Installing heated grips
Do they work?
Whether heated grips can extend your riding season or not depends on who you talk to. Many people think they're great, but others say that good winter gloves work better and can be moved easily from one bike to another. To make grip heaters more effective, Hippo Hands and other handlebar mitts can help by blocking the wind. Covering your gloves with a windproof layer (Aerostich's Triple Digit Rain Covers, for example) will also help keep your fingers working on cold days.
Search the forums under 'heated grips', 'Hot Grips', or 'grip heaters' for opinions. You can also hit the reviews at Aerostich and other sellers' sites.
The rider whose installation is featured here says, "They are soooooo cozy and warm. I did not want to get off my bike when I was testing them out!"
This article follows the installation of heaters that fit on the bars under your grips. There is also a kind that includes the grips and heater as one unit. For those, see hotgrips.com.
These heaters are the Heated Grip Kit #1400 from Aerostich. They are fairly simple to put on but do require some electrical know-how. The switch was provided, but you'll need to buy a female crimp connector and some heat shrink tubing. You also need to know how to solder and have a decent iron to help you out.
Other than that, it's just a matter of following the instructions.
There are two joints to solder. You can see them and the rest of the wiring in this photo.
Here is a close up of the soldering points covered in shrink tubing and electrical tape.
This is the female end you need to attach to the switch. These are just standard crimp connectors, available at any hardware store.
These are the accessory wires (yes, the ones that everyone writes in and asks about).
The stock wiring on the bike is 18 AWG. If you're using these accessory wires, then there's no use in using any bigger wire than that for this modification. If you're running the hot and ground wires back to the battery with a relay, which is a really good idea for this heat-producing application, you should use a little heavier wire.
Important note: The aux/accessory wires get power ALL the time, even when there is no key in the ignition. This page on Canyon Chasers has good ideas on how to use relays so you can turn off the accessories when the key goes off. If you have more than one farkle that you're going to be putting on your bike, you might want to consider hooking them all to an accessory fuse box.
The bike in this article has the high/off/low switch mounted on the right side fairing. Just consider how easy it would be to forget to shut off the switch when it is cold out and you want to be in. If you use the accessory wires instead of a relay, you should make them switched.
Some manufacturers say to glue the grips to the heaters, which really isn't such a bad idea. For grip installation help, go to I want to get some new grips.
There is a good article on mounting heated grips on the Canyon Chasers.net website.
Addendum - Battery dead
After running the battery dry by forgetting to turn off the switch, our man decided to put a warning light into his system. If you don't want to add a relay or modify your accessory wires (above), then you can install an LED light. Buy a 12v red (or other bright color) LED, a 330 ohm resistor, and an LED holder. Solder the resistor to the LED in the holder, because that way the current is regulated by it and cannot peak and destroy the LED. The LED must be in parallel with the heated grips and not in series, otherwise the current drawn by the grips will destroy the LED.
This is a picture of the circuit. For your own mental health, pay no attention to the -- and + signs on this diagram. Just know that, like all bike/auto applications, power flows from the + (red) pole on the battery to the -- (ground). Wire it so that the switch receives power before the heated grips. This ensures that power will have to go through the 330 ohm resistor before reaching the LED.
Attach the light to the ignition column. So now, whenever there is power to the grips, there is also power to the LED. Whenever you go to take the keys out, you are forced to look at the LED (which is fairly bright.) But you might just find it less hassle to hook up the heaters to a switched power source.