I ride in cold, rainy weather. Even with the best gloves my fingers get cold and are the limiting factor of how far and which days I can ride. Because I ride in a tuck, my torso and neck never even begin to feel cold so I don't need a heated jacket liner. Adding heated heated glove liners without the jacket isn't that easy so I decided to go with heated grips and grip muffs for the worst days which will be much better at keeping my hands dry in the rain. The Oxford heated grips look like a good deal at $80 although I haven't installed them yet. I also bought the Oxford grip muffs as they looked like the perfect solution but they are SO BIG! I laughed so hard when I took them out of the box and decided to send them back without even trying them on the bike. Installation only takes a matter of seconds so I wanted to take a picture of them on the bike as a joke but after sitting on the bike with them, I may just keep them to play with until I can find something a little more compact. The Oxford grip muffs are very well made. Thick insulation under waterproof fabric with a formed suede entry. They only cost me $45 and it will cost $10 just to send them back. What do you think?
Sendler, for the amount of time their going to be on the bike, I'd keep them.
I've got a set of Suzuki VStrom handguarnds on the FJR
They kick ass. Keep my hands warm when it's cold, keep my hands dry in the rain at hwy speeds and keeps stones 'n stuff from giving my knuckles a whack. They seem to fit just about everything known to man as they mount off the pivot pin on your lever. The other end mounts around your bar end.
Unfortunately, I don't believe theirs near enough clearance on the CBR at full lock.
Given that, your Hippo-hands (sorry, that's what their called on a snowmachine!) are a great low cost solution.
BTW, I've got Symtec grip heaters with a heat-troller on the FJR as well. About $80 and easy installation (count on buying new grips though, you'll most likely toast your stockers getting them off).
If you go this route.. insulate your clutch side handlebar with either heat shrink tube or even electrical tape. Otherwise you'll notice the clutch side is much cooler (do to heat loss through the metal bar) than the throttle side (insulated by the throttle tube). Also, on the throttle side, make sure you leave yourself enough wire slack so you can twist the throttle WFO.
Anything more than halfway on the heat-troller and I find them WAY to warm.
After much searching it looks like the name brand Hippo Hands from Canada are still one of the best as they make them with a plastic stiffener and offer three different sizes but these handlebar muffs from Bike it are really cheap, nice and small for a sport bike and look like they should suffice for $20. Using any of these could surely extend your season even without electric heat.
. Thermal Fleece lined Bar Muffs for Motorcycle Cold Weather Hand Comfort
I got the Tusk grip mitts on. They are working out really well. 34F this morning and they are a big improvement. My fingers were just barely cold with my second warmest gloves on which I would rather wear as they offer so much better control of the levers than my bulky ski gloves. It would have been my usual battle with numbness without the grip muffs.
Note... the area right behind your right heel is warm from the exhaust pipe if you can let go with your frozen right hand for a few seconds on a long down hill.
It hasn't rained this week so I don't know if they will fill up with water when parked but they work good on the bike so far as long as you cinch down the straps really tight around the bars. I had them tight the first day but was having trouble getting clearance in order to use the kill switch so I tried loosening them. This was a mistake. I had to ride down an exit ramp and get back on the highway after tightening the straps again to make them stop from applying the levers in the wind. With the straps tight, this doesn't happen as then the mitts are held inward further to the point where your arms swing them out and forward away from the levers. I found some extra room around the kill and highbeam switches by tying the extra length of left over straps together in the middle of the bars which brings the mitts in as far as they can be to place the roomier part over the controls. They have a nice malleable metal strip built in to the short cuff like the name brand HippoHands so getting your hands in and out at highway speed is no problem though the brake light may flicker on if you take your throttle hand out. The best part is the price. At $16 these are steal. I may still try to find some plastic guards that I like but for now, the Tusk grip mitts are a welcome addition for cold weather riding. I will have two round trips on them when I get home tonight so I will know how much fuel economy trade off there is with these when I fill up.
my ex had the oxford over grips or whatever they are called? they wrapped around the grips and had two settings. he said he would have to turn them off they got so warm sometimes, and wouldn't even have to wear winter gloves with them
Farmers in NZ often use grip muffs on farm bikes and quads during winter, and don't wear gloves. Fingers insulated individually quickly get cold, but close together they keep each other warm. They may look a bit naff, but have a lot to commend them.
Personally, on farm bikes and road bikes I prefer leather mittens, which I bought from a shop which mainly supplies farm bikes. When it has been very cold, or on a long trip I have worn light woolen gloves under them (silk would be good too, probably better). People may argue that you lose finesse on the brake and clutch levers with mittens, but when your hands get numb in gloves you have even less feel or control.
Mittens are fine for regular riding, once you get used them. For spirited riding or racing for relatively short distances, gloves would still be the best solution.
I did some fine tuning with the Tusk grip muffs and have them working really well now. They were riding against the kill switch making it difficult to operate so I glued a length of 6mm rubber vacuum hose next to it to act as a guard. the tendency to blow back and flicker the brake lever was eliminated by taking the screws out of the bar ends and sending them back through the muffs to anchor them into the perfect position which has also made the opening nice and stable when taking your hands in and out to wipe your visor even at highway speed. The inner strap can also now be a little looser with the screws, to make more room around the high/low and turn signal switches without the mitts moving around too much. These Tusk grip muffs are an excellent value at $16US and a must have for serious commuters who rely on riding below 40F/ 4C, can go on and off in seconds, and pack up small enough to make a great addition to your gear bag for cross country touring.