Oxford HotGrips

If you ride all year long and don’t live where it’s warm all year long, keep reading.  Hey, even if you don’t ride too often in cold weather and want to keep your hands worm while riding, keep reading.

Over the years I’ve managed to figure out how to keep warm and dry when riding in less then ideal, OK cold weather.  The exception, however, was my hands.  No matter what gloves I used or how I layered them, it wouldn’t take long for my hands to get cold to the point where riding became unpleasant. So at the suggestion of the parts manager at my dealer, I had a set of the Oxford HotGrips installed on my Kawasaki KLR 650 and to say the least I love them!

The first time I tried them out was on the way home after they were installed.  It was about 40 degrees F and the 30-minute ride home was very comfortable.  Normally this ride would have resulted in my hands turning to ice, but the HotGrips lived up to their name and kept my hands warm.  In fact my hands got hot enough that I had to lower the setting a notch during the ride.

The Oxford HotGrips are designed to fit most motorcycles that use 22mm handlebars and come with all the items necessary for instillation, including detailed instructions if you want to install them yourself.  The grips and switch are waterproof and the switch has two large buttons that double as the ON / OFF switch and heat setting adjustment. The buttons allow for easy adjustment in temperature while riding, but turning the system on while riding can be difficult as you have to depress the ON switch for 2 seconds with a fair amount of pressure.

The Oxford HotGrips are designed for 12 Volt systems only.  There must be a minimum of 12 Volts flowing through the electrical system or the grips won’t turn on.  This usually means that the motorcycle must be running before powering up the HotGrips system.  If the voltage drops below 11.5V the system will shut off, saving the battery and the grips.  If you keep your motorcycle on a charger, it’s important to make sure the HotGrips system is turned off or the grips could overheat as the voltage would not drop low enough automatically shut off the grips.

The Oxford HotGrips has 4 settings and so far I’ve used the 2nd and 3rd levels the most.  Level 4 is just hot and will probably only be used in extremely cold temperatures or at the beginning of a ride to get the grips warmed up faster.  The lowest setting is nice to use for evening rides, even if the weather is warm.  I find the extra heat adds to riding comfort.

For the money, which is less then $100.00, installing heated grips is a great way to improve your comfort while riding in cool or cold weather and the Oxford HotGrips have proven to be a great choice. 

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