How to Change Hand Grips on a Harley Davidson

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Motorcycle handlebars transmit vibration created by the motor into the rider's hands and wrists. Although most motorcyclists chalk up this phenomena as part of the experience, Harley-Davidson riders know better. Often riding for hundreds of miles at a time, Harley riders rely on their hand grips to negate the vibrations created by the powerful v-twin motor. Some grips are dressed in black, some drip chrome, but in the end, they keep your wrists and hands pain-free. Equally painless is the installation process, which requires a few tools and some free time.

Things You'll Need

  • Torx-25 driver
  • Torx-27 driver
  • Utility knife or razor blade
  • Sandpaper (80 grit)
  • Adhesive solvent

Clutch Grip Replacement

  • Disassemble the clutch lever perch by removing the two Torx-27 screws that secure the clamp to the handlebar. Pull the entire assembly away from the handlebar. Separate the upper and lower switch housings by removing the Torx-25 screws on the bottom of the housings then slide the housings away from the grip.

  • Cut the hand grip lengthwise with a razor or sharp blade and pull the grip off of the handlebar. Using sandpaper and an adhesive solvent, clean the handlebar and remove any remaining adhesive or grip fragments.

  • Slide the new grip onto the handlebar and check that the flanges at the end of the grip line up with the channel in the switch housing. Once aligned, remove the grip and apply adhesive to the inside of the grip.

  • Slide the grip back onto the handlebar, using slight back and forth motions to prevent pushing adhesive up to the switch housing. Align the grip with the housing channels and squeeze the grip firmly to set the adhesive. Maintain pressure for a minimum of 15 seconds before releasing.

  • Reassemble the switch housing, placing the channel in the housing around the grip's flange and tightening the Torx-25 mounting screws. Remount the clutch lever assembly on the handlebar and loosely tighten the handlebar clamp screws. Adjust the angle of the clutch lever to your desired position and fully tighten the clamp screws.

Throttle Grip Replacement

  • Locate the rubber throttle cable covers and push them away from the adjusters. Loosen the adjuster lock nuts and twist the cables clockwise to loosen the tension on the throttle cables, placing the throttle grip at its loosest point.

  • Separate the upper and lower switch housings by removing the Torx-25 screws. Locate the rear cable fitting on the throttle sleeve and lift it upwards to remove the cable end and anchor pin. Repeat to remove the front cable and anchor pin from the throttle sleeve. Slide the throttle sleeve and grip off of the handlebar.

  • Slide the new throttle sleeve onto the handlebar. Connect the front throttle cable to the sleeve, sliding the anchor pin to secure the cable in place. Connect the rear cable and anchor pin. Reassemble the switch housing and tighten the Torx-25 screws to secure it to the handlebar.

  • Twist the throttle cable adjusters counterclockwise to tighten the cable tension then tighten the adjuster lock nuts. Pull the covers over the cable adjusters and test the throttle for proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Protect your motorcycle from damage by placing a soft cloth or blanket over painted surfaces.
  • Refer to a service manual for comprehensive details about this process, throttle cable adjustment specifications and other requirements.
  • If you are not confident in your ability to complete this project, have the work done by a qualified technician.
  • Ensure that the throttle cables are properly adjusted and operating correctly. Improperly adjusted throttle cables could result in a loss of control and may cause serious injury or death.

References

  • The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program; Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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