Get a Grip! Aftermarket Grips

From Gadget

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What to do with the extra parts???

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the stock Vulcan grips. It's just that aftermarket grips can give you a "different" custom look. Kuryakyn happened to be my choice. These are high quality pieces that you can expect to last a very long time. They also happen to match Kuryakyn's highway pegs (see separate write-up). Find them at

Portions of the following were written for the VROC Newsgroup by Mike Mavrigian


To remove stock grips:

On Nomad & Classic the chrome plastic end cap is screwed on with a reverse thread. Rotate it "clockwise" to remove the cap. If it's stubborn, use a large pair of vice grips to unscrew the cap (remember,turn to remove). Use a towel to avoid scraping the cap because we'll be putting it to use when finished. Curious? Click Here

Gadget's Note: A small strap wrench from Harbor Freight works well to unscrew the end cap.

(Note, if you're replacing grips on a BUBF the above does not apply. Pre Classic it's lefty loosey, righty tighty. Got it?)

Left side: You have two options here. The quickest is to use a razor to slit along the length of your stock rubber grip material and peel the rubber off. (If your end caps are particularly stubborn cutting the material first makes cap removal simpler.) The less destructive method is to insert a smallish Phillips screwdriver or other item "under" the stock grip, rotate it around the bar to break any glue free and then simply twist off the grip. Method just depends on whether you ever have any intention of using the stock grip again.

Gadget's Note: Some people have had luck using an air compressor to shoot air between the grip and the handlebar. Your mileage may vary.

Use a razor to scrape off all old adhesive from bar. Lightly scuff bar with 400-600 grit sandpaper, 3M scotchbrite or emery cloth. Wipe clean.

Right side: Remove two phillips-head screws from outboard side of right control box. Bottom screw is hard to reach. Be careful to avoid roaching phillips slots! Remove bottom phillips head screw located under control box (this screw holds small brace place that secures throttle cable housings). Allow brace place to swing down off of the left throttle cable housing. Carefully separate the split control box housing. Disconnect the left and right throttle cable ferrules from the grip. Slide grip off of handlebar.

Installing left grip: Kuryakyn has made some changes designed, apparently, to make the grips more generic for installation. If your grips are provided with "Metal" spacers (packed inside the left grip) please use the "Old" installation method.

If the left grip came to you with a hard rubber tube stored in the left grip please use the "New" Installation instructions. The change does not affect the look or quality of the grip when installed on your bike.

Instructions for Older model Kuryakyn Grips (metal spacer)

The grip comes with several aluminum spacers (stored inside grip). Remove both along with tube of glue and two screws (all stored inside grip when shipped).The only spacer you will need is the one with a chamfered edge and a large center hole (the one that fits over the short exposed male thread stud at end of handlebar). You will not need the other two spacers or the two screws. Insert the spacer into the grip and bottom this out at end of grip cavity.

Now go to "all" types to complete the job

Instructions for Newer model Kuryakyn Grips (plastic spacer)

Measure the length of the exposed handlebar from the switch housing to the end of the bar. Now measure the depth of the grip. Subtract the length of the bar from the grip depth. This is the length you will cut the rubber spacer to. Cut the spacer from the length of rubber tube stored in the left grip when shipping the product. A razor blade or sharp knife will work just fine. Insert the spacer into the left grip and push all the way into the grip. Test fit the grip on the bar and adjust the length of the spacer as needed.

Now go to "all" types to complete the job.

All Types:

DO NOT APPLY GLUE AT THIS POINT. Install grip onto handlebar, fully seating grip next to left control box. Rotate to determine best position (one row of rubber pads should rest against palm and one row should provide support for fingers). Note: If this is going to be a "show" bike you'll probably want to mount the right grip first then match the left grips orientation to it. Matching the orientation will look better while parked but won't be ideal while riding. Your choice.

Orientation decided? Place small piece of masking tape on control box and on forward end of grip. Once position is determined, place alignment marks on tape pieces with pen. Remove grip from handlebar. Place protective cover over gas tank to protect from accidental glue spill. Place beads of Permabond adhesive onto handlebar (three beads running lengthwise on bar, spaced evenly around bar diameter. Beads should be about 3 inches long. start beads close to end of bar, since glue will be pushed forward as you install grip. If you place beads close to forward area, you will have excess glue dripping from front of grip. This glue sets up FAST! Eyeball the alignment marks first, then slip grip onto bar quickly, to full depth, aligning your matchmarks. Do not waste time here, as glue may stick before grip is fully seated if you go too slow. It will stick if you stop..heed this warning. Wipe off any excess glue and allow adhesive to dry for about 15 minutes.

Install right grip:

Note: Kuryakyn threw us a curve recently and modified the grip design slightly. The change moved the rubber pads a little to the left (toward the inside of the bike) which makes adding a Vista Cruise throttle lock more difficult. If you plan to use this throttle lock (there are others available) you'll want to check out Waterrat's instructions.

Slide ISO grip onto handlebar. Engage left and right throttle cable ferrules into grip's black plastic head (ferrules fit into grip head same as originals). Reinstall control box housing, being careful to trap the grip's plastic head flange inside housing. make sure black wire bundle is not being pinched when you re-join split housing. Install the three original screws and tighten. Check throttle operation for free movement and free return. If bind is felt, open split housing and check assembly. No glue or spacers are used on the right grip.

Finally, while you're waiting for the glue to dry on that left grip, grab those stock end caps. Use a Dremel tool or a round file to get rid of the threaded plastic inside. Once cleaned up, pop those puppy's right onto your engine mounting bolts. Right side is at the rear of the engine, left side is at the front. Cool eh?

Thanks to Mike for posting the bulk of this information many moons ago on the VROC newsgroup. He saved me a bunch of typing.



P.S. You may have noticed in the photo on this page I also have lever covers installed. These came from Chilhowee which you can add to your list of "most honorable" vendors.

I had, at first, wanted a "blue" leather to match my FI's tank. Chili (owner) went several extra miles trying to find elk or deer hides that would match. Together we decided it just wasn't worth the extra cost and so I ordered the company's elk lever covers and fringed key fob in black.

As advertised these covers are a much nicer than most (if not all) one size fits all covers. Elk hide is reportedly quite durable (better than deer for the purpose) and has a soft, buttery feel to it. Installation is just about as easy as lacing your shoes.

One small downside... I think I'm going to have to go shopping for some fingerless gloves so I can better feel the caress of these new additions.

What to do with the spare parts???

After you've removed your stock grips you have two lovely chrome caps sitting in your extra parts box. Well, use them to dress up your bike! This tip from Randy Moore, a Delphi Forum Member:

"I took the chrome ends that screw off the stock grips and used a moto-tool (a file will work also) to grind the inside threads (doesn't take much) down untill they fit over the motor mount bolts on each side of the bike. They resemble the billet pieces from F&S but cost nothing."

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