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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering if I need to lift the tank, how have others done it on the 2017+ models, is it any different from previous bikes?

It looks like pulling the tank is a pain in the ass and I'd prefer to avoid that. But I'd also rather do it once and have it work forever, looks like lifting the tank will give me a clearer route from the controller to the battery.

Thanks a ton!
 

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It is not difficult to fish the wires down either side of the tank without lifting it. I used the left side. Running the wires inside a length of split loom will protect them from chaffing and provide a route to to add a volt meter when you decide to install it in the future.When the time comes to change the air filter you can secure the loom to the existing wire harness. You can connect directly to the battery. The downside is that a dead battery will happen at some point. There should be factory installed power leads for heated grips. The connector is wrapped in blach tape and taped to the top of the rad below the horn and towards the centre line of the bike. It is not terribly easy to spot. A bright light is helpful. There is a post with pictures on here from about 2 months age or so. A connector that is the same as the one on the horn will fit this taped one. A dealer should beable to get one or someone who has installed aftermarket horns. Easternbeaver has it ias well. Fell free to message if you need more info. Cheers Doug
 

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It looks like pulling the tank is a pain in the ass and I'd prefer to avoid that.
You should remove tank to get to the OEM heated grip connection, but it's not a pain at all. Found it quite easy. Put on some music in your garage and take your time. No sweat.

I HIGHLY recommend you get this bendy long screw driver. With the appropriate hex (Allen) tip it makes the hardest part of the job very easy. You'll want this to remove one of the clamps that holds on the air box. Without this tool it's a long curved reach and hard to get to.

I got it as Walmart for around $6 or $7

 

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I install the Oxfords on my 2014 Vee2. Ran the wires directly to the battery. I don't recall, but I imagine that I did pull the tank since it is pretty easy on the 2014 and step #1 for half of the maintenance... you'll get pretty good at it for sure. Oxford's new control box senses the line voltage and noise and turns itself off when it detects the engine is off (not charging). Works well. I have forgotten to manually turn it off a few times, other times on purpose... It has not gotten confused yet.

I read someone on this forum float the idea of mounting the controller to the inside of the factory hand guards, so I gave it a go. The control fits very well; however, the double sided sticky tape didn't last. I ended up using black RTV silicone and it is solid as a rock now (and water resistant). My fingers are just a bit too short to poke the buttons without coming off the grip, but I can easily reach forward and lobster claw the buttons with heavy insulated gloves on. I recommend this installation option. I didn't like having the control on the handle bar (the metal plate Oxford included didn't fit any mount points on the bars anyway -- I am running AdventureTech mirror riser / extenders). The only drawback to this mounting position I can see would come from dropping the bike and breaking the factory hand guard...

I'll post a pic when I get back to the bike...
 

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Pro-tip (from a non-pro): I installed the Oxfords on my former 14 Vee 2, along with Barkbusters and the Kaoko throttle lock. All highly recommended products. The mistake I made was in my attempt at perfection, I glued my heated grip too close to the Kaoko unit on the throttle tube at the bar end. Looked and worked perfectly, until the grips heated up and expanded ever so slightly. This caused the throttle grip to bind on the Kaoko housing - causing some tense moments. I could run them on low without this issue, but on high heat, they would expand and bind together requiring a bit of (WTF?!?!) force to back off the throttle. First time realizing that was less than fun - like a double-locked cruise control! Solution is simply give the grip a safe gap between to allow for heat expansion (who knew?).
 

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I'm going to try this using 3M Dual lock strips. Quite an amazing product. If it works I have a ten foot roll and can send out some samples.
 

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I put my Oxfords on without lifting the tank. I just fished the wires through that area, being careful to avoid any hot spots or areas when the wires could be chaffed. I did, however, connect them directly to the battery, not the Suzuki connector. Been using them for over a year and all works great. Used them on my '05 for twelve years without issue so I stuck with them.
I mounted the switch on the left mirror mounting bolt. It just took a slight bend on the metal mount to make the controller be in a very nice location where I can work it with my thumb without removing my hand from the bars.
 

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Isn't it easier to just bolt it on the mirror with the provided holder?
The provided holder did not line up for any potential mounting point for me on my Vee2. Plus up top it sticks out and definitely requires letting go of the grip to operate it. I had hoped to be able to poke the buttons without moving my hand. And I probably could except for the upper angled parts of the factory hand guards were too narrow. Even if the wire came out of the other side of the Oxford controller, I likely could have positioned the buttons higher up and reached them with my fingertips. Didn't quite work out, but I really like how subtle the controller is and it is tucked away from the weather. So long as I don't break off the handguard it'll be fine.
 

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Yep I installed these and did not remove the tank. Stayed that way all winter with no issues.
I did pull the tank this past summer and took advantage to re-route the wires for both the grips and the ABS switch.
That said, pulling the tank is a bit time consuming with all the plastic lipstick on the '17, but it is not hard. Just take your time and don't force any plastic.
 

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Yep I installed these and did not remove the tank. Stayed that way all winter with no issues.
I did pull the tank this past summer and took advantage to re-route the wires for both the grips and the ABS switch.
That said, pulling the tank is a bit time consuming with all the plastic lipstick on the '17, but it is not hard. Just take your time and don't force any plastic.
Doctor Vstrom has a good video on removing the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We're into the rainy season here, between rain and work I may not get out a bunch in the next week or two. I'll probably pull the tank this weekend and see if I can find that built in connector. Can anyone link me to the pics listed?
 

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We're into the rainy season here, between rain and work I may not get out a bunch in the next week or two. I'll probably pull the tank this weekend and see if I can find that built in connector. Can anyone link me to the pics listed?
Did you put your Oxford grips on yet? I only ask because if your bike needs to get the recall (o-ring gasket or something?) done, they need to take the tank off for that, in case you'd like to get a quote from the dealer to put on the grips while the tank is off and they are doing the recall. That's the conversation I will be having with my dealer tomorrow.
 

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My big learning with the Oxford install is making sure you get them really glued on well. I have had to reglue mine because they were slipping around. I think if I had to do it again, I would rough up the surfaces first.
 

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Why the Oxfords vs. OEM heaters? (2018 650XT)
Price and good reviews of the Oxfords.

There were a few mediocre reviews of the Suzuki heated grips (current grips the same as previous?) But not as many reviews overall. I think most opted for the less expensive Oxfords and they seem to work just fine (if not better).
 

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Why the Oxfords vs. OEM heaters? (2018 650XT)
I paid them from Amazon warehouse 2 weeks ago 30 euros shipped and they arrived brand new. Adventoure touring OF690 model.

My father installed them (it's not a really easy work, but it's the third time he installs them and he is becoming a pro!) and they work very well. I have them on all my bikes since years.

The OEM ones cost around 300 euro. I believe that these are pretty good reasons.
 
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