Oxford Hot Grips
When I took up riding again living in Canberra, I couldn’t believe how freakishly cold it would get on the bike. Getting ready for my first trip to Phillip Island, I was whinging about how bloody cold it was even with all the best gear on, and then one of my mates said ‘here give me your hand I’ll put it somewhere warm ....’ and he put my hand on his (cough) grip. Well that was it. I went straight to the bike shop and got myself a pair of Oxford Hot Grips. That trip to PI was the best ride ever, my hands were always toasty warm, even through my thick gloves and my Andy Strapz waterproof Over Gloves.
Once you get heated hand grips on your bike, you’ll wonder why you waited for so long. They heat up almost instantly and are well and truly on by the first km. They are powerful enough to heat your hands through the thickest of gloves. In fact they get bloody HOT if you leave them on full. They are a godsend for those early morning rides to work in the freezing cold, and an absolute delight on those long trips when you have all the right toasty gear on but your hands still freeze. Some online reviews state they also help to reduce hand numbness and fatigue associated with cold weather riding, so you get to ride longer and have much better control over the motorcycle. I certainly can vouch for that.
Oxford grips are easy to fit and do exactly what they’re meant to. A simple gadget for a reasonable price with a mammoth return. They’re sold in all good bike shops and everything you need including the instructions is in the remarkably small box. Once installed, they’re a small weatherproof control on your handlebars. There are plenty of installation videos and tips on Google and You-tube which I recommend you check out if you’re thinking of installing them yourself. Or you can get them put on professionally. Just make sure that whoever installs them, wires them up so that they turn off when you turn off your bike. This will avoid the definite flat battery you will experience the first time you forget to turn them off at the switch.
There are a number of different types of grip designs whether you’re a tourer, commuter, or adventurer. (I read that the sports grips can be a bit tough on your gloves tho). They do make your grips slightly fatter tho but I got used to it very quickly and now any bike without hot grips the bars seem just too skinny.
Oxford Hot Grips certainly have advanced since I got mine in 2005 - and mine have seen me through almost 80,000 kms. Unfortunately they’ve finally given up so I’m getting a new pair. Not bad getting 12 years out of just over $100 investment. These days there’s an “Essential” range and a “Premium” range. I had a quick look on their website, and the Premium range is definitely what I’ve been used to. For all the technos out there, there’s plenty of specs available on Oxford’s website, www.oxprod.com and if you google there’s zillions of reviews, forums, videos all about Oxford grips. Other brands do sell ‘Hot Grips’ but I’ve heard so many people scream ‘don’t bother unless they’re Oxford, they’re the best!”. Also, don’t be confused with ‘Oxford Hot Hands’ which wrap around your existing hand grips and can be transferred a lot easier to another bike. But this review’s all about the Hot Grips because that’s what I had and that’s what I’ll get again. I wouldn’t bother with any other brand. They’re a low cost effort for big return. Oh, and while I prefer to support Australian made, Oxford are a UK company, but unfortunately I haven’t found an Australian product to match yet.
Written by Allicat