Bikers Workshop Series

Fitting Hondaline Heated Grips To pre-2006 GL1800.

By Steve Saunders.


Having ordered a set of Hondaline heated grips for my GL1800 Goldwing in February 2004, they finally arrived in May, just in time for the summer! I decided to fit them the next month, even though I wouldn't be needing the heat on the Goldwing until the next Winter. A case of fit them now or lose them later! You will notice that the top shelter is removed from the GL1800 Goldwing in some of the pictures below. You don't need to do this, I was doing other work on the Goldwing at the time and decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.


First thing is to disconnect the battery and remove the meter panel. Instructions for GL1800 meter panel removal are already given in the article on GL1800 CB Radio Fitting. Remove the right side glove box. Don't forget to unhook the cable that goes from the lock to the glove box.

 Then remove the right side fairing trim piece, starting at the bottom inner and working your way upwards. Unscrew the single Allen head bolt holding the lock panel in place and remove the panel.

Now to remove the old grips. Tip; If you have chrome cap ends fitted, protect the chrome on the screw by putting some tape on the end of the screwdriver.

If you're a cheapskate, and want to save the old grips, run a thin screwdriver or a hacksaw blade around the inside of the grip to loosen the old glue and it will come away easily. Repeat on the right side grip. The Honda instructions tell you to remove the whole throttle grip & boss but you don't need to go to all that hassle of unscrewing the switch assembly to get at it. Just remove the rubber grip same as described for the left side.

After removing the switch panel from the Goldwing, drill a 45mm hole with a holesaw. The spot to drill is marked on the inside of the panel. Then just screw the controller knob assembly into position with the three screws provided (second picture).

Spread some glue (the Honda stuff if you can get it, or just plain old rubber cement as I've used on my last four Goldwings without problems). Spread it more towards the ends and middle of the bar as it will get pushed inward as you push the grips on anyway.

Before the glue sets, put the black plastic spacer in position and screw the end cap back on. Then quickly slide the grip back out a bit until the spacer is touching the end cap without any rattling or free play. This is a much more accurate way of fitting the grip than measuring a 3.8mm gap at the switch housing that the supplied instructions suggest. Place the left grip so that the electrical wire is in a similar position to the picture.

Fit the right grip as you did the left, then rotate the grip so that the wire is as shown. This is much better than the way the Honda instructions tell you and will ensure that your thumb won't snag the wire. The throttle only rotates about 45 degrees so the wire won't interfere with anything else either. If you prefer to do it the way Honda tell you then that's fine as well.

See the breather hose coming out from just under the front of the GL1800 radiator cap in the first picture? Remove the hose, chop 30mm off and route it so that it comes around from the left side instead, this is to prevent it rubbing against the heater control for the grips. Then put the supplied corrugated plastic tubing around the same hose to give it some more protection. The second picture shows the correct route for the hose.

Remove the two screws and the fork cover. Then route the supplied wires around the steering head with the other wires and down to the power connector shown in the second picture. The red connector is just behind where the heater control panel fits. On 2001 & 2002 models this connector (clear coloured) is just under the right side air vent (below the speaker). The white connector (third picture) plugs into the heater controller. You can now fit the controller panel in place, but make sure that the back of the controller and the lock mechanism do not foul the wires or radiator hoses before bolting up.

Unscrew the fork lower plates on each side and route the wire from the grips down through them. Make sure that the connection plugs for the grips are concealed under the cover (and covered by insulating tape) after the job is done. Check out the operation of the grips before putting everything back together and cable tie all the wires in sensible places, ensuring just enough (but not too much) free play in the wires on the throttle side. Be warned that the Honda heated grips get very hot when turned on full blast! Leave them on hot for a few minutes to help the glue dry faster.

Finally stick the dial face onto the front of the grip controller as shown. This is the Honda heated grip controller after installation.