Do I need an additional relay for Oxford heated grips? - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    So I'm preparing to upgrade to Oxford heated grips on my F800ST - I've heard positive reviews about them, and I guess some people here are using them.

    I'm wondering if I should consider buying an additional relay to protect my battery from draining, as it is described here?
    https://ulyssesmelb.com/content/heat...-battery-blues

    On the one hand, I know that these grips do have a built-in battery protection system, and should turn off automatically.

    On another hand, my battery is now good enough to start the bike after staying outside (T around freezing point) for a month - and I would like to have the same in future.

    Does anyone have an opinion?

    Beside this, is there an easy way to manually unplug these grips from the battery?

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    Wouldn't bother with a relay. Had these grips on my previous bike and the auto-off feature worked perfectly well. What do you mean about unplugging? One thing that comes to mind is adding connectors between battery and grips. Why would you want this feature?

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    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    On my Vstrom I don't have a relay and I've left the Oxfords on inadvertently. So if the source isn't keyed a relay can save some aggravation.
    Mine are old and they do work better than the 2 position heated grips on my G650GS.
    The instructions for the oxfords calls for 4 amp source, I don't know if the BMW plug supplies that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bachu View Post
    adding connectors between battery and grips.
    Yeah, I'd probably feel safer if could just unplug the grips from the battery. It would be cool to have smth like a coax plug which I could easily disconnect.

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    Yes.. fit a relay. That way you know they are off and can't get turned on inadvertently by some meddling idiot.

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    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    " can't get turned on inadvertently by some meddling idiot."

    Hey, I've met people like that. One acquaintance would would wander around inspecting bikes on a cold day wearing his Gerbing jacket and plug it into other folks bikes to get warm. Some folk have way too much gall. I offered to slice his tires as a thank you.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavzolej View Post
    ...
    On the one hand, I know that these grips do have a built-in battery protection system, and should turn off automatically...
    These are a well known brand. If they have a built-in battery protection system, that's a relay probably in itself. Why add complexity to something that is designed to protect your battery already?

    Chris
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    According to the link in the first post Oxford Grips will consume 8 to 10 milliamps when grips are off and engine off if wired as Oxford Products intended. Standard F800 battery is 12 Amp Hour. So if the parasitic draw is accurate it would take between 25 to 31 days to drain the battery to half it's capacity. I thinks it's safe to say that a half charged battery will not deliver enough power to start an F800 engine if the temperatures are near freezing, which answers the OP initial question if he adds the heated grips and wires in without some method of electrically isolating the grips when the engine is off the bike will no longer start when sat for a month as it currently does.

    There are lots of threads on this forum detailing how to get an ignition controlled live without messing up the CAN Bus wiring, either using a ready made fuse box or constructing one yourself with a relay in a manner similar to that in the link in the first post. At least going this route would give additional power options for lights, heated clothes, GPS etc.

  11. #9
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    So I posed the following question to the folks at Oxford Products USA.

    My question is actually in regards to a post on a motorcycle forum that I'm an administrator of. My BMW has heated grips, so it isn't a personal issue. However there is a forum member is asking if he needs a relay to prevent the battery from draining if the heated grips are left on.

    So you're saying that the intelligent controller shuts off power to the grips after a specific period of time? If so, can you clarify?


    Another thing I've heard, is the grips shut off if the battery goes down below a certain voltage. I'm not sure how much of that is fact, or just rumor. Again, can you clarify please?


    I've always thought of Oxford heated grips as a product I'd get if I needed some. I'd like to get rid of the rumors and speculation, and just present facts to the forum members.


    Thank you.
    Chris
    So Somi at Oxford Products USA responded back with a pretty good answer.
    On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 10:30 AM Somi @ Oxford Products USA Inc <[email protected]> wrote:

    Hi Chris-

    I’ve consulted with the boss for an ideal answer to post on your forum to help answer the question from one of your forum members:

    Prior to the introduction of the Premium range in 2013, featuring the v8 intelligent 2-button controller, the v7 & v7a 3-button controller had a shut off on it if the grips were accidentally left on when bike ignition switched off. Once the switch detected the battery had dropped below 11.5volts, it would shut the grips off. This stopped the battery from being damaged but in many cases, prevented the bike from being started as the voltage was too low. A solution some riders employed was to connect the controller to a relay switch.

    The Premium range 2 button v8 controller detects within 2 minutes of the bike ignition being switched off and goes into stand-by. If the bike isn’t started within a further 5 minutes, the controller will switch the grips off. Bike battery will barely have dropped.

    If a v8 intelligent controller is connected to a relay switch, it will invariably result in the controller not performing correctly. It is absolutely NOT recommended that the v8 controller which is standard fitment with all Premium Heaterz since 2013, be connected to a relay switch. It must be connected directly to the battery terminals and if other devices are connected to them also, the v8 controller needs to be the first one so it connects onto the battery terminal.

    Hope that information helps and thanks for taking the time to clarify this on the forum.


    Kind regards,
    Somi

    Sales Support Administrator
    Oxford Products USA Inc
    4815 Executive Park Court #105
    Center Point Business Park
    Jacksonville, FL 32216 USA

    Tel: (904) 683-8846

    Web: www.oxford-products.com
    Email: [email protected]

    I added the coloring to Somi's reply. Otherwise it is as received.

    Assuming you're buying a new product, do not put a relay in the system. If you do, don't be surprised if the heated grips don't work as they should.

    I hope this helps.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    I hope this helps.

    Chris

    Unfortunately not. Nowhere in Oxford Products reply do they state if there is any parasitic draw from the controllers when bike engine/grips are off. The answer Oxford Products gives is relevant to the vast majority of us and that's is if I leave the grips on by accident will the bike be able to restart when I finish my meal break and the answer to that is if before 2013 maybe if post 2013 yes so excellent. But the OP has a particular desire, currently he can leave his bike outside at near freezing temperatures and after a month it will start he would still like to be able to do that. For most of us with bikes in a garage and battery tenders at the ready parasitic draw is an irrelevance to the OP it's critical.

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    Then the easiest solution is to add a simple, sealed connector between the battery and the grips controller and just leave them disconnected when the bike is not in use. There are just 2 long wires going from battery terminals to the controller ( speaking from experience ). I'd just add a connector somewhere with easy access. That way he could also use that connector for a battery tender if he so wished. That's what I have done with my extra power socket cables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGD109 View Post
    Unfortunately not. Nowhere in Oxford Products reply do they state if there is any parasitic draw from the controllers when bike engine/grips are off. The answer Oxford Products gives is relevant to the vast majority of us and that's is if I leave the grips on by accident will the bike be able to restart when I finish my meal break and the answer to that is if before 2013 maybe if post 2013 yes so excellent. But the OP has a particular desire, currently he can leave his bike outside at near freezing temperatures and after a month it will start he would still like to be able to do that. For most of us with bikes in a garage and battery tenders at the ready parasitic draw is an irrelevance to the OP it's critical.
    Actually, I believe they did answer the question.
    Quote Originally Posted by MGD109 View Post
    Unfortunately not. Nowhere in Oxford Products reply do they state if there is any parasitic draw from the controllers when bike engine/grips are off...
    From Oxford Products answer...
    The Premium range 2 button v8 controller detects within 2 minutes of the bike ignition being switched off and goes into stand-by. If the bike isn’t started within a further 5 minutes, the controller will switch the grips off. Bike battery will barely have dropped.
    Verseion 7 and 7a controllers are 2013 and before. It's now 2019. So the OP will have the new version of the intelligent controller in the quote above. The controller goes to standby in 2 minutes. If the bike isn't started in another 5 minutes...the controller switches the grips completely off. Completely off to me, means off. There is no parasitic draw when the grips are off. In 7 minutes, the grips are totally off if you don't start your bike.

    Note - they are really adamant about NOT connecting a relay switch. Robert (Bachu) had a good suggestion. If the OP is really still concerned, then put a simple connector in one of the wires that can be easily reached.


    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    ...the controller switches the grips completely off. Completely off to me, means off. There is no parasitic draw when the grips are off......

    Chris.
    An assumption to far for me Chris, the heating elements are fully off but the controller is a separate unit no reference that it's turned off. I'm not a gambling man but I'd bet a £100 to a pinch of salt that the controller does draw current when engine and grips are off, I base that on past experience last one being a USB charge lead I added to the bike. Some believe these will not draw current when no device is plugged in being charged but mine certainly does a quick check with an ammeter showed a parasitic draw, which is why it's ignition controlled.

    You need to ask yourself why Oxford Products need the heated grips to be wired directly to the battery. Is it because the controller needs to be powered full time even if it is actually not drawing any current? Makes no sense. I suspect the clue is here:-

    "It must be connected directly to the battery terminals and if other devices are connected to them also, the v8 controller needs to be the first one so it connects onto the battery terminal."


    OK so to achieve this with the OME battery would mean removing the bikes main positive and earth leads, adding the heated grip directly to the battery terminals and bodging the bikes main leads on top sorry but that's nonsense this will create a bigger voltage drop at the starter motor the main leads supplying power to the starter motor have to take priority over any accessory (which is why they always do). I can't imagine it's the 4 Amp draw that requires the Oxford Grips to have this minimum loss but clearly Oxford Grips need as a little voltage drop as possible probably to help the more refined controller judge when to turn grip heating off. Adding a relay or using the bikes power socket will add a certain voltage drop (not sure as it would be significant)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    ….. Robert (Bachu) had a good suggestion. If the OP is really still concerned, then put a simple connector in one of the wires that can be easily reached....
    I would agree but I can't see any difference electrically, doing this manually or with a relay. But I would advise using a high quality connector to limit losses to a minimum.

  17. #14
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    You need to ask yourself why Oxford Products need the heated grips to be wired directly to the battery.
    Many electrical accessories on motorcycles want to be wired directly to the battery. I'd hate to see what would happen if I wired my Gerbing heated gear to the CANBUS. Even using a relay, would mean connecting them directly to the battery, instead of the CANBUS. The relay just needs a powered on circuit to act as the trigger.

    There's one way to eliminate the "assumption" part of this, MGD109. I suggest you contact Oxford Products directly, as I did, and make your accusations. Till then, you have the company saying one thing and opinion on the other. As a former VP of Boeing was heard to say, "Facts and data will set you free." He was originally an engineer, of course.

    Chris
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    The question is very specific and would clear up any assumptions.

    I might take up that $100 bet. Why would the controller need any power after shutoff? The next input would be from the operator.
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

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  20. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runmyownlife View Post
    ….Why would the controller need any power after shutoff? The next input would be from the operator.
    From Oxford Products regards V8 controller:-

    J: Technical Data
    • This switch is extremely efficient and in standby will only draw 71 microamps (0.071mA). Therefore long term
    connection will not flatten a battery.
    • This switch can offer power upto 10amps although the Hotgrips themselves will only draw 3.6Amps on average.
    • This switch has been lab tested to ensure EMC compliance and more importantly has been subjected to the most
    severe automotive spike and pulse laboratory testing to ensure that none of the electrical circuits on the motorcycle
    could damage or interfere with the operation of the switch.
    • Conforms to Directive 97/24/EC as last amended by 2009/108/EC.
    • 12 Volt Systems only (Typical running voltage between 13.5 and 14.3 Volts)
    • Current drain: Average 3.6amps per pair (up to 2.0 amps each – 28 Watts - 30 Watts)
    • Fuse: 5Amp mini-blade fuse (available in all automotive shops)
    • On some motorbikes that have older or small capacity batteries, the extra electrical current demanded by the
    Hotgrips can reduce the battery voltage levels and replacing this by charging is recommended. Therefore, we always
    advise you to connect the battery to a charging system such as the OXFORD Oximiser or Maximiser when the bike is
    not in use.


    At 7.1 milliamps 35 days for battery to reach half charge.

    Got that wrong!! A tiny 0.071 milliamps very efficient about 3,500 days to reach half charge!!!! Big improvement of earlier switches


    If I ever find myself in Calgary I'll be around to pick up my pinch of salt.


    Actually the V8 controller is a lot cleverer than I realised it measures "noise" on the electrical circuit to confirm engine is running not just simply battery voltage. However I think the only reason that a relay is advised against is that the switch will not remember it's previous power setting. If you stop the bike with grips set to 50% power the grips switch off when the bike engine is switched off, when you restart the bike the grips will kick in again at 50% power. Using a relay (or unplugging them) this feature is lost.

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  22. #17
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    Thanks for asking the question of them. They probably wish we'd all go off and ride our motorcycles, instead of debating this on the forum.

    So I'm wondering. If it only draws 0.071mA in standby, per the info they gave me, standby only lasts 2 minutes. After a further 5 minutes, the grips are shut off, per the info the company gave me. So are the grips still drawing current when off?

    BTW, the OP hasn't been back in two days. I wonder if this will be one of those threads that goes on and on and on...and the OP went his own way and was never heard from again.

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    Thanks for asking the question of them. They probably wish we'd all go off and ride our motorcycles, instead of debating this on the forum.

    So I'm wondering. If it only draws 0.071mA in standby, per the info they gave me, standby only lasts 2 minutes. After a further 5 minutes, the grips are shut off, per the info the company gave me. So are the grips still drawing current when off?

    Chris
    The information I have does not use the term "standby" for the system as a whole but "battery saving mode" (BSM) activated 5 seconds if the voltage falls below 11.5 V or 2 mins after no noise on the circuit. And then shutdown 5 mins later. BSM mode cuts the power to the grips but still illuminates the various LEDs plus one other to let you know it's in BSM. Shutdown cuts these LEDs. The controller has a small inbuilt power supply (probably a capacitor but that's just my guess) which allows it to have momentary power losses but not shut the grips off so a dodgy connector that makes or breaks when you hit a bump will not power the grips of just a blip in power to the grips which would go unnoticed. For the system to work the controller has to draw power full time to save power settings on start up. Oxford Products have been wise enough to see the issue with their previous controller and greatly improve on it. (Watch a million members reply saying theirs failed after 3 days use) In reality the draw is so small less than 1% of the previous controllers as to be of no issue. I'm sure the natural self discharge of a lead acid battery is greater.

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    If you're that worried about it, mount an in-line switch on the handlebar. You can pick one up for $6 on Amazon. Flip the switch off when you park it for more than a few days. Problem solved.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
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    I had a couple PMs with MGD109. I'm sure he's sleeping now, so we'll see what he comes back with when he's up and we're asleep tonight.

    The data he copied was from a Oxford product brochure, but was from the old, pre-2013 version. So I'm not sure what you can gather from the specs quoted other than they have changed on the new and current version.

    Hopefully, he'll contact Oxford directly and ask them his questions and get some authoritative answers.


    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    Hopefully, he'll contact Oxford directly and ask them his questions and get some authoritative answers.


    Chris
    I think you may have misunderstood Chris I contacted Oxford Products and was sent the link to the PDF. I didn't check the dates but the PDF is specifically for the v8 controller (their latest) so probably relevant. The PDF has clearly been written prior to the launch of the new product which would make sense, documentations needs to be in place beforehand.

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    Very interesting reply from Oxford. The heated grips I had were already fitted to my old Deauville when I bought it in 2014, so would not have been V8.
    If the V8 grips can't be turned on unless the engine is re-started then no relay is needed.
    The parasitic drain is not a problem -- a battery maintainer would take care of that in winter storage.
    I tend to connect my charger whenever I park the bike at home so parasitic drain is not something I worry about.
    My mates old Pan has an alarm/tracker fitted. The battery won't start it if it's left for two weeks without being connected to a charger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogbody View Post
    Very interesting reply from Oxford...
    I suspect they didn't anticipate some "jail house lawyers" to pick apart everything they've said from 2012 to now.

    IMHO, if I was leaving my GT out for any length of time and wanted to make sure it started again when I went back out to it 3-4 weeks later...I'd pay attention to what might cause that not to happen, like a power switch for heated grips. And if I didn't, like the times I've left the dome light on with my Subaru Outback, it wouldn't happen again.


    And the OP hasn't been back since the first posts in this thread. I hope he/she/it does come back at some point. Otherwise, we will have wasted so many electrons on typing our replies.

    Chris
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  29. #24
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    Not looked at the replies but the answer is yes. I fitted them without and was always finding a flat battery. Find a feed downstream of the key switch (think I looped off of brake light) to ensure you cannot leave them on.

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    I don't need one for my heated grips: https://www.motorcycleparts-hornig.c...ted-Grips.html

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