Motorcycle grips are an important accessory that helps the rider to maintain control and to drive the vehicle safely and comfortably. When the cuffs wear out or break, they need to be changed. Below are instructions for removing old grips and replacing them with new ones, as well as tips for choosing the appropriate grips for your motorcycle.
Method 1 of 3: Remove the old cuffs
Step 1. Remove the bar tips
These are the metal pieces located at the ends of the handlebar. Depending on your motorcycle model, you can simply remove them by hand or unscrew them with a flat-bladed screwdriver.
Step 2. Cut off cuffs to remove
Use a utility knife or small saw to cut the grips lengthwise and rip them off the handlebars. When making the cut, apply enough pressure to cut through the thickness of the grip, but not so much that you scratch the metal on the handlebar underneath.
- Be careful not to cut any cables that are over the handlebars. Cut and remove the cuffs very carefully.
- If you want to save the old grips, you can blow them out with compressed air. Most people do not have compressed air in their home, therefore you will most likely have to take your motorcycle to a workshop to have a mechanic do this process.
- Another method of saving old grips is to insert a flat-blade screwdriver between the handlebars and the grip, gradually lifting the material up. If the fist is very tight, this process can be very difficult.
- If you have metal grips, simply ignore the pitch of the razor and unscrew the screws at the ends of the handlebars and slide the grips off.
Step 3. Clean the handlebars
You can use medical alcohol or glue remover and a rag to clean the handlebars of any remnants of old grips. Make sure to remove any material and glue from the old grips that is stuck to the metal before proceeding.
- Do not use any oil-based cleaner or lubricant to remove the glue. In order for the new grips to fit firmly in place on the handlebars, the metal must be completely free of debris. If you use any lubricant, the grips will slip and this can result in a dangerous situation on the street.
- You should be sure the handlebars are clean and dry before proceeding.
Method 2 of 3: Install the new grips
Step 1. First you must know which fist corresponds to which side
The two packaged grips have different hole sizes. The one with a slightly larger diameter should be installed on the side of the throttle, which is usually the right side. The smallest one should be installed on the side without throttle.
Step 2. Install the non-throttle side grip
Apply a grip glue inside the opening of the grip and along the end of the handlebar. The edge of one end of the cuff is raised and the other end is not. Slide your grip over the handlebar bar, inserting the raised tip first, and before the glue dries. Keep pushing until the raised tip of the grip is flush with the inside of the handlebar. When it's in position, clench your fist to allow the glue to set.
- Don't use a lot of glue; apply just enough to adhere the cuff in place. If you use a lot of glue, it will come out of the tips of the fist and you will make the work dirty.
- Work quickly so the glue doesn't dry before you install the cuff. If it gets too hard, use medical alcohol to remove the glue and start all over again.
- If you don't have grip glue, you can use the hairspray method, which is widely used by experienced motorcyclists.
Step 3. Install the side throttle grip
Apply the glue to the grip on the corresponding side and also to the handlebars. Quickly slide the grip over the handlebar, inserting the tip first with the raised edge, until it is flush with the inside of the handlebar. Squeeze your fist to help the glue set.
Step 4. Install the bar tips
Screw in the ends of the handlebars until the grips are firmly in their final position.
Step 5. Allow the glue to dry
Wait several hours for the glue to completely dry before riding the motorcycle. When dry, test the cuffs to make sure they are to your liking. If they are uncomfortable for you, change them again using the same method.
Method 3 of 3: How to Buy New Grips
Step 1. Know your motorcycle
Each motorcycle has specifications that indicate what type of grips are appropriate for that particular model. It is important that you choose the grips that work well with your motorcycle to ensure that your ride is safe and comfortable. If you are not sure which grips to buy, ask a motorcycle mechanic or the dealer where you bought the motorcycle.
- Examine the handlebars. There are many types, sizes, and styles of handlebars, all with different grip requirements. Take this into account when purchasing your fists.
- You should be sure that the cuffs you buy are the appropriate length and diameter. Most cuffs are 2 to 2.5 centimeters in diameter and approximately 13 centimeters long. To be sure what you need, measure your old cuffs first, then purchase your new cuffs.
- Some motorcycles vibrate more than others. These bikes need thick, well-coated grips to protect your hands from getting numb while riding.
Step 2. Determine what kind of driving you like the most
The type of grips should depend on the conditions you will face during your travels. If you like to drive in the open country, you will need to grab the handlebars without your hands slipping. If you like to drive long distances on the road, it is better to use grips that are comfortable so that your hands do not suffer from pain.
- The rubber cuffs are designed to wick away sweat so your hands won't slip, no matter how wet they get. They provide the best grip and control of all available grip materials. Use these if you like to ride the bike for sport, especially during the warm months.
- The grips made of soft foam with leather covering are more comfortable, and it prevents your hands from suffering from pain when you have to ride your motorcycle for long periods of time.
Step 3. Consider your personal tastes
Aside from the factors described above for choosing your grips, your personal tastes as a rider will also influence your decision. Determine your preferences on the following factors:
- Cost. The price ranges range from very cheap to very expensive. If you don't ride your bike often, a cheap pair of rubber grips will do the trick.
- Comfort. You can buy ergonomic grips designed to make your hands and fingers as comfortable as possible, but most people do well with conventional grips.
- Style. Choose grips that match the style of your motorcycle, especially if you invest in grips that are on the higher end of the price range.