What do all sportsbikes need but don’t have? Yes, tank grips. Leather pants and shiny smooth motorcycle tanks aren’t the best combination when it comes to grip. And when you’re braking from 6th gear into a 2nd gear corner, there’s no worse feeling than sliding forward on your seat – it reduces your control and therefore slows you down. But like with many things in life, not all are created equal. So let’s take a look at the three most popular brands of motorcycle tank grips which we’ve tested for your benefit.
Stomp Grip pads take the most aggressive approach out of the pads tested, featuring pronounced ridges (which Stomp Grip describes as volcanoes) on a plastic sheet. There’s quite a lot of detail in these little volcanoes though – each volcano has a flat top which increases surface area, plus as you can see from the closeup below, those little indents surrounding each peak increases the edges for you to lock your legs onto. This creates grip yet at the same time doesn’t catch or snag your leathers.
And despite their scientific explanation sounding more like a sales gimmick, it really does work. The general consensus is that Stomp Grip provides marginally more traction than Tech-Spec pads do. Marginal is probably an apt description because I personally am hard pressed to feel the difference – but perhaps I just don’t brake hard enough.
There are two issues with Stomp Grips though – their application and their comfort. It really is difficult to apply Stomp Grips without air bubbles forming underneath. And because of the ridged nature of the surface, you can’t use a ruler of other flat object to squeeze those air bubbles out to the side.
The issue of comfort is more for those who sometimes don’t fully gear up. If you ever wear shorts on your bike, you’ll find the Stomp Grips slightly annoying on your bare skin. It’s not like digging needles in to your legs, but it’s definitely something you’ll notice. But with jeans or leather pants on you’ll be fine.
A third issue which I didn’t experience from a year of use is their effect on your riding gear. You’ll come across some stories on the internet saying that Stomp Grip ‘ruined’ their leathers or jeans. Given there’s no sharp edges on a new Stomp Grip that what rip material, I can only assume that the grips deteriorated over time to cause such an issue. Be alert but not alarmed.
TechSpec pads in my view are more attractive looking than Stomp-Grip pads, though they are thicker, with their C3 pads 0.1 inches thick (their more aggressive Snake Skin pads are thicker at 0.125 inches). Unlike Stomp Grip which uses ridges, TechSpec relies on what they call synthetica rubber – a very grippy (but not sticky) material that is smooth to touch but with a very good coefficient of friction when you try to slide along it. And while the TechSpec C3 and Snake Skin pads don’t have the pronounced ‘volcano’ ridges as Stomp Grip does, the diamond pattern does allow your gear to ‘catch’ on the pads – it’s just more subtle.
These grips are very easy to apply, notably because you can take them off and reapply them multiple times and they will still remain adhesive to your bike. You can go so far as to remove them from your bike after a period of time and put them on another bike, they’ll still remain sticky for around eight or nine applications. Prices for TechSpec pads roughly around 15% more than Stomp-Grip, but in addition to the side pads, TechSpec also provides a tank top pad – so you get a nice uniform look to your bike so in the end they’re probably better value.
My experience with Eazi-Grip lasted all of two months before i pulled them off and replaced them with TechSpec C3’s. They are the cheapest out of the three options here and perhaps with good reason.
Firstly, application is about the same as Stomp Grips. Air bubbles will be hard to avoid and especially so if you’re using the transparent version. Grip wasn’t up to par with either the Stomp Grips or TechSpec either – their ridges are much more rounded and smooth than the ‘volcanoes’ that Stomp Grips utilize, and the surface of the plastic has no friction qualities like TechSpec.
But given the price (up to half that of TechSpec or Stomp Grip) I could live with that. What I couldn’t live with was that within a few months, the edges of the Eazi-Grips were fraying and coming off. With even just a small part of the edge exposed, further use eroded them even more. I also found that with some time out in the sun, the clear transparent color started to turn a yellowish hue, making them look dirty.
That being said, maybe I was unfortunate, or perhaps the standard black grips are better. Eazi-Grips have a good following in the UK and are actually used by a lot of competitors in the British Superbike series.
So which to buy? It’s really a choice between the Stomp Grips and TechSpec. If you absolutely need the best possible grip available, the Stomp Grips will provide you with just marginally better performance. But for quality, feel and value I would be putting my money down on a kit from TechSpec.