Heated grips make a world of difference when it comes to early and late season riding. When your hands are warm it’s easier to keep the rest of your body warm with the right gear. Winter riding is possible with heated grips and some extra layers, as long as there isn’t any snow or ice on the roads.
Since upgrading, I’ve been able to start riding as early as March and keep the bike on the road until the first snowfall in December. Before, without the grips, I only had a 5-6 month riding window here in Southern Ontario. With the grips the riding season is extended quite a bit before having to put the motorcycle away for the winter.
In this post I want to take a look at the best heated motorcycle grips for most riders. This way you’ll be able to find the right pair of grips for your bike and keep riding as long as possible!
The Best Heated Grips for Motorcycles
Let’s take a look at the best options for heated grips for your bike.
These recommendations are designed to fit most bikes and styles of handlebars. For the most part, these grips are affordable and easy to install.
Should you run into any issues with the installation you can refer to YouTube or bring the bike to your local mechanic.
Oxford Heaterz Premium Sports Heated Handlebar Grips
The Oxford Heaterz Premium Heated Handlebar Grips are the most popular among riders in North America and Europe.
These are the same grips I use on my Honda CBR250R. They give me the ability to ride in freezing temperatures without losing feelings in my hands or fingers.
Depending on your bike these can be easy to install or you might have to take them to your mechanic. It’s possible to connect them to your battery or use the front light circuit as a power source.
These grips are designed to keep your hands warm as the temperature approaches the freezing mark. There are five different heat settings, depending on the ambient temperature, and a rainproof switch for control.
The grips themselves are superior in quality and design to most stock grips that bikes come with. They’re designed with a stick rubber material that provides better wear resistance and durability.
You’ll definitely want to use these with gloves as they can get pretty hot, even on the lower settings. There’s also a battery saving mode that turns off the grips if you happen to forget.
These are easy to install, ideal for keeping your hands warm in cooler temperatures, and great for all-season riding. The Oxford Heaterz Premium Sports Heated Handlebar Grips are one of the top options if you’re in the market for the best heated grips for your motorcycle.
Browse the different types of available. There are grips made specifically for the different types of bikes.
BikeMaster Heated Grips
The BikeMaster Heated Grips are a great runner up against the Oxford’s that I just recommended. These are more affordable and a great choice for anybody looking for heated grips on a budget.
Compared to the Oxford’s, the BikeMaster Heated Grips aren’t as easy to install and don’t appear to be as durable (though time will tell). Otherwise, the latest model comes with a grip design and a five level temperature controller.
It’s possible to choose between five different heat settings depending on me weather, although the heat output doesn’t seem to be as strong as with the Oxford’s. They also take a few minutes longer to heat up so you’ll want to pair them with thicker gloves if you’re planning on riding right away.
Overall, the build quality of the cables, grips, and clips is impressive. Once installed I can see them lasting a few years of regular riding depending on how you treat your bike.
Unfortunately, the lack of an on/off switch is concerning for me. I was surprised that the instructions recommend wiring the cables directly into the ignition wiring harness. This is something I’m not comfortable doing or leaving setup on my bike.
Those of you riding in temperature is above freezing without any winter riding will find these grips to be suitable. They’re also a good choice if you’re looking to save some money on this upgrade. Definitely take a look at the BikeMaster Heated Grips and decide for yourself if they’re going to work out for you on your ride.
Koso Apollo Heated Grips
These Koso Apollo Heated Grips are a great alternative to the Oxford Heaterz that I like to recommend as the best choice. If the Oxford’s aren’t available in your location or you’re looking to try something different, it’s the Koso Apollo Heated Grips that I’d recommend checking out.
Just like with Oxford, Koso is another well-known motorcycle brand in the industry. The grips from Koso are well-reviewed and designed to fit on most motorcycles. Thanks to the plug and play wiring system, these heated grips are easy to install depending on your bike.
When it comes to Features, these are equipped with an integrated some switch design. This makes them easy to use while you’re riding without having to fumble around with any screens or awkwardly placed buttons. It’s possible to change the temperature without having to remove your hands from the grip. Thanks to the LED color indicators, you’ll be able to quickly determine what level the heat is set to.
It’s this variety of different temperature settings that can keep your hands warm in a range of weather conditions. There’s even a low battery warning that checks your motorcycle battery to see if it has enough power for warming the grips.
Despite the higher price, the Koso Apollo Heated Grips are a great choice if you’re looking for the best heated motorcycle grips. While I would still recommend the Oxford Heaterz, these are a suitable alternative. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with the Koso grips for keeping your hands warm during cold weather and winter riding.
BikeMaster Heated Grips with LCD Switch
You may have noticed I’ve already recommended a set of BikeMaster grips. I also wanted to recommend the BikeMaster Heated Grips with LCD Switch. These come with an LCD controller, rather than just a simple light display.
The LCD controller is helpful for selecting the available heat levels and checking the current level at a quick glance. The easy-to-read display also shows the available battery voltage on your motorcycle. This way there’s no worrying about your battery level or wondering what is the heat is currently set to on your grips.
Just like with the basic BikeMaster grips, the BikeMaster Heated Grips with LCD Switch are easy to install. They’re designed to fit over ⅞” bars with the 12 volt DC application connector. If you do your own oil changes, you should find it easy to install these grips on your own bike.
Personally, I love the LCD display. It’s a slightly superior feature over the Oxford Heaterz that still rely on a simple light display for the heat level. Being able to see the voltage is also a plus when it comes to battery maintenance and longevity.
Easy to install, durable in design, and having the LCD display makes the BikeMaster Heated Grips with LCD Switch a great choice for most riders. It’s more of a personal preference whether you want the LCD display or the simple light display that’s more common. Should you have any problems with installation, don’t hesitate to bring your bike and the grips into your local mechanic.
Avon Custom Contour Heated Grips (Best Heated Grips for Harley Davidson)
Even on a Harley, heated grips are necessary for winter motorcycle riding. It’s the Avon Custom Contour Heated Grips that we would recommend for Harley riders. These are proudly made in the USA and designed to fit on the grips most Harley-Davidson models.
To design these grips, Avon teamed up with Symtec. This is the company that makes the “Heat Demon” grip heaters. They know a thing or two about providing riders with warm riding conditions. The Avon Custom Contour Heated Grips were designed to match the style of Harley bikes without looking awkward or out of place.
The grips themselves feature a comfortable, ergonomic design with billet end caps. thanks to The seamless rubber grip technology, moisture is kept out the interior controls providing you with long lasting and durable use. These are meant to fit the larger 1-inch handlebars that are commonly found on Harley bikes.
Depending on your skill-set, these can be easy to install. Otherwise, consider bringing them to an authorized Harley Davidson mechanic to install for you. Overall, when it comes to the best heated grips for Harley Davidsons, it’s the Avon Custom Contour Heated Grips that I would recommend checking out.
Heat Demon External Grip Warmer Kit
The Heat Demon External Grip Warmer Kit is a practical alternative to using dedicated heated grips. With grips, there is an installation process required which can be tricky depending on your mechanical skills.
This warmer kit is designed to be installed under your current grips without the need to upgrade. These are an affordable and simple solution for warmer hands in cold weather riding.
Unlike with the Oxfords, this warmer kit can fit on most bikes (sport, touring, adventure, etc). They’re not model-specific and are easy to install compared to most other types.
Keep in mind that, for this price, you shouldn’t expect too many features. These are 2-stage heated grips with just two different heat settings so they might not be suitable for extreme cold weather.
As for installation, after connecting the cables to your battery the warming pads are glued directly to the throttle/clutch tubes. Follow the instructions to ensure the adhesive is used on the proper side.
This kit is easy to install, affordable, and no need to deal with bulky wires or controls. The Heat Demon External Grip Warmer Kit is an affordable solution for warm hands as opposed to the Oxford Heaterz.
The Best Motorcycle Heated Grips Buying Guide
Are Heated Grips Worth It?
Heated grips can definitely be worth it if you’re commuting by bike during the colder winter months. They’re also useful for rides longer than 20 minutes when the temperature approaches the freezing mark.
Those of you riding during the summer won’t find them to be useful. Even in late spring and early fall a thick pair of motorcycle gloves is good enough to keep your hands warm.
Otherwise, heated grips make a world of difference for winter motorcycle riding. When your hands are warm it radiates into your body and keeps the rest of you warmer than you would expect.
Even on the lowest setting they can provide just enough warmth to make your ride more comfortable regardless of the weather elements.
The biggest drawback is the price, along with any issues with installation. It’s possible to find grips starting at $40, although the more expensive ones make for a better experience.
Personally, thanks to my heated grips i’m able to ride year-round unless there’s snow or ice on the ground. They’re even practical on those cool summer days when the sun hasn’t warmed you up yet.
It’s unlikely that I’ll ever ride another bike of my own without installing the Oxford Heaterz for the first winter season. You’ll have to decide whether or not they’re worth it for you based on how much you ride and how you use your bike.
How to Install Heated Grips on Your Motorcycle
Installing heated grips is an easy process for most bikes. The hardest parts are taking off your old grips and removing any of the fairings to hide the wiring.
Your local garage will probably charge you 1-2 hours of maintenance for this install. At upwards of $100/hour, this is a DIY installation you’re better off doing on your own.
Don’t forget to check out YouTube for the installation instructions on your specific motorcycle. Otherwise, follow these steps to install your own heated grips:
Step 1 – Remove the Old Grips
The first step is to remove the old grips from your bike. On some bikes this will be an easy, straightforward process. Other bikes, like my Honda CBR250R, will be more difficult and might require a set of tools.
Some heated grips are designed to go over the current grips. These aren’t as effective at generating warmth. It’s a better idea to go with a dedicated pair of grips that connect to your battery.
If you’re having trouble removing the current grips, consider cutting them off entirely. Compressed air, pliers or vice-grips, and WD40 will also make the job easier.
Step 2 – Prep the Handlebars
With the old grips removed, it’s time to prepare the handlebars. This step makes easy to slide the new grips on to the handlebar and throttle tube.
Start by cleaning the bars and removing any leftover debris. Kerosene or rubbing alcohol are effective and natural healing agents that won’t damage your bike.
If the throttle tube has a lip, you’ll need to use a sanding block or file. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to slide the new heated grips on to the throttle tube.
Finally, before sliding the new grips on, rub some rubbing alcohol onto the bars. This will help make it easier to slide the grips on and the alcohol will evaporate, unlike WD-40.
Step 3 – Slide the New Grips On
With the handlebar and throttle tube fully prepped, it’s time to slide the new grips on. It doesn’t matter which side to start, but I like to start with the throttle tube.
Holding the handlebars, gently begin to push the grip on. Using a twisting motion should help things slide into place. You may need to use a rubber mallet if you’re having trouble.
Slide each grip as close to the controls as possible. Depending on the fit, you can get a practice run in before applying the glue. Otherwise, apply the glue as directed by the instructions.
You may need to cut off part of the grip if it’s too long for your handlebars. Make sure the grip wiring doesn’t get in the way of your brake lever or clutch. Leave room for the grip controls somewhere easily accessible on your handlebars.
Step 4 – Wiring the Grips
Wiring the grips to your battery is probably the hardest part of the whole installation. Depending on your bike, you may have to remove the fairings and seat for better access.
With grips installed, decide how you’re going to wire them to the battery. Most installation kits will come with zip ties for attaching the wires to the different components on your bike. This keeps them out of the way and prevents them from rattling around.
Routing the wiring along the frame rail will help to prevent pinch points. There are also less moving parts closer to the frame. You can also use electrical tape for a better fit.
Connecting the wiring to the battery is easy. Start by disconnecting the negative terminal to avoid a dangerous short. Connect the wiring to the positive terminal first, followed by the negative terminal. Double check with the instructions for the proper wiring method.
Before putting the bike back together, double check that the heated grips are working. Next, secure the controls to your handlebars in an easily accessible location. Finally, refer to your owner’s manual and verify that you’re not overburdening your motorcycle battery.
Step 5 – Test the Heat and Go For a Ride
Once the heated grips are installed, put everything back together. Next, hop on the bike, turn it on, and let the grips warm up. If you’ve installed everything correctly you should feel the grips warming up almost immediately.
At this point you’re ready to go for a ride, whether it’s cold outside or not. Heated grips work well in the winter, but they’re also great on those cooler summer, fall, and spring days. I’ve even use them in August one night where the temperature dipped. They’re such a practical motorcycle upgrade and you never know when you’ll need them to keep warm.
Combined with the right pair of motorcycle gloves, heated grips will keep your hands warm through the winter. They can help to extend your commute on the bike and give you a longer riding season before putting the bike away for the season.
- How to Install Heated Grips on Your Motorcycle – https://ridermagazine.com/2019/03/12/hot-tips-for-installing-heated-grips/