How To Change Bar Grips On A Dirt Bike / Motocross Bike

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So you’re not sure how to change bar grips on a dirt bike? This is a very simple task that even your Grandma could do, yet there seems to be a wide variety of opinions on the best way to go about it. I’m going to share the technique I use which works perfectly fine. And I’ll also throw in a few alternative methods just in case my preferred way doesn’t suit your taste buds.

I’m sure everyone has their favorite grip, but I personally really like the Scott half-waffle grips that you can buy for cheap on Amazon.  I like that they have recessed ends so they don’t wear and tear as easily, they have a good grip to them, and a large flange.  Really nice.

A few easy steps on how to change the bar grips on a dirt bike

  • Remove the tired old grips. I use a screwdriver to pry them off. Slip the tip under the inside of the grip and tear it off. If there’s glue holding the grip on try spraying some WD40 or contact cleaner inside to break it down. Some people use air guns between the grip and the handle bar to ‘pop’ the grip off. You can also cut it off using a Stanley knife – careful of your digits though!
  • Clean the ends of the handle bars with contact cleaner. This is to get rid of any grime or glue. This is important to ensure a proper bond between the bar ends and new grips.
  • Heat up the new grips. This softens the rubber compound making it easier to manipulate into place. Some people use a hair dryer to do this but since I don’t have hair like David Hasselhoff or a girlfriend I sit ’em up on the dash of my ute with the demister heater cranked up for 5 mins – works a treat.
  • Tip: One of the grips will have a larger tube diameter – this grip is for the throttle side. Don’t mix them up.
  • Next, squeeze a small amount of grip glue (cheap on Amazon) onto the bar ends and inside the warm grip then quickly slide it on with the waffle bits facing upwards. Now twist it around so the waffle grip is facing downwards – this helps smear the glue evenly around the inside. Make sure it’s on straight and wipe away any excess glue. Let it set for approx. 8 hours and you’re ready to ride!

Alternative methods: Some people use spray paint instead of glue which apparently works well. Others prefer not to use glue at all, if this is the case you may need to use the tip of an air compressor between the grip and the handlebar to get the grip on. Once in place use thin safety wire to wrap around and secure the grip to the bar end. Tie it down in 2 or 3 places along the grip and flatten the sharp ends.

Question: How often / when should I change the bar grips on my motocross bike?

Answer: When the grip is torn or spinning loose on the handle bar. Or when the outer rubber has worn away so it doesn’t provide sufficient grip especially in the wet. Or, when you become bored and decide to bling your bike up with some different colored bar grips.

New grips don’t cost much to replace so make sure you change ’em as needed. Often they’re the only things keeping you connected to the bike and could make the difference between hanging on or bailing.

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Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

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