I want to get some new grips

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Go to any bike shop and you can find a good pair of replacement grips for $6-12. You should be able to find some that are more comfortable than the stock ones. eBay usually has a number of dealers selling grips, too. The Pro Grips brand is quite popular among club members, as are Oury Grips. The Pro Grips have a relatively smooth surface, as opposed to the individual pads offered by the Ourys (similar to the waffle sole on Nikes). Another option is Grip Puppies, which are foam pads that slip over standard grips.

For grips that help smooth out vibration, see Reducing handlebar and footpeg vibration.

Removing bar ends: DON'T. A lot of members go through lots of work drilling, hammering, even using dynamite to remove the bar ends in order to remove the OEM grips. There's really no need, unless you plan to keep those old grips (but why?). You can easily cut them off carefully with a utility knife, then slip the new grips on with soapy water or hairspray. Another reason to cut them off is that some are glued on. There have been reports of one side being glued on while the other wasn't.

To remove: Take a sharp utility knife and cut off the old grips from the bar up. That is, do not cut down into the grip; work the edge of the blade under the grip and cut in an upward motion, to avoid scratching the bars or damaging the throttle tube.

Then take your new grips and apply a little soapy water to the inside of the grip and to the bar itself. You can also use hairspray, should you have some Extra Super Hold left over from the 80's. The soapy water or hair spray will make it easy to slide the new grips on, then after a few hours will dry to leave a good seal that will keep those grips stuck on there. Some members have reported slippage using hair spray, although most haven't. If you have some spray adhesive around, that would be a good alternative. Before you affix them permanently, see the first Note below.

Notes:

  • Make sure the right grip isn't so long that it makes the throttle stick. You can cut off a couple mm with a (pick one: razor blade, utility knife, scalpel, sawzall) if you need to. Be sure to TEST THE THROTTLE RETURN before you get in real traffic. There is generally no problem with this on EX250s (with either Oury or Pro Grips), but you may run into it on other bikes.
If you should have to do some trimming, insert a socket of the approximate correct diameter, so you have something solid inside the rubber to prevent it from folding. Then, put a ring of masking tape around the grip to give you a good, straight line to follow when you do the cutting.
  • If you find that the grips still slide after giving them a good amount of time to dry, you may have used a bit too much hairspray. Pull the grip off, wipe off the excess hairspray, then quickly try to shove the grip back on. Try not to do this 30 minutes away from home, in case the grip doesn't want to go all the way on.
  • The left and right grips do not have the same inner diameter, so don't frustrate yourself trying to get the left-hand grip onto the throttle; it won't fit. The diameter of the bar and grip is smaller on the left side, but the bar end is the same size on both sides. It may be difficult to get the grip over the bar end on the left side because the bar end is much larger than the grip. A lot of soap and twisting should do the trick.
  • Any fun-colored gel grips you get will inevitably be some shade of gray in a week or two.
  • One trick you can try is to use compressed air and blow it under the grip. Lift up the outboard edge of the grip and jet some air under there. Working quickly, you can have a grip on or off in seconds, with no residues to worry about.

Replacing the grips

There are several ways to do this job; here's one of them. It works.

This process is being shown an a Yamaha Maxim. Yes, some of our members do have more than one bike. The main difference between the two is that the Ninja has bar ends, but the procedure is the same. We will repeat:
You DO NOT have to remove your bar ends to change the grips.

As you can see, the old grips were starting to split on the ends, and were feeling loose.

Grip1.jpg

Since you probably won't be trying to save the old grips, just cut them off.

Grip2.jpg

Be careful when cutting off the grip on the throttle side, as the throttle tube is plastic. In this picture you can see a line where a previous owner started to cut into the tube. Luckily, it's not deep enough to be a concern.

Grip3.jpg

Here are the new grips. Pro-grip 719's. The owner already had a set on his Ninja and liked them. They cost $13.50 at a local Honda dealer. You don't have to buy everything on the internet.

Grip4.jpg

To aid in installing the grips, use hairspray or spray adhesive. This not only holds the grips in place once dry, it also keeps you from having to remove the bar ends. The hairspray allows the grips to slide over the bar ends on the Ninja.

Grip5.jpg

Before you install the grips, make sure you identify which is the left and which is the right side. As you can see in the following picture, the grip on the right is larger in diameter. This is the grip for the right side. It needs to be bigger for the throttle tube.

Grip6.jpg

The trick is to spray your adhesive into the inside of the grip to help it slide on. Once the hairspray dries it becomes tacky, helping to hold the grip in place.

Grip7.jpg

While the hairspray is still wet, slide the grip over the end of the bar. Do one side at a time, so the 'glue' doesn't have time to dry out.

Grip8.jpg

On the right side, make sure to leave a gap at the end, so the grip doesn't make your throttle stick.

Grip9.jpg

Repeat the process for the left side. Make sure you let the hairspray/glue dry before you ride the bike. On a hot, sunny day this should be about 1/2 an hour or so. Also, make sure the throttle doesn't bind before you ride.

Looking good! Feeling good!

Grip10.jpg