Heated Grips Installation:

This was done entirely by Ron aka: cyclenerd on the forums. The text, pictures and installation were all done by him on his personal bike. Thanks again Ron!
I installed a set of Kimpex brand grip heaters on my YZF600 in an attempt to improve my riding comfort and control while riding in cool weather. The grip heaters are quite simple, really, just electrical resistors printed on a flexible adhesive-backed panel with a pair of wires attached. The kit includes a three position (off, hi, low) switch and a limiting resistor used to reduce heater power in the "low" position. I bought mine from Rider Wearhouse (the Aerostitch people), but they are available from many sources, usually for about $35. In addition to the grip heater kit, I also bought a 12-volt relay. I already had a selection of wire, connectors, and heat shrink tubing available. Here's what the kit plus the relay looks like:

The old grips have to come off before the heaters can go on. Remove the bar end weights using an Allen wrench, then remove the old grips. I wanted to save the old grips so rather than cut them off I loostened them, then pulled them off. I squirted a little bit of water-based window cleaner (because that is what was handy at the time, but any soapy water type stuff will do the trick) under the grip, then inserted a small screwdriver and ran it around beween the bar and grip to break the old adhesive and distribute the lubricant. Off popped the old grips.

The heaters each put out the same amount of power, but the left one is directly attached to the handlebar, while the right one is on the throttle tube. All else being equal, the right grip would tend to run hotter than the left because the handlebar is a better heat sink than the throttle tube. In an effort to equalize the temperature, I wrapped some electrical tape over the bare left handlebar to provide a little heat insulation.

Next I attached the heating elements. I used a mixture of water plus a TINY amount of dishwashing soap to provide a temporary lubricant that allows the sticky-backed heater elements to be repositioned a little bit before sticking permanently in place. This same technique is very handy for applying decals, also. Just be sure to use only a part of a drop of detergent to a quart or so of water. I positioned the lead wires on the bottom of the handlebar on the left. On the right, I marked the position of the lead wires so as to have them swing freely as the throttle opens and closes.

Next, I installed the grips. Despite having saved the OEM grips, I decided to try some squishy new grips. I lubed them up with the same water plus a tiny amount of detergent from above, and shoved them on. I used some LocTite on the threads of the bar end weights before I reinstalled them.

Next, I routed the wires. It is important to make sure there is enough slack in the right-side wires to allow the throttle to swing from closed to open. Tie everything down snugly.

The heater kit assumes that you will attach the heaters directly to the 12 volt power, but I decided I wanted the power to the grip heaters to be switched with the ignition. To do so, I bought a small relay and powered the relay from the tail light circuit, which comes on any time the ignition switch is turned on. I used the relay's contacts to send power to the heater control switch. Not shown in this schematic is the attachment for my electric vest -- the same inline fuse protects the vest circuit and the grip heaters. Here's a schematic and a photo of how I installed the relay in the tail section of the bike:

The best place I could find to mount the control switch was in the panel that conceals the ram-air duct on the left side of the bike. To install the switch in the panel, I drilled a 1/2" hole using a UniBit, or "step drill". These things are very cool for drilling clean, perfectly round holes in sheet material. You know how if you use a twist drill in sheet stock you can never get a truly round hole, particularly in larger diameters? The step drill solves that in short order. They are least expensive if you can borrow one like I did.

Finally, I installed the switch in the panel, stuffed the wires underneath to keep them out of sight, and reinstalled the panel:

I have tested them out in the garage, just to make sure they turn on and off as advertised. I'll post a report on their effectiveness after my next ride.


Update: You'll note the wording above as "Heated Grips", I had incorrectly listed these grips as "Hot Grips" a trademarked name. According to Jim Hollander at Hot Grips Mfg., Inc. he wanted the name removed because, according to Mr. Hollander, "I am obligated to protect my trademark by precendent trademark infringement cases."

The grips listed here are made by Kimpex not Hot Grips who apparently had a problem with the plug for their product on this site.