I wanted to match the custom seat on my 1100 Custom with leather handlebar grips - I found some tennis racket leather grips and used them and think they worked out pretty well.
If anyone's interested in the look I can let you know what mistakes I made so you don't need to! I can let you know where I got the leather too - time will tell how well they hold up but at $10 a grip it's worth a shot =)
07 vstar 650 midnight custom
Ais disable, 4.5 inch risers, V&H cruzers, jetted with pods, viking saddlebags, Kuryakyn mini boards and memphis fats windshield, fuel solenoids deleted, star solo seat and 4 inch extensions. Boss audio sound system.
Thank you! I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, the grips are super comfortable and it'll be interesting to see how well they hold up. Maybe I'll post another photo at the end of the season - if nothing else it'll be fun wearing them out =)
Thanks Hunts, I really appreciate the compliment. For me it's the vintage brown saddle and grips that tie the bike together, and yeah I like the satin black look too. De-badged the bike as well which definitely helps the vintage, low-key vibe. Thanks again!
I got the grips from tennis-warehouse.com, they're the Tourna brand. I tried Tennis Warehouse's proprietary leather wrap first but the colour was a bit orange for my liking - the Tourna leather grip has the warmer, more vintage colour I was hoping for. Should be noted that the two grips I ordered have a slightly different colour to each other - worth bearing in mind if you place an order (perhaps you can request them to colour match them for you).
Wrapping the grips wasn't too hard but did require time and planning. One thing I should mention right off the bat is to bear in mind that all these grips are designed to spiral up the tennis racket grip in one direction. You'll be wanting each handlebar grip to spiral in the opposite direction from each other (kinda like the spirals in a ram's horns). That'll mean re-working one of the grips. One end of the grip is cut on a slant - you'll need to cut this slanted end completely off so the end of the grip is squared. Then, using the triangular piece you just cut off, flip it over and use it as a template to "mirror" the slant on the opposite side of the end of the grip. That way it'll wrap in the opposite direction. Make sure you use a really sharp blade like an exacto knife for the cut.
Follow the directions on the grip's packaging for the wrap itself starting at the inside edge of the handlebar grip (snug to the metal rims) and directly on top of the original rubber grips on your bike. Start on the underside of the handlebar. Try and use the same taughtness for each grip - that way the spiral on each grip will be the same. I wrapped one a little tighter than the other and therefore the spiral is a little more condensed on one grip. Once you get to the end, wrap over the end of the grip. I didn't on the first attempt (tried to cut it on the slant with a pair of scissors and totally messed it up). Then, carefully and slowly, make a cut about 2mm from the edge of the original rubber grip, neat as possible, all the way round the leather grip. Cut a neat strip of electrical tape approx 6mm wide and start wrapping it on the exposed rubber, then over the leather. It'll make the grip look finished and stop it from coming undone.
Mine are holding up pretty well - the leather is starting to darken a little which is all good by me. Good luck, hope this helps.