This page describes how I installed an aftermarket heated grip kit from Dual-Star on my 2003 Yamaha FJR1300. This kit is just $30 (1/10th the price of the official Yamaha heated grip kit), though unlike the Yamaha kit it does not come with a variable heat control (it has a Hi/Low switch). I coupled it with a Heat-Troller, see below. [Note: Tom Barber did this same modification, but improved on it somewhat. In particular, he added strain relief to the heated grip wires. Please check his page too]
Since I did this page I found another example of DIY custom heated grips by a guy in Canada.
I mounted mine using a Heat-Troller controller to achieve continuously variable heat control like the Yamaha accessory heated grips provide. BTW -- I used the "std" dual-control Heat-Troller kit, not the single control one designated specifically for heated grips. The Heat-Troller kit designed for heated grips is a little cheaper, as it omits some unnecessary bits.
The kit, with all the parts, wires, connectors, tie-wraps and instructions.
The Model 780 Pro Gel grips I decided to use are shown on the left, with the stock Yamaha grip on the right. The length difference is misleading, as the Pro Gel grips stretch when applied. They are much softer than the stock grips, which I found to be too hard. I've heard that the Yamaha accessory heated grips are even harder than the stock grips.
This is what the heating elements look like. There's a different one for the clutch and throttle side, as the throttle side is insulated from the heat-sink effect of the handlebar by the throttle tube. They have a glue back, covered with protetive paper.
I cut off the old grips, removed the glue and cleaned the handlebar, then pulled the paper off the heating element and stuck it on the bar. Note how I positioned the heating element relative to each end of the handgrip, and where I chose to route the wires.
The result after slipping on the new grip. The bar end weight isn't yet attached, nor is the wiring cable-tied into its permanent location. My way of getting the grip on is to dribble a little plain 'ol gasoline on the inside of the grip, shake off the excess, then slide it on. I've found that after 24 hrs. the grip is solidly stuck to the bar, and doesn't require safety wiring.
Same story on the throttle side, only on this side you have to take more care as to where the wires end up as they move when the throttle is opened. This shows where the wires lie with the throttle closed.
I routed the wires along the cables from each handgrip, with cable-ties strategically placed as appropriate. Just below the ignition switch I cable-tied them together and slipped some heat-shrink tubing on them and routed them to the left side (Panel "A") where the Heat-Troller is mounted.
I find that turning the Heat-Troller knob to about 25% (1/4 turn) yields a pleasant amount of warmth when outside temperatures are around 55 degrees F. The heat feels quite even between the throttle side and the clutch side as well. In very cold conditions, even when wearing winter-grade gloves, the grips will get hot enough to provide all the heat you desire. In fact, at full power they will get so hot that you could probably simply leave the blue wires unattached and still get reasonably high heat out of them.
Detail showing how much the stock grips extend past the end of the bar, with the bar-end weights removed.
NOTE: To connect the Heat-Troller to the Dual Star elements you will need to connect the two blue and red wires (from the heated grips) to one of the Heat-Troller wires, and the two white wires (from the heated grips) to the other Heat-Troller wire. Since the standard Heat-Troller comes with an SAE plug connector, the easiest way to do this is to get another SAE plug connector and wire the Dual Star elements to it, then simply plug it into the Heat-Troller. Or you could buy the special Heat-Troller designed for heated grips which omits the SAE connector and is therefore a bit cheaper.
The neat thing about the 3-wire Dual Star heated grip elements is that it allows for parallel wiring within each element, which results in current twice what it would otherwise be and thus double the Wattage.
Here's what the Heat-Troller dual controls look like, mounted on my FJR1300, with both of them in the full ON position. The one closest to the tank controls the heated grips, and the other the outlet for my Gerbings heated jacket liner. I can easily see and adjust them from the saddle when riding. The relatively small tankbag I use ( TourMaster Cortech mini-magnetic) doesn't get in the way.
Another option for mounting the HeatTroller knob, this one courtesy of Dean Woodward. He says there is plenty of room inside the FJR's left switch-housing to mount the HeatTroller control. Slick!
Copyright © 2002, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.