Ready to Ride: How to fit heated grips



When it comes to choosing a set of heated grips, having the ability to vary the amount of heat with a controller is top of my agenda, but more importantly than that, is some sort of battery-saving mode.

Without this the battery will discharge if you forget to turn the grips off. The battery-saving mode monitors the battery’s condition and switches the grips off when it drops to a certain voltage.

This set of grips come with Super Glue, but be careful as it’s all too easy to fit a handlebar grip on and by the time its only halfway on the glue does its thing and sets it solid on the bar. You then have to start again. So I use Loctite Super Glue ‘Extra Time’, which is ideal for handlebar grips.

Please note that some of the products and equipment featured in this article may carry health and safety warnings. Please see the product and/or equipment details page to check for possible health and safety hazards and for more
information about each product and item of equipment used.

So, without further ado, here’s your guide to fitting heated grips to your motorcycle.

  1. Get a grip…

There are many heated grips to choose from, but these Oxford Touring grips are a well known and trusted product. Key features to aim for are a set with a remote off/on button, and selectable heat settings. This kit has a low voltage cutout to prevent the battery discharging if you forget to turn them off. Unpack the contents of the kit and check the instructions.

2. Remove bar-end weights

Remove the bar-end weights, usually these are fastened with an Allen key or screw. With the bar-end weights removed, check the length of the new grips side by side. They should be the same length and if they differ check the installation instructions, and see whether they can be trimmed down to the required length.

3. Out with the old…

Take a long thin screwdriver and gently tease it under the edge of the grip and spray a brake 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 to slide off more easily. Then repeat this process on the other side. Take your time and don’t rush.

4. Get rid of the glue

Some throttle tubes have raised ribs to help prevent the original grip slipping, these will quite often not allow a heated grip to be fitted. You can usually file away some of this material until the heated grips fits on. Make sure all traces of glue from the previous fitment are removed with a strong solvent, such as a carb cleaner or brake cleaner.

5. Route throttle wires carefully

Take your time and think about the best way to route the electrical wire. The throttle is moving all of the time so the wire must not catch or bind on anything. Fit the grip using supplied glue if necessary, and check the final position allows the throttle to operate smoothly. Replace the bar end weight.

6. Take control

Select a location for the control unit to be fitted. It needs to be somewhere that can be easily accessed while you ride. Our fitting kit came with a bracket that raised it above the clutch lever perch, this fitted with no issues, but you need to consider the clearance between the fairing, on full steering lock both left and right.

7. Take positive action

Gain access to the battery, in this case it is under the seat. Make sure the grips work before routing the loom neatly out of sight. There will usually be two wires from the loom, a positive and negative, one of which will have an inline fuse. Connect the loom battery terminals to the battery and tighten up firmly.

8. See the light

Connect the controller and grips then check that the system is functioning correctly. Make sure the grips get warm and the controller varies the heat levels. If it all works well, check once again that the throttle is smooth and not binding, check for binding at both left and right full lock.

9. Keep wires tidy

Start tidying the wires, aim to integrate the cables alongside the existing loom. You will need to undo some existing cable ties and bands to do this. Try to keep it all neat. Run the wires from the battery alongside a main loom that goes to the front of the bike, you might have to lift the petrol tank to do this.

10. Final check

Tidy the wires carefully on the handlebars. Check that they don’t stretch when the handlebars turn, so check full lock both ways. Make sure the throttle grip is free to return and not likely to get pinched by the front brake lever. Finally check that the grips work, and the control unit functions work properly.

The products we used

Amazon Basics 12 in 1 magnetic screwdriver

There is nothing quite like a multi-purpose tool, and this screwdriver is spot on. It has a ratchet drive that can be set both ways, or can be locked and used like a normal screwdriver. The handle has a pop-up cover that has a selection of bits that fit into the magnetic drive, there are 12 bits with a range of popular Allen, torx, flat and crosshead drives.

Amazon Basics 10-piece Ratcheting Wrench set

All toolboxes need a set of spanners and this fine set is perfect for motorcycle maintenance. The sizes are: 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm and 19mm. Each spanner is a combination of open ended and ringed ratchet at the other end. The smooth action of the ratchet suggests it is well engineered and gives excellent feel for the final moments when max torque is reached.

Amazon Basics Socket Set (201 pc)

These types of socket sets have so many pieces that almost every job can be tackled. The 3/8 drive metric single-hexagon sockets are tough and allow large amounts of torque to be applied. And the ½ inch drive ratchet and sockets
will make light work of large sized bolts, including wheel spindles and steering stem nuts.

Amazon Microfibre Cloths

These microfibre cloths from the Amazon Basics range are very useful. They can be used to apply polish, and then buff up to a highgloss finish. Or they can be used for general cleaning and wiping away of surface contamination. They also look as good as new after they’ve been spruced up in the washing machine.

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The Ready to Ride video series and related content provides practical sports and performance bikes information for use as general information or for educational purposes. We do not know your particular vehicle or circumstances and the information we provide may not meet your motorbike repair, maintenance and/or health and safety requirements.
It is up to you to contact a motorbike mechanic professional if you are concerned about the repairs, maintenance and health and safety of your motorbike. MCN and Amazon do not give mechanic advice in relation to an individual case or motorbike, nor do we provide mechanical or diagnostic services, and this information should not be relied upon as such.

Bruce Dunn

By Bruce Dunn

Datalogger, professionally testing bikes for over 25 years.