In the parable of the Grasshopper and the Ant, the Ant toils through the summer. He slaves away in Nature's little cubicle, storing grain and filing copies of The Economist. Meanwhile the Grasshopper plays in a rock band and gets all the chicks. Come fall, though, the temperature drops and the fun stops.
For this grasshopper, it is the effect of the cold on my hands that signals the end of my riding season. There are many possible approaches to remedy this, including heated gloves, heated hand-grips (thin inserts that go between the grips and the handlebar) or small inserts that go inside the handlebar itself. All require additions to – and in some cases, alterations to – the bike's electrical system. I chose to go with a set of Polly Heaters. Polly Heaters are inexpensive and, as my Buell XB has clip-ons, I figured it would be a relatively straight-forward installation process.
When it comes to powering the Polly Heaters, I do not like the idea of tapping into the existing electrical system very much. While it may be possible to disable an OEM item and re-task those wires, it doesn’t mean the wires or relays are up to the task. Fuses are easily replaceable, but wiring harnesses are not.
The safest bet is to supplement the wiring harness of the bike with an appropriately sized, fused, and relayed accessory harness. One simpler option is to power the Polly Heaters via a direct link to the battery of the motorcycle. Unfortunately, I would forget to turn them off and the battery would soon be dead. This would set in motion despair, blame, guilt, and blisters.
More: Heated Grips Evaluation