GET A GRIP!
Following the “Of Bars & Men” article the same reader asked for a little guidance and reccomendations
on the subject of grips.
Well I’m not talking arm wrestling here, although I don’t lose many left handed competitions, I’m talking
trials riding handlebar grips and the ways to fit them. Personally my favorites for grip and feel are the
Doherty soft black ribbed variety and the Renthal soft diamond in grey. I have used many others over the
years and in truth there probably isn’t much to chose between them but when I fit new grips I usually
drift back to those two types.
The “new” Dohertys
Renthal Grey soft diamond
The Doherty soft black ribbed rubber ones were always fitted to all my bikes when I was a young lad
but they did have some drawbacks in so much that the rubber was so soft, and bearing in mind we
seldom wore gloves, when you finished a day’s riding in something like the Scottish Six Days then the
palms of your hands were as black as a coalminer’s and it took forever to scrub them clean. The newer
ones must have some sort of additive as I haven’t experienced those joys of late.
So, the “Do’s & Don’t’s” of grips, …….. you may feel you can save a pair by carefully rolling them off but
in all honesty for all the problems you will later encounter it just isn’t worth it to save $10.00. So use a
blade and cut them off and then clean the bars and the twistgrip before fitting the new ones. In days of
yore we would use a splash of straight petrol and just slide them on having shaken the excess gas
out. Left to dry naturally they would hold well on the bars without any glue, but beware here using a
pre-mix as even the smallest part of oil will eventually cause them to rotate and in the worst case
scenario will pull off when least expected!
Over the years I’ve seen all manner of “shade tree’s” attempts to firm up rotating grips with all sorts
of tape from the old black insulating style to the modern electrical shiny plastics. One word here …..
DON’T! It might last an event but will then become a soft gooey mess.
Other methods of getting them on and snug can include a small splash of alcohol to ease the
sliding on and then gentle use of the hair dryer until they firm up but if you want that dummy grip to
slide on nicely then use the Renthal Grip Glue, and use a thin rib of it top and bottom of the bar then
slide the grip into place. As you slide it on some of the glue will seep out so wipe it off before it dries.
On the throttle side the bigger grip will usually slide on over most modern throttles which have a
ribbing in the plastic and I don’t usually need to use any glue on this side, but do make sure the end
of the grip does not bind on the throttle body.
The best of the modern glues
As a general rule I would change the grips every 2 years or so providing they have not sustained
any accident damage.