It’s amazing how something as small as a dirt bike grip can have a notable effect when riding your dirt bike and that choosing the right size for your grip is directly related to a better riding experience.
That’s why it’s no surprise when many other riders ask, are all dirt bike grips the same size?
Dirt bike grips are not the same in size and differ depending on size, brand, pattern, and density. However, the handlebars they are attached to are universal in size, alternating between the standard 7/8″ and 11/8″. When attaching dirt bike grips to your handlebars, grip glue is extremely handy.
What are dirt bike grips?
Dirt bike grips are the tubes you slide on your grip at the end portion of your bars.
The handlebar grips on your dirt bike play a significant role in your riding experience.
It’s one of three touchpoints where your body makes contact with your dirt bike and keeps you from falling off your bike.
Not to mention it’s directly related to how you shift, turn, and brake on your bike.
A dirt bike grip is usually made of softer materials like rubber, which absorb shocks and reduce vibrations.
They’re also thicker than motorcycle grips to prevent them from slipping off the bars, especially during a rockier ride.
With the proper dirt bike grip, you can easily steer your handlebars in the direction you want, which is extremely handy when riding on slippery and muddy terrain.
The right grip will also lessen your chance of arm and body fatigue, cramping, and blistering.
Are all dirt bike grips the same size?
Not all dirt bike grips are made in the same sizes, just like dirt bikes don’t come in a uniform size.
Typical handlebar diameters are 7/8″ (or 11/8″ for larger bikes), but that’s just the inside diameter of the grip.
You also have to consider the outside size of your dirt bike since that’s the one you’ll be holding for every ride.
There are two factors that affect the outside size or “feel” of the grip:
Soft grips have the highest grip and shock absorption, but they can wear out your gloves faster.
Medium grips are the middle ground; they don’t have as much grip as the soft ones, but they don’t wear out gloves as fast as the former.
If you’re unsure what to choose, this is the safest bet.
Hard grips last longer than the other two density varieties, but they have the least grip and shock absorption among the three.
- Pillow Top
The pillow top has a uniform square design and is usually seen on ProTraper grips.
- Full Waffle
The full waffle pattern has uniform rectangles for design and is built for riders with large hands.
They also have the finest grip, especially on wet and muddy tracks.
- Full Diamond
This pattern has uniform diamonds all around the grip and gives a smooth grip to riders.
It’s not the best choice for muddy and wet terrains, but they’re perfect if you have small hands.
- 50/50 Waffle and Diamond (aka Half Waffle)
This 50/50 pattern is usually a diamond pattern all over the grip, with the rectangles from the waffle pattern dominating half of the grip.
The waffle and diamond pattern combo is popular among dirt bike riders because of the proven comfort and steady grip they provide during rides.
When to replace dirt bike grips
Brand new dirt bikes usually have a pair of stock standard hand grips installed on the handlebars.
But these grips usually wear and tear fast, so most riders buy upgraded and branded hand grips that are more durable and comfortable than the factory ones.
If you’re not buying a new dirt bike and want to know when to call it quits on your dirt bike grip, it’s pretty simple to tell.
If the tread on your grips is about to fall apart, or if the grip feels loose and they slip easily when you grip the handlebars, it’s time to buy a new one.
How to choose the right dirt bike grip
Choosing the right dirt bike grip size starts with determining the size of your handlebars.
As I mentioned, the average size of handlebars for dirt bikes is 7/8″ and 11/8″ for bigger dirt bikes.
Once you know the size of your handlebars, you can narrow your search to grips with sizes made specifically for your dirt bike.
Don’t go one size up or down because the grip will slip easily and won’t do its function of, well, gripping.
You can narrow down your selection based on the type of pattern and density you want from the varieties I listed earlier.
How to install your dirt bike grip
First, remove the existing grip on your dirt bike. You can use a flat-end screwdriver to twist the grip.
Keep wringing it until it’s a bit loose, and you can easily pull it off the handlebar.
When removing the grip, I don’t recommend using a cutter.
It will ruin your grips and may scratch your handlebar if you lose control of the blade.
When the old grip is gone, thoroughly clean the leftover debris on your handlebars, such as glue residue, with contact cleaner and a scouring pad.
If your bike’s handlebar has a few scratches, you can file the metal bars until they’re smooth so you can easily slip on the grips.
Do you need glue for dirt bike grips?
Personally, I’d say yes, you need grip glue to attach your dirt bike grips.
The glue will give your grip extra security so it won’t fall off in the middle of your ride.
It’s no big deal if you don’t have grip glue, though.
As an alternative, you can use spray paint – it will stick just as well.
So, once you ensure your handlebar is smooth and spotless, you can coat it with some grip glue or spray paint.
Slide the grip onto the handlebar with the tread facing upward.
To slightly soften stiff grips, blow heat on them with a hair dryer and see if the grips slip on your handlebars.
Just remember to use the hair dryer at a distance, or the rubber material will burn.
Clean off any excess glue once done, let the adhesive dry for a minimum of eight hours before taking your bike for a ride, and you’re done.
Dirt bike grips come in different sizes, patterns, densities, and brands, and these factors are something you should carefully consider when choosing what grips to buy for your bike.
A grip that is too small or uncomfortable in your hands will adversely affect your riding experience.
You could have difficulty controlling your handlebars or experience body fatigue and hand blisters faster.
Once you’ve purchased a brand-new dirt bike grip, you should test it as soon as you can to see if it’s the right fit for your dirt bike.
Simply slide off your old dirt bike grip with a screwdriver and thoroughly clean the surface with a contact cleaner.
It is highly recommended to use grip glue to keep your grip securely attached to your handlebars.
Once you apply the glue, wait at least eight hours to dry off the adhesive, and you’re good to go!