At the end of a long trip or ride when the sun is showing its last traces of golden fiery glow on the horizon, you roll into your driveway, put the kickstand down and ruin the mood and the view by having to fumble with your garage door to park your bike. Up until recently I overcame that by keeping my car remote on the bike. What usually happened was that when I was on the bike the remote was in the car and when I was in the car it was on the bike. Suffice it to say, it was usually not where I needed it. There are a number of solutions available both from Harley and various hardware stores where you can buy an extra remote, but you still have to fumble to find it. Wouldn’t it be nice if all you had to do was push a button on your handlebars one time, without having to flash your turn signals or honk your horn in some super-secret code?
Last year I ran into Randy Reading of Reading Designs at Renegade Rendezvous in Dixon at his booth. In the art world Randy is best known for his bronze wildlife sculptures, but in 2006 he decided to combine that love of art into another love of his—motorcycles—making a perfect fit between form and function. His first entry into custom bikes was his Road Rails Motorized Floorboards, but that was quickly followed up by the introduction of his Grip Switch Garage Door Opener.
The most visible part of the kit is a replacement clamp that fits either the right or left handlebar controls that has a rocker switch mounted in it. Once the kit is installed, all you do is push the button one time to open the garage door and push it again to close it. The clamp comes in black or chrome to match your controls, will fit all Harleys from ’80s–present, is waterproof and can be installed on the right or left side on all stock Harley handlebars including ape hangers. There are also lighted models for an extra charge The opener will work on all automatic garage door openers, will not interfere with other remotes or openers and features rolling code technology for security. Best of all, the unit is completely concealable, takes about 30 minutes to install and the only tools you’ll need are a set of Torx wrenches and/or a Phillips screw driver. The directions in the kit are simple to follow and there is a two-minute video on the website showing the installation. You can also buy the switch separately to operate any air suspension units on your bike.
Quite simply, just remove the right or left side clamshell clamp (your pick). Screw down the new clamp making sure to keep the wires in the wire groove on the handlebars. You can also run the wire inside the handlebars, but this will take longer. The two wires have a sheath around them and will easily thread through the stock wire retainers on the bars.
The sending unit itself can be mounted in any concealable location on the bike like inside the upper tins on a Softail or, as I did on my Road Glide, inside the instrument housing. It’s held in place by a piece of double-sided sticky tape. I replaced this with a piece of industrial-strength Velcro for ease of battery replacement down the road. Make sure you thoroughly clean the mounting surface, and zip-tie any loose wiring to something such as a wiring harness or frame member for neatness and security.
The receiver is plugged into any electrical outlet and then two wires are run from this to both sides of the garage door button inside the garage or to the terminals on the opening unit itself where the opening button attaches. That’s it; you’re done! Form and function have come together. Now you can crack open your favorite beverage and watch that fiery sunset knowing that your Harley is safe and sound.