handlebar angle adjustment? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 10:00 pm Thread Starter
 
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handlebar angle adjustment?

After my second ride of 100+ miles today, and 3 weeks of ownership, I'm starting to get my bike adjusted where possible to maximize comfort. My biggest issue at this point is the angle of the handlebars towards each other. When riding, I find that my wrists either have to be angled more than my forearms, or if kept straight that all my weight is put on the outside of my palms. I thought the bars angle could be adjusted by loosening the clamp on the fork tube, but after entirely removing the clamping bolt and still not being able to move them, I noticed the boss built into them where the locating bolt comes up from underneath!

So, after much searching, I've obviously found all the barbacks (which seem to keep the same angle), and found a write-up on someone who ground away BMW's notches and carved their own. The first does me no good, and the latter seems to be far too much work and a real pain in the arse.

I then came across a set of the K1200GT risers, and they appear to have an angle adjustment on them. Can anyone confirm this, and also confirm that they will work on the RS? Any known problems or previous experience would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 3:23 am
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I think the barbacks you found are the same as my BMW 'comfort' risers I fitted on my '97. If you fit them, they give the most increased height and rearwards position without having to stretch/change the cables and lines.

I'm not sure which angle you mean. If you mean the angle of the bar end moving in the horizontal plane from the mirror to the tank, then this is preset by ridges milled into the top of tha barback which align with slots underneath the grip mounts. You should be aware that sometimes others have had the hex head bolt work loose, so I'd be very nervous about filing down the milled ridges to change this angle. There can be issues with the bars touching the screen on full lock and the more you change angles away from the oem barback design, the more you will bring on this problem.

Now if you mean the angle of the brake/clutch grips in the vertical plane, clockwise and anti-clockwise, I believe when I did mine I could rotate the grip to get the levers more forwards corresponding to the more upright ride position.

Hope this helps.



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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 7:10 am
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Those look like the Suburban Machine barbacks that I have on my GT. I'm not sure if you can alter the fore/aft angle on them though. However, they do adjust the vertical angle by a few degrees and I found that made a big difference for me.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 9:24 am Thread Starter
 
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The angle I'm referring to is the way the clip ons angle towards each other, like this "/ \" if you were looking down at them from above. I have fairly broad shoulders, and if was to reach straight forward towards the grips, I would basically be grabbing the bar ends. If the angle could be reduced by just a few degrees, it would widen the grip points enough to spread the pressure across my palm rather than the outside edge. The area that I circled in red looks to be a pivot point, but it might have grooves in it to prevent it from slipping.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 12:06 pm
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OK, well BMW comfort barbacks like mine as fitted to the GT cannot be adjusted for this angle without major grinding. It's an interesting problem and I'd agree that only a few degrees would be more comfortable and in my case, stop the bar ends from digging into my palms.

I think you'd have to be careful, because moving them out would also mean moving them nearer to you to avoid mirror arms colliding with the screen. Then you'd need to worry about the cable and hydraulic line lengths.

Others here may be able to help you with something non-BMW that can do what you want. There may be barbacks which bring the bars nearer and move out to a better angle. I'd make sure though that something else is always the widest part of the bike, it's easy to clip mirrors on cages in city traffic and the stock angles do keep the bars tucked in.



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 3:38 pm Thread Starter
 
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After doing some more research, I found barbacks listed on Pirate's site for the GT and RS, and it said not to put the GT ones on the RS. I read some reviews on the American Machine barbacks, and I think they'll do what I need. They'll also move me to a slightly more upright position, but that doesn't bother me.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 2006, 5:44 pm
 
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I can vouch for the comfort provided by the angle change that the American Machine bar backs produce. The lean angle is less extreme, and a minus is that you lose the adjustability.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 2006, 6:16 pm
 
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A number of people have just removed the positioning bolts from beneath the top clamp and moved the angle of the bars. A little movement makes a big change in wrist angle.
Not top get personal, but some Ab and back strengthening will have you supporting yourself and not leaning on the bars. The big K really responds the changes in body position as opposed to counter steering. I found that barbacks really disconnected me from the 'feel' of the bike. You see alot of used barbacks for sale......
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 1:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobmws
A number of people have just removed the positioning bolts from beneath the top clamp and moved the angle of the bars. A little movement makes a big change in wrist angle.
Not top get personal, but some Ab and back strengthening will have you supporting yourself and not leaning on the bars. The big K really responds the changes in body position as opposed to counter steering. I found that barbacks really disconnected me from the 'feel' of the bike. You see alot of used barbacks for sale......
Hey Bob....can those positioning bolts be put back in after the adjustment (like a set screw) or are they threaded into the upper tree? If not, is it safe to leave them out?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 8:15 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkman
Hey Bob....can those positioning bolts be put back in after the adjustment (like a set screw) or are they threaded into the upper tree? If not, is it safe to leave them out?
They thread into the handlebar in one position, they will not go back after you rotate the bars. Safe? I'm sure it's not recommended by BMW, and I'm not recommending it either, just stating what I have done myself. My experience is that I have not had the bars move after being repositioned and retightened.
When my '03 was knocked out from under me and the bike went end over end, the bars did move upon contact with the ground, however the front fork lowers were snapped in half also.
For me, the change in angle made it alot more comfortable on my wrists.
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