How to Change Your Motorcycle Grips

Tip #270 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

changing a motorcycle grip illustration part 1

Changing a grip looks like such an easy job, but often proves more frustrating than trying to give an angry Siamese cat a bath. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you try these pro tips.

The easiest way to remove an old grip is to slice it off with a razor blade. Want to reuse it instead? Pull it away from the bar and spray a healthy dose of contact cleaner in the gap. Work fast, and push the straw from the can’s spray nozzle in as deep as you can. Twist and pull the grip off. If it sticks halfway, spray in some more contact cleaner.

changing a motorcycle grip illustration part 2

Shade-tree mechanics use hair spray, glue, gorilla snot, friction tape, and special adhesive to put on new grips. We just use more contact cleaner. Spray it into a new grip, liberally coating all the inside surfaces. Give it a really good shot, a couple of seconds’ worth. Then immediately slide the grip on to the bar end. Then walk away for 20 minutes and let the tacky rubber bond to the bar end.

Want more security? Wrap some stainless-steel lock wire (about 0.030-inch-diameter, 0.7 mm or 20 gauge) around the grip at each end and in the center, and twist it tight. Most dirt-bike grips even have special grooves for the safety wire. It’ll squeeze the rubber down and create a seal to keep moisture from getting under the grip and loosening it from the handlebar.

changing a motorcycle grip illustration part 3