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Reviews of Hot Grips® products
Customer comments from the Internet and emails
From www.ultimatemotorcycling.com 2012 review of installation on Suzuki V-Strom:
Hot Grips® Heated Grips Test.
Numb fingers equal less riding time - this is one proven equation for an East Coast winter motorcyclist.
Bulky winter gloves help, but eventually the cold creeps in, especially at sustained highway speeds. Then there's heated gloves. Yep, they work, but they also require uncomfortable wiring, and usually provide extreme warmth when only a bit is needed.
This leaves heated grips. They make sense, especially when you can control the heat, and are the perfect solution to the numb fingers equation mentioned above.
So heated grips were added to my list of accessories for my Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 build. The build's purpose? Attempt to make the cheap-to-purchase Strom more capable for true adventure riding throughout 12 months here in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Research began, and I came across the story of Jim Hollander, the founder and owner of the New Hampshire-based Hot Grips®.
A former ISDT rider, Hollander began working on heated grips back in 1976. And while studying Mechanical Engineering at UMass in 1980, Hollander developed his first production-heated grip. This all led to the creation of Hot Grips® - a simple (and Registered Trademark) name for an innovative product. With such a history, these are what I decided to use for my V-Strom build.
I also opted for the Variable Heat Controller, which features a knob that you mount directly to the bike's upper panels. In my V-Strom's case, I mounted it to the left upper panel, keeping it out of the way but easily accessible with the non-throttle hand. This is a simple knob that increases the grip's heat by turning the knob clockwise. When turned completely in the counter-clockwise direction, it clicks into the off position. It's a must have, allowing for personalized comfort when the temps alter, all without having to stop riding.
Hot Grips® Installation:
My installation was simple. The 2002 V-Strom arrived with optional factory heated grips, and after 10 years of use they were shot. But I simply used the positive and negative wires from the factory heated grips' main wiring harness to wire the Hot Grips®.
The Hot Grips® arrive with two long wires on each grip. Connect one wire from each grip to each other. The remaining wires from each grip are also connected to each other, and then wired to the black (negative) wire on the Variable Heat Controller. Those three wires get grounded; in my case, I used the ground wire from the stock heated grip setup.
The remaining red (positive) wire from the Variable Heat Controller is connected to a power source on the V-Strom. I used the power source from the factory-heated grips.
Hot Grips® also has an installation section on its website that explains how others have installed the grips on various models, both with and without the use of the Variable Control Unit. Also, the Hot Grips® staff will answer any questions pertaining to the installation of the grips.
Installing the actual grips is a straightforward process. They require epoxy, and, if you need to use a new throttle tube as I did, a bit of modification. The clutch side is simple - remove the bar-end weight and old grip, use half of the included two-part epoxy for plastic, and install the Hot Grip®. Superglue is not recommended due to heat the grips give off.
Because my throttle tube was frail, I decided to opt for a new one. The replacement OEM part, though, had an extended ring on the outer part of the tube that I had to cut off (Dremel tool with cutting wheel). After that, everything else was simple -use the other half of the mixed Epoxy, and install the grip.
The Hot Grips® feature a grooved-design. When sliding the grips on, the epoxy fills these grooves, allowing for a clean installation. Sure, a bit will push out on the inner edge of the grips as you push them on, but simply use a wet rag to wipe off the excess.
I installed the grips with the wires at the 6 o'clock position on the clutch side, and closer to the 7 o'clock position on the throttle side. This provides a clean look, and, on the right side, doesn't allow the wire to interfere with the throttle. Makes sure to check this before allowing the epoxy to set.
The most laborious part of the installation was running the wires. Make sure to double check for binding with the handlebars all the way turned, especially on an adventure or dual-sport motorcycle. And again, make sure the wire on the throttle grip does not interfere with the throttle function before allowing the epoxy to set.
One note on the variable heat-control unit. After I installed mine, I turned it and it kept turning clockwise. When I emailed the folks at Hot Grips®, owner Hollander responded within the hour. This was a highly unusual circumstance, there must have been a defect with my unit. Nonetheless, I returned my Variable Heater Controller unit and he sent me a new one, and it performed flawlessly. The folks at Hot Grips® also used the defected unit for study, helping to increase the construction of future designs.
Hot Grips® are exactly that, Hot.
I let the epoxy set for about 20 hours, and on the following November day, I was on my first ride with the Hot Grips®. The Hot Grips® feature a bit larger diameter than the V-Strom's stock units. I was initially worried about the larger design affecting feel, especially while in the standing position while off-road. But it took only a few miles to get used to the slightly larger diameter, and the design didn't hinder any off-road feel.
The temps were around 40 degrees, and I quickly learned the advantage of the variable heat control unit. While wearing Weise Manx gloves in these temps, I only had to crank the heat to about 50 percent - anymore and my hands began sweating.
Since then, I've used the Hot Grips® while riding in the early morning when temps were in the low teens, and my fingers and hands remained warm. Before the Hot Grips® were installed, I used a bulky winter glove when the temps dipped into the teens, such as Held Freezer gloves. But since using the Hot Grips®, the bulkier winter gloves have remained stored away; mid-weight gloves such as the Weise Manx are more than sufficient in the teens with the Hot Grips®.
I've also used the Hot Grips® on days in the 60s when heading through mountain passes. In the past, I would pull over and switch to a warmer glove, and then when things got warmer, switch back to the lighter gloves. With the Hot Grips®, I just turn a knob to the desired temp. This same scenario also makes riding on cooler nights much more comfortable.
And that's what the Hot Grips® ultimately help a motorcyclist achieve - personalized comfort. Nothing can kill a ride more than stopping due to cold hands, which are always the first to get chilly. With the use of Hot Grips®, especially with the variable heat-control unit that is a must have, riding becomes much more comfortable, especially for an East Coast motorcyclist such as myself who rides all 12 months.
Regarding durability, I've only used the Hot Grips® for around 2000 miles to date in both rain and a bit of snow, and they worked flawlessly, showing no signs of wear. I've read and witnessed pictures of riders getting 100,000 miles or more with Hot Grips, proving they are more than durable. And I plan on adding many more miles to the around 70K already on my Strom, so if you're reading this years later, get in touch.
The Hot Grips® arrive in 7/8" and 1" applications, which are available in various lengths, allowing them to fit various models. They retail for around $120, and an additional $41.95 for the Variable Heat Controller, which is a must for the rider who wants personalized comfort.
For additional information, log onto hotgrips.com
Good Morning Hot Grips®,
Nobody now days seems to take the time to compliment somebody on a
good job or good product-----oh, you'll certainly hear from them if
something isn't right.
I always like to give a pat on the back to a job well done or a good
product----so here's mine---good job and superb product!!
I've got 4 bikes---all with Hot Grips®---but I've been using them for
years and I know I've bought probably 10 sets.
I especially like the new grips that are fatter than the old ones
(part# 475-875), this makes it much easier to twist the throttle and hold
on to the bars---cuts down on my fatigue greatly.
I like the fatter ones so much better I cut the old skinny hot grips®
off my KLR a while back and put the new fat ones on-----after using the
fatter ones on my other bikes I saw the advantage and comfort of the
You're welcome to quote me if you like, on your website.
Thanks ! ... Mark Sampson ... www.bigdogadventures.com
Here are some pictures of the grips I have on my '99 HD Ultra Classic. The
bike has a bit over 100,000 Miles and about nine years on the grips.
I have decided it is time to replace the stock HD bars as well as the grips so
I will have to wait till payday to order the new Hot Grips®.
I bought this bike when it was one year old and it came with the Hot Grips®.
The previous owner really liked them and had them on His new bike. These grips in the photos
attached are getting a bit worn but they still heat up quite nicely. I will not have another
bike without them. A good friend of mine chided me for being a "sissy with the hot hands".
Then we went for a ride to Texas. One very cold rainy 34 degree morning in Kansas he
asked if he could ride my bike for a while! The sissy!
He bought some Hot Grips® for his bike as soon as we got home! I have traveled
through 45 states so far and I have used the Hot Grips® even in July. When it
rains at four in the morning your hands get too cold to keep riding without them. My coldest
ride has been in Minnesota at 27 degrees. I was so cold when I got home I could barely put
my feet down when I stopped. The Hot Grips® kept my hands warm enough to keep
control of the bike. I think I will keep it parked when it gets that cold. I don't like it
when my nose is frozen shut and my eyes are frozen open Ugh!
ATV Connection Magazine has reviewed our product. The title is "Get a Grip!
Keeping Your Hands Warm in Cold-Weather Riding". Read their review of our products
ATV Connection Product Review - Hot Grips®
...Then come my favorites, HotGrips®. The model that I use has internal ribs to put an
insulating airspace between the grip and the handlebars, the heating wires are just
under the grip surface so they have little insulating material to pass through before
the heat is in your hands, and a LOT of insulating material to pass through before heat
would escape to the handlebars. They also have an effective strain relief, a tapered
shape where the external wires leave the grip itself. Can't comment on long-term
durability, as I've only put about 24k miles on mine on the Concours in the past 9
months, but all seems well. Now that I have access to a pyrometer, I've measured the
temps at the grip, and on a 32F day the grips will run about 100F. On a warmer day,
or sitting in the garage with no moving air to cool them, they run hotter than that.
Measurement taken by pulling into a rest stop, reaching into tank-bag with one left
hand for the pyrometer, and then with pyrometer in left hand removing right hand from
grip and taking a reading *right then*.
...Heated hand grips are the best thing since the invention of the twisting throttle.
They're the single best modification I've made to my motorcycle. I run the heat often.
I still carry silk glove liners with me everywhere, but I've never had the urge to use
them. I haven't even had the urge to use my winter gloves, not even on rides when I'm
running my electric vest.
There are a couple of aftermarket grip heaters out there. One common choice is Kimpex.
I went with Hotgrips®. They rock. These
heated hand grips completely replace your motorcycle grips. Some heated grip products
add a layer inside or outside of your existing grips. These have the wires built in.
This makes them both more effective and more solid, I believe
Reviewed by: Ski-Doo chat forum writer at: http://www.hardcoresledder.com/forums/250-rev-chassis/360198-hand-warmers.html
I too have a 2006 600 SDI Renegade, my left one burnt out last year but I was able to get it working but I'm sure it will break again soon. The doo ones are crap IMO. I did my research and HOT GRIPS® (its the brand name) are the best out there and you need the 3 wire ones, then you just need some wire connectors and they hook right up to the stock doo locations, pretty simple really, its just another $100 down the drain.
After many posts and searchs both here and Dootalk, I installed Hotgrips® model 123's 2 weeks ago, did one ride last weekend and they were so warm on low that they got turned off more than on. It was 30 degrees but still they seem warmer than stock doo ones. Bought them from Jim at Hotgrips®. They have a website too. Paid about $75 per pair that included 2-part epoxy and also shiping. Quit screwin around like I was with mine and my wife's, stop considering ski-doo grips, and get the Hotgrips®. Between hers and mine we blew one grip per season, and end of last year we each had one burnt out. That was my final straw. It was pretty easy and make sure you use a pencil solder gun and shrink tube, splice to the existing wires. I actually went and searched for video of how to solder wires and watched a video on popular mechanics. These connections are better and stronger than the wire itself. This is a very easy do-it-yourself project. And the end result is a superior grip, both hotness and longevity. Did I say screw Skidoo grips? - you are throwing your money away if you go back to them.
An E-Mail response Re: State Police:
Was reading the reviews on your HotGrips® and thought you would like
to know if you didn't already, that the SPD's 30 person motorcycle unit
also rides year round and is outfitted with your HotGrips®. Heard
nothing but good things from the riders about them. They say that when
on high setting that they can actually dry their wet gloves.
A Heated Grips fan comments... writes:
Heated Grips are the second best way to keep your hands warm......................................................>
From Alaska a user writes:
Temperatures ranged from +25 down to -37 F. and our hands stayed warm.
The Hot Grips® really saved our butts, since we would have had to wear
huge mittens without them. Thanks for taking the time to develop Hot
Grips®. I won't leave for Nome without them.
Police Department in Portland, Oregon writes:
I wanted to thank you for a fine product. We have been using your Hot Grips®
for almost two years now with excellent results. As you know we operate our
Police Motorcycles year around. The adverse effects of cold hands had troubled
us for years. Since adopting your grips this significant liability has been
eliminated resulting in a better overall Unit for our officers. The grips
have functioned without failure and have not been a problem for the motorcycle
electrical system. I think your product is one of the most important in the
accessory market for genuine utility and application. I would highly recommend
your grips for anyone involved in serious motorcycle riding.
A New England female enduro racer writes:
I am the New England Enduro Champion of the woman's class, and I just wrapped up
the title again this year. I have been using your Hot Grips® for three years
now. It's the greatest invention for us crazzies who just love to play in the
snow. You make an excellent product, leave it to a New Englander to come up
with an idea like that.
A Canadian BMW rider writes:
I drive 50 miles each way to work, often leaving home at 3 am and returning
late. I cruise at 80-100 MPH, my BMW isn't put away until we get snow and ice.
On road rides my grips enable me to use my summer gloves, and turn the heat to
high, no frozen fingers. Thanks for a great product.
The Sweden Enduro Champion writes:
Hello Jim, thank you for the grips, they were very fine.
A Norway motorcyclist writes:
I saw this article called Hot Grips® in a motor bike magazine in Norway and
I though it looked interesting. I am now looking for some good news, and this
looked good especially here in Norway, because it is very cold here. I am hoping
of soon answer, and I am also interested in how I am going to pay you when I
Customer comments after installing Hot Grips® on his Honda Gold Wing
Installed the grips yesterday, went for a ride today to test. I just
installed them with a lighted on off switch, the same as the Custom Heats.
Happy to report that they are MUCH warmer than the custom heats and I feel
like I have more control (no foam to dampen road feel).
Only problem is that I think I will have to put in the resistor as I think
a warm setting would be nice.
The epoxy mounting system seems to be the most secure I have ever felt.
Customers e-mail comment:
Your Hot Grips® have been a boon! I installed mine the first week of June,
thinking I wouldn't get any use of them until September. Silly me! They
have come in handy on early mornings, rainy days, and any time I don't want
to ride with heavy gloves. Your personal service over the phone and by
email was also appreciated. You have a great product. Incidentally, I
connected mine to the license plate light circuit; that way they can't be
turned on with the bike off.
Customer Internet Chat
Subject: ST1100: Re: Farkle of the day: Hot Grips®
To those who think that sport bikes aren't for farkeling, I say HAH! Today I
installed Hot Grips®, one of the nicest products I've had the pleasure of
installing on anything, on my VFR. The product and installation are
identical on an ST, so the info seems appropriate here. For those three of
you who don't know what they are, Hot Grips® are just what the name implies,
heated handgrips. They may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but when you're
crossing the Nevada desert in August at 5 a.m. and it's 39F outside, you
Unlike the Kimpex snowmobile grip heaters, which go under your grips, Hot
Grips® are completely self contained; your old grips get tossed. They seem to
be a medium hardness, but, at 1.45" in diameter, are pretty big. Good for
carpal tunnel, I suppose, and there's a lot of surface area to radiate heat
out to your paws. They're available in three different lengths, any of which
will work on an ST; see next paragraph. The interior is hard plastic, with
deep and wide longitudinal grooves running through them. The idea behind the
grooves is that you apply epoxy to the bars, slide the grips on, and the
epoxy locks into the grooves. The right grip pretty much has to be epoxied
onto the throttle sleeve, but if you think you might ever want to change
bars, they do have a provision in the instructions for not using epoxy on
the left side. That optional setup worked fine for me, as I have Heli-Bars,
and wanted the option of being able to remove them. The left side grip now
slides on and off easily, but is secure when the bar weight is in place.
I start getting a feel for a product's quality as soon as I open the package
and start reading the instructions. Too many instructions sound like they've
been translated from Swahili by way of Serbo-Croation, and rarely do they
'fit' my bike; I just assume I'll have to fiddle to make it work. Imagine my
joy when I opened a small package marked "Spacer kit for all Honda Sport
Bikes such as VFR800 and ST1100...". Imagine that: someone actually went to
the trouble of seeing how their product would work with my bike, then REALLY
went to some trouble and had spacers of various sizes made to make
installation of my bar end weights a snap. With the spacers, the fact that I
had Heli-Bars, and a Vista Cruise, was not a problem; I just installed
appropriate spacers until the bar weights just kissed the grips. Sweet.
The grips each have a two-conductor wire, looking like black lamp cord,
coming off the inboard end. These are wired to ground, and to 12V via a
resistor (for low heat) and switch. Of course you'd want to use a 'switched'
12V source; otherwise, you could inadvertently leave the grips on and drain
your battery (at 15W max, it would take a while, though). There is an
optional rotary control which gives infinite control over the heat, and
loses the resistor. I recommend the rotary control, as I have never found a
great place to locate the resistor, and like the idea of less wiring. The
instructions (which were clear and understandable, giving reasons why you
should or should not do various steps) mentioned an optional Radio Shack
LED, and, not wanting to leave a farkel unfarkeled, I installed it. Starts
out moderately bright, ramps up to real bright, possibly too bright at
night. We'll see.
After installation, I started the bike, turned the dial, and within seconds
felt heat at the grips. Unlike the tape-style heaters, which lose left side
heat to the bar, the Hot Grips® heated evenly. And, cranked up all the way,
they put out LOTS of heat in a short amount of time.
I'm awarding Hot Grips® my 5-wheelie award for a fine product, great
instructions, and great service (called them Tuesday afternoon; Jim at Hot
Grips® said, "I think I can still get these out today; they should be there
on Thursday". He did, they were. The basic set is $90 delivered. I paid $137
with the rotary control and 2-day shipping. I recommend buying direct, not
from a parts house, because the factory knows exactly what you need for the
ST. Unless you live in Hawaii or Singapore, or only ride on sunny Sunday
afternoons, you should have these on your bike. Start dropping Christmas
hints now. http://www.hotgrips.com
Good Morning -
Installed a set of Hot Grips® on my ST1100 last week. Thought they would
be a nice addition for some extra comfort on those long cold winter rides.
Boy was I wrong. These are a GREAT addition!! One of those "How on earth
did I live without" items. Rode about 70 miles back to Dallas Saturday. It
was in the mid forties, foggy, and windy. Not terrible conditions but not too
good either. Hands started getting a little cold. Turned the Heat Troller
about half-way. WOW! It is impossible to describe the difference to someone
that has not experienced them. The warmth made for a really comfortable
ride. Most important I believe they make for a much SAFER ride. Much better
and smoother control of throttle, clutch, and brakes.
A really great product; well made, complete accurate instructions. It is
nice to deal with professionals.
A customer writes on the internet:
Just the ticket for those cool or cold days. BMW riders have
had a good thing to themselves for too long.The only ones I know of, other than BMW grips,are made by Hot Grips®
. Heated grips for motorcycles are just a slight adaptation of the heated grips used for years on snowmobiles.
They work well down to about 20 degrees F., which coincidently just happens to correspond with my low temperature
riding limit. Just hit the switch and they heat up, no muss, no fuss. They will make those short "I have to
get out and ride" rides, much more comfortable. I'm very pleased with them and have had no problems. As I've
said earlier, they're good for short cold rides, or long cool rides.
Subject: Re: Warm hands on cold mornings
I have Hot Grips® on my VFR800 and absolutely love them. Ya, they took
some time to install, but that's only because I decided to add an
extra relay to power my other electric accessories. The Hot
Grips® have have one great advantage over the heated glove solution in
that they are always on the bike and can be turned on at the flip
of a switch.
Subject: ST1100: Disappointment with wrap-around grip heaters
After missing out on the latest group buy for "Hot Grips®", mainly due to my
procrastination, I decided to try the wrap-around grip heaters that I had
read a little about. Some had mentioned a "Kimpex" brand, but the only ones
I was able to find are offered by Rider Warehouse. I just got these in
today and they're labeled "Farnam's Warm Grips". After trying to fit them to the
bike, I've given up on them & they'll be going back to RW ASAP. The design
appeared to be poor & I was unable to prevent the throttle side grip from slipping.
If the Kimpex grip heaters don't work out for you (they don't seem to
have much heating coil) try Hot Grips®. At the high setting (30 watts)
they will turn my palms red even through leather gloves. The low
setting (15 watts) is just right for me, even on a cold day. I wouldn't
be without them for winter riding.
I agree with you on the virtues of the BMW, although overall I
still prefer the Gold Wing for the type of two-up riding my wife and
I do. The closest emulation of the Beemer's heated grips is a product
called "Hot Grips®" which are replacement grips fully wired with a
heating element. They put out 30 amps at the high setting (15 at low)
so you'll find they perform like the Beemer's (in other words, the
high setting will turn your palms red through leather gloves).
INDUSTRY MAGAZINE PRODUCT REVIEWS
July 2000 - MOTORCYCLE CONSUMER NEWS
One of the things I've come to love over the years about BMWs is their use of electrically-heated
handgrips. Though I thought them at first to be mostly a silly affectation, I soon found what a blessing
they could be on a cool spring or fall morning - or evening, for that matter. In those situations, you
usually don't have your heavy gauntlets with you, or don't want to stop riding and change from your
lightweight gloves for just the last hour or two of riding. These times, heated grips are the perfect
stopgap to take the chill off and make the last part of the ride as pleasant as the first.
We have tested heated covers that fit over your handgrips, and even heating elements that fit
under your handgrips, but these are complete handgrip units, with the heating elements built right in, like the factory would do it.
Hot Grips® are available for all Honda Gold Wings from 1981 on and most
Harley-Davidsons from 1982 on. They also make models for streetbikes, like the Honda ST1100, and
most ATVs and snowmobiles. The Gold Wing and Harley models sell for $89.95 per set, complete with
wiring and a hi-lo-off switch. There is also a variable heat controller (thermostat) available for an additional $38.95.
We've been using Hot Grips® for over a year now on a Gold Wing, and couldn't
be more pleased with the results. They were easy to install (though you have too wait 24 hours for
the epoxy to dry), heat up quickly and evenly, and in every other way function just like the high-dollar
BMW units. For less than a hundred bucks, I'd call them a real bargain.
Hot Grips® voted one of Wing World
10 most Unique Wing Products: January 1999 Issue
Hot Grips®; (89.95) Forget your decorative chrome, foam or leatherwrapped hand grips. If you do any riding
in cooler climes, you'll quickly adore the practicality of a set of Hot Grips®. High, Low or Off setting lets
you decide how hot. Get rid of those heavyweight gloves, and regain the feel of the road. From Hot Grips® Manufacturing,
CYCLE Magazine writes about Hot Grips®: Cold Hands can mean the difference between a brisk
bracing winter ride and a sh-sh-shiveringly miserable one. So why does a rider deck himself out in long underwear,
woolen socks, ski mask and four riding suits only to get 50 miles down the road from his nice warm wall heater
and discover frostbite on his pinkies? Easy, heavy gloves interfere with the operation of the motorcycle - the
throttle, the brake lever, the clutch lever, the instruments. Consider Hot Grips®: hand grips heated
from the motorcycle's electrical system. Jim Hollander originally developed Hot Grips® for enduro riding in the
Northeast, where race temperatures often drop below freezing. He knew cold, numb fingers meant more than just misery
to the enduro rider. Our first opportunity to try Hot Grips® was California's version of deep winter. It was
raining with the air temperature in the upper-forties. Out in the rain they kept the rider's hands toasty, but
not so hot that his hands became uncomfortable in winter gloves. In slightly warmer temperatures, (mid-fifties
and up) the low heat setting works fine. Hot Grips® strike us as a sensible solution to the cold-hand problem. Just
think, you can install Hot Grips® in the time it takes now to thaw out your hands after a cold afternoon ride.
SNOWMOBILE Magazine writes: One of the most convenient features you can have on your snowmobile
is a set of electric hand warmers. Anyone who has ever put in a full day of riding knows how cold, cramped, and
wrinkled your hands can get, even on the warmest of winter days. Heated grips not only prevent this misery, but
in many cases allow you to get by with a thinner, more comfortable glove. Last winter, after having my gloves stuffed
full of snow by one of the practical jokers in our group, I was able to ride a sled equipped with warmers, bare-handed,
while the gloves dried out. Accessory kits that are available from Hot Grip®; Manufacturing allow you to install
hand warmers on just about any snowmobile ever made. We've seen a few versions of the in-bar heater over the years,
but none approaches the success of the latest way to keep the mitts warm delivered by Hot Grips®, designed and manufactured
by Jim Hollander. Every now and then a product comes along that offers advantages virtually obsoleting its predecessors.
This is exactly the case with Hot Grips®.
MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS Magazine writes: It's the pain that comes from thawing out frozen hands
that gets me. There's an answer to this problem in the form of Hot Grips®, made by American
Jim Hollander, a member of the United States Enduro Team. After experiencing a disappointing loss of time
on a Czechoslovakian International Six-Days event due to extreme cold, he developed a heated handlebar grip
made with super tacky Kraton® rubber. Although I've got a really loathing for silly gadgets,
they gave a convincing performance, and only needed the warm setting to keep my pinkies at medium-toast
RIDER Magazine writes: I've discovered a product that threatens to consign my electric gloves
to mildew city - Hot Grips®. Countless BMW riders are even now saying to themselves: "Well,
duh, Smith, we've had model specific heated grips for years." The trouble, however, was that to get them you
usually had to buy a BMW, and while I have nothing against the bikes themselves, I always thought it was a high
price to pay for warm hands. Some riders I've talked to swear by heated grips even through the dead of
winter, especially those who ride faired bikes that keep the winds off their hands. On my bike, the Hot
Grip®'s true strength is as a spring and fall backup, when I either forget to bring heavy
gloves, or don't feel like stopping to put them on, or when the weather turns nasty unexpectedly. I find
myself using them a lot more than I ever thought I would, and although I'm not putting my heated gloves in
storage just yet, they'll log a lot more miles in the saddlebag this winter.
CYCLE NEWS writes for dirt bike riders: Hot Grips® are put on a bike in the
same manner as normal grips, with the exception of the hot leads and ground wires that let current flow
through a copper core inside the grips. Dick "King Richard" Burleson's secret weapon for the frigid Stone
Mountain National Enduro - electric hand warmer grips. Burleson had what he called "My secret weapon --
literally, the hot set up." Former enduro/ISDT rider Jim Hollander has a patent pending on heated hand grips.
"They are wired to the magneto, said Burleson, "So when I revved it up the grips got hotter, sort of a built
in incentive system. They work really well." Hot Grips® are easy to install and will keep
one's fingers toasty warm through the severest of conditions. Jack Penton and Team True Sport run the hot
leads into the headlight hot wire, which works fine and is also convenient.
MOTORCYCLIST Magazine writes: Some riders feel the best way to stay warm in really nasty
weather is to pile on layers of clothing. If you can live with that, fine, but this same approach won't
work on your hands. Since they have rather important duties like working the controls and steering around
they must remain as mobile as possible. Instead of leaving us all to fumble around for the controls with
numb fingers, Hi-Point Racing Products has found a way to deal with the elements. They call them Hot
Grips® and they work on the same principle as an electric blanket or toaster, the
motorcycle's lighting power charges the heating element molded into the rubber grip.
MOTOCROSS ACTION Magazine writes: We've got a hot one here Chief. Unlike our
enduro-type friends, motocrossers seldom race in such miserable conditions as cold and rain;
heated grips are not a necessity. However, lots of MXers have street bikes, and those poor
unfortunates back east actually do race in miserable conditions...sometimes. That's when
some of these Hot Grips® would come in real handy. ISDE competitor Jim
Hollander came up with the idea of getting wired for warmth. These could well be the "hot
set-up" in more ways than one.
DIRT BIKE Magazine wrote: Keeping your hands warm during a sub freezing race
was usually impossible, thus results would suffer drastically. We're not saying that Hot
Grips® made Dick Burleson win the Stone Mountain National Enduro, but he
definitely had an advantage. King Richard won the event convincingly, and when asked about
the grips after the race, he just grinned. Anything that's good enough for Dick is good
enough for us. Having these little jewels in your bag of tricks will definitely prove an
advantage when the proper time comes. Cold weather racing is a reality, preparation is
critical. While everyone is suffering in extreme cold, you are less affected. Besides,
if King Richard uses 'em, how can you lose.
CYBERCYCLE Magazine says: "...All the modifications enhance the Monster's
(Ducati M900 ) inherent character: a bad boy you can't help but love. One possible exception
is the Hot Grips® which may seem like a pure luxury item, unless you've ever
lived in New England. Chances are you could've used a set of these more than once. Around
these parts, if you want to make the most of a beautiful, but short, riding season, a pair
of heated grips can be invaluable. On a cool morning or evening, or a cold rainy day, heated
grips can mean the difference between enjoying a ride in relative comfort, or just getting
through it. They can also be considered a safety device as they can reduce rider fatigue. "
CYCLE WORLD Magazine Editor-in-Chief talks about heated grips: In a May
article on the 1998 Honda VFR800, the Editor notes a number of improvements the bike
needs, including: "Fit some heated handgrips while you're at it." (Hot Grips® Mfg.
notes: We're working on it, we have a Honda VFR 800 in our shop.)
SNOW GOER TRADE Magazine writes: Heated grips are one of our top selling
items. I believe in them, if a snowmobiler's hands are warm, it's fun to ride.
SNOWMOBILE BUSINESS Magazine writes: This family run business excels at
manufacturing heated handgrips for snowmobiles with both external and in-the-handlebar
wiring. With his background as a motorcycle enduro racer, Hollander set out to solve
the problem of cold hands. Soon Bombardier came calling and asked Jim to make heated
grips for the snowmobile industry. Hollander's company mission is "to keep customers'
hands warm, to supply heated grips as original equipment for all snowmobile manufacturers,
and retrofit all others." It is the most efficient heating device available because of the
close proximity of the heating wires to the operator's hands. The entire family snowmobiles
in New Hampshire on a trail system directly accessible from their 15-acre factory-homesite.
SNOW WEEK writes: Hands usually get cold first because they are often exposed to
the air and the steel handlebar often
retains the cold temperatures. It's also due to the fact that there is less blood circulation
in your fingers. A more popular hand
warmer over the years has been the Hot Grips® replacement heated grips. The
Hot Grip® is heated
by running an electrical current through the thin plastic grip, which results in probably the
quickest change in warmth. In other
words you feel the Hot Grips® before you would the other designs. If you get
cold hands while snowmobiling, then
you're not using Hot Grips®. A variety of styles and diameters makes it possible
® on any handlebar, and the high/off/low settings make it possible to ride
comfortably in all temperatures.
Discussion Boards and Comments of Current Owners
Forum discussing Ski Doo original equipment heated grips vs. Hot Grips®
my cousins girlfriend has the sled and says the hand warmers either dont work or not well enough something
like that and said something about other people using some polaris warmers. Anybody done this or know of a fix for this
yep you need new handwarmers,well for me i hate to cut factory wiring ,always seems to bite ya in the end
buy the doo ones ,they insatll in about a half hr.
I too have a 06 600 SDI Renegade, my left one burnt out last year but I was able to get it working but
I'm sure it will break again soon. The Ski-Doo ones are crap IMO. I did my research and HOT GRIPS® (its
the brand name) are the best out there and you need the 3 wire ones, then you just need some wire connectors and they
hook right up to the stock doo locations, pretty simple really, its just another $100 down the drain.
After many posts and searchs both here and Dootalk, I installed Hotgrips model 123's 2 weeks ago, did one
ride last weekend and they were so warm on low that they got turned off more than on. It was 30 degrees but still they
seem warmer than stock doo ones.
Bought them from Jim at HotGrips®. They have a website too. Paid about $75 per pair that
included 2-part epoxy and also shiping.
Quit screwin around like I was with mine and my wife's, stop considering ski-doo grips, and get the
Hotgrips®. Between hers and mine we blew one grip per season, and end of last year we each had one
burnt out. That was my final straw.
It was pretty easy and make sure you use a pencil solder gun and shrink tube, splice to the existing
wires. I actually went and searched for video of how to solder wires and watched a video on popular mechanics. These
connections are better and stronger than the wire itself.
This is a very easy do-it-yourself project. And the end result is a superior grip, both hotness and
Did I say screw Skidoo grips? - you are throwing your money away if you go back to them.
Since you already did the job and it sounds like you used the existing connector and just spliced the
wires, why not post a picture for us all to see and to help make sure we connect the wires properly. Thanks
Wish i could, but 1. the sleds are up north, and 2. the splices are hidden from view by the shrink tube.
To install the HotGrips® brand:
On the brake side, Take the brake clamp off the bars and drop brake handle aside. Take the 4 screws
off the back
of the plastic assembly that has the switches on it. Running through here is the wiring to your grips. Cant miss
Cut off the old grip and snip wire right next to the grip for now, just to ensure you will have plenty of wire
left to solder
to. Now you need to glue on the new Hotgrips per those instructions, which consist of mixing the 2-part epoxy
( I used the
inside of the package the tubes came in to mix the goo).
I waited a few hours to let it set up just so I wouldnt disturb the new grip, you dont want to
weaken the epoxy.
Now what you want is to have the end result splice to be inside the plastic assembly you took apart before.
Cut the new Hotgrips® wiring and the original wiring so this happens here. I left both sides a little long
so that I have extra for the future, either way it doesnt matter because you can wind the excess wiring inside the plastic
housing when re-assembling.
Now strip all wires back about 1/2 inch. Slip about an inch long piece of shrink tube over each of the 3 wires,
either on the new wires or the old ones, as long as the shrink tube is a couple inches away from the solder zone (the heat
can extend up the wire and shrink your tubes before you want them to shrink). I also slipped a larger shrink tube over all 3 so
that I could shrink tube all 3 of the individual shrink tubes when the time comes.
Now you want to overlap the 2 wires to be soldered. twist them to get them to hold long enough to solder. They
will sorta look like one continuous wire if you can picture this. Then hold the hot-ass pencil iron underneath the connection.
Using 60-40 rosin-core solder wire, touch it to the top of the wires. The solder will melt towards the heat, through the 2
wires you are connecting. I put alot of solder on until the wires were totally dissapeared inside the solder. After they
cool a minute, slide the tiny shrink tube over the connection and heat it so it shrinks right up over the connection. I
use a heat gun but a lighter will work fine. Then I slid the big shrink tube over all 3 and shrunk it over it all so that
the formerly bare splices are now under 2 layers of shrink tube. Re-assemble the plastic block, put the brake lever back on.
I made my connection above where the pin connector is, after sliding the wire loom up out of the way as far
as possible. Here you will need to cut the wires closer to finished connection length, not so much room to hide excess
wires. I fed the new Hotgrip® wires down inside the throttle block and down the loom by temporarily tying
the New wire to the existing wire and carefully pulling/ feeding them through everything. (Obviously after permanenly
installing the new grip as the other side was done)
On this side the throttle block does not come apart so dont scratch your head too much trying to figure
out how to get it apart.
Solder/ shrink tube like the other side and pull the loom back over all the wires.
Red is High
The one with a stripe is low
The ground was black
Not entirely sure anymore, but their instructions tell you which is which. The black was ground, I think
they had a stripe one that was low and a yellow or red one for high.
I was amazed how easy it is to solder wires. This was my first time, used a borrowed solder pencil. felt
like an expert after the first wire.
This whole job takes time, just because I never did any of this before, but it was easy as hell. If I did
more of them I could probably cut the time from 2 hours to 20 minutes.
Once you start taking things apart you will see exactly what I mean with all this stuff.
Just remember, you can never screw up too bad, its only money.
Just kidding- go for it. If I can do it then you can too.
Full Forum discussion
Heated Grips Who Has The Best Price/quality?
So riding to work today I was a little chilly and rather than get warmer gloves I am going to install heated
grips. and possibly an outlet for a heated vest. I spend a lot of time on my VFR and would like to do so in more comfort
over the next months. So Has any one out here in the Pacific Northwest installed heated grips,vest and where did you get
them Etc. Etc... When I do this I will post details and photos to show how it is done. I searched the archive and it
returned one post that actually ah the words install heated grips. There should be more.
I ride through all kinds of nasty cold weather, including the occasional snow in Alberta. Down to 0C, heated
grips are fine, below freezing, heated gloves are in order. I use "Hot Grips® http://www.hotgrips.com/. Good
quality and you never have to remember to bring them (which is an issue with heated gloves). Heated grips do nothing about
the back of your hands.
For gloves I used heated units from Widder which are ok. There is a significant loss of throttle feel with
heavier insulated gloves, but it is also hard to get much throttle feel when your hands are frozen. I use an Airvantage
electric vest from Rider Wearhouse. You put it on and blow it up and it fits perfectly. Great unit.
For wiring everything up, I got a great 5 fuse panel from Rider Wearhouse (the AeroStitch people). It mounts
perfectly under the seat beside the rear brake reservoir. Use a relay (so that the unit is only energized when your bike
is on) and take the power directly from your battery). Stay warm
+1 on Hot Grips® They are a local company here in NH (close to where WDGAH is held). I added
the variable valve controller to allow more choice than high/low/off. The controller allows you to set the temperature like
you would on a heater in your car, just turn the knob. Cost a bit more, but I've never had a problem in 4+ years.
+2 on the Hot Grips®. I have had them on my VFR since new (04) and have not had a problem...if
they have any weakness at all it's that they get a bit too hot when on high. I'll take that over not hot enough any day though.
I have Hot Grips® on both my VFR and Hayabusa. One of the best mods I've made to any of my
bikes. The best gloves I've found to get the most out of your heated grips is the PCM (Phase Change Material) lined gloves.
They help distribute the heat through out your hand.