That was easy.

Exactly what you'll say after removing the handlebar grips on your dirt bike or ATV. It is indeed a rather simple process and the time involved really depends on how you installed them.

Before removing the grips first take off the safety wire, if used. Many riders use safety wire to securely fasten the grips to the handlebar. Use wire cutters and they'll be off in a snap, literally. Next, take an X-acto knife or razor blade and slit the entire length of the grip on the top and the bottom. Peel the old grip off.

It's time to remove and replace these handlebar grips

If you figured out the air gun trick or you use lock-on grips then you're ready to install the new grips. But most riders use the tried-and-true method of glue. Thus you'll have some glue residue you'll need to clean off. Depending on how old the glue is it might just crumple off using a coarse rag. But most likely you'll need a cleaner like a scouring pad and some water. It shouldn't take but a few minutes to get the glue residue off.

Before you install new grips, check out the existing throttle tube. This is a perfect time to replace the throttle tube, if necessary. If you're rolling a plastic tube those tend to crack and break over time. But if you've got the slick aluminum version, carry on.

That's it. Told you it was easy.

Oh, now you want instruction on installing handlebar grips? OK.

How to Install Handlebar Grips

That was sort of easy.

What you might say after replacing handlebar grips on your dirt bike or ATV. It's not as simple as removing handlebar grips but in similar fashion the time involved depends on the method of installation.

Most of the time installing handlebar grips is hassle free. But, you cannot simply work them on to the handlebar without extra help. The aforementioned air gun trick is not only cool but takes mere seconds without the mess of glue. In short, by installing handlebar grips using an air gun, the forced air expands the grips enough so they easily stretch around the handlebar and then snuggle them like a python squeezing its prey.

No need for glue, but it's probably best to use twist on safety wire. Check out the video:

The traditional grip installation method uses glue. Actually, this is where, if you're new to the sport, you'll learn about other means to your end installation goal. Some people use spray paint. Others use hair spray. The list goes on. The idea is you need some type of lubrication to get the grips on which then dries and adheres the grip to the handlebar.

Whatever slippery substance you use, it has to dry and cleave the grip to the handlebar. Which is why we suggest glue. Grip glue is not expensive but it can be messy. But so is spray paint. Before doing anything, if you're adding handguards cut the ends of the grip off before sliding on to the handlebar. A grip cutter slices it off clean every time.

Installed grips with ends cut off for handguards

As for actual grip glue you've got two choices: One is more like super glue, the other resembles rubber cement. If you've worked with either for other house projects you'll know rubber cement can get messy and super glue dries quick, so keep that in mind.

Whether using one or the other, generously coat the inside of the grip with the glue (but don't overindulge, excess glue tends to bond with other things, like the throttle tube). Feel free to let a portion fall back into the grip (unless you've clipped off the ends - then don't) as it helps provide extra lubricant as you twist and turn it onto the handlebar. It makes little sense to not immediately put the grips on but it should be noted the super glue style dries quickly so don't wait too long before installing.

Slide the grip on the bar rotating it back and forth like you're opening and closing the throttle. Set it into the final position before the glue dries. The super glue style adheres quickly but if using the rubber cement let it set overnight before riding.

Next, use safety wire to set the grips in place. Most grips provide two grooves (one near the collar; one halfway) specifically for the wire but these Pro Taper grips provide three. It helps to use safety wire pliers otherwise use a regular set of pliers. Wrap a two to three inch cut of wire around the grip in the groove and twist the two ends of the wire together. Tighten the twist using pliers. Use wire cutters to snip the wire ends as short as possible without allowing the wire to unwrap.

Safety wire twisted into the collar of the grip

Position the twisted tail-end of the wire on the bottom of the grip (or into the collar when positioned there) with the ends facing the front to prevent any snagging while riding. Use the pliers to tap the wire ends into the cushion or groove of the grip.

Install Handlebar Grips Overview

  1. Coat inside of grips with glue
  2. Slide grips onto handlebar and position them to personal preference
  3. Use safety wire to tie-down grips

Lock-On Grips

Of course, you can skip all the above if you want to use Odi Lock-on grips which includes the throttle tube. The jury is mostly in with positive reviews on this new style of grip that simplifies the installation process and easily locks in to place. However, the price is twice that of traditional grips and some buyers have had issues installing them on the clutch side.

Written By: AndrewT