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August 16, 2011
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Cold weather defeated Napoleon. What chance do we have? When the temperature drops it doesn’t matter how great your quad is running. It doesn’t matter how perfect the trails are or how well you’re riding. When you’re cold, all fun stops immediately.
Over the years we’ve leaned how to fortify ourselves against cold weather in most ways. We have our favorite jackets, goggles with nose protectors, face masks and thermal socks. But the weakest links are always the hands. If you have gloves thick enough to protect you from freezing temperatures, they are usually too thick to operate the controls of your ATV.
That’s why Ame developed Heated Ergo Tri Grips. Heated grips have been around before, but no one has ever taken the concept this far. The soft outer surfaces of the Tri grips are bonded to hard plastic inner shells that slide right on your bars. They fasten in place with clamps, so you don’t have to mess with glue or other grip-installation techniques. The mounting kit comes with a wiring harness that draws power from your ATV’s battery. What really sets Tri Grips apart is their electronic brain. Somewhere inside each grip (we don’t know where), there’s a microchip that’s incredibly smart. It regulates the temperature of the grips at any of six different levels. It also monitors the battery power available. The brain safeguards you against a drained battery by shutting off the power to the grips if the battery voltage drops under 12.8 volts for over 10 minutes. This means if you forget to turn off the grips (the power is independent of the
ignition switch), you can walk away without fear that your quad will be dead in the morning. On the other hand, if you return to your machine within 10 minute, the grips will still be nice and toasty warm.
We installed the Ame Heated Tri Grips on a Honda Foreman that we use for maintenance at one of our local motocross test tracks. They went on in minutes and paid for themselves immediately. We use the Foreman for getting around the track, which we water with fire hoses that are located around the facility. That means you almost always have wet gloves and that can be just miserable when the temperature drops. With the Ame grips, our hands never got that uncomfortable. In fact, we couldn’t wait to get back on the quad after watering a particular section.
The Ame grips have six heat levels ranging from 95 degrees to 130 degrees, accessed by pressing a little button on the grip itself. A small LED light flashes to let you know which setting you have selected. With normal riding gloves, level three was generally enough to keep us comfortable. If our gloves were wet, we might go up to level four or five, but honestly, we never felt the need for the highest setting. Perhaps if you wore really thick gloves, the toastiest setting would be necessary to actually penetrate through to your hands.
We can’t think of any product that has pleased us more in recent testing. Fast motors and well-made pipes are all nice, but they can’t help save a ride the way that heated grips can. They can truly extend your riding season to a year-round activity. The price of $129.95 only seems expensive if you haven’t used them. If you rip one of the grips, Ame will swap it for a new replacement for a cost of $32.50. To learn more, go to www.amegrips.com.

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