Are heated motorcycle grips worth it? Should you buy one

Are heated grips worth it?
Are heated grips worth it?

Riding in winter becomes challenging because of the low temperatures and unsuitable hand gloves. Now, the simple gloves will not protect your hands from the cold air that’ll ultimately make your hands numb. It’s not a good sign if your hands become numb while riding a motorcycle in terms of agility, sharpness, and safety. That’s where heated grips come. So, here is what you need to know.

Are heated grips worth it? Heated grips are worth it as it helps to keep the hands warm while riding in the winter (cold). Heated grips prevent our hands from being numb in the cold, enhancing agility and safety while riding a motorcycle. Thus, heated grips are worth every penny if you live or ride in a colder place or winter season.

Heated grips work well to warm up the hands (especially palm), but the backside of the writing remains open to the cold wind that may numb it. Thus, you should always wear winter gloves before taking a ride, or you can also purchase an additional component known as handguards. Handguards will help to keep the windblast off your hands. Thus, the outer portion of your hand will be saved from the cold wind. If you have worn winter gloves on heated grips, your ride will be comfortable and safe.

How do heated grips work?

Heated grips work on a simple principle; it converts the electrical energy into heat energy that keeps your hands warm during the cold. Heated grips are connected with electrical cables, which are directly connected to the motorcycle battery for power. Thus, heated grips are more convenient and easy to operate because as soon as you turn on your motorcycle, it will start to warm.

The heated grips will remain heated till the bike is on. The heated grips’ power requirement will vary from brand to brand and the temperature setting they provide. For example, a pair of Hot grips requires 36 watts or at least 3.0 amps of current at 12 V to function, whereas Oxford heated grips need 4A of current to work at 12V.

Heated grips also come with heat controls to adjust the temperature according to the rider’s preference. Some manufacturers provide two temperature adjustments, while some premium brands like oxford provide five or more heat settings. 

Note:- Make sure to wear gloves before operating with heated grips as these heated grips are designed for use with gloved hands. Allowing bare hands to come in contact with hot grips may result in a burn.

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Pros and cons of installing heated grips on motorcycle

Heated grips are undoubtedly a great product to buy to keep our hands warm while riding in the winter. Here are some pros and cons to consider before buying one.

ProsCons
It keeps your palm warm while ridingIt doesn’t warm the back of the palm
Prevents the numbness of your hands, especially your palm.The numbness can occur on the back of the palm.
Multiple temperature control settings for raiders choicePower loss in your motorcycle battery will make heated grips dysfunctional.
Heated grips make the riding comfortable by keeping your hands warm.
Heated grips are cheaper than heated gloves
Easy to install and adjust temperatures
Pros and Cons of installing heated grips

How to install heated grips on your motorcycle?

Installing heated grips on the motorcycle is quite easy if you follow my instructions properly. But before getting in the setups you require these things to proceed with the work.

Tools you need:-

  • A glass paper to clean the handlebars
  • Standard Motorcycle tools  (required to remove the seat, battery connections, etc)
  • Pliers or cable snippers
  • WD-40 or rubbing alcohol (to clean)

Now, you have all the required tools to proceed with installing heated grips on your motorcycle.

Here are the steps to install heated grip on motorcycle:-

  • Remove your old grips 
  • Clean the handles properly
  • Install the new heated grips
  • Remove your motorcycle seat
  • Disconnect the battery
  • Connect the cable properly
  • Test the heated grips

Let’s get into details of each process mentioned above briefly:-

Step#1 – Remove your old handlebar grips

Removing old handle bar
Removing old handlebar

Removing the handlebar is very easy; you can pull it, and that’s it. But if you are having problems removing the handlebar grips, here is the easy way to pull out the handlebar in two easy steps.

  • Use WD-40 lubricant – Have a screwdriver, slide it between the end of the grip and the handlebar and lift the grip, then spray some WD-40 lubricant into space between them. If you want to know about use of WD-40 on motorcycle, make sure to check out this post of mine.
  • Wiggle and pull out – To remove the grips, pull them away from the handlebar while twisting it (wiggling). 

At this point, your old grips would have been removed easily, but for any reason, you failed to remove your old handlebar grips, then watch this video.

Step#2 – Clean the handles properly

Now, your handlebar grips are removed, and there will be leftover remains on the handles like WD-40, dirt, etc. Thus, make sure to clean the dirt, debris left on the handles. It’s important that you install new heated grips in clean handles. Also, use rubbing alcohol on the bar to clean it for better results.

Step#3 – Install new heated grips

It’s time to install the heated grips on your handlebar. Just slide the grips on the handlebar with a twisting motion close to the control. If the handlebar grips have extra length, then you can cut them off for the proper fit. Oxford heated grips provide an extra portion that you can cut safely if it doesn’t fit properly.

Step#4 – Remove your motorcycle seat

Removing motorcycle seat
Removing motorcycle seat

Check the owner’s manual to know the location of your motorcycle battery. For most motorcycles, the batteries are placed under the rider’s seat. Thus, I will be talking about that.

Now, you have installed the heated grips; it’s time to connect the electrical cables to the motorcycle battery to get your heated grips. Thus, you need to locate the battery; primarily, the battery is located inside the seat. Therefore, remove the seat of your motorcycle. The seat is easily removable using the key of your motorcycle (in most cases). But if your system is different, then make sure to check out the way to open the seat in your owner’s manual.

Step#5 – Disconnect the battery

You have to disconnect the battery to connect the heated grips wires to the battery. So, make sure to disconnect the negative terminal first to avoid any electrical shocks. The reason negative terminals are disconnected is first is because this terminal is grounded with the chassis. Thus, if you remove the positive terminal first, it will cause a potential difference; and if you touch any metallic portion of the motorcycle, it can give you an electric shock. So, always remember to remove the negative terminal first while disconnecting the wires to the battery. 

Step#6 – Connect the cable properly

Organizing heated grips cable into the fairing
Organizing heated grips cable into the fairing

It’s time to connect the heated grips cables to the battery. Connect the wires to the positive terminal first, then negative, to avoid any electrical surprises. After joining the cable to the battery, make sure to hide the wires under the fairing to make it look less messy. 

So, always remember to connect the positive terminal first while connecting the wires to the battery. 

Step#7 – Test the heated grips

As of now, you have connected the head grips wires correctly to the battery. It’s time to test the heated grips functional and confirm the function of these grips. Check the heat of the heated grips and their temperature settings properly. If you want, then go for a ride for a better inspection. Generally, it takes around 1 to 5 minutes to heated grips to get warmth.

Conclusion

Thus, I can say heated grips are worth every penny because they prevent your hands from freezing and keep them warm. But there is one downside of heated grips; it warms up only that portion that comes in contact with it like a palm. But the back of the hand remains open to cold winds to numb them.

Thus, there is an alternative to heated grips which is heated gloves. Heated gloves provide warmth to the whole hand. To know more about heated gloves and Are they better than heated grips? Please read this post, where I have compared them in complete detail.

FAQs

How long do heated grips take to warm up?

Different brands of heated grips take variable time to heat up. Oxford heated grips take around 1 minute to warm up, while some Heated grips generally take up to 5 minutes to warm up. The time can vary depending upon the environmental temperature and the heat setting you opted for.

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