Heated Motorcycle Knobs: What are they and how they work?

Find out on Auto Care Inigo what they are, how they work, assembly and cost of heated motorcycle grips, useful accessories to face the winter as motorcyclists.

For those who use motorcycles and scooters all year round, winter is the most complicated period to deal with. Enemy number one remains the cold. One of the best ways to deal with this season is to equip yourself with an accessory that has become as essential as heated grips.

Who needs them

Released on the official accessories market by BMW in the early 1980s and then gradually adopted by all the other manufacturers, heated grips were born as a “plus” designed for motorcyclists who love to travel 365 days a year, challenging the harsher climates. With the spread of more and more versatile motorcycle models, therefore suitable both for long range and urban or commuting use, this accessory has been appreciated by an increasing number of two-wheeled users looking for more comfort in the coldest season. In fact today almost all motorcycles on the market (especially in the touring and adventure segments) are equipped with it, as well as premium Gran Turismo scooters (two names above all: Yamaha TMAX and BMW C400).

What are they and how do they work?

Heated grips are very useful accessories in the short and medium range, as well as on longer journeys. The grips improve riding comfort, because keeping your hands warm improves your feeling on the bike and consequently your riding safety. Basically they are grips with an internal resistance that releases heat to the rubber part. The rider, by squeezing them, can then warm his hands on the coldest days. Heated grips are activated by a switch located on the handlebar blocks. These switches, at least on the grips mounted as original equipment, allow you to adjust the heat intensity on several levels. Usually there are two heat intensities (as on most models), but on some bikes (see the Honda Africa Twin) the heat settings can also have five different nuances.

Knobs and moulds, the perfect kit

The main defect of all heated grips is that, by themselves, they only heat the palm and the lower part of the hand, while the fingers are usually not heated properly (especially if the outside temperature is very low). To better amplify the heat that comes out from the grips it is better to use them together with moulds, a fundamental accessory to heat the hands evenly. In fact, thanks to the moffole, the heat remains inside. This makes it possible to use gloves that are less thick (and therefore more comfortable to use) even in particularly harsh climates.

Aftermarket grips

If you choose to invest your money on aftermarket knobs, you will also have to consider the assembly process. In the box that contains the product you will find, in addition to the two grips, a control unit to control the heating and the connection cable to the motorcycle battery. To attach this accessory to your bike, you will first need to remove the standard grips from the handlebars of your bike. Once removed, you will need to insert the two grips on the handlebars. Before fitting them, check whether the wire is obstructing the throttle. If so, change the position of the cable.

Also pay attention to the correct positioning of the control unit: it must be positioned in a convenient place to reach, so that you can turn the heated grips on and off (as well as increase or decrease the heat) even when you are travelling. One last thing you will have to pay attention to is the mobility of the steering: the cables must not in any way hinder the movement of the handlebars and the steering angle. Other aftermarket knobs, of lower price range, do not have the control unit to control the heat management, but only a switch with on/off positions.

How much do they cost

How much do heated grips cost? If we talk about the aftermarket, there are many models on the market with average prices around one hundred euros. The price range for aftermarket grips ranges from 80 to 120 euros. A cost certainly lower than the accessories offered by motorcycle manufacturers, but that does not include the installation of the grips. Returning to the economic issue, taking into account five of the most important motorcycle brands (and specifically BMW, Honda, Triumph, Yamaha and Ducati) prices range from 250 to 350 euros, including mounting.

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