Koso Apollo Heated Grips promise a more comfortable ride for those of us who refuse to submit to Old Man Winter. They feature an integrated thumb switch and LED on the left grip, which allows the rider to turn them on and off and toggle between five different temperature modes on the fly. With winter temperatures dipping into the single digits here in New Jersey, it was an opportune time to put these Apollos to the test.
Installation on my 2021 Honda Trail 125 test mule was easy since the Apollos arrive with a wiring harness ready to connect to a bike’s 12-volt power. These Koso grips are the same size as the Trail’s stock ones, with a 7/8-inch opening for the left grip, a 1-inch opening for the right grip to allow space for the throttle tube, and an overall length of 5 1/16 inches (130mm). Koso offers grips in other common sizes as well.
Simply remove the stock grips, slide the new ones on with a suitable glue, plug the grips into the wiring harness, and carefully route the harness to power securely. Finally, snap the grip end caps into place. Everything has the look and feel of factory equipment.
Two common concerns: Do these grips exceed a small bike’s generator output? Will they run the bike’s battery down if left on accidentally? On both counts, no need to worry. Koso’s wiring harness has a 4-amp fuse, and I measured the current draw on the highest setting at 2.9 amps –a meager amount that even a mini-moto like my Trail can handle with ease. As for draining the battery accidentally, the Koso’s circuitry continually monitors battery voltage and automatically shuts down should voltage drop below 11.5V. The rider is alerted to this by the LED flashing purple. Once voltage rises to 12.5V for a few seconds, the grips automatically resume operation, again indicated by the LED. The whole process is seamless and automatic.
Out on the road, the Koso Apollos were easy to use and effective at their primary task of keeping hands toasty warm. Ergonomics are excellent, especially since the rider’s hand never leaves the grip to control the heat level. The integrated switch on the left grip controls power and heat level, with each level corresponding to an intuitive coloron the LED light –20% is blue, 40% is green, 60% is yellow, 80% is orange, and 100% is red. Thoughtfully, when the switch is depressed for 3 seconds to shut the grips off, the Koso circuitry remembers the last setting.
In the subfreezing temps encountered during testing, the Apollos stayed on the maximum setting. Even with heavy winter gloves on in single-digit temperatures, they got warm in as little as 5 minutes. After about 15 minutes, they were fully up to temp and delivered significant heat. Overall, Koso Apollo heated grips are a highly functional addition to any winter steed in your stable. They retail for $144.95; see website for other fitments and pricing.
For more information, visit kosonorthamerica.com.