How to Change Dirt Bike Grips – Dirt bike grips are one of the many parts of your bike that ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. They act as the point of contact for your bike and help in reducing arm pump and maintaining a controlled and secure connection between you and your bike. Just like the wheels, chain, or even brake pads of your bike, however, there is a point where you need to change the grips. There are all kinds of dirt bike grips to choose from in the market. While there are different factors in choosing a set of dirt bike grips, it is important to choose a reliable set lest you end up with slipping grips.
Once you have chosen your set of grips, it’s time to install them. For those who are new to dirt bike maintenance, it is a confusing process. With this article, we will be exploring the installation of traditional and fusion grips.
Changing Traditional Grips
Before we get into the installation process of traditional dirt bike grips, it is important to understand the removal process:
- Slice Grip:
- Use a packaging knife or stanley knife to horizontally slice the moto hand grip.
- Ensure the cut is away from your body to avoid injury.
- Peel Off Grip:
- With a slit across the center of the handlebar grip, peel off the grip.
- This method is suitable if you won’t be reusing the grips.
Once you have the removal process down, you can move on to the installation process:
- Ensure there’s no remaining old glue on the handlebar and throttle tube.
- Clean the surfaces with a contact cleaner, using a scouring pad if needed to remove old glue.
- Apply Grip Glue:
- Use dedicated grip glue for installation.
- Apply glue inside the grip and create a line of glue along the handlebar or throttle tube.
- Slide Grip On:
- Slide the grips onto the handlebar with the glue acting as a lubricant.
- If needed, use an air compressor to assist in sliding them into position.
- Remove excess glue with a rag, ensuring the grip is pushed all the way through.
- Apply Safety Wire:
- Optionally, use safety wire to prevent twisting.
- Insert safety wire into dedicated slots on the grips.
- Do two loops around the bar, twist, and secure the wire with safety wire pliers.
- Common practice among motocross, enduro, and ATV riders.
Additionally, for lock-on grips, such as those from ODI, you can skip the above steps. Simply tighten the screws on either side of the grip for easy installation.
Changing Fusion Grips
When dealing with fusion grips, there is more to know, especially with the removal process:
Removing Old Grips:
- Identify Grip Type:
- Determine the type of grips on your bike (Fusion Grips or conventional).
- For Fusion Grips:
- Cut the worn-out grip.
- Peel off the bonding strip.
- For Conventional Grips:
- Cut safety wires if present.
- Use a box cutter to cut along the length of the grips.
- Dispose of the removed grips unless planning to reuse.
- Spray Contact Cleaner:
- Spray contact cleaner on the handlebars to weaken adhesive bond.
- Lift Grip Ends:
- Use a screwdriver to lift the grip ends for cleaner penetration.
- Wait and Pull:
- Let it sit for a while.
- Attempt to pull off the worn-out grips.
- Apply Lubricant (if needed):
- If grips are still difficult to remove, apply a lubricant similarly.
- Repeat if Necessary:
- Repeat the process until grips come off.
- Compressor Gun (Optional):
- Use a compressor gun if available for quick removal.
- Direct compressed air into the glue seal to ease grip removal.
- Gather Cleaning Supplies:
- Contact cleaner (acetone), sandpaper, clean rag, wire brush/scouring pad.
- Sprinkle Contact Cleaner:
- Sprinkle contact cleaner on a clean rag.
- Wipe Off Residues:
- Wipe off old grip glue and grime from handlebars.
- Use Wire Brush/Scouring Pad (if needed):
- For stubborn grime, use a wire brush or scouring pad.
- Sandpaper or File Ends:
- File both ends of handlebars with sandpaper or a file.
- Ensure smooth ends to prevent damage to new grips.
- Apply Bonding Strips:
- Peel off the backing on the bonding strips.
- Apply them to the handlebars like stickers.
- Leave a little strip on the end to press into the handlebar.
- Spray Fusion Spray:
- Once the bonding strips are neatly applied, spray them with Fusion Spray catalyst.
- The catalyst acts as a lubricant for easy grip positioning.
- Position Grips:
- Slide the grips into position on the handlebar.
- Take your time to position them accurately; no need to rush.
- Fusion bonding spray takes about ten minutes to dry.
- Let Bonding Dry:
- Wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes for the grips to bond to the bar.
- If time allows, wait about half an hour for the bonding strips to fully dry.
- The bonding will be strongest after this drying period.
- Ready for Use:
- Once the bonding is dry, your bike is ready for use.
- Ensure a secure bond between the grips and handlebars before hitting the road.
Installing Traditional Grips VS Fusion Grips
Fusion Grips make installation much easier than traditional grips for several reasons. They don’t need grip glue and have a unique bonding system that gives a generous 15-minute window for adjusting grip positions. Unlike traditional grips, Fusion Grips don’t require safety wires, reducing the risk of wires poking riders. Installing Fusion Grips is like putting stickers on clean handlebars, thanks to the lubricating effect of the Fusion catalyst.
Traditional grips, with their fast-drying glue, can be challenging to position quickly, leading to potential marks or dust accumulation. Removing worn-out Fusion Grips is simple—just cut and peel the bonding strip—without dealing with safety wires or leftover glue. Ongoing tweaks are being developed to improve rider comfort and prevent thumb blisters.
Dirt Bike Grip FAQs
Why are dirt bike grips important?
Dirt bike grips are crucial because they serve as the main contact point between you and the bike. Choosing the right grips is essential, and proper installation is vital to prevent accidents.
When should I replace my dirt bike grips?
Replace your dirt bike grips when you notice tears, holes, or any damage. Excessive wear and experiencing sore hands or blisters are also signs it’s time for a replacement.
What should I replace my dirt bike grips with?
If you’re satisfied with the feel, comfort, and durability of your current grips, get a new pair of the same model. If replacing due to durability issues or discomfort, consider exploring options like full waffle grips, half waffle grips, pillow top grips, or diamond grips.
What will I need to remove and replace my MX grips?
To remove and replace dirt bike grips, you’ll need a stanley knife, grip glue, grip wire/safety wire, and your new grips. An air compressor may be necessary in some cases, and if using lock-on grips, you’ll likely need an Allen key set.
What are dirt bike grip tips, tricks, dos and don’ts:
- No grip glue alternative: In the absence of grip glue, use an aerosol spray contact cleaner as a lubricant. It helps the grips slide on easily and dries with a non-greasy residue. Secure the grips with grip wire.
- Keep things secure: Properly secure your grips with glue or grip wire to avoid twisting, which can lead to accidents. This is especially crucial for the throttle to prevent serious injuries.
If you want to explore how else to maintain your bike, you can learn other things like how to install dirt bike valves and how to fix a sticky throttle. You can also explore connect parts and their options like twist throttles vs thumb throttles.