Grips wear out or get torn in crashes, so you should know how to replace them. They are also one of the cheapest parts you can buy for your bike so it is senseless riding with old or worn grips. However, it’s important that you install them so they won
’t start slipping. If they start rotating on the bars they can turn your race into an arm-pumped horror. Even worse, for Motocross
guys who don’t run handguards, a grip slipping right off the bars can lead to a big crash. Every mechanic has his own way of doing grips, but here’s one way of doing the job so they never slip.
To do this you’ll need a set of lockwire pliers and some lock wire, available at most bike shops, and a pack of epoxy. I use Pratleys Wonder fix, which is really good for bonding rubber to metal.
Preparation. Remove your handguards. Snip off any existing lock wire, then remove the grip by cutting it open and pulling it off. Clean all the old glue off the bars and throttle tube, scraping it off with a knife if necessary. This is a good time to inspect your throttle tube. If it has any cracks or jagged bits at the end, replace it. Now you can clean and degrease the bar and throttle tube with Motul’s Brake Clean or Parts Clean.
Fitting. Mix up a little bit of epoxy according to the package instructions and smear it onto the grip in three or four horizontal lines. Don’t put epoxy inside the grip: It will accumulate inside the end of the bar when you slide the grip on and either lock up the throttle tube on the right hand side, or interfere with the handguard mount on the left hand side.
Slide the grip on, rotating it over the tube or bar as you go, to distribute the epoxy. Getting the throttle-side grip on can sometimes be a real struggle. Persevere. Remember, the epoxy is curing so don’t stop twisting and pushing for a second. If you’re installing half-waffle grips, make sure that the waffle is in the right position, or line the grips up by ensuring that the makers name on the end of the grips is horizontal.
Lockwiring. Depending on your level of paranoia, fit either two or three loops of lockwire on each grip. Measure how much wire you will need for each loop. You need to go twice around the grip, leaving ends long enough for the lockwire pliers to hold. Many grips have moulded channels into which the lockwire can go. Plan where you leave the ends so it will be where it can least cause discomfort.
Grab both ends of the wire in the pliers and put a neat twist into the wire by pulling the knob on the end of the pliers until the wire is tight. Clip off the ends of the wire about 6 mm from the bar, then, with small nose pliers, push the end deep into the grip – make sure it can’t stab your hands.
Finally… Trim the ends off the grips with a sharp knife and re-install your handguards. Let the epoxy cure for twenty-four hours, and you’re good to go.