LAST UPDATED: October 8, 2019
Best Motorcycle Grips: Add Some Comfort to Your Ride
Improve your hand comfort while riding with aftermarket rubber motorcycle grips
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 8, 2019
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
These Fusion Grips feature billet aluminum detailing on the end caps. Then they have linear knurled rubber on the grip part and integrated air pillows for comfort. You have the option of choosing anodized black or chrome so that they can perfectly match your bike. The interior collar of these grips measures 1 1/4 inches, which makes them universally compatible.
The texture of these grips will give you increased friction to reduce twist throttle slippage and give you better control. The intricate detailing of the billet aluminum adds a stylish touch to the end caps. The detailing is subtle enough though to make these grips versatile, so they look great on several types of bikes.
Because these grips have universal compatibility, you may find it tough to get a perfect fit on your handlebars. The design of these grips give them a rough and firm feel; you may find this tiring on your hands after long periods of riding.
These dual compound grips are a direct OEM replacement of sportbike grips. They come in two color options: black and gray. You can also choose between standard and tapered patterns. The rubber compounds used in these grips are DuPont Kevlar brand resin.
The installation of these grips is simple and straightforward. They are a direct replacement of the stock grips on your sportbike. You can also choose the level of the cushion you want in your grips from firm, medium, and soft. The high-quality resin used in these grips make them softer, have greater traction, and last longer.
These grips don’t come with adhesive, so you’ll need to purchase this separately if you intend to use adhesive during installation. These grips are also best used for periodic use and short rides. They are not designed for long-distance rides. You may find the firm option to be quite hard and rough on your hands when not wearing gloves.
These grips have a custom look with black and chrome detailing. They are designed to work with Harley-Davidson motorcycles from 2008 through 2019. Because of this, they come in either dual cable throttle or electronic throttle options. The soft rubber grip material is perfectly placed to reduce vibration through the handlebars while also providing a non-slip surface.
If you want a pair of durable grips that can withstand long-distance rides, then these are the grips for you. They also come in both contoured and standard styles to give you a custom feel that fits your hand for maximum comfort.
You may find the installation of these grips to be difficult. This is especially the case when it comes to adjusting the throttle. The glue that comes with the grips tends to not hold long term which can result in spinning on the handlebars while riding. They don’t have universal compatibility, so be sure to check that they fit your bike before trying to install them.
These Biltwell grips are available in both 1-inch and 7/8-inch sizes. They are commonly used on Harley-Davidsons, such as FXRs, Dynas, Softails, and Sportsters. The package includes two grips: one with a smaller internal diameter for the clutch side and one with a larger diameter for the throttle.
These grips are really easy to install and make riding a lot more comfortable. Since they are soft and thick, they help dampen much of the vibration associated with riding a motorcycle. They also provide better steering and better throttle response. The rubber is good-quality, and they stick to the bar without adhesive. They also look really good and are a nice customization to your bike.
One problem with these grips is if you install them on the wrong side, you may tear or stretch them. Also, they are not good for small hands or bikes where reaching the controls is difficult. These grips are also big and fatter in the center than many stock grips, which is fine for large hands but not for smaller ones.
These heated grips heat up faster than many rival heated grips due to their construction. You can choose between five different temperature settings, and you can remove the end caps if you want open-ended grips. The rubber is comfortable and secure. These grips have a 12V DC application and are for use on twist throttles.
These grips are really great, and they get nice and warm pretty quickly. If it's above freezing outside, the highest setting can still be too warm, so they're very effective. The wiring is simple, and these grips look and feel more aggressive than stock grips.
These grips are also noticeably larger than OEM, which is good for some users but maybe not all. Also, you may have to pound the grips on the handlebars using a mallet or hammer. In addition, they can drain your battery if you leave them on after riding and you do not put them on a relay.
These dual-layer diamond grips are available in black or gray and in firm or soft variations. They feature a firm compound in the flange, inner sleeve, and outer end for durability. The outer diameter is constructed of softer compounds, which is the area that makes contact with your palm, fingers, and thumb. They are a popular choice for professional racers.
These grips have a great sticky grip. They are high-quality, feel great in your hands, and go on fairly easy. They stick like glue to the handlebars even without grip glue. Overall, they provide a nice, comfortable feeling when you're riding and make the bike feel more nimble. They're also long lasting.
The biggest complaint about these grips is that they aren't truly black. Instead they are very dark gray, which may make them stand out on your bike in a not-so-great way. Some even report they look faded. They are also skinnier than stock grips, which some people don’t like.
Avon Grips are made in the United States and are designed with style and comfort in mind. These custom contour black grips feature seamless rubber grip technology and are made of billet aluminum. The soft serrated pattern allows for better grip, and the push-pull throttle sleeve fits1-inch handlebars.
These grips are fairly easy to install and feel good. They are smaller diameter grips and don't feel nearly as bulky as some fat aftermarket grips do. They have an excellent gripping surface area and are comfortable if you have smaller hands. They also have a clean look to them. In addition, you don't feel any vibration through them, and they can reduce hand fatigue.
However, they are not padded, which may bother some riders. Also, they may not fit properly on some newer bikes, and they don't fit models with handlebar air reservoirs and Schrader valves. They are also super tight on certain models, and some users have had to trim them to make them fit.
AMA champion Jeff Emig designed these grips, which come in several different colors, including orange/white, blue/white, black/yellow, and light grey/graphite. They feature the V2 lock-on grip system and are simple to install and remove. The company also guarantees 100 percent slip-free performance.
These are not old-style, soap-and-slip-on type of grips. The right side comes with adapters for different cables, while the left side slides on easy and clamps down using a hex bolt. They are very comfortable and longer-lasting than traditional glue-on hand grips. They also look really good on your bike.
One issue with these grips is that the white ones get dirty pretty quickly. They're also a little firm for some riders, and they are not universal so they aren't compatible with all bikes. In addition, you may want to get extra grip screws if you plan on taking the grips off and on frequently, as the provided screws are soft and have a tendency to round out.
- 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.