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Well in hand

By “LoDown” Dan Parker

Contour Renthal Wrapped Grips

Performance Machine


During the past many months, as time, travel, and resources have allowed, the 2004 Harley-Davidson FLHT Standard in my garage has been getting a little sprucing up. After all, the trip meter reveals that “Geezer Glide” now resides on the wrong side of 80,000 miles. So, it’s about time, wouldn’t you say?

The majority of the changes are complete. Among them is the addition of an aftermarket sound system; love those road songs. The brakes and muffler were upgraded for better performance. Some other nonmechanical items were altered, like swapping in a new windscreen and adding some “blacked out” accents in place of chrome. Together with a 20K dealership servicing and a set of new Dunlop skins, the old gal is more than ready to hit the road next spring (not that she’s relegated to the garage for the winter). Breeching the 100,000-mile mark sometime soon doesn’t look out of the question.

There remain, however, a few details in need of attention. One of the most important, particularly as concerns rider comfort, is the handlebar grips. No offense to The Motor Company, but the stock grips pretty much sucked. They came off before the engine was even broken in.

For a long while the H-D replacements, with rubber strips inlaid in textured and chromed metal cylinders, both looked and worked better. Until they didn’t. With rubber inlays shot, we checked to see if only these could be replaced. No dice, the friendly parts guy said, “you gotta buy all new grips.” That figures.

With this piece of wisdom rattling in our brain, we checked the catalogues and wandered the Internet in search of something new and, hopefully, better. Performance Machine’s Contour Renthal Wrapped Grips for standard sized handlebars jumped right out at us. First there was the shape: The PM grip tapers toward the tip, bringing back good memories of the grips on dirt bikes we had piloted in our youth.

Then there was the lightly textured Renthal rubber wrapping itself. Even sans a glove, it felt, as Goldilocks said in another context, “just right.” And the Contours come in either chrome or a black anodized finish. In keeping with our theme of “blacking out” the Geezer Glide, we selected the dark finish.

Performance Machine is well known for its line of aftermarket bike brakes, wheels, and controls. Check them out (and a bevy of other suppliers carrying this product) on the Internet or, as we did, leg it on down to the local Harley shop and grab some. Our conclusion: the PM Contour Renthal Wrapped Grips look great and work even better. A bonus is the availability of replacement rubber sleeves for a very reasonable price.

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