LAST-MINUTE GRIP FIXES
At the track last week I tore my left grip. I had spare grips in my toolbox but no grip glue. The guy parked next to me was a contractor, and he said that he had spray paint and that would work. I didn’t believe him, so I safety-wired my torn grip up like a mummy and raced my second moto. My hands now look like a Guy Fieri hamburger. My question is, does spray paint work?
Yes. This is an old-school trick—but not the oldest. Of all the chemically dependent measures used to install grips, paint is the only method we would trust to use 30 minutes later. The best paint to use is clear Krylon. The enamel in Krylon dries instantly and is the least harsh on Kraton Polymer (the material that most grips are made of). Kraton Polymer is a faux rubber developed by the Shell Chemical Corporation. Kraton is the most commonly used thermal plastic rubber (TPR). A tacky Kraton rubber grip will never become hard and slick because it dries out with age as if it were made of real rubber. You must use enamel paint. Lightly spray the inside of the grip and the bar. Immediately slide the grip into position. The grip glues to the bar instantly as the paint dries. Using clear paint means no ugly over-spray.
In a pinch, you can mount grips on your bars by taking strips of cloth electrical tape and wrapping them around the bar in a spiral. Then, moisten your finger with mineral spirits, paint thinner or straight gas and wipe the inside of the grip. Slide the grip over the tape. The gasoline activates the glue embedded in the cloth tape, and the tolerance fit of sliding the grip over the cloth makes for a secure fit. Always use safety wire for security.
The smartest move is to carry a set of bolt-on grips, such as ODI, Torc1 or A’ME grips, in your toolbox. This eliminates the need to wait for glue to dry.