How to: Beef up your bar time

Beefy bars will let you fine tune your globe-trot­ting bike’s rid­ing po­si­tion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents -

Don’t make it a stretch 1

Chang­ing the bars al­lows you to tai­lor your rid­ing po­si­tion to suit your needs. Af­ter­mar­ket bars are also beefier than stock items, which is use­ful for own­ers of ad­ven­ture and off-road­ers who ride on the rough stuff and use the bars to pick a bike up after a spill. After you’ve se­lected the ap­pro­pri­ate bars for your model, it’s im­por­tant to of­fer them up to make sure your ex­ist­ing ca­bles, wires and hoses are long enough.

Re­mem­ber the or­der 2

As it’s not al­ways ob­vi­ous which or­der your clutch/brake perch, switchgear and other items go once the stan­dard bar has been stripped, take a pic­ture of the lay­out. For ex­am­ple, on the left side you should have the bar end weight, then the grip, fol­lowed by switchgear, then clutch bracket and last of all the mir­ror mount. Keep the throt­tle hous­ing at­tached for now and use a cloth to pre­vent any­thing scratch­ing the tank.

3Dowel de­ci­sion Many firms lo­cate the switchgear, master cylin­der etc with a dowel that fits into a hole in the bar. This is done to aid assem­bly at the fac­tory and to pre­vent the com­po­nents ro­tat­ing if they be­come loose. The down­side is that it stops you from ad­just­ing the lever’s an­gle. You can ei­ther re­move the dowel or take the time to mea­sure the holes and drill ones in the new bars.

Make it flush 4

If you chose to re­move the dowel, be­fore you reach for the power tools try us­ing a small pair of mole grips. Of­ten all it takes is a bit of gen­tle per­sua­sion via a twist­ing ac­tion to pull the pin free. If that doesn’t work then it’s time to take a small grind­ing tool such as a Dremel and use a grind­ing bit to flat­ten the dowel so that it’s flush with the switchgear.

Slide them in

Take the new bars in your left hand and the throt­tle assem­bly in your right, then slide the end of the bars into the throt­tle tube and rest the bars in the clamps. Re­fit the top of the clamps but leave the bolts loose enough to al­low ad­just­ments. If the new bars have ref­er­ence marks use them to cen­tralise the po­si­tion, and then gently tighten up.

The route to per­fec­tion

Check the rout­ing of elec­tri­cal wires and your throt­tle and clutch ca­bles. It’s re­ally im­por­tant that they are not ten­sioned in any way. Turn the han­dle­bars to full lock on both sides and care­fully check that all the ca­bles and wires are free and not pulled tight. Re­fit any cable ties in their orig­i­nal po­si­tion; fit them so they grip gently but they don’t need to pinch ca­bles ag­gres­sively.

Loosen the clamps 5

When the bars are stripped down you need to loosen the clamps. Check to see whether the clamps have di­rec­tion ar­rows em­bossed on them. With the clamps off, re­move the bars from right to left, re­mov­ing the throt­tle hous­ing and tube out as one unit. This will save you time later as you won’t need to re­build the throt­tle assem­bly.

Get comfy

Sit on the bike as if you were rid­ing it and check you have the de­sired po­si­tion. If ev­ery­thing is sat­is­fac­tory torque the clamps up to the value spec­i­fied by the man­u­fac­turer. Re­fit the switchgear, levers, mir­rors and ev­ery­thing else that came off the orig­i­nal bars. Make sure they are at the cor­rect po­si­tion and at an an­gle that is com­fort­able to use.

Get a grip

It’s good prac­tice to fit new grips when you fit new bars. Re­move the old grips by gently slid­ing a thin flat-bladed screw­driver under the grip and squirt­ing some brake or carb cleaner be­tween it and the bar/throt­tle tube. The cleaner will loosen the grip mean­ing you will be able to eas­ily slide it off. Re­fit the new grips by clean­ing the bar and throt­tle tube with the same cleaner, then spray­ing again and quickly fit­ting the grip.

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