The Ultimate Guide to Dirt Bike Grips

The Ultimate Guide to Dirt Bike Grips main image

Grips are the main contact point between yourself and the dirt bike, making it incredibly important to choose the right ones for you, while it's even more important to install them correctly. In this ultimate guide to grips, we cover the ins and outs of choosing, removing, and installing them.

 

How to remove dirt bike grips

Dirt bike grips are generally super easy to remove, and considering on most occasions you won't be needing them again, you can simply cut your old grips off the handlebar with a knife.

In some cases on brand new motocross bikes, the standard grips will be moulded to the throttle tube, essentially making it useless when you're installing a new set. Keep this in mind when you're ordering a new pair of grips, as ordering a new throttle tube along with them will mean you get back on the track sooner.

 

How to install dirt bike grips

Just like removing MX grips, installing them is a simple and easy process. But before you get stuck into installing that fresh pair, there's a little bit of preparation needed to ensure your new grips don't work their way loose. This also a good opportunity to inspect your throttle tube - if it's cracked, chipped or damaged in any way, it's time to replace it.

The first step to preparation is making sure there isn't any remaining glue from the old set of grips, and that the handlebar and throttle tube are completely clean. It's best to use a contact cleaner to ensure the surface is clean from any glue or oil.

Once the area is clean, it's time to apply the glue and install the grips - we always recommend using a dedicated grip glue. Insert some glue just inside the grip, and also put a line of glue up and down the handlebar or throttle tube. Usually, the grips will just slide on, although if you're finding them a bit tough, you can always use an air compressor to assist in sliding them into position. To do this, simply point the compressed air under the grip from the inner side.

Depending on your preference, you may also want to use safety wire to ensure the grips remain locked on without twisting. Most grips will have dedicated slots for safety wire - which we advise to do two loops around the bar before twisting and 'tieing' off the wire with pliers. This is a practice undertaken by most motocross, enduro and ATV riders.

The only time you won't use this process is when you have lock-on grips, such as the offerings from ODI. This style of grip is even easier to install, as you simply tighten the screws in either side of the grip.

 

Understanding the different types of dirt bike grips

Now when it comes to dirt bike grips, there are heaps of different brands, compounds and styles to choose from. There are generally soft, medium and hard compounds, while a lot of options are dual compound grips. These will come in the form of waffle grips, half waffle grips, diamond grips, and pillow top grips.

Hard grips usually last longer and are quite durable, however they are tougher on your hands and can promote the likeliness of blisters. On the other hand, medium and soft compound grips don't have the same durability, but they usually feel better on your hands.

Waffle grips consist of rectangular-shaped boxes around the entire grip - this type offers a great amount of grip on the bars (especially in wet conditions!), although it does come at the cost of being harsh on your hands.

Half waffle grips are one of the most popular options - they will consist of the same rectangular-shaped waffle pattern boxes, although only halfway around the grip. The other side of the grip features a diamond-shaped 'tread' pattern, and this type is more forgiving on your hands.

Diamond grips are exactly that - a full grip consisting of the diamond pattern. You'll usually find these in soft and medium compounds, and they're generally a 'thinner' grip than their counterparts. This a really popular option amongst riders.

Pillow top grips are essentially filled with 'pillows' of elevated rubber, and the most common offerings are by Pro Taper. There are usually two types: One with a thick profile, and one with a thin profile. Both are dual compounds and are easy on your hands, although they do offer a larger feeling on the handlebar.

There is one more grip option, and that is a Kevlar grip.

Kevlar grips, most notably by Renthal, offer a mix of durability with a softer compound, and they provide a 'sticky' feeling. This is a more expensive grip, although you do generally get an extended amount of riding from them.

 

Which dirt bike grips are right for me?

So you've got all this information, and you might be thinking what grips are right for me? Well, the truth is, grips are a personal preference. There are grips that favour different types of people, such as riders with big hands are better suited to dual-compound grips pillow top grips, which have a larger diameter, while riders with smaller hands would be more suited to full diamond grips, which have a smaller diameter.

 

What are grip donuts?

Grip donuts are an accessory that some riders choose to use to prevent blisters and reduce arm pump. The donuts simply slide onto the grips, providing an extra buffer and cushion on the inside of them. These are really popular amongst off road racers.

Once the area is clean, it's time to apply the glue and install the grips - we always recommend using a dedicated grip glue. Insert some glue just inside the grip, and also put a line of glue up and down the handlebar or throttle tube. Usually, the grips will just slide on, although if you're finding them a bit tough, you can always use an air compressor to assist in sliding them into position. To do this, simply point the compressed air under the grip from the inner side.

Depending on your preference, you may also want to use safety wire to ensure the grips remain locked on without twisting. Most grips will have dedicated slots for safety wire - which we advise to do two loops around the bar before twisting and 'tieing' off the wire with pliers. This is a practice undertaken by most motocross, enduro and ATV riders.

The only time you won't use this process is when you have lock-on grips, such as the offerings from ODI. This style of grip is even easier to install, as you simply tighten the screws in either side of the grip.


Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up