Sunday, October 3, 2010

Heated Grips Install

I have the bestest husband in the world (Love ya Hon)!! This was a tedious project and he spent most of the weekend working on my bike. I've decided I'm not cut out for the modding stuff, and I suck at trying to document it. I did come up with a great title, but it was, um, a bit over the top, so I went with something simple instead.

After our bicycle ride yesterday (and a nap following) we got started on the heated grips and handguards install. Ron removes the bar end weights.
He uses the air compressor to help slip off the old grips.
 We clean off the old glue. Ron uses WD40 on the throttle, and brake parts cleaner on the bar. Brake parts cleaner seems rather harsh, but it worked.
Per the instructions we do a dry run with the grips to be sure everything works before actually gluing them into place.
 Weights added. We didn't have to trim anything.
We wire everything up and check if it works. Yes! We have heat.

We mount the controller with the clutch lever bolts to the clutch lever thingy. The wiring runs down through a harness(?) following original wiring when possible. We'll run the wires down under and alongside the gas tank to access an area under the seat.
The next morning we start on the handguards install and windshield modification. I'm using Barkbuster Storm handguards. They're supposed to fit with one simple modification - yeah right! The handguards hit the stock windshield and even more so with the Puig windshield. We basically spend the next couple hours dremeling away the windshield bit by bit until full lock of the handlebars is achieved. That the dremel survived this process is a miracle. It was long, tedious, monotonous, and took for ever. Did I mention boring, and long...and tedious... Slap me if I ever decide to do another mod! But we get the guards installed and the windshield trimmed accordingly.
As mentioned earlier, Ron runs the wiring alongside the gas tank. the wires aren't long enough to get to the relay under the seat. He'll end up splicing and dicing, and replacing the connectors with a style better suited to the relay. With everything wired up, dremeled, fastened and glued. We fire her up, and the Ninja doesn't burst into flame. I see no smoke, and smell nothing burning. These are all good signs. Everything is in good working order including the new, toasty grips.
Closer and closer to becoming a little sport tourer.
Sam now looks like a big green sheep with floppy black ears. Ron and I take a quick ride over to the Beanery in Albany to see if everything works. Grips work. The heated jacket still works. The bike didn't burn up or blow up, and she started up again after running the extra stuff. I think we're good to go!
I put off getting heated gear, because I wasn't really sure I'd stick with this riding stuff. I guess this makes me an official-for-real  motorcycle commuter.


  1. A big green sheep with floppy black ears? That's not fair to your Ninja, well on second thought, it sounds kinda sweet. I thought I'd never need heated grips but since I have them, I use them. And the good thing is, you don't need thick winter gloves. Your bike is morphing into a serious little commuter indeed. Safe traveling!

  2. Great Job! You will love them! I really like Sam's color. Is that stock color?

  3. That is awesome, great write up but I am curious, what was the original title?
    You'll love those heated grips and handguards; I was surprised how much the handguards on the Tiger deflect the wind and can't wait to add the same grips this week/weekend.

    Good job Ron!!!

  4. I see some adventure riding coming up ;-) I have them on my bike and they help extend the riding season ;-) You will love them!

  5. Good write up. I have some heated grips but I've only used them once and that was just to try them out. Very nice to have as, I'm told, it was 6F that day I tested them. Didn't feel that cold out but who am I to question the Internet. Now we are all going to have to guess at the original title. "a bit over the top", eh...


  6. BTW, really nice looking tandem in your previous post. Who makes it?


  7. Hi Sonja,
    So far I've only gotten cold fingers on the coldest of days. My hope is this will take the edge off the cold. So far it's pretty nice. We'll see when the freezing weather gets here...freezing and dry that is. :)

    Thanks Stacy!

    Thanks Lori,
    Yes, that's the stock color. It's really, really green! It reminds me of the color of new growth in the spring, which is why I like it. :)

  8. Hi Troubadour,
    I have to find my way over to Corvallis and see the new Tiger! I hope the write up makes sense. I keep thinking I left out something important. I think the heated grips and wind deflectors combo is going to work well this winter!

    Hi George,
    I have this plan: rider, commuter, tourer, adventurer. Someday I will tackle an unpaved road...something longer than a driveway!

    I rode through winter last year, but I had a cruiser, and just barely stayed warm enough. The Ninja is much windier and colder. Now I hope I have resolved that issue.

  9. Thanks Richard,
    I struggle with writing technical details, and getting the right pics to go along.

    I'm pretty sure 6F is COLD! :)

    The tandem is a Santana. After I started riding motorcycles I struggled riding on the back of the tandem (though I didn't mind the back of Ron's motorcycle). I seem to have gotten past that and we've been riding it again, for some rides. You probably know they call them divorce bikes. :)

  10. Nice write up. I have gerbing gloves, but have never experienced heated grips.

    You still haven't said what the original title was..... :)

  11. heated grips on the beemer range have always worked really well,decent gloves and aa fearing that assist in keeping the wind off your hands makes for brilliant winter riding... not that we do that much here!!!

  12. Heated grips are so, err, cool. I have them on my Road King and I love them, mainly as they let you ride with thinner gloves in the cold weather rather than the thick, unfeeling variety. I like the way your post goes from “(Ron) spent most of the weekend....” to “Next morning we start on the handguards....”. The part of the post that really made me smile however was the very last sentence – excellent!

  13. Hi Ken,
    I nearly went with heated gloves, but at the last moment decided to try grips first. We'll see how it goes. I might end up with gloves and grips!

    That's true, I haven't said... :)

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for stopping by. Anything to keep riding despite the cold. If I'm comfortable, I find it quite enjoyable to ride in winter.

    Hi Gary,
    Cool - lol! That's a good way to put it.
    I put off getting heated gear because I thought it would be a passing whim, so I guess that's why I feel a little bit official now.

  14. nice looking mods. the grips are really nice for cold rainy days along with the deflectors!!

  15. Thanks Jon,
    Keeping my fingers warm (or at least not so cold) is what I'm hoping for. If this takes the edge off the cold, I'll be a happy camper, er rider!

  16. Heated Grips ?
    Where do you live Alaska ? LOL.
    They are good and I had them on the Bike I was learning on last year when I passed my test in November 2009.
    Is the Ninja your bike then ?
    It looks exactley like mine, but here in the Uk it's known as an ER6-F, mine is in A Blue.

    All the best TT

  17. lol - No, not Alaska, not that cold! My commute is highway/freeway though, so too much wind chill for me without heated gear. I love the blue. If they were offered over here at the time it would have been a tough choice.
    Thanks for stopping by :)

  18. BlueKat:

    I have the same grips but with the older troublesome controller. You have the updated more reliable one. It can get very hot on high. I also have heated gloves. They warm your fingers more, BUT the wires get in your way.

    Wet Coast Scootin