Grips are important for any bike, and if you ride a dirt bike, then it is even more important. Worn out grips can make you face a whole lot of problems. When you feel like you’re experiencing any discomfort with the grips, you might need to replace them with new ones.
Cut the safety wires on the grip, slip in a screwdriver between the grip and the handlebar. Then remove the grip, apply contact cleaner, wipe it thoroughly. Finally, add adhesive and install the new grips.
Changing or installing dirt bike grips is super easy. It only takes 30 mins at most. Here, this write-up aims to demonstrate a simple and easy guideline on how to install dirt bike grips. So, scroll down for the steps and more on installing dirt bike grips.
Things you need to change and install grips
Before we move to the steps of installing grips, let’s look into the tools that we’re going to need to do the task-
- A small screwdriver
- Box cutter
- Safety wire and wire cutter
- New pair of grips
- Grip glue
- Contact cleaner
- Rag to wipe
Installing dirt bike grips: the steps
Basically, there are two main steps of installing dirt bike grips- removing the old grips and putting on the new ones. But, there are more things to do in between these two steps while changing the grips. So, let us go straight to the steps.
Removing the grips
The first thing to do is removing the old/worn-out grips. It is a simple task and can be done very quickly and easily.
When the old grips are worn out and loose, and spinning, they can be removed by simply pulling them off. But if they are not moving around the handle and not loose, you’ll have to use the box cutter and cut the grip all the way off.
If your grips have safety wires on them, cut them with the wire cutter. Be careful while cutting the wire if you plan to use the grips later. If not, then just cut them off.
Using the screwdriver to remove the grips is convenient if you want to reuse the grips. Slide the screwdriver down the end of the bar in between the grip and the handle bar.
When you do it, make sure to work it all the way around the bar. This helps to break in any remaining seal that’s in between the grip and the handle bar. Do it from each end to make it nice and loose. Now that it becomes loose, you have to spin it or pull it straight off all the way off the handle bar.
Think all these are too much work? Cut the safety wires and then just cut the grips off with a box cutter off the handle bars. It is not necessary if you’re not planning to reuse the old grips.
When you’ve removed the old grips, now it is time to proceed to the next step.
After pulling off the old grips, you always have to clean the handle bars before putting on the new ones. There might be leftover adhesive on the surface from the old grips that need to be cleaned.
For the cleaning, wear rubber gloves as you’ll be using the contact cleaner. Spray the cleaner on the bars and give it a good scrub. You’ll notice that the rag has wiped off the remaining adhesive or any sticking material from the handle bars.
This step is significant for enhancing the durability of your new grips. If not cleaned properly and thoroughly, the new grips will not sit on the bars firmly and will come off in a short period. Once the cleaning is done, make sure you allow it to dry, and after that, we can move to the next step.
Preparing the new grips
Before putting on the new grips, there are a few things to be done. The two grips are of different sizes. You don’t want to end up attaching the grips to the wrong sides.
The throttle side grip is slightly larger than the other one. You’ll notice the difference from looking at the end of the new grips. The throttle side grip’s hole is slightly bigger than the other. If you are still confused, a trick to know is sliding your finger inside the grips- the one that goes all the way in is the throttle side grip.
After you’ve identified the right grip for the right side, poke a hole at the end of each grip with the screwdriver. This is not mandatory, but it will make things a lot easier.
When you push the grips to the handlebars, the air gets stuck inside and creates a back pressure, making it difficult for the grips to hold on to. Poking a hole will allow air to escape and the grips to slide on much easier.
Applying the adhesive on the handlebar and grip
Take the grip glue of your choice and apply it on the handlebar and inside the grips as well. Double gluing will enhance the strength of the bond and won’t come off as quickly.
If you don’t have grip glue around or do not prefer using grip glue, there are alternatives like- super glue, spray adhesive, shoe glue, spray paint- basically, anything that sticks! Use the one that you think most convenient and definitely works for you. But I’d recommend sticking to grip glue, which is the safest option.
Sliding the grip
Now that the handle bar is glued (work on one at a time), slide the grip on the handlebar, which should be much easier now for the hole at the end of it. Don’t let the glue sit for long, as it might dry fast. After sliding the grips, quickly rotate them to the correct position and adjust before the glue dries completely.
This step is not mandatory as well, but the wire acts like a double-protection for the grips. It is more like a backup security system.
Double-wrap the wire around the thumb guard, the center and the end. With the plier, twist the ends and cut the wire about 0.25 inches (6.35 mm) off the surface.
Bend the end of the twisted wire and make a small hook right at the base. The hook will just dig into the rubber and stay there tucked in and out of the way. Use the plier to push it into the rubber.
There, you have strong and correctly set new grips.
How to know you need to change the grips
Riders often get confused about when to change or how often to change the grips. You’ll know that the grips of your bike needs replacing-
- The grips are slipping and not providing “grips” anymore
- They are slipping around the bars while riding
- Grips are so worn out that they have cracks on them
- If the grips are causing blisters on your hands
- You just want to change how your bike looks
If your grips show any of these signs (the 5th one is of one’s choice), don’t delay and change them right away.
Another thing to add is, if you ride your bike more, the grips will wear out more quickly, and you’ll need to replace them more often.
Why is it essential to change grips?
Handlebar grips are essential for a dirt bike’s control, comfort and balance. Worn out or damaged grips can be uncomfortable or come out at the wrong time, for example, while riding. And this may lead to accidents. So, you can easily avoid these inconveniences by changing grips.
How Often should you change your grips?
There is no specific time period for your dirt bike grips to be replaced. It actually depends on how often you ride the bike- it can be changed every 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, or even a year if you are an occasional rider. But I wouldn’t recommend using the same grips for more than a year as grips can get hard and sticky over time.
It’s Time to Change That grip!
Grips may seem a trivial part of the bike, but are not insignificant at all. Grips provide comfort and add to the balance of a bike rider. Also, changing and installing new grips is super easy! It is definitely better to change grips in time than deal with a loose grip at the wrong time.
I hope this article gives all the information you need on how to install dirt bike grips and make the task easier. Replace the old grips, install new ones and ride in comfort.