However, there are riders who find grips uncomfortable during road trips as well as riders, like myself, who don’t like the simplicity of the stock grips.
Why Riders Buy Aftermarket Grips
Have you ever went on a road trip for at least 150 miles on your motorcycle and felt discomfort in your wrist or hands?
Some would say the discomfort or the numbness comes from bad hand position or bad body posture on the bike. Others would say the pain and fatigue comes from the constant shock and vibrations of the bar.
Reasons why could be one or the other or a combination of both, but either way OEM grips are not vibration resistant.
Types of Aftermarket Grips
Browsing through aftermarket grips is like browsing through free agent players in Madden or NBA 2K — even if there is a type of grip you’re looking for, the availability is endless.
The list below are some common types of grips that can serve as a starting point for your search,
- ISO Grips: Made with a vibration-isolating feature designed for long distance comfort that relieves pressure and discomfort on the rider’s hands.
- Billet Rubber Grips: This grip is anodized with various color schemes and includes a layer of rubber, thus bringing the best of both worlds — style and comfort.
- Heated Grips: Comes with a wiring kit that connect to your motorcycle’s battery, allowing you to regulate your grips’ temperature throughout the seasons.
Pros & Cons of Switching Grips
Choosing the right grips for your motorcycle trips comes with its gains and losses.
Once you’ve found the pair of grips that has the functionality and that matches the look and feel you are going for, do keep in mind if installation and removal will be a painless process.
Just in case you want to put your bike up for sale, you’ll have the option to reinstall the OEM grips.
Below are some common pros and cons when switching to aftermarket grips.
- Comfort: Most aftermarket grips have an anti-vibration feature, which reduces fatigue and numbness in your wrist or hands.
- Control: Depending on the material that the grip is made of, it will reduce the friction and prevent your hands from slipping.
- Schemish Look: Endless variety of colors and designs that will give your bike some style points.
- Endless Variety: Which free agent player is it going to come down to?
- Wear of Paint: If your bike isn’t stored in a garage or covered, be careful not to leave it exposed in the sun for too long as the paint on grips can begin to fade. Conversely, sometimes the faded paint gives off a unique look.
- Measurements: Although there are many universal grips, make sure to check the length of the grips as well as the length of your handlebars so that when installing, the grips aren’t too long or too short. I’ve bought a pair of grips before in which I had to shave off some of the metal from the handlebar so that the grip could properly fit.
Choosing the Right Grips
Now that you know the type of grips available as well as the pros and cons for switching to aftermarket grips, choosing the right grips becomes a painless process when you can answer the following:
- Typically, how long is your commute?
- Are you an all-season rider?
- Are you looking for style or comfort?
Just to reiterate, you don’t need to change your grips, but if you’re going to be taking longer trips, then a pair of aftermarket grips will increase your comfort.
If you want to add a personal touch in the steering region of your bike without changing your grips, one alternative is to add bar ends. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, so the customization schemes are endless.
Bar ends are known for protecting your handlebars/grips as well as for regulating the vibrations that come from your engine.
Another alternative would be to replace the stock levers for shorty levers or a different color full-length lever.
Feel free to drop a comment below. Tell us about your favorite grips and don’t hesitate to share pics.
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