Heat Demons install - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Posts: 25
Heat Demons install

Let me say that before I started this project, I did quite a bit of opinion searching regarding heat demons internal handlebar grip warmers. What I found was, for the most part, the reviews were positive, even those that had used Kury ISO grip in conjunction with them. So, I stopped by Symtec on Friday (they're about a mile from my work) and talked to one of the techs about my application, as Symtec does not list the nomad 1600 as one of the bikes that are compatible with the internal grip warmers. The reason for this is that Symtec was under the impression that the 1600 has bar end weights. On my bike, I found that this is not the case, there are no bar end weights.

However, there was one obstacle to the install that would present a minor problem; that is, the clutch side stock grip has a plug with male threads welded into the end of the bar for the grip end cap. I felt that this was an insignificant hurdle to manage, and I could make the grip warmers work.

I installed the grip warmers yesterday with my existing Kuryakyn ISO grips. It took me a little more than 4 hours, making sure to be very careful during the drilling and positioning process, and triple checking my work as I went along. For someone more electrically & mechanically inclined, it probably should only take about 2-3 hours max.

The instructions from Symtec are actually very well written (which is sometimes a crap shoot with these types of DIY kits), and to wire the controller to either right or left side is fairly elementary, you just switch the two heating elements as the wiring between all of the components stays the same regardless of orientation.

I snapped some photos as I went along, so hopefully this step by step will be useful to someone.

-BFH (well, not too big, but big enough)
-Cordless drill
-3/32", 5/32", 9/32", 1/4" & 5/16" drill bits
-1/4" rat tail file
-Phillips & flat head screwdrivers
-required metric hex keys for clutch & throttle perches and the heat demons controller
-flat metal file (a dremel would be very handy instead)
-snap style bullet connectors for 18-22ga
-dielectric grease
-wire stripper/crimper
-fine tip sharpie
-1/4" drive click-style torque wrench (inch lbs)
-WD-40 (used as lubricant for drilling)

Symtec provides you with everything else needed for the install. I must say that I was pleased with the completeness of this kit. Especially the backer clamp that they provide so that in the case of the nomad, you can't use the clutch reservoir because the mirror mount is on the front clamp

I decided I wanted the controller on the clutch side (I don't know why symtec defaults to the throttle side, you'd think most people would want it on the clutch side).

After disconnecting the battery & related connectors, removing my left hand grip, switch control box, & cable retainers, the adventure had begun.....

First, I had to eliminate the plug welded into the clutch side end of the bar. I don't have a dremel (note to self - get a dremel), so I broke out my trusty flat file and went to work. Luckily for me, the plug was only lightly welded in a couple of places at the end of the bar. About 15 minutes later, I had filed away enough of the weld that I was able to smack the end of the plug with a hammer to break the weld free....

Once the plug was out, I filed the inside at the end of the bar to remove any burrs.

Next, I marked the position of the controller wiring and the exit location for the power wires. I punched a small hole in the drill location on the provided template and lined it up with the back clamp.

I used a center punch to pierce the chrome in the two marked locations, then proceeded to drill the two holes, starting with a 3/32" bit and working my way up with progressively larger bits. I used WD-40 on the ends of the bits to help the bit cut cleanly into the handlebar. Once the holes were drilled, I used the 1/4" round file (rat tail file) to deburr the inside edges of the holes.

Next, I installed the provided rubber grommet into the power exit hole I put on the bottom of my bar.

I then removed the throttle grip and used the included wire snake to feed the wires for the throttle side heating element through the bar. I rounded the end of the snake with some tin snips to ease the progression through the bends in the bar. Even with the rounded end, it was a bit of a struggle, but not too bad. You could also use some heavier gauge electrical wire for this purpose.

The heating element just rolls up into a cylindrical shape and slides into the end of the bar. There is a little piece of black "foam" which is supposed to be oriented to go in first.

Cont'd in next post......
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 25
Heat demons install, cont'd

From there, you feed the controller wires and power wires through the appropriate drilled holes and out the clutch end of the bar. Making the electrical connections is a breeze, as the kit includes the button style snap connectors.

Fold all of the wires inside of the clutch side grip warmer, roll it up, and insert it into the end of the bar.

Reinstall throttle, control housing, clutch perch, and clutch side control housing.

For power, and just to confirm how well these would work, I just ran the power wire to the headlight bucket to the accessory connectors found in there. However, those connectors are always powered, so I now have to run the power wire to the connectors under the seat, (edit: the access. connectors under the seat are also always hot...why, oh why would Kawasaki do this!!!!! grrrrrrr!!!)). I will have to run a dedicated circuit with a relay tripped from the brake wire or similar

My overall review: The install was quite easy, and the instructions lay it out for you very well. As far as performance goes, well, I'm sure it doesn't help that the wall thickness on these handlebars is quite stout. Probably 1/8", which is a lot of metal to heat before it gets to the grips. That, along with the air voids that the ISO grips create, really left quite a bit to be desired heat-wise. I may have to look into a different style of grip, such as the show chrome comfort grips or the Kawi fire and steel grips to eliminate the air gaps, which should help performance. The only other thing that could be changed to help would be going to an aftermarket bar made of thinner walled tubing, which would keep the bar from heat sinking the heat away, transferring more to the grips.

I ran the heaters for about 10 minutes on the highest setting. They were warm, but not warm to the extent that they would help warm your hands on a cold day with gloves. At most, they take the chill out of the cold steel, which I suppose is better than nothing.

Eventually, I will probably run a separate circuit for the heaters by incorporating a relay so that I'm not using my one switched accessory port under the seat, making that port available for my future batwing fairing project.

Feel free to ask questions or comment, hope this is useful.

Last edited by Bennie07; 11-04-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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