Resources 8 Jul 2013

How To: Install grips takes a look at applying a new set of grips to your ride.

Handlebar grips are a part of your bike that will need to be changed quite frequently, it’s just one of those things that you can’t avoid if you ride on a regular basis.

Before we start, there are multiple ways to fit a new set of grips to your bike, different riders or mechanics seem to have their certain way they like to do it. This right here is one of those ways.

Firstly you will want to remove your old grips from the handlebars and throttle housing, or if you’re lucky enough to be fitting fresh ‘bars then you’ll be removing just the throttle side grip for now.

Be warned, some of the current Motocross models do have a vulcanised grip on the throttle side. This means that you will basically be trying to get that grip off for days.

I believe you’re better off purchasing a new throttle tube down at your local bike shop, plastic tubes come in under the $10.00 mark, or if you have the spare cash it would be a smart move to upgrade to a stronger alloy unit which will last a lot longer.

The compressed air technique is clean, easy and  fast. Image: Adam Spence.

The compressed air technique is clean, easy and fast. Image: Adam Spence.

Once you have your old ones removed, you’re now ready to throw on your brand new set of grips. There are plenty of makes and models out there, but for our Project Moto Suzuki RM-Z250 we opted for a set of Tag Slim Grips.

The Tag Slim Grips are a half-waffle design featuring a soft compound. This all comes down to personal preference, but for me these are the most comfortable and all-round impressive grips on the market right now.

As I mentioned earlier, you may be lucky enough to have a new set of ‘bars on your bike which is exactly what we have here with our black Tag Metals T2 ‘CR Low’ handlebars. Ours are nice and clean, but if you’re using old ‘bars, be sure to clean them well before you throw the new set on.

We’re going to apply the grips using no messy glue, no fuel, no hairspray, no paint – nothing. What we are doing here is using compressed air and a completely dry bar to apply the grip.

Obviously some may say this is a bad and you need some kind of adhesive, but you would be surprised how well this works. This technique also allows you to take your grips on and off without having to slice up fresh grips that could be used for much longer.

There is no wrong or right way to apply your grips, this is just one of many techniques I have learnt of the years which has made life easier and also saved me from ruining countless sets of grips along the way.

Always remember to safety-wire your grips and tuck away the sharp ends. Image: Adam Spence.

Always remember to safety-wire your grips and tuck away the sharp ends. Image: Adam Spence.

Using a ‘pistol grip’ blow gun attachment, simply slide the grip onto the ‘bar slightly and then slide the gun under the grip to fill it with air. Once you are blowing air inside the grip just pull the grip towards you and it will slide on.

If the grip is not sitting in the exact position you would like, just grab the gun, place it under the grip, blow air inside of it and slide the grip around to your desired position.

Our soft compound grips make this job quite easy with plenty of stretch in the rubber which allows the gun to slide underneath with easy. In saying that, this technique will stick work with a harder or dual-compound grip.

One quick tip with this compressed air technique is that it works very well with new grips, but if you have torn ends on your grips the air will escape. A quick fix is to wrap some tape around to end of the grip which traps the air and you’re good to go.

Once you have your grip in the correct position it’s time to wrap some safety-wire around them to make sure they stay secured and stop any water for finding its way under the grip.

You can wire your grips by hand or use a specially designed tool for the job, this all comes to to personal preference. Whichever way you decide to go, make sure you tuck away any sharp ends on the underside of the grip once you’re finished.