Best Motorcycle Heated Grips For Winter Riding

motorbike riding in snow
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Heated grips can really help when the temperature drops during the UK winter – eliminating windchill and preventing that dangerous lack of feeling in the fingers.

We’ve taken a look at the best products on the market and chosen the options that offer the best balance of value and performance for most riders.

 

Our Top Pick

OnTour Original

Premium Features At A Low Price

Boasts features (temperature control, LED warning light) of many of their more expensive competition – and offer a two year warranty.

Hard to beat at the price.

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Best Heated Motorcycle Grips

Lets dive into our grip roundup.


R&G Heated Motorcycle Grips

R&G heated grips are the lowest priced set on our list.

They have 5 heat settings and a bright LED to tell you if you have forgotten to turn them off.

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Though these and the other heated grips in our list are designed to fit a 22mm handlebar, some customers have reported difficulty with fitting.

Simple workarounds include using a soft mallet to tap them on if the fit is too tight, or using some insulating tape to increase the diameter of the bar if too loose.

Other feedback suggests the grips take five to ten minutes to heat up, depending on the severity of the cold.

R&G grips are sold with connections to wire directly to your bike’s battery. A relay can be installed to wire the battery through the ignition.

It’s worth mentioning that your grips will heat up faster if your hands are on the bars.

Pros

Really low price point

Decent quality at this price

Cons

Some customers report difficulty with fitting

Will drain your battery if you forget to turn them off

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On Tour Original Hot Grips

On Tour Hot Grips are priced slightly above R&G’s offering.

A two year warranty and slightly superior build quality may make them worth it, depending on your needs.

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Fitting these is simple on the vast majority of bikes, and they can be cut down if necessary. Most customers reported them as easy to fit.

The moulded wiring setup feels durable and is easy to hide discreetly behind your fairing.

The grips come with a waterproof controller unit and mounting bracket with four heat settings. This controller can be placed on either the handlebars or fairing.

These grips are sold with connections to wire directly to your bike’s battery. A relay can be installed to wire the battery through the ignition.

Like most electronic gear connected directly to your bike’s battery, they must be turned off independently after you switch off the ignition.

A convenient red LED is included to warn if you do forget to turn them off.

Pros

Two year warranty

Easy to install

Cons

 Will drain your battery if left on

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Oxford Heated Advanced Hot Grips – Touring

Oxford’s Advanced Touring grips are made for just that – motorcycle touring.

Nine heat settings mean you’ll be comfortable in even the most unpredictable of conditions. An intelligent memory function stores your previous setting and defaults to this when you start up your bike. It’s a nice touch.

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oxfird advanced - touring

The device automatically switches off if you forget, avoiding a flat battery. This means it’s not necessary to buy and fit a relay.

These grips also feature a battery saving mode – useful on those longer tours.

The controller unit is made from weatherproof, welded plastic and feels like it’s made to last.

The threaded rubber grips feel comfortable and will dampen vibration and keep you in control.

These grips are at a premium price, but feel durable, are highly adjustable and are covered by a three year warranty.

If budget isn’t an issue and you’re likely to do some touring, these are the grips you need.

Pros

Intelligent memory stores the last heat setting on restarting

Excellent build quality

Three year warranty

Auto shutdown function in case you forget

Battery saving mode

Cons

 Expensive

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Oxford Heated Premium Hot Grips – Touring

Oxford’s Premium Touring grips are a more affordable version of their Advanced counterpart.

The Advanced Touring are supplied with a three year warranty, while the Premium Touring are covered for a twelve month period.

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Oxford Heated Premium Hot Grips

The Premium Grips have five heat settings compared to the Advanced Grip’s nine settings.

Like the Advanced, the Premium Grips have a battery saving mode.

Build quality feels excellent, though a slight downgrade from the Advanced version. Thick, threaded rubber on these grips will keep your hands comfortable on longer rides.

They can be hardwired to your ignition, eliminating the need to wire in a relay. Very convenient.

Pros

Twelve month warranty

Can be hardwired to your ignition – no chance of a flat battery

Battery saving mode

Cons

There are cheaper options

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Oxford Heated Hot Grips – Commuters

The Commuter Grips, as the name suggests, are made for people making regular, medium length trips in cold, but predictable conditions.

To this end, the Commuter Grips have only two heat settings, don’t feature a battery saving mode and include a weatherproof controller which can be mounted on the handlebars or fairing.

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hot grips - commuter

The build quality is as high as we would expect from Oxford and the rubber thread is comfortable, featuring raised buttons for easy use with gloved hands.

If you want these to shut off when you turn the ignition, you’ll have to wire in a relay.

Though these gloves trim back on some of the features, they might suit someone who has a beater just for commuting – or a daily road warrior doing thirty minutes each way to the office.

Recommended by several motorcycle couriers I know. This is usually a solid endorsement.

Pros

High build quality

Low price point

Cons

Will drain your battery if left on

Only two heat settings

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Oxford Heated Premium Hot Grips – Adventure

Oxford’s Premium Adventure grips are designed to fit adventure bikes.

The five heat settings can be controlled via a rain proof switch – easily mounted on your handlebar. This, the wiring loom and all components feel durable – as is fitting for an adventure bike.

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oxford adventure premium

Like with all of Oxford’s range, the buttons are raised up and simple to use with winter gloves on.

The rubber thread is a tough 4 way pattern with a diamond pattern cut into the areas where most grip and control are required, This is a nice touch on a bike designed to ride over challenging terrain.

These grips are covered by a two year warranty.

A serious contender if you are likely to ride across continents and mountain ranges.

Pros

Two year warranty

Really comfortable and responsive feeling for long rides and uneven ground

Battery saving mode

Auto shutdown – no flat battery

Cons

Cheaper options available

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Oxford Heated Premium Hot Grips – Sports

These are cut to fit most sports bikes and can be further trimmed if required.

The Sports Hot Grips have five heat settings, a battery saving mode and a rain proof switch.

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The wiring loom, mounting bracket and electronic control unit are easy to install discreetly and look right on a sports bike. Stealthy!

The electronic unit will register a drop in voltage when you turn off your ignition, automatically turning off the grips if you have forgotten to. This eliminates the need to wire in a relay switch and the possibility of a flat battery.

Like the other Oxford Premium gear featured in our list, these are covered by a two year warranty.

Pros

Minimal visual impact on your sports bike

Two year warranty

Automatically switch off to avoid flat battery

Cons

Not the cheapest set on our list

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Buyer’s Guide

Considerations, connections and warmth


Fitting electronically heated grips may seem like a daunting business if you haven’t done it before.

Trust us, the manufacturers have done their very best to make it a simple procedure – just allow a little more than the quoted install time.

 

Installation And Removal

When changing out grips I like to have a chop stick on hand to slip under the currently installed grip. This will make it a lot easier to slide off. Slide the stick under the grip and move around when the rubber catches to reduce friction.

Always use a twisting motion to remove grips. Pulling won’t do it!

Make sure to clean the handle bar with some rubbing alcohol before installing the new grip.

Some people use grease to help slide them on the bars. I’d recommend against this. The grease will be there forever and your grips may slip around indefinitely. The previous owner of my streetbike had this bright idea!

 

Connections

When installing your battery loom, make sure you remove the negative terminal first and make sure it doesn’t touch anything metal.

This video is a comprehensive demonstration of how to install a set of Oxford heated grips.

 

 

If forgetting to switch off your grips is a legitimate concern, choose from the Oxford range – which will sense a drop in voltage when you switch off your ignition.

Or consider wiring in a relay by checking out this and many other instructional videos on YouTube.

 

 

Warmth and Comfort

It might sound obvious to some of you, but heated grips are designed to be used alongside your waterproof, windproof winter gloves.

You’ll need that insulation from the elements as well as the heat from the bars.

NOTE:

If you’re starting out and working on a tight budget, a good pair of gloves come first.

A seasoned veteran looking to complete his/her ultimate setup might consider a set of heated grips used alongside a pair of heated gloves.

With both units turned to their lowest setting you’ll be toasty in most conditions – and have lots of room to adjust when the temperature drops.

 

Power Draw

Heated grips typically have a draw of about 4A. Your bike’s battery has an output of approximately 28A.

12A is required to run the necessary electronic functions of a motorcycle (lights, indicators etc.)

This leaves a conservative 12A – 14A to run extras such as heated grips and clothing.

 

Conclusion

It’s hard to go against our budget pick of the On Tour Heated Grips here. The low price, decent build quality and tons of positive feedback makes them the pick of the bunch.

An honourable mention must go to Oxford’s Commuter set too. Couriers know how to pick their kit.

If budget is no issue, Oxford’s advanced series are well-made and have all the bells and whistles.

 

Further Reading

For more on heated clothing