I ride all year round. Generally unless it’s snowing or icy I’ll go out for a ride.
In the colder months I do admit that I get cold on the bike, even with thermals on I’m still chilly. Last year I got myself a heated vest which the o/h wired into the bike for me – basically I plug it in and I get warm and toasty. Simple. I have to say it made a huge difference to my riding as I was no longer getting cold.
A couple of things you have to remember with a heated vest are:
No. 1: Never leave home without it on during the months of October through to May;
No. 2: Remember to plug it in! It does not work if it is not plugged in.
So that’s my body taken care of but my hands were still suffering so I got myself a pair of battery heated gloves. These gloves were amazing in the cold and kept my hands warm and extremely toasty but they were so thick that I did not have the feel of the bike that I get with ‘normal’ gloves and in the end I was not wearing them as I did not like the lack of feel.
A couple of the guys I ride with fitted heated grips on their bikes and they were raving about how good they were and basically rubbing it in every time we arrived somewhere with their warm hands.
I was beginning to think these might sort my cold hands dilemma.
Last month I was coming back from Cornwall, some 350 odd miles, in what I would describe as horrendous wind and rain. To say I was cold and wet is an understatement. Although it turned out my waterproofs were not waterproof, my body itself was actually not too cold with the heated vest on. It was my hands that were cold. By the time I got home the decision was made that I was going to order a pair of heated grips.
Once I had dried out, the grips were ordered.
Postie arrived with my grips and now all I had to do was fit them. Hmm….with my garage skills being rather on the limited side, this was my first hurdle.
I did actually take them out of the box, saw the wires and skimmed over the instructions and then decided to put them back in the box.
I asked the o/h if he would like a little job. Uh oh, that turned out to be the wrong thing to ask – apparently he thought it would be a good idea if I learnt how to do it myself.
Darn. Normally when parts arrive for the bikes/cars I usually just leave them on his workbench and then miraculously they are fitted without any assistance from me. That way really works for me. I knew I should have just left them on the workbench.
So into the garage I go. There is a bracket that you have to fit to the bars which the controller attaches to and I had to decide where it should go on my Z.
When I bought the CB it came with heated grips and the chap that fitted them adapted the said bracket and fixed it to one of the mirrors and, I have to admit, it is a neat job so I unfortunately said that I’d like it how the CB one was fitted.
I say unfortunately, because now I had to go into the spider infested workshop so said bracket could be heated and bent to shape and then painted black. Heck, how was I going to get out of this???
I am pretty amazed with myself that I lasted a whole three, maybe four minutes in the company of the spiders before I asked the o/h if he would like a cuppa and some cake – yes please he says. So I left him in the workshop and headed inside.
After about half an hour or so, the o/h comes in and asks what’s taking me so long, he’s already bent the bracket to shape and is just about to paint it. At this point I admitted that I didn’t have cake so I was baking one but he could carry on, I didn’t mind and with the promise of a home baked cake coming, o/h was happy at that – phew!
So with the bracket now fitted – it’s surprising just how long it can take to make a cake ;-), I slipped the tea and cake on the work bench and slipped out the front door to take the dog for a walk.
I tell you, it’s just like those bike washing fairies – I take the dog for a walk, come back and the bike is sparkling clean, polished and put back in the garage.
I came back from walking the dog and my heated grips are fitted and working and ready for my next ride. How cool was that!
The next morning I put the heated grips to the test on a ride out. OMG!!! They are amazing. I can’t believe the difference they make.
I arrived at our breakfast stop and my hands were warm. Why have I not had these before???
I really like the fact that my hands were warm and I still had the feel of the bike through my ‘normal’ bike gloves. Perfect.
The next bike I buy, it’s first purchase will be a set of heated grips.
OMG what a great excuse to buy another bike …
Good way of getting out of a job ?
Oh definitely 🙂
Just wait till you discover cruise control ?, great reading
Thank you Gaz, really appreciate you taking the time to read my article, glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Yes, I have yet to discover cruise control …….
Great story. My NC750 came fitted with the Oxford grips. Never had them on a bike before. Great bit of kit. I spent years commuting in all weathers before these were on the market and used handle bar muffs to keep the cold and wet at bay. Ride safe….and warm.
I agree with you that heated grips are a great bit of kit indeed – they are certainly a first purchase on any new bike for me now!
You ride safe too 🙂
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