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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hated Heated Harley Handgrips

My heated grips don’t work. They keep blowing fuses. In the electronic/electrical world, it means one of three things: a short, a bad ground, or broken component. The hunt is on.

Of course, the first thing I looked at was the grounding…upon inspection and change out of the grommet end for the wire…the ground looked fine. Tightened the grommet end on the frame and put in a new fuse. It held, until I turned on the ignition. Pop! There goes a fuse.

Next was the wiring…that means tracing the wiring back under the tank and looking for a pinch or bad kink. Looking at the wiring…it looked fine. The only wiring I have not looked at right now is the internal wiring in the handlebars or the connections to the grips themselves. I have, however, decided that the issue is going to be there simply because there is no where else for any issue to be.

Soooooo it looks like the grips will come off (and while I’m at it, I’ll be replacing the clutch-side control bracket that I broke last year. I’m not looking forward to this job as the task of getting the grip off the throttle side is a pita. Yes, that flatbread, you know??

At any rate, after looking at the various options I have available, I’m finding the most cost-efficient way is not to get the Harley Shop to do the diagnostics and buy replacement parts. Only “working parts” are the grips themselves, and the wiring, right?? Wiring is okay, so it must be the grips. Or perhaps the wiring in the grips. For the shop to chase down the problem, order me the parts is going to be more costly than just buying a new set of grips and doing the reinstall. Sounds like a reasonable thing to understand….except the reputation of Hardley Davidson Heated Handgrips have a high failure rate. Do I want to deal with this again in a year, and then the next year?? NO!

Instead, my friend sends me a link to the Dual-Star Mylar Heaters. The heating element is on a mylar pad that the installer sticks to the handlebar and then puts the grip of choice on. Had some good reviews, bad reviews and middle of the line reviews so I decided to keep looking.

Paydirt! I found a source of hand grip heaters for ATV’s and snowmobiles…..and the little module goes inside the bar and I can use whatever grip I want!!! Enter Polly Heaters. Polly Heaters are heating modules that go inside the bar. Held on by little clips, this little gem heats the metal of the bar, then the grip. I’m intrigued!

I’ve learned that some wrenches put insulation on the end of the heating module to contain the heat at the grip--not the entire bar. The installation would be straightforward—like my installation of my Harley Davidson Hated Heated Grips. I do lose the six levels of temperature settings…but who am I fooling….when I rode my grips were either off, 6 (for wide open heat) or 3 (for medium heat)….The Polly Heaters have 3 temperature settings: off, low, high.

Here’s the kicker (really there are two). The first being that the Polly Heaters only cost $31.00. Secondly, I can put ANY grip on my bike…and the one I want are the ISO grips!

For about $100 can get this on my bike….versus the $250 for the Hardley (yes, I'm aware of the typo) Grips that might last one season. I love them, but they are sooooooo unreliable, I’m going elsewhere….

So, that’s my workaround and I hope to have all the parts in and ordered within the next few weeks. If we have a garage party install….everyone interested is welcome to join us….

That’s my hated heated grip story….don’t buy them ‘cause the are worth flipping anything. And with a 90 day warranty….it’s doubly not worth it!!!

That’s my rant for the day…..

Keep The Shiny Side Up!!

~The Rainbow Wahine


Hap said...

Christine, I have the harley heated hand grips and they are high maintenance. I have switched to the heated Harley gloves and they work well down to 18 degrees.
Did the Polly Grips work for you? Let me know. Thanks Hap

Alf-Åge R. said...

Happy new year from Oslo, Norway.

It´s interesting to read your review of the heated handgrips from HD. I did buy a couple for my Fatboy 2 years ago, they suddenly stopped giving heat and I bought another pair witch did work for 3 months and one week. Even though I need the handgrips, I´ve now been driving without for some time. I think the bad quality of the heated handgrips is decreasing the impression of quality that HD has gained during the last 15 years. I´ve already bookmarked your blog, keep the good work going.

Alf Pettersen, MD