Show Chrome GL1500 Heated Grips


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Mh434
Posts: 941
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
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1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

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.



User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 941
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
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
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:07 pm
Location: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500/6 with Watsonian Oxford sidecar

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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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:59 am
Location: Indianapolis, In.
Motorcycle: 06 Wing III/2010 Hannigan

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!!!!

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 941
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

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
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:07 pm
Location: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500/6 with Watsonian Oxford sidecar

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
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:32 am
Location: Cumberland, WI
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE

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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