Sometimes I lose count of the times I’ve been told to get a grip, well I finally did, in fact I got two! First some history, for me changing grips has been one of the first jobs I have done to any bike, I’ve always been a Renthal guy, that soft diamond pattern has always defined the feel of almost every bike I’ve owned in the last ten o more (OK, many more) years.
I lose count of the number of times I’ve wrestled with glue, safety wire and even air compressors when fitting grips. As the KTM Six Days has just had a brand new set of Pro Taper bars I was left to find some new rubbery bits for my hands to delicately fondle, or rather grab like life itself depended in the familiar, this will result in massive amounts of arm pump fashion.
A little internet based searching reviewed some disturbing images but after a few hours I managed to find this offering from the boffins at Risk Racing. The grips made bold claims about no glue, no safety wire, and the product demo video, which I can only assume was directed by a 15 year old school boy was somehow as entertaining as it was informative. That said, perhaps watch at home, when your partner or children are not in the room.
So after the clever marketing, I decided to stump up the 15 beer tokens required to get my hands on a set of the Fusion Grip Tech MX Grips. A brief wait and a not so next day delivery later the grips arrived. The fitting instructions were very clear, essentially there are two stickers you apply to the clutch side and the throttle tube respectively. The instructions say use the larger on the throttle tube, mine were exactly the same size, after remembering some secondary school science and that our friend Einstein stated everything is relative I thought perhaps larger didn’t mean physically different in dimension perhaps the folks at Risk had developed some kind of transitive material which modulates proportion based on say alcohol consumption? Alas, 3 cans of falling down pop later and to my eye the piece on the right was definitely bigger, and the one on the left smaller, or further away. Anyway I digress. I fitted the same size stickers to the bars without issue. I got more overlap on the clutch side but as I imagine the “activator” spray dissolves these stickers into a glue stronger than King Kong on steroids I don’t think it will make much of a difference.
You can see the level of overlap in the image above. Next it was time to coat the sticker with activator spray. The activator acts as a lubricant allowing the grips to be slid on to the bars with relative ease. Simply coat the sticker and spray a little activator into the grip, shake and discard excess from the grip and slide the grip on. In less than a minute I had the clutch grip mounted… That’s is by far a personal best for me!
You need to leave the installed grips to cure for 30 minutes and after that they are ready for riding. There is no need to install safety wire but that said two handy safety wire grooves exist should regulations require the use of safety wire.
The Fusion grips have another need design feature aimed at reducing blistering on your thumb knuckle. Essentially the shape of the grip bends away from your thumb, it definitely does make it more comfortable, it’s quite a pronounced effect on the throttle side as you can see from below, at first I thought I hadn’t got the grip seated right but closer inspection showed that I had.
Note the picture above also shows a grip donut installed which was purchased separately because I have extremely gentle hands… Installation was certainly a breeze but are they any good? Well as I mentioned earlier, the Renthal grips I used before were always extremely soft and tacky, but didn’t last long as they were of a single compound structure. The risk grips are dual compound, a tougher inner core with a medium tacky exterior compound. They are not as soft as the super soft Renthals but soft enough to offer good feel. I haven’t suffered any blisters using these grips but to be honest, I haven’t ridden with them long enough to properly evaluate their blister reducing capacity. I rode the grips for a while without any safety wire and I’ve had no issues with them slipping or moving at all.
If you want a good quality grip with easy installation these are for you. In terms of quality the best Renthals or Pro Taper grips possibly have a very slight edge but in my opionion you wouldn’t be disappointed with these, considering the £15 cost included the equivalent of grip glue and grips, I’m happy with the Risk Fusion Grip Tech MX Grips!