IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT GRIP: Taste Dictates The Perfect Grip. It Trumps Durability, Waffle Pattern Or Rubber Density; With The Multitude Of Grips Available, The MXA wrecking crew Scrutinizes 11 Popular Grips

October 15, 2009
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Whatever else you do in a motocross race?hang on! Being comfortable with your grips can have a major effect on maintaining control over the bike while clutching, braking and twisting the throttle (not to mention staying in contact with the bike through thick and thin).

For every motocross racer, grips are an important part of his setup, and they are chosen based on personal preference. Taste dictates the perfect grip. It trumps durability, waffle pattern or rubber density. With the multitude of grips available on the market, the MXA wrecking crew thought it would be helpful to scrutinize the different characteristics of many popular grips. We wielded our micrometers and magnifying glasses like scalpels. Here’s what we found out.


Length: The portion of the grip that readily accommodates the hand (measured in millimeters). The longest grip was the Scott, and the shortest grips were the Pro Grip and Moose.

Diameter: How fat the grips are (measured at the base of the gripping portion). The diameter of the grips to the top of the waffle pattern or nubs is included in parenthesis.

Hardness: We rated them subjectively as extra soft, soft, medium soft, medium, medium hard or hard.

Wire grooves: The more safety wire grooves, the better in our book.

Pattern: What type of raised protrusions does the grip have? Raised rectangles (waffles),
diamonds, etc.

Compounds/materials: Single-compound grips use one density. Hard grips are durable, but rough on hands. Soft grips have great tactile feel, but wear out quickly. Multiple-compound grips have softer material for the hands and harder material on the inside and edges for better durability.

Grip/performance: What attributes did testers perceive while racing? Tackiness is perceived friction between the material and hand/glove. How well do they dampen vibration? A gummy feel comes from excess material in the pattern squishing around beneath the hand.

Special features: Unique aspects of the grips.

Options: Most grip companies have many different models. Within the same basic model of grip, however, different patterns and other options may be

Length: 97mm.
Diameter: 21mm (21.5mm around waffles).
Hardness: Medium/soft.
Wire grooves: Two.
Pattern: Half waffle with raised diamonds.
Compounds/materials: Dual-compound. Medium base for durability and soft palm (made from DuPont Kevlar-brand resin particles).
Grip/performance: High tackiness and moderate vibration damping. The shallow waffle pattern keeps the grip from feeling too fat or gummy.
Special features: The optional tapered version of the grip has a larger diameter around the thumb for better ergonomics.
Options: Half waffle (no raised diamonds) and tapered (larger around the thumb) models are available.
Colors: Natural rubber color.
Price: $19.95.
Web: www.renthal.com

Length: 96mm.
Diameter: 20mm (20mm around minimal pattern).
Hardness: Hard/medium/soft.
Wire grooves: None.
Pattern: Tiny raised diamonds.
Compounds/materials: Triple-compound. Hard inner sleeve, medium flange and tip with a soft palm.
Grip/performance: High tackiness and good vibration damping for a notably slim-feeling grip.
Special features: Unique triple-density construction puts the right material where it’s needed.
Options: Waffle and reverse waffle patterns are available in triple density compounds.
Colors: Black with grey and red, blue, yellow, green or orange (the same colors reversed).
Price: $18.00.
Web: www.progrip.com


Length: 98mm.
Diameter: 19mm (21mm around pillow top squares).
Hardness: Medium/medium soft/soft.
Wire grooves: Parallel pillows allow room for many grooves.
Pattern: Raised pillow top squares.
Compounds/materials: Triple-compound. Medium tip, medium soft base and flanges, and soft palm.
Grip/performance: High tackiness, good vibration damping and a fat feel (Pro Taper makes a thinner version called the Pillow Top Lite).
Special features: Hard tip helps prevent tears in crashes.
Options: A Pillow Top Lite (with shorter pillows for slimmer grips)
version is available.
Colors: Grey with black and red, blue yellow, green, orange, black or white, and solid black.
Price: $12.95.
Web: www.protaper.com

Length: 97mm.
Diameter: 20mm (21mm around waffles).
Hardness: Medium/medium soft.
Wire grooves: Three.
Pattern: Half waffle with tiny raised diamonds.
Compounds/materials: Dual-compound. Medium compound on the inner sleeve, tip and flange. Medium soft on the palm.
Grip/performance: Tall waffle pattern flexes and makes the grip feel gummy. Medium vibration damping.
Special features: Sunline grips come with grip donuts, safety wire, throttle side mud foam and grip glue.
Options: Half waffle and Double Diamond (no waffle, single- and dual-compound).
Colors: Black/grey, grey/white, gum/natural.
Price: $19.95.
Web: www.sixsixone.com


Length: 98mm.
Diameter: 19mm (21mm around gel and waffles).
Hardness: Medium/medium soft.
Wire grooves: Three.
Pattern: Half waffle.
Compounds/materials: Dual-compound. Medium thermoplastic base and flange with medium soft compound on the palm.
Grip/performance: Firm, close to stock feeling waffles with good vibration damping through the gel pad.
Special features: Soft gel palm pad increases vibration damping while allowing for firmer waffles.
Options: Also available in half-waffle and full-waffle single-compound.
Colors: Black with blue, grey, green, orange, red or yellow gel pads.
Price: $19.95.
Web: www.smithoptics.com

Length: 98mm.
Diameter: 20mm (21mm around waffles).
Hardness: Extra soft.
Wire grooves: One.
Pattern: Half waffle.
Compounds/materials: Single-compound. Uses A’me’s trademarked extra-soft Vulcathane rubber.
Grip/performance: High tackiness, good vibration damping, very soft feeling and only moderately gummy. The soft A’me resists wear, but tears easier than a hard grip.
Special features: The very end of the grip tapers outward for ergonomics and better wear on the knob end.
Options: Full waffle also available.
Colors: Black, grey, blue, red, orange, green or yellow (all solid
Price: $9.95.
Web: www.amegrips.com

Length: 100mm.
Diameter: 18mm (20mm around waffles).
Hardness: Medium/medium soft.
Wire grooves: One.
Pattern: Unique half waffle.
Compounds/materials: Dual-compound. Medium soft compound on base and medium soft on palm.
Grip/performance: Very thin feeling with grippy waffles. Poor vibration damping.
Special features: “Over-molded” construction allows for ultra-thin waffle grip.
Options: None with Comp II model.
Colors: Blue, green, grey, red or yellow.
Price: $12.95.
Contact: www.scottusa.com

Length: 98mm.
Diameter: 20mm (21mm around waffles).
Hardness: Medium/soft.
Wire grooves: Three.
Pattern: Half waffle with raised diamonds.
Compounds/materials: Dual-compound. Medium compound on the inner sleeve, tip and flange with soft compound on palm.
Grip/performance: Moderate vibration damping, medium tackiness and no gummy feeling.
Special features: Straightforward dual-compound design for better durability.
Options: Single-compound also available.
Colors: Grey/black.
Price: $8.95.
Web: www.msracing.com

Length: 98mm.
Diameter: 20mm (21.5mm around waffles).
Hardness: Soft.
Wire grooves: No wire or glue needed.
Pattern: Half waffle.
Compounds/materials: Single-compound grip mounted to a plastic and metal tube that clamps to the bar.
Grip/performance: Very tall and gummy knobs. Low vibration damping. Medium tackiness, but the clutch side grip feels firmer than the rubber density because it is thinner due to the internal sleeves.
Special features: Grips install without wire or glue. Throttle tube and Allen wrenches for clamp-on grip are included.
Options: Universal kit (includes one lock-on and one regular grip for throttle side).
Colors: Black or grey.
Price: $22.95.
Web: www.odigrips.com

Length: 96mm.
Diameter: 20mm (21mm around waffles).
Hardness: Medium soft.
Wire grooves: Two.
Pattern: Half waffle with chevrons.
Compounds/materials: Single-compound with extra material at tip for durability.
Grip/performance: Waffles and chevrons are very tacky when new and clean, but only moderately tacky over time or when dirty. Moderate vibration damping.
Special features: The reinforced knob end holds up well in crashes.
Options: None.
Colors: Black, grey, red, orange or blue.
Price: $7.95.
Web: www.mooseracing.com

Length: 97mm.
Diameter: 21mm (22mm around diamonds).
Hardness: Medium/extra soft.
Wire grooves: One.
Pattern: Tiny raised pyramids and larger raised pyramids.
Compounds/materials: Dual-compound. Medium compound inner sleeve, flange and tip with very soft grip.
Grip/performance: Moderately tacky, very gummy, great vibration damping, but fat feeling.
Special features: Unique Rebound Technology pattern has very tall but very soft pyramids.
Options: None.
Colors: Grey with red, black or blue.
Price: $15.99.
Web: www.sixsixone.com


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