Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips


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Mh434
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Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Mh434 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:51 am



This refers to Show Chrome model B17-385 heated grips.

I've given these all the tries I can, but they stay cold. After 45 minutes at "max" heat position, they usually get up to almost skin temperature, but take your hand off the grip for a moment, and they're dead cold again.

Cyclemax has been fantastic - they've replaced the (brand new) controller twice, and the entire set of grips once (so, a third controller), but the set steadfastly refuses to warm up. They DO take a LOT of current, though (even with a 95-ampalternator, the accessory circuit voltage drops from 14.2 to 12.6 volts when the grips are turned on)...and they stay pretty much dead cold.

I tried lots of things - thinking maybe the bars were drawing away a lot of the heat, or maybe using the connection (accessory circuit) recommended, I tried powering them up from the battery on my car (engine running) using the set's supplied controller. Nope - lots of power available, lots of draw on the grips & controller, but after 1/2 hour (not even on handlebars), they still barely made it to lukewarm...inside a heated garage!

Pretty much everyone agrees that the (new-style) controller is the most likely culprit. After replacing it 3 times, there's still nothing. The funny thing is, I know several people with these grips, and they work great....but ALL of them have the older, rheostat-type controller. Show Chrome tells me there were problems with the older style controller, so they've discontinued it in favor of the new style...which, apparently, is even less reliable than the older style. I'd happily change it for the older rheostat type, but Show Chrome advises there are none, anywhere.

I'm not going to bother Cyclemax with this any more - they've already gone above & beyond to try to help me out (and I'm sure they've lost a fair bit of money on it, by this point!), so I'm on my own. I'll start messing with them in other ways - maybe try connecting them directly to a battery, eliminating the controller entirely, and see if they warm up at all. If they do, I might try a Radio Shack rheostat or maybe a toggle switch. If they don't, I'll know there was never a heating element in the grips to start with.

So, as of today...while my hands freeze, my rather expensive "heated grips" stay cold. I've invested roughly $200CDN in them at this point, and I have...nice looking (but inert) chrome grips.

Anyway, advice for those looking at these grips: look elsewhere.

Sorry, Show Chrome, but after 2 years of messing with them, tearing apart & reassembling the bike several times, replacing the grips twice & the controller 3 times, with absolutely no improvement (and still having ice cold hands), I'm done. It was a very expensive experiment.



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Mh434
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1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Mh434 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:37 am

Just a brief update -

I tried running each grip for a few minutes, bypassing the controller. They did get very hot, as they should. Connected to the controller, though, they stayed stone cold, even after 1/2 hour.

I then re-wired the system. It now operates directly off the bike's AGM battery via a heavy-duty 30-amp relay, triggered by the ignition circuit. Interestingly, while they now get nice and hot when the bike's at idle inside the garage, they still don't get much more than luke warm while riding.

As it happens, I REALLY needed them today, going through a high mountain pass, in drizzle, in temperatures nearing freezing...and they didn't work. My hands were completely numb, joints aching, and unable to feel the controls. They sure do suck current, though, even though they don't warm up worth speaking about.

I don't know what more I can do.

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Sidcar
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Sidcar » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:33 am

Throw them away and fit some Oxford ones. Mine are great, four heat settings but I find settings two and three cover most situations.

Sid

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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby tfdeputydawg » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:22 am

Heated gloves may be the answer. Never did care for heated grips as my palms are not what gets cold!!!!

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Mh434
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Mh434 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:42 am

Yeah - I'm thinking electric gloves, now...

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Sidcar
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Sidcar » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:41 pm

I tried heated gloves before I fitted heated grips.
I found :
1. They didn't get that hot
2. You have to remember to plug them in when you get on the bike and, more importantly, unplug them before you walk away from the bike.
3. When not connected you have lengths of cable dangling from your sleeves and waist.
4. When wet the inner lining stuck to my fingers when I took the gloves off and they were the very devil to get back in correctly.

I now use heated grips and handlebar muffs, much better.

Sid

AndyFromWI
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby AndyFromWI » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:12 am

Last year installed the Show Chrome heated grips, they were OK with temps down to low 50's but below that they did not seem to help too much.
I have the version with the button controller that has five heat settings. This fall I started having an issue where I would have to hold the controller for 10 seconds before it turns on. I have yet to tear down the controller to fix it, but I have been disappointing with the grips and do Not recommend them.

Up through the end of November 2016 I have been driving 50 miles each way to work when possible, with the temps in the mid 30's my hands have always been cold, I have tried different gloves, even a pair of farm weatherproof milking gloves. On big problem is the wind. After doing some research there are many different types of wind blocks available. I decided to buy $5.00 worth of lexan, and build my own for this winter. I have only used it on short trips but so far it has made a huge difference on my hands, next week I will be the true test.

The air shields are attached with some double sided tape, and then some cable ties.. It does not look great, but then again, if we are crazy enough to want to ride in the cold who cares.....

I'm also going the route of some heated gloves, the Gerbing T5 sound great, but I hate the idea of shelling out $200+ for gloves and a controller so I will probably tinker around and build my own.

-andy
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coldcanuk
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby coldcanuk » Sat May 13, 2017 10:18 pm

Mh434 wrote:Just a brief update -

I tried running each grip for a few minutes, bypassing the controller. They did get very hot, as they should. Connected to the controller, though, they stayed stone cold, even after 1/2 hour.

I then re-wired the system. It now operates directly off the bike's AGM battery via a heavy-duty 30-amp relay, triggered by the ignition circuit. Interestingly, while they now get nice and hot when the bike's at idle inside the garage, they still don't get much more than luke warm while riding.

As it happens, I REALLY needed them today, going through a high mountain pass, in drizzle, in temperatures nearing freezing...and they didn't work. My hands were completely numb, joints aching, and unable to feel the controls. They sure do suck current, though, even though they don't warm up worth speaking about.

I don't know what more I can do.


I am wondering if you can post on how you re-wired the system. I may have to do the same thing.

Thanks in Advance.

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Mh434
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Mh434 » Sun May 14, 2017 1:14 am

Well, despite the directions, I don't think that drawing their power from the accessory circuit is a workable plan. Mine are now wired directly from the battery, through a relay which is triggered by power going to the accessory circuit (doesn't matter which item in the circuit - there's almost no draw required to trigger the relay). I'm convinced the push-button type controller is the main problem.

It's tempting to wire them to a simple on/off toggle switch, bypassing the controller entirely, so you'd just turn them on for a couple of minutes & then turn 'em off once they're nice & warm. Without the controller in the circuit, they get nice and hot...too hot, if you're not careful. There's got to be a better way!

I really wish the old-style, rheostat-type controllers were still available. I know a couple of other 'Wingers who have the older type, and theirs work perfectly. Supposedly, Show Chrome stopped making them because they were too unreliable. I'm not sure about that - I've had 3 of the new style, and none of them have worked. I'd take a 1 out of 10 failure rate vs. a 3 out of 3 failure rate any day of the week! If I knew more about electronics, I'd probably have a go at making my own rheostat controller.

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Rednaxs60
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sun May 14, 2017 10:51 am

Need some on my '85 LTD as well - miss the ones on my 1800 that work extremely well. The 1800 has a rheostat type controller for the heated seats and hand grips. This part may be usable on your 1500. The P/N is SWITCH ASSY METER & HEATER 35400-MCA-A71. From the looks of this you get the heated seats, hand grips as well as the indicator lights. Maybe a used one on line.

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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby WingAdmin » Mon May 15, 2017 7:47 pm

I can tell you, from someone who has designed and built a heated clothing controller on my bike, that the design of their controller is deficient. When your controller is not capable of handling the current being requested by the grips, the result is that the voltage drops.

Basically, it's acting as if the controller is a resistor in line with the grips. Whether it is due to insufficient wire size in the controller, on the PC board or the size of the MOSFET itself, the problem is in the design.

A good analogy would be this: think of a garden hose supplying a bucket. The rate at which the bucket fills is equal to the heat being generated in the grips.

If you put too-small wires in the controller, it's like using a section of hose in the middle that is too small a diameter. Not enough water (current) can get through, so the velocity of water (analgous to voltage) drops.

You've already proved that the controller is the problem by connecting the grips directly to the battery. You just need a replacement controller that is capable of controlling the current required.

Most controllers are not a rheostat - they work on a duty cycle. On for 5 seconds, off for 5 seconds is 50% output. On for 3 seconds off for 7 seconds would be 30% output, etc.

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coldcanuk
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby coldcanuk » Thu May 18, 2017 10:32 am

Is there a replacement controller out there?? Or a way to alter the way these Show Chrome units work? I was hoping I would not have to throw them in the trash can.

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MikeB
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby MikeB » Thu May 18, 2017 12:13 pm

I'm pretty sure that just about any heat controller, such as the Heat-Trollrer, will do a great job controlling your heated grips.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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coldcanuk
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Re: Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips

Postby coldcanuk » Thu May 18, 2017 1:07 pm

The Heat-Troller looks similar to a Gerbing Jacket heat controller which would be great, however I do not have any schematics for the Show Chrome Control. If someone has this, I would give it a try.




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