Yamaha XJ600 SECA II : Kimpex Heated Grips

After the cold run to Nashville, I wanted to have heated grips installed before spring. I picked up the Kimpex heated grip kit from Aerostich. They still have the fragile ceramic resistor but for $29, it's a great deal for broke riders like myself.

The install is pretty straightforward if you want to take the chance to drain your battery if you forget to turn the grips off. So, I took advice from Canyon Chasers and used a distribution block and relay. By tapping the rear running light, this will turn the relay off when I shut the bike off. No worries about a dead battery. Canyon Chasers have a great wiring diagram. *EDIT* This diagram is not correct. The relay will work but it's not the right way to wire it. Here's a correct picture:

My install is slightly different since my switch (on-off-on)has an LED. From the distribution block, I ran a hot and ground to the switch and split the ground off for the switch and grips. The hot feed runs to both the LED and the grips. All of this is protected by a 20v inline fuse between the battery and the relay.

Parts list:

- Heated Grip Kit (duh)
- Black and Red wire (18ga)
- Inline fuse (20a)
- 12v automotive relay
- 8 pole distribution block
- 4 pole jumper (split in half)
- soldering supplies
- shrink tubing *
- zip ties (plastic and metal)
- trusty electrical tape
- spade connectors
- 3 position switch (on-off-on)

* sizes for wire and 1" or larger for left grip and o-rings

I've read a lot of people saying the clutch side stays colder due to the added insulation of the throttle sleeve. The fixes range from a few wraps of electrical tape, friction tape or shrink tubing. It took me a while to track down tubing larger enough to fit over the throttle sleeve but Fry's Electronics carries large sizes that will work. You can also cut small rings and use it to secure the elements.

So, remove your old grips (knife, air pressure, magic or whatever you prefer) and clean up the bars. Measure and cut a piece of shrink tubing for the left side and shrink it down from the control side out. Now, remove the backing to the element and wrap it around the bar. Take 3 of the shrink rings and slide them over the element and heat 'em up with a heat gun. Be careful not to melt the element. Easy, huh? Now do it again on the throttle side but make sure you have enough slack and flexibility to roll the throttle from closed to wide open.

Now that the grips are on, let's wire up the back end.

Crack open your manual and find the hot feed for the tail light. Make sure it's not the brake light or you'll only have heated grips when you hit the brakes. If you're positive you have the correct wire, cut it, strip it back and solder your relay feed together then shrink wrap it. The feed wire goes to terminal #86 on the relay.

So, the relay has power, now run a hot feed from the battery (with the inline fuse)to the relay (terminal #30). From pole #87, run a hot feed for the distribution block. Run a ground from the negative battery terminal for the distribution block. You should have one pole left on the relay, #85. This is your relay ground, run this to the negative side of the distribution block.

Take the 4 terminal jumper and split it into 2x 2 terminal jumpers. Unscrew the terminals and hook up your hot to one side and your negative. Use the jumper to connect two terminals, one one each side.

It will look something like this:


I don't have a picture of my block but it's really simple, just use common sense.

With your relay tapped into the negative side of the block, all of the poles should be used. Now, run a feed from the block for both hot and ground up to your switch location. Route your grip wires and connect one from each to the ground and one from each to the hot. It doesn't matter which one you use, as long as you have one from each grip going to the ground and the hot. The hot lead splits into two wires. One has the ceramic resistor, this is your High setting. Hook it up to the appropriate terminal on your switch. Hook the other up to the Low. Secure the resistor to your frame with the metal zip ties. Make sure nothing will come into contact with the resistor.

If your wiring is all either shrink wrapped or taped and your switch is hooked up, it's time to test them. Do it now, before you put the grips on. Start with the Low setting and then switch to High. Do you have toasty digits? If so, good job, now clean up the wiring mess, make sure all your connections are covered, mount your switch and put your grips on. If you don't, go back and check your work.

I haven't put my grips on yet, since I'm having trouble tracking down 135mm grips. I'll post that adventure when I can.

I apologize for any errors, I'm beat from working in the shop since it's about 20 degrees in there. If you notice something isn't right, let me know and I'll fix it. If you have questions, let me know. I'll gladly help out.


Thanks goes out to Stacy from Bolty.net for pointing out I had the terminals hooked up incorrectly. I corrected the post, now I just have to correct my wiring.

85- Ground
86- Power for the relay switch
87- Power Out
30- Power In

I was also too worn out to give credit where credit is due. Here are all of the sites that I used for tips, tricks and inspiration:

Canyon Chasers
VFR Discussion
Weendoggy.com (for the relay diagram)


Stacy said...

Nice writeup, and great idea on using the large diameter heatshrink to secure the elements to the bars.

I followed the same Canyon Chasers guide when installing my first set of grips. Unfortunately, there's an error in that guide regarding the labeling of the poles on the relay, which was gently explained to me by an eagle-eyed reader.

Even though it works, the 30 and 87 poles are technically reversed from what they should be.

red said...

Thanks Stacy, I'll get that corrected on the post and my bike!

Grumpyunk said...

You and Gymi are making me feel bad for not installing the set of heated grips that have been sitting out in a drawer for the last 3 years or so.

red said...

Unk- Do it while the weather is nasty! I have extra of the shrink tubing for the clutch side if you want some.

Gymi said...

Unk suggested using the heated grips along with the Bar Mitts. The two of you have got me spending more money. You would think I would stop being such a sissy and ride without gloves and stop belly aching about my cold hands;)

red said...


Here you go:


A good deal for $29!

I got my switch from here:


Your bank account might be upset but your digits will thank you.

Gymi said...

Can't beat that deal with a stick. Even a tightwad like me can't complain about spending twenty nine bucks. Hell the BarMitts cost more than that.

red said...

9,918 people have looked at this post. That is crazy.

red said...

5 years later, the grips are still running strong even though the resistor cracked in a slow speed low side last year.

Nick Schmidt said...

Great grips and writeup

red said...

They sure are! Thanks for stopping by.