Best Motorcycle Grips: Add Some Comfort to Your Ride
Improve your hand comfort while riding with aftermarket rubber motorcycle grips
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Motorcycle grips are essential for comfortable and safe riding, especially on long trips. If you don't have the right grips on your bike, it's time to find the perfect pair. Our guide below is all about helping you find that pair of grips so you can keep on riding without damaging your hands.
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Benefits of Motorcycle Grips
- Wrist and hand comfort. Some say that the numbness you feel in your hands is from the vibration or poor circulation. The right grips can cushion your grip and give your hands comfort.
- Control. Depending on the type of aftermarket grips you buy, you can improve the control you have over your throttle. The right grips will prevent your hand from slipping.
- Style. Changing out your stock grips for aftermarket ones is about more than comfort. You can choose a set of grips that can enhance the look of your bike. You could choose chrome accents or a color that matches your bike.
Types of Motorcycle Grips
These grips are ideal for long-distance riding or bikes that have a lot of vibration through the motorcycle handlebars. They’re designed with vibration-isolating features that will relieve the pressure transferred through your hands.
Billet Rubber Grips
These are the most common types of grips with varying combinations of rubber and metal. They’re typically anodized and come in a wide variety of color schemes. These grips will give you the ideal combination of functionality and style.
If you like to ride in cold climates, then heated grips will be a lifesaver. These grips come with special wiring that will connect to your motorcycle battery. You can then change the temperature of your handlebar grips throughout the seasons.
Famous motorcycle designer Arlen Daryl Ness founded the company with his namesake. Founded in 1960, the company grew in popularity thanks to Ness’ innovative custom creations. Both the headquarters and dedicated museum are located in Dublin, Calif. They focus on producing aftermarket parts for Harley-Davidson, Victory, and Indian. The Black Fusion Grip and Comfort Deep Cut Grips are perfect examples of the company’s commitment to style and functionality.
As one of the global leaders in motorcycle manufacturing and design, Renthal produces quality grips as a part of their extensive product line. The company designs products that get tested on the competition and dirt bike track. This ensures that they are durable enough to withstand the toughest of conditions for both motocross and ATV riding. Their manufacturing headquarters are based in Manchester, UK. The Renthal Black Radial Full Waffle with Firm Compound is an affordable option that uses three advanced synthetic rubber compounds.
Founded in 1989, Kuryakyn is a chrome company that has expanded into manufacturing performance parts. For about 30 years, the company has developed a reputation for crafting quality motorcycle parts that are innovative and attractive. They mainly offer grips for Harley Davidson, Indian, and Honda cruiser style bikes, but they do offer some performance parts for Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki. The Kuryakyn Premium 6227 ISO Grips are a stylish option for Harley riders.
Based in the United Kingdom, Grip Puppy comfort grips are sold worldwide on their website, in dealer locations, and on Amazon. Their cushioning grips fit over standard grips that are 1-inch diameter or less. They offer the ultimate in universal fit as they can be used with all types of motorbikes. Check out their signature product, Grip Puppy Comfort Grips.
Motorcycle Grips Pricing
- Under $25: These grips are easily replaceable and affordable. They tend to be thin rubber that slips onto your handlebars. Most of the grips in this category are designed for motocross bikes.
- $25 to $75: This is the range where the bulk of handlebars fall into. You’ll find a quality set that has detailing and dual-compound rubber. As you get higher in the price range, you’ll find more intricate designs and materials like chrome.
- Above $75: These high-end handlebar grips use high-quality materials like hand-wrapped leather. You’ll also find heated grips in this category.
Some grips are smooth and an even thickness for the entire length of the grip. Others have contouring to have a bulge in the middle where your palm would rest. Other grips have grooves where your fingers would rest. There is also a category of grips that are ergonomically designed to provide the ultimate comfort by aligning your hand into the ideal position.
Consider the overall thickness of the grips. You want a set of grips that will fit the size of your hand. So if you have smaller hands, thinner grips will feel more comfortable. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have larger hands, then you’ll want to look for thicker grips. The grip thickness you choose is all about your personal preference.
Pay attention to the grip compounds used to manufacture the grip. You’ll find dual-compound rubber is a popular one. A harder compound rubber will be used as the inner layer. This layer holds the grip’s form and prevents slippage on the handlebar. Then the outer layer is a softer rubber compound to provide increased comfort. The dual-compound grips tend to be thicker, which is something to keep in mind if your hands are smaller.
- Grip Pattern. You may need to try out different grip patterns to find one that’s comfortable to your hand. There are smooth, grooves, waffle, and other textured patterns for the grips.
- Flanges. Some grips have a flared flange at the outer end of the grip. The purpose is to prevent the rider’s hand from slipping off of the grip. In practice, though, this is more of a stylistic choice than a functional one.
- Ride Style. You want to choose a set of grips that fit with your bike’s style. Cruiser riders tend to choose rubber and chrome combinations more often than sportbike riders. Adventure riders like waffle grip patterns to provide traction even when the grips get wet.
Best Motorcycle Grips Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Motorcycle grips should be replaced periodically, especially when you start to notice marks, tears, or other blemishes on the surface.
- Comfort is arguably the most important quality of a motorcycle grip. If you can't grip the handle for hours on end, the grip itself isn't worth buying.
- If you want to be sure that a grip will fit your bike, search for grips specifically designed for your bike's make and model.
Q. Are all motorcycle hand grips universal in design?
A. Some try to be standard grips with a universal fit; others are specific to certain makes and models of motorcycles. To find the right grips for your bike, look for a seller that allows you to search by make and model. While universal grips will technically fit, you may need to make some adjustments for a perfect fit. Grips made specifically for your bike will have a better fit without the need for adjustment.
Q. How do I replace the grip on a motorcycle?
A. You may need to detach some fasteners or adhesive to slide the grip off. The easiest way to remove old rubber grips is to carefully cut them off the motorcycle handlebar with a sharp blade. Then to install your new grips, you’ll want to swish the inside of the grips with rubbing alcohol or soapy water. Be sure to not twist the rubber as you slide it on.
Q. Do I have to use motorcycle hand grips?
A. While you technically don’t have to have motorcycle grips on your handlebars, they make the metal bars more comfortable and safer. If you just grip the plain metal handlebar, you risk losing your grip and having the throttle slip while riding. Your hands will also begin to fatigue from gripping unforgiving metal.
For an attractive and high-grasp set of grips, check out the Arlen Ness Black Fusion Grips.
For sports bikes, we recommend the Renthal G149 Black Full Diamond Firm Compound Sportbike Grip.