Author Topic: Hot Grips Installation ( ST1100 ) *  (Read 9395 times)

Offline KoTAOW

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Hot Grips Installation ( ST1100 ) *
« on: December 07, 2007, 06:58:58 PM »

Installing the NEW softer Hot Grips on the ST1100, retaining OEM bar end-weights. Note previously installed and still fully-functional Vista-Cruise throttlelock! 

Hot Grips
Rider comfort is critical, particularly when the temperature starts to fall. If you have never experienced the incredible sense of comfort, happiness and bliss that warm hands provide, this should ABSOLUTELY be your next accessory purchase before cold-weather really arrives. The psychological advantage provided by warm extremities is something you have to experience to believe. As is the case for most riders, my feet and hands suffer the most from the cold.
For many years I have listened with envy to my Beemer buddies describe the comfort afforded by the BMW grip heaters, but never considered getting a pair of Hot Grips myself. A year ago this time, I started wearing the Widder electric gloves (Thanks, Pat!) and never considered anything else. However, I am now a BELEIVER in the ultimate heating arrangement for your hands: Widder gloves to heat the outside, Hot Grips to warm the palms. I routinely ride in temps down in the low 20's, and my hands are *toasty* warm!!!
Electrical Draw
These Hot Grips have a heat output of 8 watts on "low" and 15 watts on "high" per grip. As a pair they will consume 20 watts of electrical power on "low" and 30 watts on "high". Thus, for comparison purposes, the Hot Grips, running on their highest setting, cost a little less electrical power than a Widder vest.
Observations under real world operating conditions on my 40-amp 1997 standard ST1100 are as follows: with no other electrical accessories engaged, I see the VDO voltmeter drop from a nominal 14.2 volts at 4200 rpm down to 13.3 - 13.5 volts upon engaging the Hot Grips "Hi" setting. The "Lo" setting is a little less costly; the voltmeter drops only to 13.6 - 13.8 volts.

Clutch Hot Grip is a snug, precise fit against switch housing (viewed from the saddle).
The installation instructions that come with the Hot Grips package are more than adequate for any experienced mechanic to install. If you can solder and zip-tie, you can install these babies. The two most critical steps are the 1) the final placement of the grip for proper wire routing (particularly for the throttle), and 2) proper application of the epoxy.

Below is a photograph of the Hot Grip throttle grip in it's most relaxed position on the ST1100, as it would be at idle. Note gentle loop that allows full range of throttle twisting counterclockwise:

Hot Grips throttle shows gentle 180-degree slack wire-loop to allow full, unhindered throttle movement. 

Similarly, the clutch side Hot Grip is epoxied in place such that the electrical wire can be neatly loomed and zip-tied out of harm's way, as shown below:

Yellow arrow points to wire routing for the clutch Hot Grip. 

Ensure that you use premium, industrial formula, high-temperature, slow-curing epoxy such as Poxy-Weld, DURO, JD WELD, etc. The reason you must use epoxy is because of the temperature these grips may reach during operational use. Most other adhesives will soften with elevated temperatures, and obviously you don't want these grips to loosen while riding. Take care to place your Hot Grips correctly the first time; once this stuff hardens, there is no second chance to move it. 

Electrical Connections
Connections are a straight-forward process as indicated on the diagram below. My only modification involved the switch. Since rally conditions subject the bike to somewhat more bouncing and stress that the norm, I replaced the single-pole, double-throw, center off switch that came with the Hot Grips with a big, heavy-duty, double-pole, double throw version, and wired the poles together for redundant reliability. This heavy duty model is particularly resistant to vibrations and harsh conditions. The circuit works exactly as advertised.
I chose my power source to be that good old accessory power lead, found next to the fuse box of all ST1100 models from 1996 onward. Earlier model year ST1100's will have to find power sources as they see fit.

Although the instructions suggest mounting the resistor on the fork tube (to ensure good air flow), I elected to mount it to the left radiator down stay, just about in-line with the left air inlet. Air entering the air duct inlet will provide plenty of air to cool the resistor (it will get a little warm on the low setting). I made a small "pad" of silicone sealant on the frame tube and affixed the resistor there using 4 heavy duty zip-ties to lock it down rock solid tight.

Wiring the Hot Grips to your 12-volt DC system.

In the package, Hot Grips provides you with an entire array of special nylon washers that allow you to retain your Honda OEM handlebar end weights. Mix and match these spacers as needed so that the end weights clears the grip ends. Because I already had a working throttle lock (Vista-Cruise) that I was unwilling to give up, the extra spacers made the difference in allowing continued use of the OEM bar weights. 

Hot Grips - impressions/observations

As far as keeping your hands warm, I must say these Hot Grips are ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!
The new softer material is a significant improvement over the old grip material, which many complained as being of "hockey puck" softness. The new grip is also noticeable "thicker" in the body of the grip than the Honda OEM grip. This was at first a little disconcerting, but I quickly got used to the wider grip. In everyday riding, I no longer really notice the difference.

The full "Hi" setting is fairly hot I am in the process of obtaining/installing the new Variable Heat Controller, so I will update this information when that mod is completed.

Original write-up posted by 'Warchild', re-posted here with thanks to STOC'er Tom Melnik.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 05:59:17 PM by KoTAOW »