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Torch In­dus­tries De­liv­ers the Goods for Our In­dian Bagger Project ........................

See­ing as I’ll be black­ing out a lot of the com­po­nents (still in the process) on my long-term In­dian Chieftain project and I was also lean­ing to­ward a new set of han­dle­bars for this over­all build, why not kill two birds with one stone with a black set of han­dle­bars from Torch In­dus­tries?

The fac­tory han­dle­bars are per­fectly fine and plenty com­fort­able from an er­gonomics per­spec­tive. But I needed black bars, man, and Torch’s new bars for Chieftain and Road­mas­ter mod­els ($379 to $429) scratched my prover­bial itch. They’re a tad taller, and they come in black (shown) but you can also get them in chrome or raw if that’s your thing. Mea­sur­ing 4 inches over stock, the unique thing about in­stalling new han­dle­bars on ’18 Chief­tains ver­sus ’17-and-ear­lier Chief­tains is that the switch hous­ings were slimmed up and the elec­tronic throt­tle con­trol (ETC) is now housed in­side the end of the new notched bar as op­posed to be­ing housed in­side the switch cube, so 2018-and­later bars were only go­ing to work in this case. Not to worry, Torch car­ries bars for both styles. And see­ing how I al­ready loved the classy styling of the fac­tory grips, I de­cided to keep those in place. I was able to re­use the fac­tory throt­tle-by-wire grip, but I needed to buy a new left-side grip since I dam­aged my stocker when re­mov­ing it (con­tact your lo­cal dealer for pric­ing). Doh!

Get­ting into the meat of the in­stal­la­tion, I was sur­prised at how easy it was to get this new handlebar on, es­pe­cially af­ter re­mov­ing the fair­ing. I was also cu­ri­ous about how the in­ter­nal wiring por­tion would go since I’d never ripped into an In­dian Chieftain fair­ing be­fore and wasn’t sure what I was work­ing with as far as con­nec­tors, brack­ets, mounts, and what-have-you. On fur­ther in­spec­tion, my mind was put at ease af­ter look­ing at how small the deutsch con­nec­tors were at the handlebar switch lo­ca­tion, and I knew they would eas­ily fish through the new Torch bars without hav­ing to re­move each pin in­di­vid­u­ally. Get­ting the fair­ing off and on is also rel­a­tively easy—i rec­om­mend grab­bing a buddy to help with hold­ing the fair­ing while you re­move the mount­ing bolts, and then again for re­in­stal­la­tion, though (noth­ing a sixer couldn’t cover). Es­sen­tially, four bolts hold the fair­ing in place (two top, and two bot­tom mounts), and of course, a ton of wiring con­nec­tors housed in­side the unit. All in all, you can re­move the fair­ing as one piece once you’ve re­moved the mount­ing bolts and un­plug the con­nec­tors, but I’d rec­om­mend mark­ing each con­nec­tor be­fore un­plug­ging (I used dif­fer­ent col­ored strips of elec­tri­cal tape) for ref­er­ence dur­ing re­in­stal­la­tion. As for plumb­ing, all of the stock wiring was long enough to work with the taller bars. While I didn’t need to ex­tend the wiring, I did need to pur­chase a longer clutch ca­ble (con­tact your dealer for pric­ing), which was 2 inches longer than stock. Lastly, the brake line still had plenty of slack for me to keep it in place safely, so I also reused it for this project.

Once I in­stalled the bars, I of course had to test them out on a ride. I was stoked on the hand po­si­tion­ing and how com­fort­able they were. I didn’t feel my back slouch­ing as it usu­ally does when I ride. I also didn’t no­tice reach­ing too far for­ward at all, which was an­other plus. And they don’t in­hibit my view of the gauges when rid­ing, and the switch hous­ings are still easy to reach. Over­all, I scored with this new set of Torch bars, and look for­ward to rip­ping into the next set of parts of the per­for­mance per­sua­sion next month!


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