Tested: Oxford Hot Grips
Price: Between £42-£90 (depending on style)
Tested by: Nicky Murray
Machine: Honda SH300i
I had always been the kind of rider that didn’t need or want ‘gadgets’ largely because I rode a classic Vespa and there isn’t really any scope for additions to the riding experience.
When I bought an auto scooter I looked at things like heated grips, 12v power sockets, phone chargers, sat-navs, and the like. Its not that you can’t put these on a classic scooter if you wanted to but the electrics on the classics are not as refined as they are on the modern scoots, especially the charging systems which have to keep the battery tip top. With things like the halogen lights, power sockets, radiator fans, and electric-start-only on most scooters now, the electric systems have to almost be over-designed to cope with everything. Anyway, as for the list of gadgets mentioned, I’m still not into any of them really, well except for one…
A good friend kindly gave me a set of these Oxford heated grips to try out and see how I got on. I wasn’t too fussed about them at first but fitted them to my scooter as a matter of course to see what they were like. The fitting of these grips is super easy, remove your old grips, use the adhesive on the inside of the new grips and slide them on, mount the digital controller in the position of your choice, wire up the positive and negative to the battery, plug it all together and you’re away. These don’t require fancy splicing into existing wiring looms as the new smart digi controller has a battery saving system built in which senses an electrical pulse that tells it whether the engine is running and if it isn’t then the grips warn you via flashing green LED before switching themselves off completely after about 45 seconds. This also works when the battery voltage drops below a set level, usually indicating that the battery isn’t being charged properly or just that the battery is getting on a bit. The controller also lets you choose between various power/heat levels via the simple + & – buttons which can be used as easily when riding at motorway speeds with gloves on as they can sitting in your garage.
So after they were fitted I started using them in the cold spring mornings we were having at the time and even for the next few months over summer & autumn I couldn’t ride with them on anything over 50% power, they get that hot! In the winter and on those sub-zero mornings/evenings though full power is used and I must say that these grips are fantastic. They warm up vey quickly and cool down quickly as well if you need to turn them down. There doesn’t seem to be much heat loss if you quickly take your hands off for any reason like scratching your nose, adjusting visor etc. I have had a digital controller go wrong on me, but this was sorted by the Oxford warranty and with its simple plug and play installation you are back up and running in no time at all. I was without my heated grips for 24hrs and as they are so easy to use and comfortable, it was like being without them for a week. The grip itself is very good, not being noticeable above standard with regards to the thickness, and the heating elements are thoughtfully placed at the palm of the hand and by the fingertips. The wiring harness that comes with the kit is of very good quality as is the kit as a whole, there have been no problems with the severe wind and rain we have had and even on constant high speed motorway travelling there has been no problem with regards to the comfort and ease of use. I would definitely recommend these to anyone and could probably not be without them now.
If you’ve got a product or item of kit you can’t live without we’d like to hear from you.
Have a look at our heated grip fitting guide: http://www.2commute.co.uk/2012/12/05/product-reviews/fitting-oxford-heated-grips/