Even though winters in Belgium are generally relatively mild, inevitably there still are days when a set of heated grips can make a ride a lot more comfortable. Even in spring or autumn or on wet days in the mountains one can be very glad to have them.
Fortunately Sofie still had a set lying around that she originally wanted to install on her FZ6, but we never got around to. For my Terra I ordered a set of Symtech heated grip pads.
I started off with the installation of the Oxford set. On the clutch side the TR650 uses a plastic tube with a similar diameter to the throttle side tube. So unlike most bikes (except mainly models from the BMW stables) the grips are the same size on both sides. The downside of this setup is that most universal heated grips sets are made to replace different diameter grips. It also has some benefits which will work out well with the Symtech pads.
But for the Oxford heated grips the plastic tube needs to go. An easy process, with just two little screws to remove.
On the throttle side the grip needs to come off the plastic throttle tube. I’ll need specialized tools for this, like Sofie’s hair dryer, a long flat screwdriver and a bottle of WD40. With a bit of patience and a lot of WD40 the grip comes off cleanly.
The ridge on the throttle tube makes it impossible for the Oxford grip to fit over, so I do some trimming. Not as clean as I would have liked, but it will do the job. At least now the tubes are nice and flush.
While test fitting the tubes I notice the Oxford grips are a tad long and would be fouled by the bar end weights. This would impede free movement of the throttle, a rather inconvenient matter on a motorbike. Fortunately the heated grips are designed to allow some trimming for exactly such situations. I prefer the cleaner solution of moving the controls about 3mm inwards on the bars.
That settled I get started with the final installation of the grips. Time to break out the most specialized tool needed for this installation, a can of hair spray. The stuff is magic. When liquid it acts like a lubricant and when dried it serves as a pretty good glue.
Especially on the throttle side it is important to make sure the wiring does not impede the workings of the brake lever in any way in the closed throttle position.
After all that the only thing that remains is hooking it all up cleanly to the battery. Some electrical tape over the connectors should prevent any water getting in.
According to the Oxford installation manual -which obviously I read extremely attentively before starting this process- the main module can get pretty hot and should not be installed against the battery. On top of the fuel pump does not seem like a very good idea either. But there is just enough room between the seat and the cross bars of the frame to install it there. The frame should act as a pretty decent heat sink. I’m not sure whether this will be the final placement, but it will do for now.
The final piece of the puzzle is the control module. It is rather bulky and comes with an alu installation plate that I can’t really find a good place on the Terra to install. But I have a plastic ring lying around that is used to install GPS and heart rate monitoring devices on a mountain bike. It fits nicely on the 22mm Terra handle bars. The control unit is glued on.
And we’re all done on the Oxford heated grips.
So over to the Symtec heated grip pads. The Symtec Heat Daemons are not traditional heated grips that replace the original grips but rather heated pads that are installed under the oem grips. I opted for the set with the rocker switch.
One of the benefits of teh BMW grip design with a plastic tube on the clutch side is that heated grip pads like these wont loose as much heat to the metal handle bars as with traditional designs. On the down side the pads are designed with some of that heat loss in mind so the clutch side pad becomes hotter than the throttle side pad.
The beginning of the install is similar to the Oxford grips. On the throttle side I remove the grip, there’s no need to cut down the flanges in this case. On the clutch side no need to take off the plastic tube, I just remove the grip and leave the tube in place. Then I glue the pads onto the tubes. They are self-adhesive and just glue on. Again, I make sure the wires don’t interfere with lever operation. The result looks like this:
I will install the rocker switch in the plastics above the head light unit. The cover comes off easily and reveals plenty of room for additional wiring.
I need to drill a 20mm hole for the switch. Unfortunately my largest drill is only 15mm, so I do some sculpting with that until the hole is wide enough.
The cables go into the unit where the head light wiring comes in and go out through the hole. Then they are cut to length and attached to the spade connectors that come with the kit to hook up to the switch.
The rocker switch plugged into place.
It looks like it has always been there from the factory.
I run the wiring to a fuzebblock under the seat.
In general heated grips aren’t as efficient as heated gloves, but they are much more convenient. With heated gloves you’re either stuck with batteries that require recharging very regularly or with wiring that you need to (dis)connect every time you get on or off the bike. In combination with hand guards / wind deflectors the heated grips are sufficient though. And on extremely cold days in combination with muffs they are plenty warm enough even to wear summer gloves.