relocated handlebars? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2008, 12:57 pm Thread Starter
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relocated handlebars?

I don't mean just bar-backs, I mean a wholesale relocation using different mount points and bars, longer cables the whole enchellada?

Any success or failures to share?

Charles
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2008, 1:07 pm
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Bars

We'll need some more information on your plan. What do you have in mind?

Jim S.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2008, 1:50 pm Thread Starter
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no details

Just looking to set the k12rs bars in a more "forgiving" position. I sat on an FJR that had large spacers under some long, swept back style bars. The bars came on back quite a ways, allowing for more upright seating postiioin.

Charles
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2008, 9:45 pm
 
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Have you considered the option of tubular steel handlebars? These come standard on the Authorities model used by some police and ambulance services.

The top triple clamp is replaced for one which has bar mounts cast into the top of them with regular 2 bolt clamps to retain the bars.

This gives you freedom of rotating the bars forward or backward or substituting for a completely different shape. Probably requires longer cableing.

I can assure you the comfort level from the more upright seating position is very welcome on ancient bones.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2008, 10:18 pm
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More Forgiving

Charles,
Since you only have 7 posts I'm assuming you have not had your RS long, so here it is. Keep riding with the stock bar settings. I don't know what your precious bike was, if any, but unless your over 6' tall don't change a thing. I came to the KRS from a KLT, 4 years, which is a very upright position and wanted exactly what you are looking for when I went with the RS. I found it in a set of bar-backs, which set me more upright, but later changed back to the original way BMW designed the bike. I'm 51 y.o. with a bad knee and have ridden with the stock set-up for several years now and will not go back to the bar-backs.
My best ride was from the BMW Vermont rally, a few years back, to Winchester Va. straight through, approx. 13 hours in the saddle. My only problem was fatigue and my ass. If in fact this is a new riding position for you, please give your body time to adjust. It will be using muscles you never thought you had. Personally, I found the bar-back to hinder performance when I get serious in the "twisties" here in North Carolina. The RS is designed for the riders weight to be more forward, this is very important. The more "upright" you are, your weight is distributed in a way that compromises handling performance of this bike. Bottom line is, if you want that upright feeling consider a KLT, they are surprising performers when it comes to handling. If you stay with the RS then give it time, you won't regret it. The body just needs to adjust to the change. Hope this helps.

Jim S.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2008, 8:06 am
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Charles, something you should consider with your idea of wholesale relocation is that when you move the riders grip from being in plane with the forks of the bike to somewhere else the steering and handling will change. I know this due to the fact that I put Suburban Machine Type II barbacks on my GT and felt a definite change. I need the upright position due to a wrist problem and have gotten used to the heavier handling, but I still consider going back to stock.


'03 K1200GT

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2008, 10:43 am
 
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I'm against it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2008, 12:44 am
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Well, here's my story.

I too would like to try the tubular handle bar thing.

I put about 12,000 miles on my rs with type one bar backs and did ok.

I then took off the bar backs and went back to stock and tried that for about 3,000 miles.
I do like the way the bike handles at higher speed with the stock set up, but the bar backs are better around town.

I was ok when I wasn't getting on the bike with my neck already messed up. I have some neck problems that are not motorcycle related so I have good days and bad days. If it is a bad day, I can manage with the bar backs but I will be so crippled up without them I will not be able to even turn my head from side to side for days afterward.

(.. and before all the "master Yoda" nazis jump in.. yes I have tried all that. I use it even with the bar backs and yes, it is a very good way to ride, BUT it is not enough to help my neck..)

I think what I really need is for the bars to be angled back ( tips in more towards the tank ) just a few degrees more than I need higher and back.

So the tubular handle bar thing sounds good to me. I could bend up different sets until I got the one I liked but the only thing holding me back is that I hate making cables.

So, I will be watching this thread to see if anyone has a source of ready made cables that are of as good or better quality than the stock ones.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2008, 3:59 am
 
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A comfortable seating position is paramount to a pleasant riding experience. There is no point in putting up with sore wrists/back/legs/neck, life is too short for that!

Every person has a different calf/thigh/torso/neck ratio so any standard seating position on a bike is a compromise. It is not by accident that BMW provide tubular bars to their police models on the K1200. Many hours in the saddle for an officer means comfort is primary.

The standard tubular bars on an RS/P model provide fore and aft adjustment, the average police rider is between 5'10' and 6'2' and from the feedback I receive, nearly all of them like the standard bars. Sometimes aftermarket bars are needed, but not often.
The extra leverage afforded by the tubular bars also makes for easy low speed maneuvering. The RS/P also gets the GT hand and leg guards which give you extra protection from the elements. I am only 5'8" but have no difficulty in getting a comfortable seating position. My personal bike also has bar raisers on the standard triple clamp.

Some purists may ridicule these bars and may say it changes the sporting nature of the RS, however the extra comfort and adjustability alone surely justify giving it a go.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2008, 6:36 am
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Before you start, make sure you have a solution for the hydraulic clutch line. I haven't yet found anybody in UK that can make it longer due to the really small coupling they put at the slave end.

If you decide to go RS/P then you should be OK with oem replacement cables and clutch line.

When I looked at an RS/P I thought the whole bar arrangement with new triple tree, whilst functional looked a bit ugly. I'm not sure if the bars were chrome, have this feeling they were black. Chrome would look better.

Somewhere here (or there), I read a post from somebody who had made a pair of forged clamps which bolted to a standard triple tree. I hope they used Loctite on the clamp bolts!

If you want to experiment with after market bars, there are many types sold for the Jap bikes, but check the tube diameters with the RS/P oem.



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Last edited by voxmagna; May 14th, 2008 at 6:44 am.
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