Motorcycle Grip Removal and Installation

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July 6, 2010 | By: Bud Milza

No question about it. Sooner or later the OEM rubber grips on your Harley will be totally spent and need to be replaced.  Whether you choose to go with stock replacement or aftermarket grips, the procedure to switch them out will remain the same. 

Many of you call us for assistance while in the process of switching out grips but with all the calls we get, sometimes it’s difficult to walk everyone through the process in detail from start to finish. Rather than rush you through it, I’ve put together some step-by-step instructions for you to follow while changing your grips. This procedure is intended for use on models with cable-operated throttle controls.      

THROTTLE SIDE

  1. Loosen the jam nuts on the adjusters of the throttle and idle cables.
  2. Turn the jam nuts and adjusters until the throttle control is at its loosest point.
  3. Separate the upper and lower switch housings by removing the screws on the top and bottom. 
  4. Unhook the ferrules and cables from the grip and lower housing. Be careful not to lose the ferrules because they’re not connected to the cables (this is a good time to inspect the condition of your cables and make sure they’re properly lubricated).
  5. Slide the old grip off the handlebar. A replacement throttle sleeve is available if you don’t want to reuse the stock one. 
  6. Slide the new grip onto the handlebar.
  7. Insert the ferrules and cables into the new grip.
  8. Reassemble the upper and lower switch housings, making sure the grip twists smoothly in the housings.
  9. Adjust the throttle cables and tighten the jam nuts.

CLUTCH SIDE

  1. Separate the upper and lower switch housings by removing the screws on the top and bottom. 
  2. The factory grip is glued onto the handlebar so use a razor or sharp knife to slice it down the middle and peel it off the bar.
  3. Use a piece of 80- to 100-grit sandpaper to remove any excess adhesive or grip rubber that may be stuck to the bar. This will also create a rough surface, giving the fresh adhesive a place to stick.
  4. Clean the bar and the inside of the new grip with a mild solvent such as glass cleaner, then allow them to dry completely.
  5. Test fit the new grip and make sure it lines up properly in the channel of the switch housings.
  6. Remove the grip from the handlebar and apply some Griplock Adhesive to the inside of the grip. Be sure to apply it evenly to ensure a tight fit.
  7. In one smooth motion, slide the grip into position on the handlebar. Twist it back and forth a little to help distribute the glue evenly, then squeeze firmly and hold it for around 15 to 20 seconds. You’ll feel the glue set up quickly. However, I recommend waiting a minimum of 10 to15 minutes to cure before operating the bike.
  8. Reassemble the upper and lower switch housings, making sure the grip is positioned properly in the switch housings. 

Browse J&P’s huge selection of motorcycle grips. As always, if you have questions or need assistance picking out grips for your motorcycle, don’t hesitate to chat with a J&P technician via Live Chat. Or call J&P’s technical support staff at (800) 397-4844.  

Comments: 12 Comments | Categorized Under: Tech Tips

Comments (12)

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Are these instructions good for a Honda GL 1500? Thanks.

i’m with Lady HOG. how do you get the clutch side grip off without damage when your just changing bars?

Great info. Any plans on a similar article for the newer non-cable type grips?

What is the procedure if new handlebars are being installed and you already have custom grips, (Kuryakyn, etc)?

well if a grip is a tiny bit loose it can be a problem, i bought a supposed super grip glue called Scott “Grip Stick” that the good shop i got it from swore by. good ting i tested it before riding, it was no good at all on the clutch side when reefed on. yikes!
so i went back to old faithful- 3M HIGH TEMPERATURE weatherstripping contact cement for car moldings- this stuff will even stick to the plastic on the bottom of HD seats if you roughen the surface, and is good to 400 degrees or something, and makes one heck of a bond. the thinner grip cement just wouldn’t hold because of a slight loose fit I think.

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