Oxford Heaterz Heated Grips Review & How To Instructions
I tend to get cold easily, which doesn’t go well with the trend of becoming less and less of a fair weather rider, the longer I’ve ridden. In the middle of the Californian winter, I still need to get out there! When I felt the delight of heated grips on a friend’s bike a few months ago, I knew that it was time for aftermarket grips on my Ducati Scrambler. Enter the Oxford Heaterz.
Oxford makes grips for adventure, touring, sport bikes, and just about everything in-between. The Oxford Heaterz Premium Sports Heated Grips kit arrives with the grips, a 5-setting controller, metal mount, wiring harness, zip ties, and grip glue. Installation requires only standard tools; no splicing, crimping or soldering needed. Priced at $90, the Oxford Heaterz seemed to fit the bill as a simplistic option.
The installation instructions were straight forward: remove existing grips, dry fit the new grips to ensure the fit, add the adhesive, attach the wires (that cannot be fitted incorrectly), and connect directly to the battery with ring terminals. Easy—in theory. But since the possibility of electrocution existed, I gave that honor to my nearest certified motorcycle mechanic.
Oxford Heaterz Heated Grips Installation Notes
Once the stock grips were off, which took a bit of wrestling, we discovered that the throttle tube had plastic ridges, and a lip on the end that would have to be removed in order to slide the new grips on. Depending on your make and model, you might need to modify your throttle tube or simply replace it with a smooth throttle tube.
The Ducati Scrambler required some sanding with 100-grit sandpaper to flatten the ridges, and then an X-Acto knife to remove the lip. Again, this isn’t necessarily going to be the case for all bikes, but the instructions did mention that you might have to smooth out any excess rubber on the inside of the new grips in order to ensure proper fitment.
With the dry fitment complete, we moved onto the actual installation. Oxford provides adhesive to secure the grips in place, but be warned, it has a low viscosity, and if you’re not careful, can create quite a mess. Check that you have proper throttle slack, and that you can freely rotate your throttle without any issue from the wire connections. Do work with some haste—this adhesive dries quickly. Again, be aware not to crimp any of the external wiring.
Once done, we moved the control module into place. The wiring for the control module is long, which means it gives you options for placement, and it can fit a wide variety of bikes without the need for extension cables. I opted for a position that was out of the way. We placed the controller under the fuel tank, and away from the Scrambler’s cylinder head. Though it wouldn’t be visible to me when riding, it would be easily reachable. Since there are only two buttons that are plenty raised to feel through a gloved hand, I can still safely operate it when riding.
Once all the wires were zip tied in place, and the tank was down, there was no sign of wiring other than the loop at the base of the throttle. It was out of sight and out of mind. It took a couple of hours to get everything right.
Oxford Heaterz Heated Grips Cold-Weather Performance Review
It was around 50 degrees when I first took the Scrambler out to test the heated grips. Excited to see what they could do, I set them to 100% (there are four other settings: 30%, 40%, 50% and 75%). They began to heat up immediately, and damned if after about 10 minutes they didn’t start to burn my hands a little.
I’ve tested the Oxford Heaterz heated grips on colder days—the kind where I wouldn’t ride before. Set at 75%, the grips provided more than enough heat to keep my hands comfortably warm for hours at a time. The lower settings are nice in slightly cool weather, with the lowest setting good for having the grips be just a tad warmer than normal body temperature.
The Oxford Heaterz heated grips themselves are high quality, and firm. Despite that, the firmness of the grips isn’t an issue for me in terms of comfort. However, for those that appreciate softer grip compounds, you might want to test them out before installing them. Keep in mind, these grips need to manage heat—the compound will be firmer than you might be accustomed to. A soft compound grip would not be able to meet the aforementioned needs.
Aside from the glorious heat that emanates from these grips, the other best part is the a battery saving mode; the Oxford Heaterz system shuts off after five minutes if the engine isn’t running. This ensures you won’t get stranded if you forget to turn them off. There is also a backup feature that will automatically turn off the Oxford Heaterz heated grips if your battery voltage falls below a certain level, making sure that your battery won’t die.
The battery saving mode also made the installation easier. Without this feature you would also have to use a volt meter and tap into a wire that would shut off the grips when the ignition is turned off.
The one complaint I have of the Oxford Heaterz heated grips is the control box—for the size and aesthetic of a standard bike like the Ducati Scrambler, it feels a bit clunky and out of place on the handlebar.
It was easy enough to find another place for it, so it isn’t too much of an issue. On an adventure bike or large cruiser it would look right at home alongside GPS displays, radio controllers and other creature comforts these bikes typically have.
For the ease of installation, the potency of the heat, the battery saving mode and the reasonable price at $90, the Oxford Heaterz are great tool for extending your riding season or for expanding what you’d consider a “fair weather” day. For additional information, and how to purchase a set of Oxford Heaterz, visit Oxford Products.