Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?


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Mh434
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Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:37 pm



I bought a set of the Show Chrome heated grips for my GL1500SE. Look great, chrome is first rate, grips seem heavy & solid. However...the heat controller is a little metal chrome box, with a stiff, stout wire harness coming out the bottom, that is intended to be attached to....???...by means of double-sided sticky tape. Did I mention that the wire harness is stiff?

I'm not inclined to stick it to any of my fairing etc, and back of my instruments there's no real estate available anymore (GPS mounts, etc.), so I guess I'm stuck with designing a handlebar mount. Even so, there's no option to the sticky tape provided...and in hot or rainy weather, I've had most, if not all, devices attached this way fall off. Coupled with the extremely stiff wire harness that will be actively trying to force the controller off whatever it's stuck to and, well, it seems destined to failure.

So - for those out there who've done this, how the heck DID you do it?

BTW, pics would be hugely appreciated!! I'm a visual kind of guy. I can fabricate almost anything, if required - except imagination (thus, the request for pics)!



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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:13 pm

Nobody's done this? Anyone?

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:52 pm

You could stick it to the front of the speaker grille. I've got stuff mounted using double sided sticky tape to both of my speaker grilles. As long as you aren't covering up a huge amount of it, the sound will not be affected. I rarely use my speakers anyway.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby robb » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:53 am

This is where mine is mounted, works fine.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:53 pm

Thanks, guys! That does give me some ideas.

I ordered the set with the rotary controller, but when it arrived it had the push-button "turns off automatically when the voltage drops below 13.5v" controller. As I now have a 95-amp alternator installed, with 14v at idle, I guess it doesn't matter.

I'm not a fan of the double-sided sticky tape method of installing things, particularly if they're outdoors & subject to rain, heat, etc., but there doesn't seem to be any other way to mount this thing. I guess if it falls off I'll have to machine a holder of some kind.

When I get it mounted, I'll update this thread with pics.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:06 pm

Mh434 wrote:Thanks, guys! That does give me some ideas.

I ordered the set with the rotary controller, but when it arrived it had the push-button "turns off automatically when the voltage drops below 13.5v" controller. As I now have a 95-amp alternator installed, with 14v at idle, I guess it doesn't matter.

I'm not a fan of the double-sided sticky tape method of installing things, particularly if they're outdoors & subject to rain, heat, etc., but there doesn't seem to be any other way to mount this thing. I guess if it falls off I'll have to machine a holder of some kind.

When I get it mounted, I'll update this thread with pics.


I use 3M high-strength "VHB" double sided tape. I clean the surfaces to which it will stick with rubbing alcohol first. Once it is stuck and cured in place (a few hours) it takes significant force to remove it, and will never just fall off on its own - even when exposed to rain, heat, sun, etc. I have stuff that has been affixed to my bike for years now using this stuff.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:12 am

That's good to know! I have no idea what the kit-provided tape is. Mainly, my concern is the thick & stiff wire that comes out of the controller - while it does bend, it's like a stiff spring & wants to straighten. It has to take a fairly acute bend, right near the controller, which is only held by the 1" X 1" piece of tape. Doesn't seem like a great mount, considering the cost of the system!

I guess I'll try the tape mount, initially, and see how it goes.

WingAdmin, I will go with your suggestions!

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby robb » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:07 pm

I went to Walmart and got some picture hangers with the end you pull to remove. Two years and it is still holding tight.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:07 pm

Thanks to all who responded! Unfortunately (as all 'Wings are different vis-a-vis personal touches), none of the suggested mount points were available to me, as all had been taken up with other doodads, gadgets, thingies, whatsits, and assorted clutter.

I finally got my grips & controller mounted. In the end, I made a T-6061 aluminum bracket for the left handlebar and secured it with aluminum spacers & M6 X 40 mm. stainless steel bolts. Looks nice (polished to bling-bling status, of course!) and seems pretty accessible.

Grips do get pretty warm, although it does take a few minutes. At idle, with the grips on, brake lights on, etc., I'm getting 13.95 volts at the battery, thanks to the new LActrical alternator. I can't imagine how low the voltage would be with the OEM alternator...

Here's a pic of the controller mount -
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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:28 pm

Reviving my old thread, here...

After my previous success with mounting, etc. (and considerable disassembly of the bike to do it!), I found that the grips barely got warm, even after riding with them on for an hour, on maximum heat.

I contacted Show Chrome, and they responded that they'd had troubles with the controllers. At their request, I took the bike apart again, boxed up the controller, and sent it back down to them. They replaced it fairly quickly, and was able to get it all back together a few weeks later when the replacement arrived.

On first trial, the grips seemed to get nice and hot, and I was very pleased. On the next ride, though, they only got medium-warm. Now, at best, they get to lukewarm after 1/2 hour to an hour on max (the left hand grip's glue turns liquid as soon as there's any warmth, too, but that's another issue).

I'm reluctant to take the bike all apart again to send it back, yet again (not to mention the month that it takes for a replacement to get her, during which time the bike is not usable), but I'm out of ideas. At this point I have really nice looking, non-heated, $200 grips.

Anyone here had similar issues and, if so, did you find a solution? Maybe I need to just toss these in the trash, and find another brand?

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:56 pm

Sounds like a poor (undersized?) product, if one failed, and the second one has now failed the same way. I'd probably chuck it and find a different brand controller.

Actually, that's not what I would do at all. What I would do (and did) is design and build my own, and make it four times the capacity it needed to be, to ensure reliability. :)

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:43 pm

Yeah, but you're YOU, and the rest of us are mere mortals! :D

Know of any commercial controllers that might work with these grips?

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Sidcar » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:47 am

I bought some Oxford heated grips they came with a handlebar mounting bracket which fitted a treat. You get four settings of which the 75% is the one I use most.

Sid
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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:17 am

I've been looking at those Oxford controllers - they look pretty good, and they're available as a replacement unit. I'm not sure if they can be hooked up to the Show Chrome grips or not, but their connectors look similar.

I'm going to contact Show Chrome's tech people & see if they have any ideas. If not, I may have to give the Oxford controller a try. Unfortunately, it means throwing another $100 at it as an experiment, but short of building one myself (yeah, right...I can install batteries in a flashlight the right way around 6 times out of 10, so this should be easy...right? :shock: ), I don't have a lot of options.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:33 am


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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:52 am

Thanks, WA, I hadn't found those! That's probably because I don't normally look at Amazon.com - there are very few items that are available to Canada (they usually direct you to Amazon.ca, which typically has only 10% of what Amazon.com carries...at 2-3 times the price), yet the ones you pointed me to DO ship to Canada!!

In the meantime, I've contacted Gary at Cyclemax about this. He has already responded, and said he's contacting the manufacturer on my behalf to find out what's going on, and will get back to me as soon as he hears back from them. He says he sells lots of these & rarely has any problems reported. Maybe I just got (un)lucky?

If they don't have a solution, I'll be looking at the ones you sourced for me.

Thanks!!!

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:57 pm

I got a call from Big Bike Parts' tech, Brandon. He had me run a few tests, on the controller & the grips themselves.

The controller is putting out full voltage (13.8V) to the grips, regardless of heat setting. Each grip has only 1.7 Ohms resistance, though, which (although I'm no kind of electrician) seems quite low. I did a little research on the 'net, and other company's grips seem to have 2-10 times the resistance.

If my logic is right, very little resistance = very little heat, right?

Anyway, I'm waiting on Brandon's assessment...

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:09 am

Mh434 wrote:I got a call from Big Bike Parts' tech, Brandon. He had me run a few tests, on the controller & the grips themselves.

The controller is putting out full voltage (13.8V) to the grips, regardless of heat setting. Each grip has only 1.7 Ohms resistance, though, which (although I'm no kind of electrician) seems quite low. I did a little research on the 'net, and other company's grips seem to have 2-10 times the resistance.

If my logic is right, very little resistance = very little heat, right?

Anyway, I'm waiting on Brandon's assessment...


1.7 ohms at 13.8 volts means 8 amps per grip. Thats a lot of power - and you're wrong, it's the other way around. The less resistance, the more current flows, which means the more heat generated.

Check to see if your controller is rated for 16 amps - that's a LOT of power for heated grips. It could be why you keep frying controllers. Most heated grips draw maybe 4 amps for BOTH grips together.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:23 am

Where I got that idea was when I searched online, I found that other company's heated grips were rated at anywhere from 2.4 ohms each to as much as 14 ohms each, so mine seemed quite a ways off those readings. BMW's grips are supposed to be 9.1 ohms, HotGrips' website says their grips for Honda are 7.5 to 10 ohms, etc. I'm still waiting on Big Bike's tech to get back to me.

He did say that the resistance in my grips was way out of spec, and that the controller is apparently performing exactly as designed, based on the simple tests he had me run.

I did ask him for the actual expected numbers for resistance (they seem reluctant to give out specs). If I can get this information, it will be interesting!

At this point, it looks like they're going to replace the grips for me, but I'm still waiting on their final decision.

Unfortunately, I know less than nothing about electrickery (I'm convinced it's black magic!). Machine something out of a block of metal I can do, rebuild an engine I can do...but keeping the smoke in the wires, well, that's something I have no clue about! :D

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:13 pm

I looked it up - I'm assuming you've got these Show Chrome heated grips:

http://www.amazon.com/Show-Chrome-Acces ... ingdocs-20

Current draw for BOTH of these grips is specified at a maximum of 3.2 amps. This means 1.6 amps for each grip, which is about right for heated grips.

At 13.8 volts, to draw 1.6 amps, each grip should measure 8.6 ohms. The resistance on yours (1.7 ohms) is FAR too small, which is causing them to draw too much current (8 amps EACH), which is likely what is causing your controllers to die. Basically, instead of pulling 3.2 amps, your grips are pulling 16 amps. If your controller is designed to run 3.2 amps (which probably means it's designed for around 5-6 amps), trying to pull 16 amps through it is going to destroy it.

So basically...something is not right with your grips.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:33 pm

Okay, NOW I understand...that makes sense.

Summing up my knowledge of electrickery - I'm dimmer than Lucas headlights when it comes to things electrical. I think it stems from the fact that all my early cars were British...which have a maximum of 4 circuits in the car (each one shared 27 different ways), and each circuit is guarded by a 50-amp fuse...using wire only rated for 5 amps. The smoke comes out easily, with the slightest bend or kink in the wire - the rubber coating cracks, all the smoke comes out, and that circuit doesn't work anymore.

Or, it can happen if more than 2 circuits are in use at the same time (say, headlights AND wipers!). With the Lucas "EverFail" bullet connectors (drawing about 10X the normal current for the circuit), sometimes the wires get warm, trying to push all that smoke through occluded wires. A lot like atherosclerosis, really, but instead of high blood pressure, you get high smoke pressure.

I did buy a Lucas smoke-replenishment kit once, but sold my last British car before I had a chance to use it.

:lol:

BTW - these are the ones I have. Sounds like Big BIke agrees that the grips are kaput...

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:32 am

Further to the above, Cyclemax has shipped off another set of grips my way, and is only asking that I return the defective ones after I get the new ones. I am VERY pleased with this! It allows me to keep the bike on the road, with the only downtime being as long as the installation requires.

BIG thanks to Cyclemax & Big Bike Parts for their help and customer service!!!

While I'm on the subject, has anyone found a grip glue that DOESN'T let go when the grips warm up? The glue provided with the Show Chrome grips (a cyanoacrylitic superglue variant, judging by the smell) lets go as soon as the grips warm up, even though they've never yet reached their designed temperature range. I suspect some type of epoxy might work, but I've heard wildly differing stories of success and failure with epoxies.

Your experience?

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Mh434 » Sat May 02, 2015 9:09 pm

***Update***

Cyclemax sent me a whole new set of grips, as they said they would. I tested the new ones for resistance and, strangely, they have precisely the same values as the old ones.

Nonetheless, I hooked them up to a battery before installing them, and they got warm, then hot, in just a few minutes. In fact, they got hotter in just 5 minutes "on the bench" than the originals did after an hour or more running time. I'm mystified, but hey, they work!

I also decided to change the wiring strategy. The instructions advise to hook them up to one of the switched accessory connections at the fuse panel directly, with no mention of a relay. This time, I chose to connect a large, always-hot lead, direct from the battery, in my left fairing pocket, with a relay triggered by power coming on in the accessory circuits. I've also connected my voltmeter to this, and it's far more accurate now.

My thinking is that the more power that's available to a heating appliance, the better it's likely to work.

Anyway, a test ride to confirm all is well, and I'll ship off the originals back to Cyclemax again. All that return shipping gets expensive, doesn't it?!?

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon May 04, 2015 11:23 am

Grips always get hotter when they are not mounted, because the handlebar sucks away a great deal of the heat generated by the grips. When they are not mounted, there is no handlebar to suck the heat away, which means they get very hot, very fast.

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Re: Heated grips controller on GL1500 - where to mount it?

Postby Preacher Cliff » Fri May 06, 2016 1:05 pm

FROM MY EXPERIENCE LONG-TIME EXPERIENCE.

I double-back taped the heated grips controller inside the left side box on both my 1800s and 1500s. I never needed to adjust it. It stayed on max all the time, and I controlled it with an on/off switch conveniently mounted. It usually stayed turned off.

I have used Widder's and Gerbing's heated gloves for 20+ years. During this time, I added the heated grips to my GL-1500s and Gl-1800. I took them off my present 08 GL1800 two weeks ago when I was "dressing up" my accessory installations and wiring.

Now I have 1 and 1/2 pairs of aftermarket (Show Chrome?) heated grips in my junk box. The controller is conveniently mounted there as well. :D

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