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Old 10-17-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
greenthumb OP
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Okanagan, British Columbia
Oddometer: 184
Grip heaters failing

My grip heaters have been acting up over the last few months.
At first, I thought it was all in my head. After today's encounter with some snow however, I know they're not right, and I have had enough.
I would say they never stop working completely, just not as hot. It's intermittent, and so is the severity. Both grips are always the same.
I think it has something to do with the throttle side. When the bike warms up with the heaters on, they're effin' hot when I get on.
Is it a loop of wire or a slider that allows the throttle movement? I'm thinking there is a bad connection there.
Does anyone know if they are wired in series or parallel? What should the current and voltages be?
On my snowmobile, the ecu controls the heater output. Is that true on the F8?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
Moto Mikey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb View Post
My grip heaters have been acting up over the last few months.
At first, I thought it was all in my head. After today's encounter with some snow however, I know they're not right, and I have had enough.
I would say they never stop working completely, just not as hot. It's intermittent, and so is the severity. Both grips are always the same.
I think it has something to do with the throttle side. When the bike warms up with the heaters on, they're effin' hot when I get on.
Is it a loop of wire or a slider that allows the throttle movement? I'm thinking there is a bad connection there.
Does anyone know if they are wired in series or parallel? What should the current and voltages be?
On my snowmobile, the ecu controls the heater output. Is that true on the F8?
I have the same issue.. and my battery died shortly after. I think the issue is related?
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
greenthumb OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto Mikey View Post
I have the same issue.. and my battery died shortly after. I think the issue is related?
I doubt it. I am going to look at it today. Will let you know what I find.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #4
DriveShaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb View Post
My grip heaters have been acting up over the last few months.
At first, I thought it was all in my head. After today's encounter with some snow however, I know they're not right, and I have had enough.
I would say they never stop working completely, just not as hot. It's intermittent, and so is the severity. Both grips are always the same.
I think it has something to do with the throttle side. When the bike warms up with the heaters on, they're effin' hot when I get on.
Is it a loop of wire or a slider that allows the throttle movement? I'm thinking there is a bad connection there.
Does anyone know if they are wired in series or parallel? What should the current and voltages be?
On my snowmobile, the ecu controls the heater output. Is that true on the F8?

It's probably an intermittent short, that will probably eventually become a permanent short. If the short is in the grip itself, though, you won't feel it the same in both grips. They're wired separately, so a short in the left grip means cold left hand, and warm right hand. So, if they're both crapping out to the same degree at the same time, the short is further up stream.

With mine, I tracked it down to the grip itself, and found a break in the heater wire. I soldered it together, and dabbed a bunch of nail polish on it, velcroed it shut and that's how it's been for the past 2 years.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
Reaver
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Alright Greenthumb, don't let them go black!

Can't answer all your questions, just a few. On the throttle end, there's just a slack wire that goes along for the ride when you twist it. No slider or slip ring thing. The switch just tells the ZFE (ECU) whether it's off/lo/hi then the grips are supplied voltage accordingly. They're wired parallel, often one fails while the other carries on. The right side will be hotter because it's somewhat insulated by being mounted on plastic with an air gap between it and the bars. The left side is solid to the a
handle bar and tends to heat up that end of the bar too so it feels cooler. Not like your sled where they're both the same. Never heard of both acting up together. If that's true then there should be a code thrown. You on warranty? GS911?
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
greenthumb OP
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Thanks for the responses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto Mikey View Post
I have the same issue.. and my battery died shortly after. I think the issue is related?
Upon further investigation, according to the manual; if the battery power is low, the grips are disabled to maintain starting ability. It is entirely possible a bad battery could cause your grips to stop working. I don't think this is my problem though. They work fine right after starting, while the bike is idlingand producing little charging power. I have no other indications that there is a problem with the battery or electrical system, but I am on my factory stator with 55k, so who knows. The battery was changed under warranty last spring. Did the new battery solve your problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
It's probably an intermittent short, that will probably eventually become a permanent short. If the short is in the grip itself, though, you won't feel it the same in both grips. They're wired separately, so a short in the left grip means cold left hand, and warm right hand. So, if they're both crapping out to the same degree at the same time, the short is further up stream.
That's what I was guessing. I opened both sides up today. Both heaters have the same resistance (~8.5ohms),and the same voltage (13.72 @ idle). All the tugging, twisting, poking, I could not duplicate an open or a short. No signs of chaffing or heat. All connections were clean, dry and tight. I took switch assembly apart as much as possible and everything looked good. There are two switches that come into play for the heat control. One is depressed for the off position, neither for the low setting, and the other for the high setting. The high switch could be crapping out, and giving me the low heat level. They're tiny sealed little buttons that are glued shut, so I couldn't clean the actual contacts. I think an intermittent failure here would be a stretch, and the quality seems pretty good.
I did learn the the low setting is not a reduced voltage, but a pulsing of full voltage at about 1 second intervals.
After everything was put back together, it worked normally, as usual. I ran the bike for about 5 minutes at about 3500 rpm, got plenty of heat from both grips. I ran out of time before I could dig deeper into the wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaver View Post
Never heard of both acting up together. If that's true then there should be a code thrown. You on warranty? GS911?
Most failures I can find on the net involve only one grip, suggesting the problem is in the supply. The ecu may be playing games with me. The only few reports I can find involving no heat whatsoever, end up being resolved by the dealer with no clear feedback as to the cause. One case involved a reflash, but it was done for other reasons. I'm out of warranty, and without a gs911, so I would like to persue this a little more before bending over. Might try to setup a volt meter, piggybacking one of the grips so I can see what is happening while riding.

On a good note, I installed some 55watt HID's. Why the hell didn't I do this earlier.

greenthumb screwed with this post 10-17-2012 at 09:42 PM
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:15 PM   #7
Bayner
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You can borrow my GS911 if you're in the south end here... it'll store a code when the grips shut down but doesn't trip the warning light. It will try to reactivate them when you cycle the key, if that helps. They are capable of working individually. Both sides are thermally insulated from the bars (as you likely saw already).
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:00 AM   #8
greenthumb OP
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Thanks. I may just take you up on that. I will try cycling the key next time they act up.
I rode through snow on the coquihalla yesterday, so at this rate my time may be better spent prepping the sled
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:03 AM   #9
Hayate
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I'd also suspect something in the line before the grips themselves. I had one fail and it was very clearly dead on the left while the right still glowed IR nicely. That was at about 15 months and 15k miles so BMW happily swapped me out a replacement. 2 years and 25k later I haven't had any problems with either since then.
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