I like heated grips but I’m less fond of installing them. Most of the ones I’ve tried are what I call improvisational—the instructions give you a general idea of how to hook them up, but are short on details like how to mount the generic switch or controller, and lack the parts needed to hook up the wires. BikeMaster’s heated grips with an LCD display reduce the work to making just one connection to switched power, mounting an LCD display on the handlebar, plugging a few connectors together and congratulating yourself on your new heated grips.
The kit consists of grips, a wiring harness, a controller and mount, and assorted bits of hardware to connect the fused power cord to switched power on the bike. It’s practically impossible to do anything wrong thanks to the OE-style locking plugs. The instruction sheet appears to have made several meandering trips through Google Translate (“You could use glue…to gluing heat grip with handlebar to make sure it will not twist when drive”) but a glance at the components tells you all you need to know about how they go together.
My Bonneville’s headlight shell contains a tangle of wiring, and it’s there I found a source of switched power and a ground and tapped into them using the terminals in the kit. Next, I installed the grips. The kit comes with a tube of glue to keep them in place, but the fit was tight enough that after twisting them on there was no chance of them rotating. I zip-tied the grips’ wires to the handlebar, threaded the ends through the hole in the back of the headlight shell and plugged them into the power harness. Then I mounted the LCD display/controller on the handlebar—the mounting bracket fits 7/8-inch bars and is secured by a single screw—and routed its wires into the shell. I plugged it into the power harness and, after arranging the added wiring so the headlight went back on the shell, I was done.
What impressed me right off is how factory everything looks. How it works is just as impressive. The grips have five heat settings; at the first push of the button they go to five, the highest, and each subsequent push reduces the heat one step until they switch off. Because they work only when the ignition is on there’s no chance of draining the battery by mistake. And even better, the display not only tells you the grips’ heat setting, but also monitors the voltage of the electrical system, flashing when it gets too low for the battery to keep up with the demand on its power.
None of this would matter if the grips didn’t get hot, but they do—so hot on the highest setting that I could barely hold onto them with my bare hands. You can still feel plenty of heat when wearing gloves, too. Now I can ride in chilly weather with my preferred thin deerskin gloves instead of bulkier winter gloves.
BikeMaster says its heated grip kit is suitable for “all-weather riding,” so rain on the LCD display shouldn’t be an issue. The kit comes with everything you need to hook it up for a suggested retail of $84.95.
For more information: Call (877) 848-1320 or visit bikemaster.com