This isn’t sponsored content: we let you know right up front when it is. I spend money on this stuff because I love it, and I put it on all the fast well-handling bikes I own. I’ve just slapped it on my Suzuki SV650 in time for my upcoming track day this weekend.
StompGrip Tank Pads are made in Huntington Beach, CA, and they’re pretty fantastic. These things don’t rely on surface grippiness like a lot of other tank pads I’ve experienced. They have little raised pocks like tiny volcanoes on their surface, which do not wear out with use or lose their grippiness in the sun.
What’s the point, you ask? Why use these at all? It’s all about control. When you’re really on it, you need to have a light touch on the bars and the ability to get off your seat immediately. This means that you’re squeezing the tank with your knees pretty constantly, especially on hard braking. With a really grippy tank, you can leverage the balls of your feet on your pegs and lock your knees to the knobbies on the sides of your StompGrip’d tank–I will tend to lift my heels just a little sometimes to get an upward as well as inward force on those knobs.
When you’re totally locked to the bike from your ankles to your knees, the rest of you can stand, slide around, speed up and slow hard without sliding forward or otherwise losing your grip on the bike. Your hands and arms are in use only for throttle, clutch, steering and brake control and not at all for hanging onto the bike; that's what your knees are doing.
To say I’ve found these transformative is putting it lightly. The only downside I have found is that they’ve scuffed up the inside knees of my leather race pants. That’s a small price to pay for superior motorcycle control. I also noticed, the (very) few times I’ve ridden in armored jeans and not riding pants, is that those pointy things can get painful on my tender knee parts. If you ever ride bare-legged these are not for you (ow).
I know it sounds as though I’m gushing like they paid me. I wish that were the case, but they’re not expensive as far as motorcycle accessories go, and if you’re looking to get more planted on your motorcycle you could do worse. I recommend buying the kit made for your specific motorcycle for the best performance (they do make a “universal” kit that you cut to size, but it’s not as good). Follow the installation instructions carefully and you’ll be thrilled, I promise.