on heated grips to my R80 Gs Basic some years ago with help of a member. Failed. He was good in electrics and said no need to pay so much for ready made heated grips and better to make a good one by buying all needed parts. Sent me diagrams, parts lists etc... But It confused me and was difficult for me to find all that things in the city I live.

I think it is better & easier to buy and apply a ready made grip. But can't decide which one is better.
I don't want to throw away the original grip which is on my airhead now. So don't want to change them with something like Oxford which I need to change the grips.

Heater plates which put under the grips looks sensible but don't know how to apply them.

Would like to hear advices about this issues: which one is better?
Oxford style ready heated grips or
The heater plates which put under (already have original) grips. And how to do it!

"where the traveller goes, nobody knows ! "
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Old 21 Jan 2013
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Various in Ontario, Canada (no fixed address)
Posts: 35
Are you describing some sort of prefab grip heater, or something completely homemade?

Here is my opinion:


Pro: easy to install
Pro: clean looking install
Pro: Warmer (hot)

Con: you must choose one of two grip styles
Con: hard to change after the fact -- you can break them on removal if they are stuck on too well.
Con: does not come with a relay so can accidentally be left on.

Symtec (adheres under grip):

Pro: choose whatever grip you prefer
Pro: choose whatever wiring and switch/"dimmer" you prefer
Pro: depending on your install method, worn grips can be replaced later.
Pro/Con: install is as clean or messy as you make it
Con: not as warm as Oxfords
Con: tend to loosen up after a time (i.e. over a year)

I have used both Oxfords and Symtec heaters. For myself, I prefer Symtec as I like to choose specific grips with anti vibration properties. I have had several sets on several bikes. My girlfriend has Oxfords and they are basically plug and play. They are also very warm!. That said, as they come out of the box, they due not include an electrical relay so do not turn off with the ignition. While they are supposed to turn off when the battery charge is down. With the Symecs I use a relay so they are definitely off when the ignition is off. You could add a relay to the Oxfords, but this is no longer plug and play.

Warmnsafe sells a symtec kit which includes their heat-troller -- variable heat instead of high/low switch.

Either way, to do the job properly, by the time you are done, the price difference shouldn't be too much if you have factored in make a proper wiring harness for the Symtecs, or buying someone else's wire harners. Eastern Beaver used to sell one but no more
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Old 22 Jan 2013
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5 or so years ago there were only Oxford- and they were expensive. Now that there are many manufacturers making grips the price has come down by a lot (they used to be around 80-90 GBP and now they are around 25 GBP).

Ultimately whether or not you want to install ready made or make your own depends how muchyou value your time at, how confident you are, and how much the price of grips would make a difference elsewhere in your life.

In October I rode over to Erzincan and onwards to Dogbiscuit, and there were times I'd have traded half my possesions for some heated grips. Shame my bike has no battery.....
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Old 22 Jan 2013
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Günaydin Samy

Did you ever thought about heated gloves (or maybe heated inner liners)??

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Old 22 Jan 2013
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IMHO the BMW (expensive) heated grips is the best option. It has the wires inside your handlebar so you avoid the weak spot where the cable exits the right grip.
It's easy to install with connectors that fits directly into your harness. Both grips get the same temperature. My set has lasted for 220kkm
It's not directly compatible with all kinds of handguards.

On my KTM I've used the foil-type that goes under the grips. I've used 20W on the right side and 35W on the left (with some insulation between the grip and handlebar on the left side). This means that you have two buy two sets but they usually break pretty fast so you can use the other set next time. The nice thing with this solution is that you can use whatever (eeh almost) grip you like and if you do it correct and have some luck it's possible to change the grips.
Then you have to figure out wiring, and a switch.

I've used less time and money to make the expensive BMW-set work then the cheap foil-type. Personally I don't like the Oxford grips, they are hard and slippery and not very robust.
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Old 22 Jan 2013
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Thank you for contributions.

Best one would be the original BMW heated grips but they are far very expensive. One set would be around 350 usd + shipping.

I will make a search where to find and buy for my bike. For sure I will have difficulties to mount them on. That electricity works always confuse me.

If you know where I can find/buy them, pls let me know.

"where the traveller goes, nobody knows ! "
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Old 22 Jan 2013
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Hi Samy, try motorworks.co.uk

Ride safe.
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Old 23 Jan 2013
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Location: London, W3 (the nice part though!)
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Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
In October I rode over to Erzincan and onwards to Dogbiscuit, and there were times I'd have traded half my possesions for some heated grips. Shame my bike has no battery.....
I've read on a trailbike forum before a brief report from someone who fitted normal heated grips to their trail bike with just a simple lighting coil (ac). They reckoned they worked fine, but the heat output varied massively with the engine revs. Ie at idle the heat dropped right down, and at higher engine speed they were really hot. I don't remember what grips they used, but you'd think grips with variable power like the oxford hot grips would be usable like this, as long as the fancy little control box didn't get confused/killed by the ac juice.

With regards to the original question:
I think Oxford hot grips are the daddy, plenty of examples of despatch riders using the same set for several years with no problems, being used all day every day 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. My mate's been using his for 3 years, and has worn the rubber down so the metal heating element's showing through, and has to wrap gaffa tape round the grip to cover it.
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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