Heated grips are a great way to make a cold ride enjoyable and a freezing cold ride bearable.
They are 12v and wire into your bike’s battery. You replace your old grips with heated ones, rather than put them over the top of the existing grips. If you have half an idea of what you’re doing, it’ll take you around 40 minutes to fit them.
Some bikes come with heated grips as standard. BMW are very good in this regard and you’ll even find heated grips on their 180mph superbikes. Most large tourers will also come with heated grips and some Adventure bikes will too but for the rest of us, we’ve written this guide.
We’ve picked three good options for riders on different budgets.
Removable thermal liner and CE armour
For under £30 these heated grips have 4 heat settings and a waterproof switch for safety out in the wet weather. Suitable for steel or alloy handles and expandable to fit up to 22mm bars. The switch can be mounted on the fairing or handlebars and only uses 4Amps of power. A suitable rubber grip which provides anti-slip protection and better handling.
Fully waterproof, loads of great features
At under £50, these are a great pick. With a universal design to fit the majority of bikes these heated grips have 5 heat settings and are suitable for 22mm handlebars. Made from an ultra-grippy diamond tread rubber for good feel, the 1-piece moulded construction provides the durability these grips need for constant use. The switch is rainproof and the power supply uses under 4A to save your battery. The controls are raised to make them easier to use with gloves. Installation is simple and easy with the included handlebar switch bracket.
The closest you’ll get to being Steve
An upgrade from the Oxford Premium Hot Grips and a touch more expensive at just under £80. These grips are suitable for 22mm handlebars and feature 9 heat settings. There’s an included temperature display in the form of an LED light. Including an intelligent heat setting memory, if you’re out on your bike a lot, it’ll save you time by removing the need to adjust the setting. If you’re a scatterbrain, the automatic switch-off will save your battery too. Suitable for the majority of bikes, can be cut down for minor adjustments.
Fitting heated grips
Oxford Products somewhat dominate the heated grips market, so it’s no surprise you’ll find two of their products in this showcase and pretty much every bike shop will stock them too.
Heated grips are fairly easy to fit. You just need a few basic tools and a small amount of mechanical ability. But if you’re not confident enough to fit them, your local bike dealer will take care of this for you.
Motorcycle heated grips FAQs
Do Oxford’s Advanced grips get hotter than the Premium ones?
No they don’t. They both reach the same temperature but the Advanced grips have 9 heat settings to the Premium’s 5.
What’s the difference between the Oxford Sports, Touring and Adventure heated grips?
They’re exactly the same product when it comes down to the heating system. The only difference is the thickness of the rubber on the grips and the grip pattern. The Sports grips are the thinnest.
Do heated grips need a separate fuse?
They come with a replaceable fuse in the wiring harness, so all you need to do is wire it into your bike. If the fuse blows, you can easily replace it.
How do I know what diameter heated grips I’ll need?
The majority of motorbikes have handlebars with a 22mm diameter, but some cruisers (think Harley Davidson) use the imperial system and those are 1″ (approx 25mm).
Do they do battery-powered heated grips?
No, heated grips use up a lot of power and to date, there isn’t a convenient way of rigging them up to an external battery. You might as well wire them into the bike’s 12v system, which is arguably simpler than trying to wire them into an external power pack.