A’ME Clamp-on Heated Hand Grips Review
Winter riding is challenging enough without the added discomfort and loss of dexterity and sensitivity caused by frozen hands.
While all motorcyclists braving cold weather face similar problems, off-road riders are often unshielded from chilling wind, and may get splashed during water crossings. Off-road gloves are also often less insulated and weatherproof.
Grip heaters with thin heating elements installed with adhesive beneath conventional handgrips (MCN 10/12), allow using whatever grips are preferred. Though these function well, we wanted something that could swap easily among multiple handlebars and be removed during warm months. Clamp-on grips not only transfer readily, but mount more securely than glue-on varieties. The only heated clamp-on grips we found come from U.S. manufacturer A’ME (Aeromarine Molding and Engineering).
The heated model (black only) comes in a low-profile full- waffle pattern, featuring tiny nubs inside the waffle “windows” that enhance grip. The Vulcathane rubber is durable and tacky. While not plush, they still offer noticeable cushioning, and impress with high-quality materials and design.
Installation is a cinch.
After removing the old left grip and its gummy residue, the new one simply. slides into place and is secured with a collar clamp on its inboard end. Simply tighten the pinch-bolt. For the throttle housing, disassemble and remove the tube with grip intact. Because different bikes utilize different throttle cam shapes, five options are included. Select one to match the OEM cam and snap it onto the new throttle grip’s splined ring.
We contacted A’ME after discovering none of these cams fit our Beta test mule. They promptly sent the unique profile required for free, explaining that the fitment isn’t common enough to warrant inclusion in all kits. With cam in place, the throttle is reassembled normally. A sturdy wiring harness is attached to the battery, then runs along the frame to the steering head.
There it connects to a separate length, incorporating the temperature control module. This piece splits further up, to reach each grip. All connections are made with waterproof Duxbutt plugs. Heat is set via an elegant one-button switch with LED indicator that cycles through six steps, ranging from 90 to 130 degrees.
Instead of sending fixed levels of power to the elements, like most heated grips, A’ME’s bluPulse Adaptive Thermal Regulation employs in-grip heat sensors and microprocessor circuitry to maintain specific temperatures, metering power at variable levels as needed. A sensor monitors battery power and will automatically shut the grips off if voltage drops too low.
When initially activated, the grips require 45 watts (22.5W each) and draw 3.5 amps at 13 volts, which won’t challenge most modern charging systems. We appreciated being able to set a midrange temperature and forget about them, instead of having to adjust on the fly when preset power levels became too hot or cold.
A’ME heated grips are available for both street and dirt bikes. They were even more effective than under-grip elements in frigid riding conditions. A’ME tests each setup, warrants them against defects for the first six months, and will replace damaged or worn grips for two years at a 50% discount off MSRP, plus $10 shipping. All components can be purchased individually. This makes the initial cost of $149.95 easier to justify.