When choosing the best motorcycle grip, it is important to understand the type of riding the motorcycle grip will be subjected to. Comfort is typically the most important factor when choosing a motorcycle grip; however, durability and practicality also have to be factored into the equation. The same motorcycle grip will not transfer from one type of riding condition to another. The same rider may have different grips on different types of motorcycles.
For an off-road type motorcycle, a soft foam or rubber grip may be preferred for its ability to remain easily gripped when wet. Off-road motorcyclists generally become very sweaty when competing or even playing hard. They will typically choose a motorcycle grip for its ability to be held even when wet. In this situation, a smooth, slick grip would tend to slip from the rider's hands when he encounters bumps. A foam or rubber grip with many raised ridges and holes will allow the rider's wet skin to remain in contact by channeling the sweat and wetness away from the rider's hands.
For highway riders and long-range touring motorcyclists, a motorcycle grip that allows air to circulate around the rider's hand may be preferred. Even with the use of cruise control, a long motorcycle ride can become weary to a rider's hands. A soft leather grip will often include leather strips wrapped around it.
These strips are for additional gripping, though they also allow air to circulate around the motorcycle grip. This flow of air aids the rider in keeping his hands cool and stimulated. An unpopular side effect of long-range riding is "sleepy" or numb hands. By having air circulating beneath the hands, they remain "awake."
Vibration is also a side effect of many road-ridden motorcycles. Bikes such as the twin-cylinder Harley-Davidson type often experience tremendous vibration. This motorcycle's owner may choose a motorcycle grip that is very cushioned. The cushioned grip is able to fight off the vibration that can force the rider to lose touch with his hands. Sleepy or numb hands can lead to accidents due to the rider's inability to properly feel what the motorcycle is doing as it is being ridden.
The only surefire way to choose the right grips is to decide which type of riding the motorcycle will be subjected to and then experiment. Pick out a couple of sets of grips and ride a while with each type of grip on the handlebars. Once you've discovered a favorite, stick to that type of grip. It often helps to ride a friend's bike with a particular type of grip and see how it feels to you.