Hello From Indiana - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-08-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hello From Indiana

Hey, guys. I'm hoping to step up from a 98 suzuki gs500e to an 03 919. I'm about to pull the trigger, but I wanted some expert advice before I pull the trigger.

I'm driving to see the bike tomorrow morning (well later this morning), and the asking price is 3500. It's an 03 with 20k miles. It seems a bit high, but in my area, I saw one at a dealership (where I initially fell in love with it) for 4200. I think it had around 8 or 12k. I can't remember; I've looked at a lot of bikes since then.

Anyway, it's being sold by an old (57 yr old) guy who is buying a cruiser and had a previous owner before him. Apparently it was laid down at about 5mph leaving an alley due to wet leaves. The only cosmetic damage was a small scratch on the tank. He's had it for years since.

Anyway, is this bike worth 3.5k? I've read about the 919 engine, and it seems very reliable and more than capable of going past 40k miles. Unfortunately, I desperately want the bike, and I'll more than likely buy it regardless of price. I suppose I am just wanting to not feel so bad about it

Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of 36 Old 05-08-2012, 11:29 PM
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I'd shoot for 3200 or 3300, see if he'll bite. If the bike is mint apart from that scratch on the tank, I think it's a fair price.

And 20k miles on a 919 is just getting broke in :-)

Oh, and WELCOME!

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post #3 of 36 Old 05-08-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Great to hear. Yeah, I was going to shoot for 3.2k. Highest he'll probably shoot back is 3.3k. I'm way too excited about this. I'm a bit worried about going from a carburetor to FI and from a 500 to a 900. I haven't driven a bike with wheelie power in a long time, and I have no desire to do wheelies.

I really should be sleeping for my trip in 4 hours, but good lord. Who could sleep with the prospect of a new-to-me 919 waiting for them?

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post #4 of 36 Old 05-08-2012, 11:50 PM
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I'd shoot even lower... tell him $3100 cash and see if he bites. Plenty of nice bikes at low prices going around right now. Don't let the excitement keep you from getting a good deal. Example, last month there was an 02 or 03 (I forget) FS with a heap of mods for less than 3K. It's been dropped as well but nothing major, granted it was a California bike which is probably saturated with used bikes and the seller was probably motivated to get rid of it.

20K ain't nothing on the motor. We've got residents getting up in the 50k area with motors running strong as mile 1 and not a whole lot of maintenance but the basic and wear/tear stuff. One of the members has one with somewhere along 70-80k miles and it gets better gas mileage than my 20K bike.

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- '96 Race-retired GSXR 750 (Sold)
- '01 RC51 SP1 (Sold)
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post #5 of 36 Old 05-08-2012, 11:51 PM
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And welcome to the site! Stick around, all the info you need for the 919 is here.

My classified(s):
Nothing at the moment

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- '96 Race-retired GSXR 750 (Sold)
- '01 RC51 SP1 (Sold)
- '03 919

"Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature: avoiding danger in the long run is no safer than outright being exposed. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."-Helen Keller
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post #6 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 04:12 AM
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Hello and welcome! Good luck!

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post #7 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 04:24 AM
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Welcome Sanchez, good advice so far, good luck and I hope you get the bike.

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post #8 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 04:27 AM
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Welcome and good luck!

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post #9 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 04:05 PM
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What'd you end up doing Sanchez?

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- '01 RC51 SP1 (Sold)
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"Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature: avoiding danger in the long run is no safer than outright being exposed. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."-Helen Keller
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Just got back. Left at 8am and got back at 9:30pm. 480 mile round trip and one 919 later, I'm exhausted, cold, and hungry. I shot for 3.1 and got 3.3k. Guy is a bike mechanic and was building a custom, kickstart bobber when I got there. That will be a beauty when it's finished.

My 919 has a larger dent in the tank than I had anticipated, but it's still not concerning. Other than that, the bike is pristine. It came with an extra set of exhaust pipes with some mods to them. I just kept the stock on them, and will probably sell the others on craigslist. It has steel brake linesand aluminum foot pegs. Other than that, it looks pretty stock.

First impressions:

Pros:
Great torque
Sounds and runs great
Shifts perfectly, although the distance to shift up is a bit long it seems.
Picks up from 70-90 with absolutely no problem for those highway, gtfo of danger situations.
Gets equal gas mileage as the 500gs with mods (around 45-55mpg)

Cons:
Seat killed my ass after about 50 miles.
Clutch seems a bit tight to pull. Bumper to bump traffic in Downtown Chicago was killing my left wrist.
Pegs will have to be replaced as they offer no traction, so rain sucked (had about 20 miles of rain). The are also pretty uncomfortable because they are small and offer little support.
Tach bulb is blown.
The seating position is a ball cruncher on bumps. I had to keep adjusting to give a bit of a gap between the balls and the gas tank to avoid catastrophe.
It doesn't corner as well as the GS, but I'm not sure if that's due to the chassis or the weight difference that's throwing me off. It just seems to have to be coerced into a corner where as the GS "wants" to corner and does so with little input.
It has a little "hunt" at idle around 1-1.1k rpm. Not sure if this is normal or not.

Overall, happy with the purchase. I just need to get used to the weight and power difference, switch out the foot pegs, and possibly raise the handle bars a bit for a bit of added comfort on longer trips. Maybe a new seat. I'm not sure yet. Need to figure out what's normal on this little guy.

Input on this stuff is welcome And thanks for the warm welcome!

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post #11 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 07:38 PM
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Welcome to the madness!

Seat is a known issue - lots of guys get a Corbin, or do a Sargent seat mod. And you can get the front raised a bit for the ball scrunchy issue.

Lube the clutch cable (or just get a new one, that one is cake to replace, it probably needs to be replaced anyway).

Lots of suspension mods (and new shocks/fork rebuilds) to be done for better carving.

And the stock pegs have a rubber top, so they are much better, IMO, than aftermarket slick aluminum ones.

Not sure about the 'hunt' in the idle, if it's just a slight little variation, it's probably normal.

If you're running the stock bars, that's part of your discomfort, too. New bars (with possibly risers) are a nice upgrade.

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post #12 of 36 Old 05-09-2012, 08:31 PM
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Congrats and welcome! I moved to the 919 from the 599 and definitely noticed the weight difference while cornering, you'll get used to it in no time. I noticed a heavier clutch pull as well compared to the 599, so I'd say that's normal. It did get a little better after I lubed it and adjusted the slack though. Gotta love that torque upgrade too

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post #13 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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I slept like a baby, and now I'm ready to take my new bike out and pay more attention to the quirks. I did notice a bit of front wheel wobble very intermittently on the ride yesterday. I'd say it only happened about 3 times, once it was a bit worrisome, and the other times it was just a very minor shake -- almost not noticeable. I'm going to go out today and see if I can recreate this wobble and pinpoint where it happens. I'm hoping it's just a tire balance issue.

Also, when riding yesterday, I felt like the bike was pretty happy around 4k rpm for cruising... is this the range most people keep it at? The closeness of the gears after 3rd seems to make the bike almost stay there unless you keep it in second for sub 40mph in-town cruising. I want to do all I can to keep this thing going strong.

I think I'm too much in love with this thing right now. I didn't schedule myself to work at my store for two weeks, but I'm thinking of riding up there in 50 degree weather just for an excuse to ride!

Thanks again, guys. This seems like just as good a community as the gstwins site I'm on for my gs500. Sorry about the long winded posts, also; I haven't been able to kick the habit since college...

Edit: I forgot something else weird but maybe normal? In slower turns, the bike almost anticipates and wants to turn the front wheel for me. As I'm leaning in for a slow corner such as in town street to street turns, if I start leaning left, the front wheel will turn a bit by itself towards the turn. It its a bit weird. Is this normal, or is it indicative of a poorly balanced front tire/bent forks?

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post #14 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 08:18 AM
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1. the wheel "wobble" was most likely caused by the road surface you rode across. if it indeed was a real shake/wobble, it'd happen consistently under some sort of load. in other words, dont worry about it.

2. don't baby that thing. ride the piss out of it! i flog mine near daily (as does ndspdbh and a few others) with ill effect. these bikes are nearly bulletproof and are built to withstand the abuse.

3. sub 40 mph in 2nd gear? you need to open her up more. in fact, when i'm merging onto the freeway, i shift down to first once i'm on the onramp and rev up til i hit redline before i shift to 2nd, then rev up again to redline before shifting and settling down to cruising speed. keep in mind, i've had a few minutes of riding through town in order to get to the freeway.

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post #15 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
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3. sub 40 mph in 2nd gear? you need to open her up more. in fact, when i'm merging onto the freeway, i shift down to first once i'm on the onramp and rev up til i hit redline before i shift to 2nd, then rev up again to redline before shifting and settling down to cruising speed. keep in mind, i've had a few minutes of riding through town in order to get to the freeway.

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post #16 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 09:38 AM
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Not sure how your previous bike handled, but what your describing with the bike during a corner is called 'turn-in'. Basically, how easy is it for the bike to 'dip into' a corner.

Lots of math behind the geometry; rake and trail and such, but that's the gyst of it.

Some folks here will raise their fork tubes (drop the triple clamps is another way to describe it) to get even 'quicker' turn in.

I dropped mine about 10mm, so the forks were sticking out about 10mm above the top of the triple tree, but that was a bit too quick for my liking, so I went back to about 5mm. Seems to be about right.

So check for that, maybe the previous owner did this and you might want a higher ride for where the forks meet the triple clamps.


And Pvster is most definitely NOT a SQUID. SQUIDS can hear.

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post #17 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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My GS wouldn't automatically turn the wheel. It would let me do it myself. This one just seems to do it automatically. It's a bit unnerving. I've only owned a KZ550 and the GS, so my experience on multiple bikes is lacking. Neither of these bikes seem to have done this. If this is normal, though, I can get used to it. My only strong point these days is that I adapt well and learn quickly. I just went for a little ride around town and didn't notice any wobble in the tire at all, so that's good news

I did almost drop it in my driveway, unfortunately... the turn radius on the GS is better, and I usually turn it around in the driveway from the garage. The 919 barely made it. I'll have to pull back a bit further before doing that one

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post #18 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 01:20 PM
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congrats, from your list of cons, you definitly got a 9'er ; )

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post #19 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 02:21 PM
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Where did you get the bike from? I see from the cons you were riding through Chicago at some point yesterday. What time were you headed through? I work downtown and live in Indiana, so i commute the Dan Ryan and Bishop Ford daily on mine. I took the skyway yesterday, though. If you ever plan on being back out this way and want to meet up let me know. Oh, and welcome to the site.

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post #20 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 03:52 PM
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The wheel wobble I don't know about..but the slow speed turning stuff you mentioned I think is due to the weight of the 919. It's something I noticed coming from the 599. , you'll get used to it

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post #21 of 36 Old 05-10-2012, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
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And Pvster is most definitely NOT a SQUID. SQUIDS can hear.

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post #22 of 36 Old 05-11-2012, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Dadler, I had to drive up to spring grove from Northwest Indiana -- so basically just near Wisconsin. I took the dan ryan to eden expressway. It was around 10am or so going north and about 1pm going south. I stopped in Merriville to plate the bike. I probably should have taken the toll road, but I wasn't leading... stupid Garmin. And, yeah, I'll definitely hit you up if I head back that way. I moved from there years ago, but I still have family I visit from time to time. Any excuse to take the bike and ride with other people is always welcome

I did another 100 miles yesterday, and the wobble wasn't there, so I'm sure you guys were right about it being the road surface. I did get flashed some tits out of a limo that did 85 to catch up to me, though. I love motorcycles.

So, I have to get a new seat for sure. That this is murder on my ass. I think the pegs have something to do with the early fatigue in my legs due to having to keep pressure on them so I don't slip off. My foot did actually sip off and rub the road at around 70mph or so as I accelerated to pass. That's an accident waiting to happen.

The last issue is my wrists. They seem to get sore very quickly. I think it might be the front end height. Either new handlebars or raising the front end is in order here. If I post some pics, you guys think you could help me decide whether it's been modified and the best/cheapest way I can resolve this?

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post #23 of 36 Old 05-11-2012, 09:39 AM
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00sanches, nothing wrong with getting a new seat. often times the stock seat is too soft and firmer seats actually give better support so go for it.

as for the leg issue, you need to practice keeping your knees up against the tank. squeeze your legs if you must, this helps you keep centered on the bike and remain planted. tank grip pads are a great addition as well.

as for the wrists, you need to strengthen your core more. your wrists shouldnt have any weight on them from the upper body. the core carries all the upper body strength. however, the angle of the wrists on the bars can cause issues as well and that can be remedied with new bars.

do post pics and we'll help you out.

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post #24 of 36 Old 05-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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Sanchez, the stock handlebars are almost universally reviled and usually replaced.

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post #25 of 36 Old 05-11-2012, 09:47 AM
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^^+1 on the bars. They angle too far in and cause your wrist to be bent, much like a flat (non-ergonomic) keyboard.

I have some Rizoma bars (they are pricey) but I love them, see the pics from the link in my sig.

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post #26 of 36 Old 05-11-2012, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g00gl3it View Post
^^+1 on the bars. They angle too far in and cause your wrist to be bent, much like a flat (non-ergonomic) keyboard.

I have some Rizoma bars (they are pricey) but I love them, see the pics from the link in my sig.
To use the stock bars with any forward lean on my bike causes my wrists to be angled at maximum and my elbows to dig into my ribs. IIRC, the first thing I did to mine was jettison the stock bars and fit some adjustable ones off a vintage Honda. The stock bars are a sick joke, and I'm still trying to figure out how this was thought to be acceptable.

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post #27 of 36 Old 05-12-2012, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, here are some pics of the bike:











The last one is of the old GS500E. It is currently sitting in the garage awaiting a new oil pressure switch. Hopefully that fixes the issues. It was dumped in the driveway by my daughter, and ever since, the oil light has stayed on when it runs.

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post #28 of 36 Old 05-13-2012, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I think the bars have to be aftermarket. I was making a right handed u-turn yesterday from a dead stop, and when I turned the bars full right, the starter button was getting hit. I don't think Honda would have overlooked something like this, so... yeah.

I pushed another 200 miles yesterday, and I'm still getting used to this machine, and I'm still in love, so that's a good thing. I don't really have the cash to get a corbin quite yet, so a buddy lent me a gel clip-on cushion. I didn't have a chance to really see how effective it would be as my ass was already demolished by the time we thought of it.

I have noticed a few sounds that make me a little worried, though. At around 2-2.5k rpm in first and second gear I hear a low decibel "rattle" on the right side that doesn't seem to go with the engine speed, but I can't really tell over the "whine" the engine generally makes. This thing sounds like a jet's turbine engine. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good listen to it as my helmet muffled most of the sounds, and it goes away quickly. I'm assuming it's just some clamp or one of the passenger pegs that's matching the vibration frequency of the engine, but I want to be sure. I really only notice it in the friction zone on take-offs from a dead stop and right after the clutch is fully disengaged. Any ideas?

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post #29 of 36 Old 05-14-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
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Ok, I think the bars have to be aftermarket. I was making a right handed u-turn yesterday from a dead stop, and when I turned the bars full right, the starter button was getting hit. I don't think Honda would have overlooked something like this, so... yeah.

Check your steering stops, maybe they are damaged from a previous wreck?

Your control pods don't look to be too far inside on the bars, so they look like they 'should' clear.

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post #30 of 36 Old 05-14-2012, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a pc of the left cluster touching the tank and then the position of the steering stop
also a pic if the bars as well. Maybe it was lowered if they aren't aftermarket bars?






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post #31 of 36 Old 05-14-2012, 03:21 PM
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all bad advice here.

btw, those aren't oem bars. Push them up (roll forward) until there is no conflict with the tank

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post #32 of 36 Old 05-14-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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all bad advice here.

btw, those aren't oem bars. Push them up (roll forward) until there is no conflict with the tank
Well that helps... Care to elaborate? Sounds like good advice to me.

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post #33 of 36 Old 05-15-2012, 05:26 AM
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I was j/k.

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post #34 of 36 Old 05-15-2012, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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If only sarcasm could be transferred in text

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post #35 of 36 Old 05-15-2012, 12:40 PM
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Well, what he was joking about was loosening the bar clamps on the triple tree, and rotating the bars forward, but this throws the ends into mini-ape hanger position and kinda defeats the purpose of having aftermarket bars. Plus you'd have to re-adjust your mirrors, grips, levers, cables, etc.


A) Get a set of bar risers. 1" or so should help. Will also help in pushing the riding position to a more upright stance as well. This will change the way the bike steers a bit, less of a sportbike ride, so if you don't like it, then:

B) Get a different set of bars. See Option C.

C) Get Tharbars (Rob Tharlson, here on the forum, he makes custom clip on bars, just do a search).

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post #36 of 36 Old 05-15-2012, 03:24 PM
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I wasn't joking about bars. All you need is a little bit until there is a clearance. If you don't feel the riding position after that adjustment go to plan B: what google3it suggested

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