- Bob LoCicero
Oxford Heated Grips: Review and How to Install
Riding with cold hands isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. If you cannot feel the controls on your motorcycle your reaction time suffers -- along with your fingers.
As a motorcyclist who rides mostly in Vermont and New England, where a 40 degree morning isn’t uncommon in August, I know about cold hands. I’ve also tried many different remedies, from hot grips to electric gloves.
Last summer, when I purchased my 2014 Triumph Tiger 800 XC I really wanted to find one with heated grips. I found a great deal on the bike I was looking for, but it lacked heated grips. As a result, I was in the position of having to add heated grips as an accessory.
I considered the Triumph brand grips, but the $300 price tag and lukewarm reviews put me off, so I headed to the aftermarket to see what was available and found Oxford Heated grips.
Readily available for less than $100 the Oxford grips seem like a bargain when compared to the Triumph alternative. I had to give them a try.
To me there are really two criteria in choosing heated grips: how easy are they to install; and, do they work?
On both counts the Oxford grips are a true winner. The grips are of excellent quality and dead simple to install.
The grips come with everything you’ll need to install them, including zip ties, a mount for the controller and grip glue. The wiring is simple, using plug and screw connectors and no cutting or splicing of wires is required. The grips are wired directly to the battery.
There are three sizes to choose from: sport, touring and adventure. The styles differ in length and how short they can be cut. The grip pattern is also slightly different. The touring grips fit perfectly on the Triumph Tiger 800.
See this video for a how-to install the grips on a Triumph Tiger 800.
Operation of the grips is also simple. There are two buttons on the controller -- one marked plus and the other marked minus -- which increase or decrease the amount of output in five 20% increments, starting at 30% and going to 100%. To turn the grips off, hit the minus button until you get to 30% then the minus button one additional time to turn then off.
If you forget to turn off the grips, they will automatically turn off within a minute or so of the controller detecting that the motorcycle is no longer running. This saves your grips from draining your battery.
And, I have to say, they are warm! I have ridden with the grips when the temperature is in the high forties and they have kept me comfortable. For me that is a high standard, as I have very cold hands and find riding miserable when I try to ride in temperatures lower than 50 with just standard “winter” riding gloves.
In addition to being easy to install and operate, the Oxford Heated grips have a good feel and are made from a durable material. I’m looking forward to many more comfortable, warm rides for years to come.
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