MXA TEAM TESTED: MARTY SMITH RE-GRIP GRIP
WHAT IS IT? A brand-new motocross grip resulting from a collaboration between Marty Smith and ODI.
WHAT’S IT COST? $12.95.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Marty Smith’s grips.
(1) Original concept . As three-time AMA National Champion Marty Smith worked with students at his Marty Smith Motocross Clinic, (619) 659-0273, he came to realize that the hardest thing to teach riders was to re-grip the throttle as they moved their arm through the full range of motion when turning on the gas. No matter how many times he demonstrated the art of re-gripping to stay in the attack position, he could see that his students had trouble grasping the concept. That is how he got the idea to design a grip with a raised indicator bar molded into the grip to help riders know where their hands were in relationship to the rotation of the throttle.
(2) Gripping pattern. At first glance, the Marty Smith Re-Grip looks like a traditional half-waffle grip. The grip itself is made from a medium-density material that feels very cushy, and there are safety-wire grooves to secure it to the bars. You don’t notice anything unusual until you wrap your hand around it. That is when you feel the raised bar on one side of the grip. The bar is 1/4-inch tall and runs the full length of the grip.
(3) Feel. Every test rider was confused about the raised bar. Some thought that it was supposed to be used inside the palm for better traction. Some wanted to put it at their fingertips to use for leverage, and some thought that it was to rest the base of their hand against. None of these guesses were correct. The indicator bar should fit snugly in the joint between your fingers and your hand. Marty Smith explains, “Think of it in the same way that you think of the hump that Ryan Villopoto has on his KX450F’s seat. You don’t sit on the hump; instead, you use the hump to gauge where you are on the saddle.”
(4) Performance. The raised bar is properly installed when it is in the 4 o’clock position (when you are standing up). This location keeps your elbows up and gives you something to register against when you turn the throttle on. It should be noted that Marty Smith didn’t design the raised bar to be used for leverage on the grip. It is there to remind you where your hand is so you can quickly get it back in the proper place. At first, the MXA test riders struggled with the raised bar. At times, it made the grip feel fat, but only when the rider hadn’t re-gripped. It didn’t take long to adjust to, however. And, with the help of the raised bar, test riders learned to determine when they had re-gripped properly. We liked it because it made us think.
(5) Makers. The Re-Grip is made in the USA by ODI.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? On the throttle side, we were able to adjust the position of the raised bar by rotating the throttle housing to suit our tastes. We also had test riders who used a razor blade to trim the raised bar down to suit their dainty hands.
Marty Smith came at the grip from a completely different perspective from all the other grip designers. He started with a basic half-waffle grip and turned it into a performance and training tool.