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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new to the forum and to V-Strom. Just purchased a 2019 650 black bike. Got a good deal on it. Picking it up tomorrow! Can't wait!

Should I go with OEM heated grips and hand guards?

I've been told that for heated grips I probably should stick to OEM and have the shop install them. They're giving me 20% off on parts, so $350 - $70 = $280. Maybe not a bad deal? What do you guys think?

On hand guards, OEM is $60 - $12 = $48. Certainly a good price, but not sure if they're too flimsy.. Opinions?

I will start out doing mostly street riding, but eventually want to get to some gravel roads and fire access roads.

Btw, I have a Givi engine guard on order, seems like a wise investment.

Thanks for all your answers in advance!
 

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Hello and welcome.

I don't know about the heated grips, but I'm sure everyone here will say that the OEM hand 'guards' are not worth having. I had them and they are wind deflectors only. If you just want weather protection only, then they are fine. But fragile. I added Barkbusters and they are very rugged. A few other options as well.

I also have the Givi/ Kappa engine guards/ crash bars and they seem fine. Much debate and discussion about these as well, but I personally like them.
 

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As stated above, the OEM hand guards are plastic wind and rain deflectors. Perfect for me, I keep my speed on gravel and dirt down, and if I dropped the bike on gravel, the $50 hand guards would be the last thing I'd concern myself with, chances are I'd do more damage to other parts of the bike too. As for heated grips, I installed the Oxford Heaterz on mine, under $100 and very easy install if you wire them directly to the battery and trust the auto shutoff feature. Many here do. I've tested mine a number of times, and they turn off on their own just fine. They get hot enough that I rarely run them as high as 80 %.
 

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I have the Oxford touring heated grips on my 2017 XT. They are under $100 and took about an hour to install, with most of the time just running the wires to the battery and tucking the wires away. They get warm quickly and, in my opinion, are even too hot on the highest setting.

I agree the OEM hand guards are little more than wind protectors and I'm going to order some barkbusters next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your replies so far!

It looks like Oxford Heated grips are not specific to any particular bike?

How good are the instructions for the Oxford Heated grips?
 

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The factory grips on the 2017+ bikes are very good. Thee heat settings that are plenty warm down to freezing temperatures. They plug into the factory wiring harness under the tank and are keyed to the ignition so they are always off when the ignition is off. One of the neat tricks they do is to lower the power setting if the voltage drops while idling. Once the voltage returns to normal, they will go back to what ever power setting you had them set at. The installation is very neat and tidy with the controller built into the left grip. The only thing that shows is a small power button that glows when active.

The factory grips are more expensive than Oxford but I think it is very much worth the price premium and neatness of the installation.
 

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Thanks for your replies so far!

It looks like Oxford Heated grips are not specific to any particular bike?

How good are the instructions for the Oxford Heated grips?
Yes, the grips are universal for most bikes. I have read on here that the adventure version of the oxfords are too long to fit without moving the switches in a little bit.

The instructions are pretty basic, but all installation involves is getting your old grips off, putting the new ones on, and then mounting the controller and running the wires. I did have to sand down the ridges on the throttle tube a little to fit the grip on, but that only took a couple minutes. I have the controller mounted to my clutch mount with the existing bolt. My wires are run from the battery, along the bottom left side of the tank, and up the wiring loom for the controls.
 

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I'm finishing up the installation of a set of Oxford Touring grips. You have to trim the ridges and the flange on the throttle tube. It's not a big deal and only took a couple of minutes. You also have to trim the throttle side grip by about 1/8" as it is too long.
The downside to the Oxfords is the wiring harness is universal and there will be gobs of wire that will have to be bundled up and hopefully hidden away. It's not the neatest install but once done, you shouldn't see the harness. At some point, I'm going to cut away all the extraneous wire and splice the harness instead of using the supplied connectors.
I wired mine into my fuse block because I have one. The install can be done by someone who is not a mechanic or is not familiar with wiring. All you need is a couple of tools and a handful of tywraps. Run the harness along the left side of the bike along the existing harness and zip it into place. There is one panel to pull on the left side that runs from the gas tank along the bottom of the seat. You can get away with just pulling the front out. Garb it and yank from the forward end. It pops right off the gas tank.
 

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I also Installed Oxford Heaterz heated grips on my 2017 DL 650 and they work and install like everyone else has said. For my install, I replaced the battery connection eyelets with an SAE plug, the same type found on Battery Tenders so to eliminate having too many connections to the battery. They come with zipties so relatively neat wire routing is possible.
I also have Barkbusters hand guards, which are model specific and very robust and not cheap, but I druther go without then get something that will survive quite a bit of abuse.
Both Items require only basic tools and mechanical knowledge to install, and are widely available from online motorcycling stores and others.
270834
Heated grip SAE detail.jpeg
 

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i've installed oxfords on 3 different bikes.
  • each has worked flawlessly.
  • easy installation.... look at an install video or two to familiarize yourself w/ the process & take your time...
 

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The factory grips on the 2017+ bikes are very good. Thee heat settings that are plenty warm down to freezing temperatures. They plug into the factory wiring harness under the tank and are keyed to the ignition so they are always off when the ignition is off. One of the neat tricks they do is to lower the power setting if the voltage drops while idling. Once the voltage returns to normal, they will go back to what ever power setting you had them set at. The installation is very neat and tidy with the controller built into the left grip. The only thing that shows is a small power button that glows when active.

The factory grips are more expensive than Oxford but I think it is very much worth the price premium and neatness of the installation.
Koso Apollo heated grips are about $100 and have the LED controller built into the left grip as well.
 

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I purchased a 2019 650XT Touring this past fall and installed the OEM grip heaters as a winter project. Living in Wisconsin, I've had only a handful of days now to get out and test their operation but I've been very happy with them. Even with Grip Puppies installed, they are more than warm enough at their highest settings when riding in temps in the low to mid-40s (F). At temps closer to 50F, the highest setting is a bit too warm for me, as a point of reference. Temps below 40F, you'll have to ask someone else. That's my cutoff...

Although they are the more expensive option, I preferred the more seamless integration with the bike. Although the OP didn't make reference to doing the OEM installation himself, I realize that that is a big factor for some, considering it is a bit more "invasive". If you want to install a set yourself and you don't have a lot of experience dismantling your bike, then the aftermarket options should work quite well.

If the difference in cost isn't as much of a deciding factor, and you can either tackle the installation yourself, or have a competent dealer install them, then I think you would be very happy with the OEM heaters.
 

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I installed Oxford Heaterz on my 2015 DL650, but I used the OEM grip heater connection with the Eastern Beaver adapter. Made for an easy installation because I didn't have to run anything back to the battery, and they powered on/off with the ignition. They worked flawlessly.
 

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I installed a set of Oxford's on my sons DL650 and wired them into the ignition controlled side of the fuse block in installed the year before. It was an easy install for me and he loves them. On a newer bike like yours I would prefer the factory heated grips but I wouldn't get them if I had to pay $300 when there are so many less expensive after market options.

We both have the factory "wind protector" hand guards and they are fine if you are not going bush wacking.
 

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In the early days the Suzuki grips were call unreliable and expensive so the oxfords got very popular, I have no experience with the newer Suzuki grips so I stick with the oxfords.

Barkbusters are a popular choice for hand guards, they will take a beating and come out the other side.
 

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Had my eye on the Kosos for a while. Any first hand experience of them? - heat levels, longevity etc. Cheers
I have the Bikemaster heated grips with the built-in voltmeter on one bike, and just recently installed the Koso Apollo’s on my other bike. I haven’t ridden the bike with the Koso’s yet, but I’ve tested them a few times and they get plenty hot. It may make it a little trickier to reach the turn signal switch, especially if you have short thumbs, or hitting the grips button by accident.

The Bikemaster grips are (estimated) 1/8” bigger diameter than stock grips, the Koso’s are a bit bigger than the Bikemasters. Just put the calipers on them: Bikemaster=1.33”, Koso=1.41”. If you have small hands and non-adjustable levers, this is something to consider.
 
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