Heated grips - interesting find
Hi folks, I recently picked up some heated grips for my 2106 650 LT and found something interesting about how they work. A little background. I have been an electronics technician for 35 years and have access to a lot of very cool expensive equipment. I had planned to buy a set of Oxford heated grips over the winter and do an install before spring. As is turned out, our local Kawi-Honda-Yam-Suz dealer is going out of business and is clearing out all the parts inventory. Not good because now we have no dealer in a town of 500,000 (Wichita KS). Anyway, they had a set of new heated grips from Bikemaster that ended up costing me $30. Couldn't pass up that deal. I wanted to test the grips before I installed them so I took them to work. I hooked them up to a power supply and monitored the voltage and current. I set the voltage at 12.6 volts and the power supply can supply up to 5 amps of current. The voltage of course stayed constant, as monitored on the power supply digital display. However the current would pulse and was not constant. The grips have a setting of 1-5, probably a lot like other units out there. At a setting of 1, the current pulsed between 0 and 2.20 amps at a rate of probably 3 or 4 times a second. It was kind of hard to judge because the digital display was kind of chasing the actual current and seemed to flutter, but I could read it went to 2.20 amps. As I increased the settings up to 5, the rate would slow, but always applied 2.20 amps. When set to 5, the rate was probably about 1 second of current and then off for about the same amount of time. I always figured they would just apply a constant current at different amounts to get the desired amount of heat. The reason I am bringing this subject up is in case some installs heated grips and uses a circuit that is shared by some other electronics, maybe a cruise system (of course the 650 LT doesn't have) or maybe a digital display of some kind, that pulsed current might cause gremlins that were not there before the grips install. Some of the newer circuits in equipment (not motorcycles) are sensitive to pulsed voltages and currents. Hope this information is helpful, happy riding.