H-D’s Slipstream Grips… Who Put Glue In There!

56100028_TTAs mentioned in an earlier update, one of the warranty repair items that I decided to address on Blue’s first year anniversary — noting she’s covered for 2 years — was a handlebar grip’s end cap that hadn’t been properly prepped before being chromed.

I’d strongly considered replacing the oh-so-stylish Slipstream grips (right) after taking delivery of Blue with a set of Harley’s “Get-a-Grip” grips (below).  The Get-a-Grip models use a larger diameter, more contoured grip with a nice “tactified rubber for superior traction” all the way around the grip instead of the smooth rubber and chrome used for the Slipstream grips.

Get-A-Grip-chromeI put  the all-black version of the Get-a-Grips on the Wide Glide and they’ve really been as good or better than the very nice rubber grips on the BMW R1100S.

However, since Harley’s CVO designers went to the trouble of fitting Blue with the entire Slipstream collection — foot pegs, floor boards, shifter, brake pedal and of course the grips — I figured I’d do my best to adapt to the Slipstream grips.

DSCN0482Anyway, getting back to the problem at hand, the chrome on the end cap’s metal trim band began to peel-off just a couple months after taking delivery.  About half of it was gone by December and the rest came off in March.

When I took Blue in for the new front tire I asked my former dealer’s service advisor if the end cap could be replaced under the 2-year warranty.  They said it could and one of the techs pried the cap off with his hands just because he could, I guess.  I figured they used some type of press-fit and was somewhat surprised at how hard he had to work to pry the cap off.  I was a little concerned that the cap had gotten buggered-up, but if a new one was coming my way under warranty… no big deal.  I think the caps are about a $12-$20 part (PN; HD-56100024) and I was actually surprised they were sold separately.

The part was ordered back on 9 Sep and it arrived at the dealership today.  I stopped by and picked up from Nancy — a very, very nice Service Advisor who was a joy to talk with and who was right on the spot when I walked in to collect the part.

When I got home and pulled the old end cap off of Blue I quickly realized something didn’t seem quite right.  There was clearly an inner collar fitted to the end cap that was designed to come off so it could be moved to the new cap; however, it was also pretty clear that the inner collar had been super-glued to the end cap.  In fact, it was also pretty clear that the entire end cap assembly had been glued into the end of the Slipstream bar end, which explains why the service tech had a little trouble getting it off.

I don’t believe the original design of the end cap called for any glue; it was clearly designed with an elaborate four-tab retaining do-hickey and rubber gasket on the end cap that made for a tight press-fit / mechanical attachment to a second, inner collar that was press-fit into the grip. However, I’m guessing the design was ultimately flawed and after Harley had to replace a few too many end caps that fell off they issued a service bulletin / revised assembly guidelines that instructed techs to super glue the collar to the grip and when caps continued to fall off, a second change was made to call for gluing the end cap and color together.  Again, there was too much time and energy spent designing the original end cap interface to the collar for that to have been a glued-together part from the git go.  But, I could be wrong: just about every threaded fastener on a Harley uses very strong thread-locker.

So, let’s take a look at these caps and collars:


At first, I was wondering if the wrong part didn’t get ordered: been there and done that before. However, after studying the original part a little bit I was pretty certain that it was a two-piece end cap where both halves ended up being super-glued together.

With a bit of coaxing using an Exacto knife, I was able to separate the two halves: the inner collar is on the left, sitting upside down (note the two pins); the old end cap to which the collar was glued is in the middle and a bit chewed up from my earlier efforts to separate the two. At the right is the new end cap with its four tab retention system for the end cap clearly visible.




After getting the collar off of the end cap I, I cleaned thing up and began to apply some SuperGlue to the collar and end cap, then put it all back together. I thought about foregoing the glue, but realized the cap would still need to be glued into the end of the grip anyway… probably Harley’s logic as well. The rubber gasket sitting next to the end cap assembly went in the collar and was, again, quite an intricate design with precise locating tabs, etc. This is probably one of the most detailed designs I’ve ever seen on something as simple as an end-cap!



The bar-end was clean so no worries about the mating faces not getting along.


And, there it is. It’s needs a little more weathering and hand rubbing to give it the same look and feel as the more mature original grip, but all-in-all it was a pretty solid repair.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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