Grips are probably one of the most important parts of a motorcycle. From the moment you get on the bike, you are usually grabbing them while getting a feel of the bike. You're grabbing them while starting it; you're grabbing them while riding, you're grabbing them while getting off. That’s a lot of grabbing. And with each grab, a microscopic amount of the rubber is wearing off. Grips will usually last many thousands of miles. The set of Avon grips I replaced for this post and video had over 90K miles on it between two Harley’s. If only my tires would last that long…
Grips Are Personal
Grips are a very personal item on a motorcycle. When you shop grips there is almost an infinite number of designs available. It can be overwhelming to decide which type to purchase. If you're trying to keep a customized theme going as you replace parts on your bike, the grips will play heavily into that decision. Grips can also greatly increase your comfort level while riding, helping to eliminate fatigue. The right grips can also help with controlling your motorcycle more effectively if they have the right fit in your hands.
I’ve seen some really nice-looking grips that were all metal without any rubber for your hands to hold on to. They seemed nice but on a long ride, they won't offer any cushion for comfort. When your bike is sitting in the hot sun those styles of grips can heat up to an unbearable temperature to the point you have to take a wet towel and cool them down before you can even grab them to ride your bike. Try to take into consideration some of these factors before settling on a style. Consider if they are being used solely for a show bike that will hardly ever be ridden. A grip for just bopping around town may not need the same comfort as a grip being put on a motorcycle that is being used for long-distance riding.
Throttle By Wire Grips
Electronic throttle, throttle by wire, and twist-grip sensor are all terms used for the throttle on a motorcycle that doesn’t use cables to affect acceleration. These types of motorcycles make grip replacement quite easy as well. You can install a new set of grips in less than 10 minutes, making this one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to increase comfort and add a personal touch to your bike.
When you begin the installation be sure to start with the left side. It will have a notch that forces the grip to fit a specific way. Then when you install the right side, since it is an electronic throttle, you will be able to spin the grip 360 degrees to make it match the same position as the fixed left grip.
Removing The Stock Grip
When removing stock grips, the left side will be glued onto the handlebars. There are a couple of ways to easily remove that grip. The first method and the one I prefer is once you remove the switch control housings, gently lift the inside of the grip closest to the electronic module end and squirt a little bit of WD40 under the grip. Then begin twisting it back and forth as if you were rolling on a throttle. Just do this on the inside end where you put the lubricant. It will quickly begin to break down the glue. You might have to squirt it once more as you twist back and forth working the twisting motion towards the tip of the grip and it will slide right off in a few seconds.
Doing this will save the old grip for later use if you ever need it. The right side grip will just pull off, it has a plastic inner sleeve that just slides over the bars. The second method is to just cut it off with a razor blade or utility knife once you remove the switch controls housings. This method destroys the grip though so you’ll need to decide if you might ever want the grip for anything in the future before cutting it off.