Kimpex Grip Heaters

Contributed by:
John Parker #124
Reseda, California, USA

Rick and I just finished installing 2 pair of Kimpex heated grips (actually they are electric heating strips that go UNDER the existing grips) we recently received from Baja Designs in San Diego, CA. One note about Baja Designs: I ordered the grip heaters on the 9th and I had them in hand on the 10th. Total price for two sets including tax and freight was $58.09 U.S. The kit comes with everything that is needed for installation including: 2 heating strips, wire loom, 3 position toggle switch, and assorted connectors to make the connection to the bike, plus printed instructions (in French and English), a supplemental inst. sheet in English with diagram, plus a handful of Baja Designs decals (oh boy!). Installation was very straight forward on Rick's 83 Interceptor, and all wiring was kept within the handlebar/top triple-clamp area. The heating strips have peel'n stick adhesive on one side and wrap nearly all of the way around the solid Interceptor bars. He installed a new pair of gel grips right over the strips. Initial test results show that the grips get to the "hot as a mug of fresh coffee" temperature in about 5 -7 minutes on high (right grip getting hot sooner because of the throttle sleeve). A check with the Fluke v-o-m shows only a small draw at idle on the high setting. Installation on Becci's 94 ABS was a bit more involved as she has Drag Specialties foam grips (which have hard plastic sleeves that go over the bars and add thickness), and the wiring must be run under the tupperware. The heating strips don't go all of the way around the larger diameter DS grips (STockers will have no problem here) so I positioned them to be under the palms and fingers. The foam grips went on directly over the heating strips with no problems. Initial tests indicated that the grips reached the H.A.A.M.O.C. temp in 3-5 minutes on high (they are insulated from the cold steel bars by the DS grip sleeves, and there is only a very thin foam grip between the hands and the heating strips). A check with the Fluke v-o-m also showed negligible drain on the electrical system of the ST at idle on the high setting. A 2 hour ride through the local canyons at dusk revealed the great utility of heated grips. We started the ride in summer gloves at about 65 deg F air temps, and as dark came and temps dropped into the 40's in the higher passes, we just switched on the Kimpex's and kept riding with the summer gloves in complete comfort. I actually had to turn down the low setting as they got too hot for me (the high setting will be nice on those mornings when it is in the 20's :-). I have the Custom Heat grips on my 93 ABS (which work VERY well) and can compare them to the Kimpex. The CH grips cost $126 delivered. The Kimpex cost $26 delivered. For your extra $100, the CH comes with Drag Specialties foam grips, while the Kimpex use your grips (a plus if you don't want the BIG diameter DS foam grips). The Kimpex comes with everything you need to install them, while with the CH you must make your own wire loom. The Kimpex appear to draw less power than the CH, and first impression is that they get as warm. Going by first impressions, I would say that the Kimpex are a very good value. I'll know more after we put some more miles on them and see what kind of durability they provide. The biggest thing they have going for them (next to price :-) is that you can keep your stock grips (no matter what you prefer)...John