cure for BMW 800GS skinny grips

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Gangplank, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    So I got my F8GS about 3 or 4 weeks ago. I've put about 1900 miles on it so far and I have very few complaints. One thing that did bug me was the size of the grips. Having ridden BMW's for years I really liked the fatter grips on my F650's dakar heated grips. They were the ones with repetitive ridges or discs... whatever you want to call them.

    Anyway, the F8GS has these really skinny grips. They seem more like street grips than dual sport grips. Been thinking about a solution but you can't just change grips because the rubber grip is bonded to the inner heated grip element. So....

    I had thought about a set of foam covers I saw on a thread around here, but didn't think they would last and more importantly didn't like the look. Also thought about making a set of neoprene skins but figured I would loose too much heat output from the headed grips and it wouldn't be inexpensive or all that easy to do.

    Then riding along the other day I came up with a solution. I stopped by the local dirt bike shop and found a set of these:

    Renthal Soft Compound dirt bike grips (diamond pattern)
    [​IMG]

    Seemed like they were thin and streatchy enough...

    Here are a few shot of what they looked like before I cut them up:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    figured I could just cut the ends off and streatch the remaining tube over the existing BMW skinny F8 grips.

    Here is what they look like cut and installed on the bike:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Look pretty good if you ask me. :evil And the price is CBOA approved at $24 all said and done. In the end I had to buy two sets of grips because motorcycle grips come in two different thicknesses - one for the throttle side (thin grip) and one for the clutch side (thick grip). I wound up using the two throttle side grips. A bit of simple green and they slid right not. Took a ride and tested the heated grips. They are definitely thicker than the stock grips. These things are cushy and sticky!!! :clap The heated grips work perfectly too!

    Note: I used the soft compound grips, and they are pretty definitely on the thick side. I have big hands so they work perfect for me as the thin grips cramped my hands. These come in soft, medium and hard = light grey, dark grey and black. There are other options out there that might work but these were simple and easy. The mediums might work, in fact the off side grips I still have might work if someone worked at it enough. (anyone want to try send me a PM....) I will probably peel the grip condoms back and spray some hairspray on tomorrow just to make sure they stay put where I need em.

    Oh, right one other thing. Once installed they are about the same thickness or circumfrence as the outter most ridge or grip end. Maybe slightly smaller. This is perfect for me as I often find my hands resting against the outside of the grips. now they ride right up on that ridge and I don't even notice. Nice! :freaky
    #1
  2. DolphinJohn

    DolphinJohn Caveman

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    Just wondering why you wouldn't just get Grip Puppies for $9, just trim them to length, slide 'em on? And they're black.
    #2
  3. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    Umm... because they are foam. How long can they last. They are $9 a pair. Mine were $23 for two sets of grips. They are rubber and I expect they will last... umm.... for years probably.
    #3
  4. DolphinJohn

    DolphinJohn Caveman

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    Good point.
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  5. Ride-a-lot

    Ride-a-lot Been here awhile

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    You should have waited for the shop to get some black grips in. :ksteve
    #5
  6. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

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    I made my own grip puppies. I was lucky to have come across some neoprene foam sleeves a few years back in a surplus bin. They were the perfect diameter and were about 18" long. I bought a couple of them for $1 each and have made sleeves for three bikes out of them now. Still have another set on hand should any ever need to be replaced. The first set I made are still on my RS after four or more years of use and are still serviceable.

    I just wish I'd bought the entire stock so I could've had a lifetime supply and some to pass on to others.

    I'll keep this idea filed in memory for after I use up my last set. :thumb
    #6
  7. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    had my choice of light grey(soft), dark grey (med), or black (hard compound). There are other grips that would work by Scott, Smith, etc. Got these because they were soft & steatchy. The medium compound would likely work. I actually like the two tone look... And these are the thinest I could find. :lol3
    #7
  8. Singletrack_mind

    Singletrack_mind Cave Man

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    Good on you!

    I had been thinking of splitting a pair of the soft ProGrip superbike grips I like lengthwise & saftey wiring them on . . . I'd never have thought you could stretch them enough to get them over the outside in one piece. This is excelent, I'm off to buy another set!

    Something else that recommends this idea over grip pups or neoprene is that the soft rubber diamond pattern grip surface is much tackier, and alows for a secure grip on the bars with less force exerted by your hand. Spongier grips can actually lead riders to grip harder, subconciously searching for a feeling of control. This was studied back in the late 70s/early eighties with respect to road racing bicycles, and is the reason foam grips came and went as a fad in that sport.
    #8
  9. Darkjedip

    Darkjedip Designated Thread Killer

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    I have a pair of 4 year old grip puppies that are still as good as new. They are so durable that I installed them on my DL1k and then moved them to my DL650 6 months ago and still am using them.
    #9
  10. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    How many miles on and off road? In 3 weeks I put 2000 miles (500 off road probably) on the BMW skinny grips and they had some wear showing. But then again because they were so friggin small I had to grip tightly.

    The new ones are grippy... tacky so I can grip really lightly.

    But hey, to each his own. Use whatever you like. If I decide I don't like these I'll try the grip guppies. :kumbaya
    #10
  11. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    Nice. :thumb

    I ended up using some (road) bicycle bar wrap which thickened them up nicely. We'll see how durable it is. I'll try the grips next if it doesn't work out.
    #11
  12. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

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    At least 65k miles, which is long than the rubber pro grip 719s on the other bikes and the ISO grips on the cruisers (the rubber just gets icky and peely). There are varying trypes of foam. Grip puppies use closed cell foam.
    #12
  13. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    I've used tennis grips as well: many choices of texture, roll on, and self-adhesive.
    #13
    foogr01 likes this.
  14. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    more importantly:

    Many people have replaced the stock heated grip. it's done with routine over the GSpot forum.

    then you can choose the grip your choice, even the old style OEM grip if you choose.

    nothing difficult about it.

    [​IMG]

    entire thread here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=501954&highlight=grips

    the process is the same for the 1200GS, carefully peel the old grip away, etc.

    you'll need two right hand grips.
    #14
  15. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    found this as well:

    <HR style="COLOR: #575757" SIZE=1> <!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->
    Just did this on my bike recently - super easy. I should have done it a long time ago.

    BMW part number for 18 ribbed grip: (about $8 each)
    32721458396
    #15
  16. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    Umm... I think they are different. Different bike and different grips. You can't peel the F8GS grips off the heating element as far as I can tell. The heading element is bonded to it. You can cut it off but if you cut a wire you buy a new set of grips.

    Either way you want both ways will work. I found this Renthal grip a sleeve an easy fix. Heated grips still work. :D
    #16
  17. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

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    I like your idea. And I like the white. The more grime they get on them, the better they'll look. Gonna go looking for some tomorrow.
    #17
  18. cisco

    cisco old fat guy

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    I replaced my stock grip with pro grip 7xx rally. I cut the stockers right off and installed two throttle side grips. My surgerized hand feels much better.
    Cisco
    #18
  19. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

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    I like your solution but since you asked...

    Foam grips last a LONG time. I nearly have 20K on these ones. $7 at Cycle Gear for a set. The only real drawback is after a heavy rain they absorb some water, but truthfully not nearly as much as you would think. Also, the foam helps absorb vibrations as well.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    Yeah, that's what I did. Two throttle side grips but didn't need to do the surgery on the F800 grips because these are streatchy and I wanted a thicker grip but not huge. For me the extra bit thicker is perfect... large hands.


    Depending on how thick you want them to be I have a set of the brake side ones. I bought two sets and used the throttle side grips for mine. You could easily use the brake side ones with a little simple green and just a touch more effort. They'd be thicker than mine but not by much. Not sure what it would cost to ship but they'd fit in a USPS standard rate 2 day box. I think they were $12 bucks locally. Looks like $10 online. :freaky
    #20