Custom comfort

Avon Grips
Avon Memory Foam Grips

Chrome or black anodized: Sizes S, M, L-$64.95
Chrome or black anodized spike: Sizes S, M, L-$74.95
Custom Contour Anodized Throttle Assist End Cap
Chrome or black anodized, $19

One of the first things I customize when I acquire a new bike is the handlebar grips. Years ago, I discovered Avon Grips at a major motorcycle event, and decided to try the Custom Contour grips on my 2000 FXD. I liked them so much, I also had them installed on the 2012 Switchback I purchased several years later.

While at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2016, I saw Avon Grips setup on Lazelle Street, and stopped by to chat with owner Dave Kelly. Dave showed me the company’s new Memory Foam Grips, and when I tested the set that were on their handlebar display, I was sold.

The Memory Foam Grips, made of EVA foam, are soft to the touch, durable, resistant to chemicals and other substances, and possess vibration-dampening properties. End caps and collars on all grips are made of billet aluminum and are handcrafted in the U.S. The Memory Foam Grips are available in three sizes: the outer diameter for size small is 1.375”, medium is 1.5”, and large is 1.625”. Styles are chrome or black anodized (with traditional end caps), and chrome or black anodized spike ends.

After testing all three sizes, I chose the small because Dave suggested I wear my regular riding gloves while trying them out. Sure enough, although the medium seemed fine when I wasn’t wearing my gloves, once I put the gloves on, the small size fit my hands a lot better.

I also chose to replace the traditional end cap with the Custom Contour Anodized Throttle Assist End Cap (it also comes in chrome) which really gives my throttle hand a break on long rides. Even when sitting at a traffic light, this device allows me to rest my hand. The cap is easily adjustable to allow your hand to rest at the angle of your choice; just loosen the screw inside the throttle and move the cap to the position that’s most comfortable for you. A corresponding left-side Throttle Assist End Cap can also be installed on the left grip to give your left hand somewhere to rest as well.

The tech crew at Avon installed the new grips in less than a half hour; changing grips is not a complicated process. For the left grip, mark your handlebar where the switch housing will go when you put the switch housing back on, take the bolts out of the switch housing and loosen the perch clamp, remove the old grip and clean off the tape or glue from the left handlebar. Slide the new grip on and rotate the grip until the switch housing closes properly. Align the perch clamp with your mark on the handlebar and tighten the bolts. For the right grip, loosen the throttle cables, take out the bolts from the switch housing, move the switch housing out of the way, remove both cable ferrules and slide the old grip off. Slide the new grip onto the bar and insert the cable ferrules into the grip so it will attach to the bar properly. Reattach the switch housing, tighten the throttle cables to remove excess slack, rotate the grip to make sure it returns properly, then tighten up the cables.

As soon as I rode the bike after the install, I immediately noticed how comfortable the new grips were, not only from a cushioning standpoint, but from a tactile perspective as well. In fact, I like them so much, while riding with gloves or without, that the first time I took my 2017 Road King to a rally, I replaced the stock grips with the electronic throttle version of the Memory Foam Grips. Replacing the right grip for bikes with electronic throttles is even easier. Remove the switch housing bolts, loosen the perch clamp and just slide the old grip off. Slide the new grip on until the “gears” are in place. Reinstall the switch housing bolts, making sure there’s about 1/8” slack at the grip from left to right, and tighten the perch clamp.

Most Avon grip styles come in versions for both traditional cable-type throttle and electronic throttle. And grips are available for Indian Motorcycle models as well as Harley-Davidson and several other brands.

Avon Grips and Avon Pegs are both covered under the company’s warranties. The company will repair or replace, without charge, the product if it fails due to manufacturing or material defect within a year from the purchase date, with proof of purchase. And Avon offers a lifetime warranty for the rubber portion of their grips and pegs; they will replace the rubber portion as long as the part is in use. 


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