Grab Handles for OHV's, ATV's and 4-Wheelers

We have a 4 seat Can-Am Commander side by side OHV. I wanted to add some grab handles (chicken bars or oh shit handles). I looked at quit a few but they were usually a sagging paracord loop. Some were attached by metal fasteners that would rub the metal frame. I wanted something more ridged like a car or truck has.

I used a 1" hardwood dowel and cut pieces 7 inches long. This would make my straight solid handle. Two of the dowels were drilled with 1/4-inch holes at either end and the other two got 3/8-inch holes. The holes were 1/2-inch in from the ends. Two would be suspended with paracord thru the 3/8-inch holes and the other two would have 1/4-inch eyelets which the paracord would attach to. The 3/8-inch holes were beveled and sanded.


Paracord wraps were used on all four handles. A different type of wrap for each one. For the four main wraps I used the start of a Turks head knot, fish scale wrap, a center cow hitch with alternating half hitches and a simple made up wrap. Because I had sanded a flat spot where the nut would attach to the eyelet I used a separate small wrap to finish those. Once the wraps were in place a small dab of super glue gel was applied to the threaded eyelet bolt and the nut was tightened on. The wraps with the 3/8-inch holes were finished up to where the cord would go thru and loop over the end of the dowel.

DYNA X paracord supports the handles with the 3/8-inch holes. My original thought was there could be more wear or abrasion on the cord pushed thru the holes in the handle. The DNYA X cord handles abrasion much better than regular 550 paracord. The cord is attached to the handle much like a cow hitch loop. After installing the handles and going for a ride, I decided regular paracord would probably work just fine. However, I'm they kind of guy if one screw will do the job, two is better (the king of overkill).  DYNA X cord fills that idea completely.


550 Paracord was used on the handles with metal eyelets. The top of the eyelet is covered with paracord which prevents the eyelet metal from touching the metal frame of the side by side. Multiple braids were used to suspend the handles.

All of the braids supporting the handles were wrapped around the 2-inch side by side frame and braided back into themselves on the backside.

My side by side now has four grab handles. They all have different braids supporting the handles, different wraps, and multiple colors were used. This was on purpose. I wanted to try out different looks and types of braids. They are on to stay. I'm not taking them off. It took quite a bit of time to interweave the braids when I installed them setting inside the side by side. If I ever do this again on another machine I will pick one braid, wrap, and installation method for a uniform look.

M. Shane Sullivan, Owner/Manager of