Let me first start out by saying that I am not a mechanical person, and I take my car, and motorcycle in, for almost all maintenance. But, there are some jobs I can do on my own – as a way to save money and time, plus to have some level of pride. By installing new grips, you can rejuvenate your bike, which will make it easier to ride, and it will look cooler. Fortunately, installing a new set is easy, and here is how you do it.
You should allow yourself a few hours to get the job done, though it should take less time. To get started, find your factory manual and prepare your workstation. That way, you can get started and not have to interrupt the work to look for tools or the manual. Once you are set up, and of course after you bought new grips, comes the fun part. Sometimes, you can pull the grips off with minimal force. Other times, you will need to use butcher-like strength to get them loose. With your tool, loosen the bolt at the end of the bars by just a few turns. If the bar end comes out, you are ready to take off the grips. Honestly, if you have rubber grips, just cut them off as that is the fastest and most pain-free way.
The next part requires a bit more delicacy. You will have to split open your switch housings, aka clamshells. Every bike is different, but generally, you will need to loosen a few fasteners; then, very carefully, separate the halves of the housings. Don’t go crazy here, and use some common sense. There are plenty of delicate electrical parts in the way, and one false move can cause you problems.
After splitting the clamshells, if you are in luck, you can just yank the clutch-side grip off. You may have to give it a strong tug, but it will go. Now, on the side where the throttle is, you need to remove the cable ends out of the cutouts by sliding them out gently.
Once you are at this point, you have done the most frustrating work. If you took off the clamshells, you can put them back now. When you install the new grips, don’t let them twist as you install them, especially when dealing with the left side. As you nearly have the grip on the bars, slide it on very carefully, otherwise, it could get damaged. At this point, if you have bar-end weights, bolt them back on. Open and close the throttle a few times, and let it snap back to position; this will ensure that the sticky rubber isn’t stopping the throttle from operating at its best. Don’t worry too much about glue. Just use water and a tad of soap when putting on your grips. It’s cheap, and it’s effective.
It must be mentioned, don’t hop on your ride and tear down the road just yet! Don’t touch the grips; leave them alone, and the longer the better. If they haven’t locked into place, you can take them off, clean them out and try again using less lube. If you used alcohol to lock them into place, you are probably okay as it evaporates quickly, and you should be ready to go in minutes.