Datatool heated grips – review

Datatool heated grips

There are sometimes mixed views on whether or not you should even think about putting heated grips on a bike, ‘they change the feel’, ‘they are too thick’, ‘you’re soft’, ‘they can run the battery down’ etc…

My first experience with heated grips was when I fitted a pair of Oxford ‘Hot Grips’ to my 2010 Fireblade.

To be honest at the time I wasn’t really concerned about how they looked or what anyone else thought. My rationale for fitting them was really quite simple I was struggling with cold hands most of the time, let alone when I was riding my bike.

This was a legacy of the after effects of damage to both my arms and hands following an accident in 2010 on my GSX-R 1000. In practice my enjoyment of riding my bike was being compromised by the cold and stiffness in my fingers and hands – so the heated grips solution seemed the way to go.

They were superb and something of a revelation to me – not only did they keep my hands warm the heat also helped to ease the general stiffness in my hands and fingers. The Oxford grips were swapped to my next bike when I traded the Fireblade for a new CB1000R and they provided some three years of decent service.

When I traded the CB1000R for my new Z1000 SX in May of this year heated grips were high on the list of accessories to fit. I had to look around for new ones though as the unit that switched then on and off and also controlled the temperature had become faulty – so much so that my method for switching them on and off was to remove/replace the under seat fuse – hardly convenient or practical.

The grips that I chose for the Z1000 are the new Datatool Therma Grips and I thought it might be useful to post a short review – and this isn’t a sponsored review in any way it’s just my thoughts and feedback.

The grips are made in the UK and are a pretty straightforward gadget to set up. I was particularly attracted to them because of their different design to other heated grips.

The Datatool grips have the controller built in as an integral part of the left hand grip – there isn’t a separate on/off switch – so there is no separate control box to connect up and find a convenient place to mount and importantly (for me at least) is the fact that you cant accidently leave them on and risk the battery running down as the system works by sensing the voltage of the bike running – or in other words once you stop the bike then the heated grips automatically switch off.

Of course you can solve that issue with other makes by connecting into a suitable wire linked into the ignition but the Datatool approach saves the bother of that. There is a tiny red indicator light built into the right hand grip that flashes when they are switched on … although the fact that your hands are nice and toasty is probably a good enough indicator.

In terms of fitting then they are easy just a straightforward case of making sure the wires are routed neatly and safely and a simple two wire connection to the battery – that’s about it really. The cable is plenty long enough, has an inline fuse fitted and as long as youre capable of finding your way to battery and connecting two wires then that’s just about all the technical expertise that is required.

The instructions that are supplied are clear and straightforward and come in a little glossy booklet with clear colour photographs. The only part of the instructions that merit comment and that made me smile was the stated assumption that the previous grips had been removed ….

The left hand grip did seem to take a bit of an effort to get on and seated correctly and initially the sliding four position heat setting switch in the left hand grip was quite stiff – and I did wonder whether or not I had pushed it on too far. However a spray of silicone lubricant did the trick and the slider now works with ease and perfectly well.

The Datatool product info describes then as having:

‘Large Surface Area – the Therma Grips are of a slightly oversized diameter which provides a larger contact area for the rider, resulting in increased heat transfer and greater comfort when riding in cold conditions’

And that statement is certainly true and my preference would really be for them to have been a little smaller (the Oxford Hot Grips I had previously had were the ‘sports’ style and so were not too much bulkier than the standard OEM rubber fitment. So yes they do add a bit of bulk to the grip and I guess that wont suit everybody but I think the advantages outweigh that and in particular the voltage sensing technology that means you’re not going to end up with a flat battery

In use – well I’ve done about 3,500 on the Z1000 since the end of May and had no problems at all.

So would I recommend them – then the answer is yes, effective and easy to fit and no worries about discharging the battery BUT I would advise that you have a look at the overall thickness of them – I’m not sure that will be to everybody’s taste.