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  #1  
Old 29 Jan 2004
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"heated" hand grips

In morocco this time last year I decided that I really ought to get some heated hand grips. It was very cold in the anti-atlas!

Anyway, my old dear got me some 'Oxford heat grips' for christmas and I recently fitted them.

Trouble is they're not very hot.

I wired them to the battery via the fuel pump relay (now redundant due to vacuum pump, Africa Twin!). I thought this quite clever seeing as they can't drain power unless the engine is running. However, could this be a factor in them not heating to full potential? or is it just that the Oxford ones are crap? Anybody else tried them or similar?

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Old 30 Jan 2004
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I haven't used the Oxford ones but have fitted Hein Gericke ones to my AT. They have two heat settings - the hot one is too hot and the normal one is not hot enough! I eventually solved the problem by getting a friend to make me a fully variable controller for them which works great.
You could try wiring them direct to the battery to see if the problem is with the wiring.
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Old 30 Jan 2004
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I've used Oxford grips and had the same problem. I wired them via the fuse box on my Transalp - handy because the fuse box sits nicely at the top of the forks on that model! I was given a pair of Oxford wrap around heated grip covers by a friend, and they're a lot better. I think that's because they are more insulated from the cold steel of the handlebars. Another thing I did with the heated grip covers was to cut out a large amount of pre-switch power lead, which should have had the effect of lowering the current resistance. Obviously, cutting the post-switch power lead would affect the output of each wrap, and Oxford strongly warn against doing this.

My advice to you is to do as Steve did - get a variable resistor (available from an electrical supply shop like Tandy (if they still exist ?!?)) and wire that in. Easier if you wire it behind the switch. The elements in my original Oxford grips eventually burned out (after 2 years). In fairness, that was also to do with the repairs I had to do every time I pulled the grip and it's accompanying wiring off when picking the bike up after dropping it! Even BMW grips (175 GBP) fair with alarming regularity!

Next time I might try the Daytona heated grips. These have a hot start setting that might be more useful.

Stig
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Old 31 Jan 2004
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thanks guys, I'll try a variable resistor - see if I can work out how to fit one! but surely it couldn't actually lower the resistance from what it is now?. (I'm trying to remember my O'level physics, V=IR etc.)

there isn't enough slack to shorten the main power feed from the battery to the switch by much. though there is about a foot extra from the switch to each grip - why is it bad to shorten those? (I got an E in physics)

the grips have a power rating of 15 Watts (each), so I think I'd be right in thinking that there is still a fair amount of spare power coming from the alternator(?), could I increase that power rating somehow? I'd rather mess about with them than change them as they took an age to fit!
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Old 2 Feb 2004
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A proper electronic controller is a much better option. This varies the output by pulsing the power on and off and so does not waste any energy. A variable resistor has to dissipate the energy that would otherwise be going to the grips and will, therefore, get hot.
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Old 2 Feb 2004
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That's a good point Steve - better than a resistor. As far as cutting the switch to grip flex, I would have thought that it's unlikely to hurt too much (despite Oxford's warnings), and might give better supply to your grips. I'm willing to give this a go with my over grips just to tidy up the excess flex cable tied to by bars......!

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Old 2 Feb 2004
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I haven't seen how these grips work but home made grips can be made hotter by reducing the number of windings you put around the bar. If you make them too cool all you need to do is solder two adjacent loops together which effectively shortens the wiring and warms up more.

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Old 3 Feb 2004
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The oxford grips are very poor. I'm using a pair on my street bike, a Honda Bros 650 (aka Hawk in the States). The RH one gets warm-ish after about an hour, but the LH grip has the bar as a heatsink, so it never gets very warm. Neither ever get "too hot". I have mine wired to the battery via a switched main and an inline fuse.

The solution? Get better gloves.
Actually, I don;t want to be too harsh, they do keep the windchill at bay on the autoroute, IF you have them on max and IF it's not too cold outside.
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Old 3 Feb 2004
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I have to admit I use bar muffs as well - I don't think the hottest grips are that much use when the temperature drops a few degrees below freezing. You just tend to get roasted palms and frozen backs.....

That said, bar muffs would not be the thing if you intend to do a lot of off road. I have mine mounted over the standard handguards, which makes them stiffer. The trouble is, access to the controls is impeded by the top of the muffs when standing up. Oh, yes, bar buffs doesn't go with the off road image!

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Old 2 Jul 2004
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I had the Oxford grips, crap, I now have a set of Triumph one's, there much better although the start switch is dodgy but they heat up both sides the same. I would have to agree that muffs are by far the best bet, who cares how un cool they look, I know I like to be able to feel my fingers within an hour of stoping. I agree that they do hamper the controls a little but you will live with it for the warm hands! A good idea is to get the biggest one's you can, then use a bunge between them to pull the sides together across the tank, this keeps the shape and helps alot, ask any dispatch rider.
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Old 2 Jul 2004
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Onr thing I forgot to mention, I had a discusion the other week with a few mates at the cafe regarding heated grips, all of them mentioned that they had to replace their batteries soon after getting them fitted. I said I couldn't see how it would kill batteries so quickly, funny then that the next day my Speed Triple's battery died!!! spookie stuff but something to be aware of.
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