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EffBee

The Original Grip Buddies

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EffBee

My most comfortable gloves are my Gerbings G-3. Not because they're heated, but because they have some extra padding in the palms, which makes my grips feel a little thicker.

 

My favorite gloves are my Held Street Fighters. Unfortunately, they don't make this model any more, and nothing I've tried, from Held or anyone else, comes close. The sad thing is that the Street Fighter gloves have stretched and stretched until they now create wrinkles in the palms, which makes them uncomfortable after 100-150 miles or so.

 

Enter The Original Grip Buddies. I must admit that these were a gift. It was not something that I was looking to buy. And at first, I was a little apprehensive. I've got the 18-rib grips on my RT, and they're far better and more comfortable than anything BMW currently offers. But not with my stretched out Held gloves. So I thought I'd give them a try.

 

Grip buddies are about 1/16" thick rectangular sheets with a textured neoprene-like surface on one side and the "loop" part of Velcro on the other. The "hook" part of the Velcro comes with the Grip Buddies, in the form of an adhesive-backed strip that is designed to adhere to the start and the end of the circumference when the Grip Buddies are wrapped around your existing grips.

 

Right off the bat, I violated the manufacturer's instructions. They want you to peel the backing and adhere the Velcro to the existing grip, then wrap the rest of the Grip Buddies around the original grips, attaching it to the tail of the Velcro after that one revolution. I cheated. I didn't know if I wanted to keep the Grip Buddies on permanently, so I just held the velcro down with one hand while I stretched and wrapped each Grip Buddy around my BMW's grips, then tacked them onto the tail of the Velcro. Frankly, I understand that the manufacturer wants people to stick the Velcro to the bottom grip, to ensure there's no way they can rotate. But the Grip Buddies' material stretches firmly and has a surprising amount of tension. Even though I didn't stick down the Velcro's adhesive side, I couldn't get the Grip Buddies to slip or spin. More on this later.

 

I've done a lot of work on my bike in the past week, getting it ready to ride from CA to WI for the UnRally. And it needed a shakedown run to stretch the new throttle cables (I'll have to re-sync), verify that I attached all the plumbing correctly when I changed the fuel filter and hoses, and generally make sure that I securely attached every screw, bolt and nut. So this morning I took off for Breakfast in Julian, 120 miles away in the eastern San Diego mountains.

 

My trip began at 6AM, with the Grip Buddies on the bike and the Gerbings gloves on my hands. Comfy, but frankly too much, as in too large. Between the added thickness of the Grip Buddies, and the padded palms of the heated gloves, I just didn't feel like I had the proper reach to the front brake to handle an emergency situation. But I rode carefully to Julian anyway. Again, it was comfortable, but felt a little too thick and clumsy. But having increased the diameter and padding in two places, that was to be expected.

 

Eggs, THICK smoked bacon and an apple/walnut/oatmeal pancake later (anyone who's been to the Julian Bakery knows what I'm talking about), I was ready to come back down the mountain. I removed the Grip Buddies (takes about 5 seconds) and put them in my tankbag. Then I took the Gerbings gloves and put them in the RT's trunk and got out my overstretched Helds. It didn't take but 10 miles for the extra leather in the palms to bunch up and let me know that I was probably headed for discomfort before I got home. So I pulled over and put the Grip Buddies back on (took about 30 seconds). The difference was amazing! With the larger diameter and the unpadded gloves, there was no palm bunching. The larger grip diameter didn't seem too large for my size-9 hands. I felt in control of the bike, the reach to the brake lever was good, and the comfort was superb. This was especially noticeable on the highway, where the steady throttle and vibes can become a distraction after a while with the stock grips.

 

Here's where not sticking the velcro to your stock grip comes in. I LIKE the versatility of being able to use the Grip Buddies and then not use them. And while I'm not going to suggest that others violate the manufacturer's application instructions, I personally am and I accept whatever risk that entails. The Grip Buddies are going to be on my bike when I leave CA for the UnRally in WI. I'll probably use them all the way there, including tourist-speed while motoring through Yellowstone. On my way back, I'll use them until I get into the mountains of Colorado and Utah. There, I might opt for a little "tighter" feel in the cut-and-thrust work of snaking over some of the better and more challenging roads. Then I'll put them back on for the last day's ride home. This versatility is one of the things that makes the Grip Buddies so great, even if it doesn't "follow protocol."

 

I think the Original Grip Buddies are something I will always carry with me on the bike. They weigh nothing, take up almost no space, and they add immeasurably to your comfort on those long days in the saddle. And if you decide to not attach them permanently (again, NOT recommended per the manufacturer), you can almost instantly alter your grip diameter from Touring to Sport and back again. $24.95 seems like a bit much for the changes and advantages that Grip Buddies provide. But I've had sore hands from wrinkled glove palms miles and miles from home, that I would have gladly given up a couple of sawbucks to alleviate. And again the next time. And yet again. In that light, the price seems a bargain. With the Grip buddies tucked away in my RT's glove box, I know that my days' rides will never end because of fatigue. Think of them as Russell Day-Long Saddles for your hands.

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mneblett

Great review --sounds like the easy on/off option will work well for you.

 

I tried the Grip Buddies, but did not like the feel of the velcro seam. My next move was to purchase the one-piece equivalent, Grip Puppies. Same improved feel without the seam. Unlike the Grip Buddies, these are an install-and-leave-installed option.

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enfoman

I am happy to hear you like them. I have met Dave at various events and tech days here in the Albany and Saratoga area. He had that idea back when fasterpill had his techday some years ago. I was intrigued by the simple solution that he developed for a problem that was more of an annoyance. I see thAt he has expanded his line of products from the original puppies. Good for him! As the R 1200c has adequate cushioning and engine smoothness for me, I never required the need. Many happy miles to you with them.

 

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Matts_12GS
Great review --sounds like the easy on/off option will work well for you.

 

I tried the Grip Buddies, but did not like the feel of the velcro seam. My next move was to purchase the one-piece equivalent, Grip Puppies. Same improved feel without the seam. Unlike the Grip Buddies, these are an install-and-leave-installed option.

 

Same here

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JR356

I have a set on my 05 GS and like the feel,but they have not even lasted a year without tearing apart on the non throttle side.

Thought it might be my Held Steve glove palm studs,but don't wear those gloves all the time and the throttle side which you would think would be more affected,is fine.

 

Installed grip puppies(they were on sale when I ordered some other parts)on my new 14 GSA,we will see long term durability on those.

 

JR356

 

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Matts_12GS
I have a set on my 05 GS and like the feel,but they have not even lasted a year without tearing apart on the non throttle side.

Thought it might be my Held Steve glove palm studs,but don't wear those gloves all the time and the throttle side which you would think would be more affected,is fine.

 

Installed grip puppies(they were on sale when I ordered some other parts)on my new 14 GSA,we will see long term durability on those.

 

JR356

 

 

I find they last me about 2-3 years a set on my 05 GS. I am wearing lee parks ropers now, but wore a combination of other gloves in the past, none with studded palms though. I think the key is keeping your hands quiet on the bars and using body position to keep yourself situated.

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Effjay

Another satisfied Grip Puppy user here...

 

I've been using 'em on all my BMWs since 2007. Just installed a pair on my newish (sig) RT coupla weeks ago. Very easy after soaking just a bit in warm soapy water. No need for aerosol sprays or adhesives of any type and No Seams. What's not to like about that? :Cool:

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tallman
Great review --sounds like the easy on/off option will work well for you.

 

I tried the Grip Buddies, but did not like the feel of the velcro seam. My next move was to purchase the one-piece equivalent, Grip Puppies. Same improved feel without the seam. Unlike the Grip Buddies, these are an install-and-leave-installed option.

 

Same here

 

Same same.

 

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JimGullen

Make that +4, I think...

 

I also felt that the material used for the Grip Buddies was much more "kitchen anti slip pad" than motorcycle OEM. The Grip Puppies are much more "neoprene"-like for lack of a better term.

 

I was surprised at how quickly I wore through the Grip Buddies, as well. I may be hard on grips as I only installed the Grip Buddies because I wore down the ribs on the BMW OEM grips. I wear Alpinestars GP-Pro leather gloves.

 

Just my $0.02....as with anything YMMV.

 

Best regards!

 

Jim

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racer7

Don't need them on my hexhead RT but I've got a set on my F800GT- vibe city at upper highway speeds, needs all the help it can get.

Generally use Held Steves or BMW Summer Pro gloves for most riding but a Held aero type in humid summer. The Gerbings 3's only in some winter riding.

 

I use almost all single layer and have Barbuster S-7s fitted on all BMWs in the garage except the K1200RS

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Gene#3

I found the grip puppies wore through pretty quickly too. Pinhole would start than gradually expand and gone...

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