5 Basic Steps To Install Motorcycle Grips For First Timers

Is it getting uncomfortable to ride with those broken-up handlebars? It’s time you replace them with new ones so you freshen up the motorcycle. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest things to do. Removing and installing motorcycle handlebar grips is something that any beginner can do. That is if you have the good old-fashioned rubber grips. Other types can be a bit harder but more on that later. Here’s a guide for beginners on how to install motorcycle grips.

  1. Remove the old grips.
  2. Clean the adhesive from the handlebar.
  3. Fit the new grips.
  4. Optional: use compressed air, lubricants to ease the process
  5. Optional: Add grip glue.

There more to it, this a step-by-step guide. Follow the instructions to replace your handlebar grips.

Type Of Grips

First and foremost, we have to know what kind of grip you have. You can find many different styles of handlebar grips. I believe some bike models have specific grips. But all in all, there are two types of grips that are widely used, rubber handle grips and integral-style grips. This guide is for beginners, so we will only be focusing on rubber grips. Integral tube grips have a throttle sleeve on the right bar. Because of the throttle cables, you may need to touch a lot of electronic components. If you do not have a throttle cable, you will need to work on the control box too. And that’s not something I expect from beginners, nor do I advise beginners to do that.

Just find out the type of grip your bike has. Rubber handle grips are easy to identify. They are squishy and soft. Integral style grips are harder, you can identify them from the plastic throttle tube. Also, these, usually have a nicer design, they are not made only from rubber.

Installing Motorcycle Rubber Grips

Installing Motorcycle Rubber Grips

It goes without saying, you will need new handle grips. I recommend changing both sides but it’s your decision. For instance, if the left grip is the only one that’s broken up, you can only replace that one, and leave the right grip intact. Make sure that you get the right size. Get something comfortable too.

  1. Remove the old handle grips.
    This is easy enough to do. Have you ever changed grips on a bicycle? It’s the same thing. Check if there is a bar end on the grips, this keeps them closed and intact with the bars. If there is a bar end, just unscrew it. Be careful not to lose any screws. Then, you can just cut up the old rubber grip. I like to use pliers or a knife here. If you don’t want to do this or if you are scared of damaging the handlebar, use compressed air. Again, the easiest way to do this is just to cut the old grips.
  2. Clean the handlebar.
    If you are doing this for the first time on your bike, chances are, there will be glue on the bar. Even if there is no glue, the bar may be dirty. So, the best thing to do is clean the bar. I have seen people getting rid of the glue with a knife or a razor. But I think it’s best if you use a brake cleaner.
  3. Start fitting the new grips.
    Start slowly, this is going to take both force and brains. Just start with the tip and see how it goes. It depends on your handlebars and the grips you bought. Usually, the hardest part is fitting the grip to the middle of the bar. After that, it’s easy to push it to the end. Don’t use too much force though, you don’t want to rip the rubber. If you see the grips bending, just stop.
  4. Fit the new grips all the way to the bar end.
  5. Use compressed air or hand sanitizer.
    This does not have to take that long. That is if you use something to help the process. Some people use compressed air. Just blow some air on the tip of the grips while you are pushing. Others use lubricants. But alcohol and sanitizers work best. You don’t want to add something that won’t evaporate or something that can damage the bars and the grips. If you are adding sanitizers or alcohol, make sure you have a clean bar first.
  6. Optional: Grip glue
    Now, this is something that most people disagree on. To use grip glue or not? In my opinion, this is not necessary. Mostly because the glue is hard to work with and just makes things harder. You are a beginner, so fitting the new grip may take some time for you, the glue may dry up before you finish. So you will be left with a glued half grip and dry glue on the bar. Adding glue just complicates things, it takes experience and precision for this to work.

There you go, it’s as easy as that. I told you, replacing rubber handle grips on a motorcycle is really easy, anyone can do it.

Installing Integral Style Grips

I already mentioned that this guide is focused only on rubber grips. But I know that some of you may want integral style grips. So, I want to help you too. I won’t be doing a step-by-step guide, I will leave a video. I will also list some things you may want to know.

The complicated thing with integral tube grips is the throttle tube. Installing the throttle cable is not actually that complicated. But with some bikes, the throttle must be in a certain position, so this may be hard to get right. You may need to open the control box too. It depends on the bike model you have. I don’t recommend doing this if you are a beginner. However, I can’t really know how skilled you are. So, here is a video guide if you are up for it.

Rubber Grips Vs Integral Tube Grips

With all this talk about types of grips, you may be wondering what’s better? Well, there are pros and cons to both of these. I won’t be long, just a quick summary.

Rubber Grips

This is the type of motorcycle hand grips that most of us are used to. Plain rubber ones that we see on most bikes. The reason why these are so popular is that they are really cheap and easy to replace. They are not that durable and they break apart really quickly. Riders do not mind this, as I said, the grips are cheap, and replacing is no hassle. They are quite comfortable on the hand, may cause sweaty hands but gloves fix that. I think most that don’t like these, do so because of the kind of basic design.

Integral-Style Grips

The Grips are installed on a plastic tube that has the throttle wire and cable. These do not need to be made from rubber, in fact, they are made from various grip materials. You can find metal grips(chrome grips), plastic ones, some are mixed with rubber and metal, etc. Most people like these because you can customize the design. If you have a neat-looking bike, the grips can be a good aesthetic addition. Integral tube grips are more expensive though, it depends on what you get.

These are disliked because they are hard to replace and they are expensive. Some riders that have used these complain that they do not provide enough grip. I think they get a bad rep though, the slippery grip goes away if you get something with anti-slip material. What happens is, people, go for something extra just for the looks. Comfort and good grip come first, remember that.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Do You Need Glue For Motorcycle Grips

Glue is not needed for replacing motorcycle grips. Glue is only used on the original grips for the motorcycle. For replacements, you don’t need any glue, just use a lubricant to fit the grips in.

How Do I Stop My Motorcycle Grips From Slipping

If the grip comes out and it’s not stable, just get smaller grips. Adding hair spray inside the tube may be a solution. That is if the grips are the right size but they still spin and slip.

Do Heated Motorcycle Grips Work

Heated grips work well in cold temperatures. They are great at keeping your hands warm while you are riding. Getting heated grips doesn’t make sense if you don’t need them.