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Installing early style grips on a 1200GS

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by MarcParnes, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. MarcParnes

    MarcParnes Tinkerer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    SoCal
    Hi Guys,
    My bike came with BMW's heated grips installed. I find the original grip size too small which causes my hand to cramp up after awhile. I tried installing a set of Griptex foam covers but they are really too large. The grips I've always liked are the tapered BMW grips that come on many of the other models as well as the earlier GS. They seem to fit my hand and don't cause any cramping problems at all. I like them so much I even installed a set on my last two FJRs.

    I spent some time with the dealer and discovered that there isn't any other BMW model with the tapered heated grip that will interchange with the 1200GS. The method they used in routing the wires, etc is completely different. Determined to make the tapered style work I purchased a set of non-heated tapered grips for $9 each and went to work. I decided to use a set of Dual-Star's heating elements that I had laying around and stay with the GS's original switch and wiring. It took a couple of hours of work but it turned out perfect.

    One nice thing about the Dual-Star elements is that their electrical resistance is very close to that of the originals. I was concerned that any substantial difference in ohms might cause the computer to fault resulting in a loss of power in that circuit. The OE grips are about 9.4 ohms each and the Dual-Star are 9.6 on the clutch side and 7.5 on the throttle side. The computer doesn't seem to mind the slight difference so no problem.

    The clutch side is pretty straight forward. The OE heated grip is mounted to a plastic tube that slides over the bar. This plastic tube is attached to the switch assembly and also acts as its fastening point to the bar. I simply cut the wires that go from the small conector located inside the switch housing to the grip element, sawed off the old grip and tube and discarded them. I then drilled a couple of new mounting holes through the switch housing into the bar and used the original screws that held the heater tube to the bar to secure it. There is a convenient spot to drill new holes under the housing's front cover. I installed Dual-Star's clutch side heating element and soldered its white and red wires to the original wires and covered the connections with shrink tubing. Installing the new grip over top of the heating element is quite simple.

    The throttle side is a bit more work. I needed to retain the original throttle tube which necessitated cutting off the rubber grip which is bonded to the tube. I removed the throttle/switch assembly and using an Exacto knife carefully sliced off the rubber grip so as to not damage the tube itself. The heating element consists of a thin strand of wire that wraps around and around the tube. I removed the heating element being careful not to damage the heavier wires that connect up to the plug inside the switch housing. I installed the Dual-Star element and soldered its red and white wires to the original wires. I used shrink tubing here as well. I reinstalled the throttle/switch assembly and pushed on the new grip.

    The result looks as original as you can get. The heaters are still controlled by the original switch and get just as hot as before.

    Problem solved :-)
    #1
  2. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,440
    Location:
    Sedalia, CO
    I too have large hands....

    IN fact I made my 1150gs grips larger to fit my hands

    the 1200 grips scare me to even try and hold them...

    for the 1150, I ordered some industrial heat shrink tubing....

    It has worked great....and I know it comes in a rather wide range of diameters and thicknesses....

    I bet it can be found in just the right size to make the 1200 grips both much larger and also have a nice soft feeling...

    Just a thought...there must be a bunch of riders with the same problem...
    #2
  3. jefferysf

    jefferysf Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    42
    .Thank you....VERY clever..I always liked those fatter grips with the taper and put them on my old F650 and Honda CBR etc.. They are way more comfortable. They were the best feature of the ill-fated K1,
    #3
  4. mrmaico

    mrmaico Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,711
    Location:
    High Plains
    Thanks for the write up Marc. I have the same problem, too small stock and too fat with the Grip Tek. I don't know though if it bothers me enough to go cutting off my original grips, I will definately save this thread though for when my originals start wearing out.

    Do you, by chance, have the part # for those BMW grips, I think I know which ones you mean but I'm not certain.

    I don't suppose you took pictures if the procedure? I'd probably have more courage to try it if I could see exactly how you did it.:evil

    Thanks again....Barry
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,860
    Another Marc Parnes original solution!! :thumb (I'm lovin' the V1 Marc Parnes LED alert!)

    while we're on the topic of grips, why is it that the throttle side heated grip feels hotter than the clutch side, be it as low heat or high heat? I've noticed this on my 12GS, and my previous 2 oilheads, any thoughts? :ear
    #5
  6. MarcParnes

    MarcParnes Tinkerer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    SoCal
    Sorry for not taking pictures. I got so taken up with doing it I didn't even think of taking pics till I was almost done. I didn't keep the receipt for the grips but they are the ones that come on a R1150RS as an example.
    #6
  7. MarcParnes

    MarcParnes Tinkerer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    SoCal
    They really should feel the same since the clutch side is mounted to a plastic tube same as the throttle side. Dual-Star has the clutch side generating more heat since it is designed to attach directly to the bar which will suck some of the heat out of it. Could it be that you are gripping the throttle side tighter than the other one? Just a thought...
    #7
  8. rdcyclist

    rdcyclist Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,247
    Location:
    SanHo, NorCal
    A coupla ideas: You can keep the clutch side plastic tube if you run a throttle side grip over the tube. This'll make it more efficient on two fronts. First of all the tube insulates the heating element from the bar and second the throttle side grips are thinner. This may by why some of you guys notice a difference in temp from one side to the other. Also, as Marc stated, you tend to grip the throttle side a bit harder since you're twisting it.

    Second idea, for those of you that don't wanna try the cut and paste at home, is to run GripTek foam overgrips. They slide over the existing grips and increase the size and comfort of the stock grips. They work great and they're inexpensive. Here's the site. I think I'm running the GCM-5.0 grips on my R12GS.
    #8
  9. bigrichard

    bigrichard Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Oddometer:
    2,242
    Location:
    Northern California
    Sounds like a perfect last minute Christmas gift opportunity :deal

    You need one of those remote infrared sensors - point it at what you want to measure, pull the trigger and the temp readout appears

    If the temps are the same, check for problems in your sensor array

    Chiropractor to see if the info is getting shut off at the spine, then neurologist to check for transmission along the arm (like test for damage from carpal tunnel)
    #9