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How To Install Kimpex Grip Heaters


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This post has been edited. Originally I hooked up the heaters withOUT a relay. I finally got my relay and did it RIGHT this weekend.

I have read a lot of talk on the dual stars and the symtec. I was getting ready to order a set, and my local "cycle gear" had the Kimpex set, so I thought I would give them a try. I also grabbed a set of the Pro Grip Gel 719 grips. Rivcyco... the 714's felt so comfy, but kinda ugly. The Kimpex kit comes with everything you need for basic installation, except some female insulated 1/4" connectors for the switch, you can get at autozone or just about anywhere.

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The first thing I did was pull off the stock rubber grips. I was able to get them off just by tugging. Then, I wrapped one layer of electrical tape on the clutch side metal handlebar, to insulate it so the steel doesn't soak up all the heat. I've been told in a post below that the electrical tape will get hot and break down. He's probably right, so you may want to consider another option instead of electrical tape.

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The Kimpex have a peel off backing / adhesive. Peel the back off and wrap it around the handlebar, keeping the wires on the bottom side. I put on a couple wraps of electrical tape.

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At first I used just a tiny bit of dishsoap and water, wet the inside of the Progrip and slid it on easily. It slid around easily, even after it sat for a few days. I ended up taking off the grips, cleaning off all the soap and just going with a tad bit of water. This worked great. I did not use any grip glue, even though I bought some.

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Do the same on the other side, but make sure the wires will be ok when you open the throttle.

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Nice looking grips, eh? They feel good too.

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Use electrical tape and tape one wire from each element together, and run them neatly to the left hand side of the frame, where you see the brake line bolted to the frame. Take one lead from each element, cut them down, twist together, and ground it to that bolt. Twist the other two leads together, put on a female connector, and go the the center pole on the switch. Use the included wire to go to each side of the switch, and the other end to the battery area. You will have to take the two bolts out that hold the gas tank down in the front. Be careful NOT to drop the washer/bushing thing in the bike like I did :-) Use small cable ties to run the wires to the battery. Make sure you mount the resistor where it doesn't touch anything. It gets HOT. I wired mine on the inside of the frame.

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I cable tied my on off switch instead of drilling a hole to mount it. Drilling a hole in my new bike just seems so... FINAL. Yeah yeah, I will eventually mount it correctly, but for now I'm not sure what I want to do. I might want to mount a under light kit switch and maybe a 12v cig outlet / GPS, so I just don't want to go drilling yet.

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Now, if you connect the power lead directly to the battery and forget to turn off your grip heaters, your battery will die. I bought a $5 auto relay #275-226 at radio shack which I wired into the license plate power.

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The relay is wired so my grip heaters will not come on, unless the bike is turned on. They way a relay works, is when it gets power, it turns on a switch inside. So, when the bike is turned on, the license plate light power causes the relay to flip on it's switch. You can even hear it "click" on and off. The grip heaters are NOT getting their power from the license plate light. See my wiring diagram below. Also, when the switch is on LOW, the grips are not quite warm enough. The kimpex set up includes a 2ohm resistor. I took a 10ohm resistor and wired in in parallel to the 2ohm, knocking down the total resistance to 1.6ohms. That SHOULD drop more voltage on the heaters than on the resistor, and should make the LOW setting just right... but I have yet to take a ride yet, so I'll have to let you know.

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The grips heat up very toasty in about 5 minutes on high. But as we have seen with other heaters, they get a little TOO hot. The low setting with the adjusted resistor should do the trick.

Edited by guytimes
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Guest 7K Rush

Thanks for the how-to. Grip heaters are something I would like to add this winter. Even winter gloves don't keep my digits warm enough for my hour-long ride to work. :thumbsup:

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Nice install!

My grip heaters are in the garage, but the switch that came with them is too big....and on-off-on switches are low in choice these days, so I am ordering a couple to have. Hopefully the weather holds here.

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Guest Honda_jedi

Thanks for the detailed write up with pictures. I too am looking into heated grips in these cold temps. I haven't bought anything yet, but will wire a rheostat into the system upon installation.

Rheostat: I've been to radio shack, auto parts stores, and two specialty electrical shops trying to find the right rheostat without luck. I've pretty much decided on this product since I can't find anything better:

Heat Troller

The heat troller controller pretty much adds $50 to the kit, but I can't find anything better and cheaper...

Also: how did you wire the throttle side to prevent the wires from binding or flexing everytime you twist the throttle? I wonder if wire flex is inevitable eventually causing fatigue falure.

I also haven't found anything to make me believe one heating element is better than another, so I'll probably just buy the whole kit. Suggestions on other products???

Edited by Honda_jedi
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  • Forum CEO
Thanks for the detailed write up with pictures. I too am looking into heated grips in these cold temps. I haven't bought anything yet, but will wire a rheostat into the system upon installation.

Rheostat: I've been to radio shack, auto parts stores, and two specialty electrical shops trying to find the right rheostat without luck. I've pretty much decided on this product since I can't find anything better:

Heat Troller

The heat troller controller pretty much adds $50 to the kit, but I can't find anything better and cheaper...

Also: how did you wire the throttle side to prevent the wires from binding or flexing everytime you twist the throttle? I wonder if wire flex is inevitable eventually causing fatigue falure.

I also haven't found anything to make me believe one heating element is better than another, so I'll probably just buy the whole kit. Suggestions on other products???

I dont think heat trollers are worth the added expense since hi and lo are more than adequate for me - however if you tried it and find you need fine control then thats your perogative. Kimpex heaters require the use of a heavy inline reisister, I used to have them and well they work ok but there are newer types that use a double circuit heater for hi and lo - much simpler design and easier to keep the wireing sorted. So yes heaters with no resister are superior design.

Electrical tape on the bar to keep the bar from drawing off heats sounds good on paper but the tape will not be able to withstand the heat and soon will be sliding all over the place when in use, the heat just emulsifies the glue. I suggest finding a throttle jacket like the one on the throttle side, cut off the ends and EPOXY it to the bar - most epoxys can handle the heat and harden solid, jbweld, delrin. Its kind of suprizing when your grips start rotaing when ever you use the heaters. Especially the throttle, twist and nothing happens, freewheeling grips.

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Electrical tape on the bar to keep the bar from drawing off heats sounds good on paper but the tape will not be able to withstand the heat and soon will be sliding all over the place when in use, the heat just emulsifies the glue.

Yup, that was my think'n.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Excellent writeup & pics. What is the RS Part# for the relay. Is it a 5 pole or a 3 pole?

I bought a $5 auto relay #275-226 at radio shack which I wired into the license plate power. It's a 5 pole, but you don't need the middle pole. Check my post above, it's been edited. You can get an auto relay at a car parts store as well. Just go to the counter and tell them you need a basic auto relay.

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I wonder if a volume knob from a car radio could be made into a variable 'heat troller'?

(I posted a topic long ago on possible cheaper alternatives to the Heat Troller, but didn't think of this option back then)

:unsure:

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I wonder if a volume knob from a car radio could be made into a variable 'heat troller'?

:unsure:

It would need to be a 0 to 2 ohm pot, and handle at least 10 watts. I don't think there is anything like it out there. If there were, it would be BIG!

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I wonder if a volume knob from a car radio could be made into a variable 'heat troller'?

:unsure:

It would need to be a 0 to 2 ohm pot, and handle at least 10 watts. I don't think there is anything like it out there. If there were, it would be BIG!

How big? The heat-troller unit isn't very big.

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I wonder if a volume knob from a car radio could be made into a variable 'heat troller'?

:unsure:

It would need to be a 0 to 2 ohm pot, and handle at least 10 watts. I don't think there is anything like it out there. If there were, it would be BIG!

How big? The heat-troller unit isn't very big.

The heat troller is a chip that turns the power on and off very fast. The potentiometer (sp) would drop voltage over it, just like a resistor. So they work very differently. Have you ever seen a remote control car with a speed controller in it? (not the computerized kind) It's the kind that takes a servo to move a conductor back and fourth against a large resistor. Probably nothing like it for our application...

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I wonder if a volume knob from a car radio could be made into a variable 'heat troller'?

:unsure:

It would need to be a 0 to 2 ohm pot, and handle at least 10 watts. I don't think there is anything like it out there. If there were, it would be BIG!

How big? The heat-troller unit isn't very big.

The heat troller is a chip that turns the power on and off very fast. The potentiometer (sp) would drop voltage over it, just like a resistor. So they work very differently. Have you ever seen a remote control car with a speed controller in it? (not the computerized kind) It's the kind that takes a servo to move a conductor back and fourth against a large resistor. Probably nothing like it for our application...

I think you could fit a mechanical speed control into a box the size of a heat troller, if not smaller. It would just have to be made of aluminum(the box), with some perforations or venting. And on that note, you'd need to find an older one, the newer types are only two or three points of contact, aren't they? I think I might have an old Tamiya one in my r/c box up in the attic of the garage, might even have an electronic one in there. Can they handle 12 volts? Most of those battery packs are 7.2v, and 1.2-2 amps(I'm sure they go much higher now).

A mechanical one could be cost effective, I guess? :unsure:

edit: it would have to be a mechanical one too, since the electronic/digital ones take their signal directly from the receiver, but if the msc can handle the 12v load, it could be triggered with a relay and operated by hand with a knob instead of by servo...

Ok! Who's gonna be first to try it??

(Don't all raise your hands at once...) :unsure:

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  • Member Contributer

No water or soap for me. I always use my air compressor to get the grips on and off. Takes about 2 seconds to remove and the same amount of time to put them on with almost no effort.

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Electrical tape on the bar to keep the bar from drawing off heats sounds good on paper but the tape will not be able to withstand the heat and soon will be sliding all over the place when in use, the heat just emulsifies the glue.

Yup, that was my think'n.

I think the grips will be coming back off for install adjustment, If the heaters will melt gell, what chance does electrical tape stand

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Electrical tape on the bar to keep the bar from drawing off heats sounds good on paper but the tape will not be able to withstand the heat and soon will be sliding all over the place when in use, the heat just emulsifies the glue.

I read somewhere of someone using shrink wrap for this.

Edited by mick
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Electrical tape on the bar to keep the bar from drawing off heats sounds good on paper but the tape will not be able to withstand the heat and soon will be sliding all over the place when in use, the heat just emulsifies the glue.

I read somewhere of someone using shrink wrap for this.

Seems like that would work well. I will try it out as soon as I get my heated grips in the mail. Dual Stars were on back order so I have to continue to wait.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks to guytimes, I decided to purchase a set of heated hand grips and do the install myself. I purchased the Dual Star brand and also picked up a powerlet to install at the same time. Here are a few pictures of the install;

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I purchased the auto relay, wire, and female connectors at Radio Shack

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As guytimes did, I used the plate light to power the auto relay

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Wire #1 to the plate light. Wire #2 to the negative terminal. Wire #3 to the positive terminal. Wire #4 to the center post to on/off switch.

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All though I purchased the "shrink tube", I did not use it.

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White wires from both heat elements are attached to a "piggy back" connector and connected to the "hi" side of the on/off switch. Blue wires are connected to the "low" side of the on/off switch. The red wire on both heated elements is the ground. This was wired back to the negitive terminal of the battery. The red wire to the far left is the power wire from the auto relay.

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Rocker on/off switch has a nice clean look

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This is the ground wire for the powerlet. This is an easy install.

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Special thanks to guytimes for his write up on the "kimplex install" and to the vfrdiscussion web site.

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I would be very interested to see how well the grips hold without any glue and how long it takes the tape to fail.

I installed Hot Grips back in December 2006 and have not had an issue with the install.

I did get heattroller and it makes a major difference in my appreciation of the heat that is output.

Oh yeah, the Hot Grips are a bit larger than a set of pro-grips on the vfr, but that worked in my favor as my hands do better with the larger grips anyway.

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  • 3 years later...

After four years I am happy to report that there have been no issues with the tape failing. The Dual Star heated grips work as good as the day they were installed.

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Great to hear, I'm putting grip heaters on before heading to T-Mac this year... Its amazing how much better rides can be with warm hands...

Ditto. I've just completed modifying a cheep eBay PWM controller to give me continuously variable heat without wasting watts. Those resistor controlled heaters just waste power in the resistor, and its not like we've got lots to spare.

I took pics along the way, and I'll try to get a 'how-to' up.

Glenn

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  • 1 year later...

I think mine is like going on 4 years on my bike already and it still work very well. Made sure I wired it really well with a proper relay to keep it from being left on when parked. I don't use it much here in SF, but it does get pretty cold once in a while. I got to "test" it yesterday when I was cleaning the bike and I hit the switch by accident and the grips heated up nicely.

Only thing I might have to attend to are the rubber grips on top of the heating elements are twisting a bit, everytime I ride the bike these days. I might try some "spray net" to keep them from doing so. Don't really like the idea of using something too permanent like epoxy as suggested by many.....

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