Thar Engineering Multi-Position Bars (Rob Tharalson's Bars) - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thar Engineering Multi-Position Bars (Rob Tharalson's Bars)

Well, I arrived at my office yesterday afternoon, and found this package on my desk!


So I was eager to open it up and see what i got! Woohoo, it's Rob's prototype adjustable bars, that he posted about in the Naked Section!


Just as soon as I arrived at my office, I just as soon decided to call it a day! Sometimes it's good to be the Boss I wanted to mount up the new bars, and get riding before the sun goes down, so I went right at it.

My latest handlebar setup was with Clubman Bars. I was debating between Suburban Machinery bars, Clubmans, or Converti-Bars as my next set-up, but ultimately decided on the Clubmans.

In the original mounts, the Clubmans were too far forward , making it too much a stretch for my 5'-9" reach. Here's a pic of them in the original mounts (I realize I could use me as a model, but I figured she would serve that purpose better... even though she's not actually reaching for the bars!)

So I had to look at options for bringing it in closer. I found these vintage ACK adaptors on Ebay for $25, which would allow me to bring them up about 3/4", and back 2-1/4".

The move back worked out well enough, but I now needed more height to clear the tank . I could only adjust the Clubmans so much, before the angle of the bars would be too uncomfortable to work well. I had to look for yet another type of riser adaptor that would bring them up further, and maybe not too far back. The point being... it would take time, patience, searching and purchasing risers through trial and error to get make the Clubmans work for me.

So I went ahead and did the swap. No pics here of the process, since it's pretty straightforward how to swap handlebars. So this is what it looked like once I installed them, and positioned them to my liking:

The BIG difference between these bars, and any other bar i could think of, is how easy it was to get the bars exactly where I wanted them!!! No need for trial and error, wasting money buying different handlebars with the hopes that they'll fit me better than the last (I went through 5 handlebars so far, and although I had no problem riding with them, they never seemed to be "just right" for me. I figured when I had the time... again... I would try another set of bars, and so on, and so on).


These bars mounted up easy. The first thing I realized, though, when trying to adjust them, is that it needs calibration lines on the riser tubes, as well as the bracket. Some type of markers to help me be sure that the bars are symmetrically set, before I clamped them down. Another issue was that the clamps were very tight, and it took alot of twisting and muscle to move them up and down the riser. I should note that the center riser bars are temporary for the purposes of this beta-testing, and Thar Engineering will send me stainless bars in the near future, so maybe it just has something to do with actual differences in diameters (milimeters) of nominal 7/8" stainless bars. vs. 7/8" steel bars?

But the BEST thing about these bars is that I was able to get the bars exactly where I wanted them on the first go at it!! I can rotate the center section forward or back, as it pivots on the bracket mounts. Then, I can rotate the bars to get the desired setback I want. The combination of the 2 rotating points gives you a wide range of adjustablity. I'm gonna ride it in this position for the next week or two, then in three weeks, I have a Charity Ride to go on. I'll set it up where I rotate the riser to be more vertically set, and adjust the bars accordingly, for a more upright riding position.

One thing to note, in it's current position, is that I cannot bring the controls closer in, because the master brake resovoir will hit the riser bar (because of the forward angle I have it set at). I do intend to swap that out with a GP style resovoir, so that won't be an issue. If you don't want to rotate the riser bar that far forward, it won't be an issue at all. Right now, I have the grips just about where I want them if they were to be in the "touring position". The bars arrive with a 12" length, so the combined width of the total assembly can potentially be as wide as 32" from end to end. I don't need that much width for my bike, so I'm just gonna cut off about 2" from each bar (right about where the grips end in the pics), for a max width of 28". Once I get the new resovoir, all is good! I'll be able to move the grips another 1-3/4" closer in, giving me a width range from 24" to 28" once it's set and done. However, to get it down to 24", I will then need to consider how the clutch cable will route. Nevertheless, I don't think I want it that narrow, and will likely set it at 26" from grip-end to grip-end, when I have it in the low position.

Anyway, I took her for a quick ride today, which included some freeway high speed excursions. All I can say is I am very, very happy with these bars! I really don't even want to move them, since they seem to be in the perfect position for me, but it's great to know that I can play around with them all I want! And without additional "costs". Because of its multiple adjustability, I am certain I can find other positions that will fit me just as well. I can lower the bars about another 3/4" before it starts to hit the tank, so I may try that, but for now I am as happy as can be in its current position... a position, I will remind you, that I configured on my first go-around.

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post #2 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 04:02 PM
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post #3 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 04:10 PM
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Looking good! Can't wait to see the stainless on there!

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post #4 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 04:15 PM
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very cool...

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post #5 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 08:25 PM
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That center part looks like an old airplane yoke, doesn't it? If you pull back on that while riding can you take off?

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post #6 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 08:37 PM
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Cool...

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post #7 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 09:45 PM
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Looks really cool! Good job Rob...and Rob.

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post #8 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 10:25 PM
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looks really nice. Bars aren't to bad either.

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post #9 of 42 Old 09-15-2009, 10:38 PM
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Are these being used to find the exact dimensions of the bars you want and then Rob fabricating a dedicated bar with the dimensions you liked or is this a more permanent setup?

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post #10 of 42 Old 09-16-2009, 03:56 AM
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I'd be interested in a set of custom bars, using something like those that TharEng built and modified like Rob919 suggested. I'd of course pay TharEng for the loan of the "tool" and the new bars. I just have to pay off a couple of tickets first, and court isnt until 09Oct09.

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post #11 of 42 Old 09-16-2009, 06:16 AM
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You can't go wrong with eye candy. Do you feel safer splitting lanes?
The untrimmed config reminds me of Flip Wilson "The devil made me do it!"

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post #12 of 42 Old 09-16-2009, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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I think we can start calling these "Thar-Bars". I called them Thar-Bars for short in a few other forums I posted this on, the name kinda rung a bell with others.

One guy wanted to know when these Thar-Bars will be out on the market. I'm not getting too many responses on them yet, but those that have are very interested and want them NOW!

Rob, once you get the final version out (and I do think it needs calibration marks)... you got gold here, me thinks!

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post #13 of 42 Old 09-16-2009, 11:17 AM
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Looks great! It's cool having all that adjustability! Very interested to see the final product, trimmed down and mounted.

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post #14 of 42 Old 09-16-2009, 11:30 AM
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Add me to the wish list!

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post #15 of 42 Old 09-16-2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob919 View Post
I think we can start calling these "Thar-Bars". I called them Thar-Bars for short in a few other forums I posted this on, the name kinda rung a bell with others.

One guy wanted to know when these Thar-Bars will be out on the market. I'm not getting too many responses on them yet, but those that have are very interested and want them NOW!
How did you know? I've been planning to call them Thar Bars for over a year.
Quote:

Rob, once you get the final version out (and I do think it needs calibration marks)... you got gold here, me thinks!
Working on the adjustment symmetry method as I speak. It will be ... different. Or did I have to say that?

Rob:
Thanks for the exposure, and let me know when you have tried the touring position -- I think you will find that they won't be as high as you originally thought.

If you could PM me with the forums you posted on I'd greatly appreciate it.

More to come.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------
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post #16 of 42 Old 09-17-2009, 06:21 AM
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I got mine on last night. I painted mine temporarily. Unfortunately, I had to put my 'mickey mirrors on' as I messed up one of my Bar end mirrors removing them from the old bars but they still look cool. As Rob said, installation was easy because the adjustment was different. I rode it to work this morning with the bars all the way down and my grips in much the same position as Robs. The clamps are very trick and tighter than you'd imagine. They're not going anywhere. The bars are MUCH lighter than they look in the pics. When I picked the box up i actually thought it was something else! The quality was good although they got bounced around in the packaging a bit. I rode up to the barber shop last night when I was done but unfortunately I have a house full of guests and am leaving for a week on Sunday and can't ride it anymore! I like 'em, good job Rob! I agree with Rob, you got gold my friend.

I'll try and post some pics tonight if I get time. I'll do a better review in two weeks when I get to use them.

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post #17 of 42 Old 09-17-2009, 07:28 AM
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Great Idea Rob, those bars will solve many a riders handlebar issues. VERY COOL!


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post #18 of 42 Old 09-17-2009, 03:09 PM
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I love the art of innovation and creativity. Good luck with the new project Rob - I wish you all the success possible.

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post #19 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 06:17 PM
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The latest revision

As you know Rob919 and Igneale got beta testing bars. Well, there have been a few changes.

I moved the clamps to the center section and have a variety of handle tube configurations planned. This illustration duplicates the Revision 1 bars. The top two are the lowest that can be fit, and the bottom uses bent rather than welded tubing, which I think looks better, but limits the lower position to 1.375" higher than with the welded tubes.
The "horns" on the REV 1 bars have been eliminated for safety and aesthetic reasons, but this is not without a downside -- the range of height adjustment is limited by clearance between surface of the triple clamp and the lower saddle of the handlebar clamp, in this case about 35mm. It's not as bad as it sounds due to most lower positions also are rotated forward in the triple clamps as well, giving more room.

As soon as I get all my supplier ducks in a row they will be for sale, so keep an eye out for the announcement.

Rob

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post #20 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 06:47 PM
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Another configuration, an homage to the original bars.

The minimum height difference is less in this case because the welded bar height is limited by the top of the triple handlebar mount, not the bar adjustment clamp. Knowing that there is not much of a difference in height considering both are below the center section, and with nearly 3" rise change by flipping the center section 180 degrees, I'd say this is the configuration I'll be using ...


... unless I build something else completely different. Sigh.

Rob

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post #21 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 06:55 PM
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Add me to the wish list!
Me, too.

and when Thar Engineering goes public....?...

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post #22 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 07:28 PM
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Looking good, very innovative!

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post #23 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
Another configuration, an homage to the original bars.

The minimum height difference is less in this case because the welded bar height is limited by the top of the triple handlebar mount, not the bar adjustment clamp. Knowing that there is not much of a difference in height considering both are below the center section, and with nearly 3" rise change by flipping the center section 180 degrees, I'd say this is the configuration I'll be using ...


... unless I build something else completely different. Sigh.

Rob
Now this I'm beginning to like!

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post #24 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 08:02 PM
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I think you're on to something here Rob.

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post #25 of 42 Old 10-03-2009, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
As you know Rob919 and Igneale got beta testing bars. Well, there have been a few changes.


As soon as I get all my supplier ducks in a row they will be for sale, so keep an eye out for the announcement.

Rob
Assuming they will work on my FZ ( I don't see why they wouldn't ) I'd be interested in the 1st (top) bar configuration.


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post #26 of 42 Old 10-05-2009, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post
As you know Rob919 and Igneale got beta testing bars. Well, there have been a few changes.

I moved the clamps to the center section and have a variety of handle tube configurations planned. This illustration duplicates the Revision 1 bars. The top two are the lowest that can be fit, and the bottom uses bent rather than welded tubing, which I think looks better, but limits the lower position to 1.375" higher than with the welded tubes.
The "horns" on the REV 1 bars have been eliminated for safety and aesthetic reasons, but this is not without a downside -- the range of height adjustment is limited by clearance between surface of the triple clamp and the lower saddle of the handlebar clamp, in this case about 35mm. It's not as bad as it sounds due to most lower positions also are rotated forward in the triple clamps as well, giving more room.

As soon as I get all my supplier ducks in a row they will be for sale, so keep an eye out for the announcement.

Rob
I really like the original setup I have right now. Everyone who's seen my bike in person, and not just thru pics, really like the look. In fact, the "horns" don't really look like horns at all, and they think the whole setup looks pimp.

The only problem, for me, with the new style, would be the limitations on height adjustment. That was an important aspect that I found very appealing. On the same note, I am so happy with the position I have the bars in now, that I am almost reluctant to try them in the high position anymore! And I do like the looks of the newer design better!

Whatever the design may be in its final rendition, the defining advantage that these bars have over any other is its ability to allow the rider to set it in a position that's ideal to that individual, and do so at a great price!

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post #27 of 42 Old 10-05-2009, 09:30 AM
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Pretty unconventional but cool design.

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post #28 of 42 Old 11-06-2009, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Figured I'd post an update on my Thar-Bars...

I have yet to reposition them in an upright position, and I do plan on doing so. Part of my reluctance is that these bars, with the position I have them set at, remains perfect! I have no need to reposition them, which is testament to the product itself.

Another problem is I have not had too much time to ride any Patriot Guard Missions, or long trips, either. I was gonna join my PGR Brothers for the "Texas Honor Ride" from Houston to San Antonio this weekend, and had plans to set up my bike for the 300 mile trip, but I just recently started a new business, and it's keeping me tied up.

One thing I should note: A few weeks ago, I went to a "secret" location where alot of Houston's best stunters go to practice. A few of them checked out my bike, and they generally agreed that these bars would be perfect for stunters, due to the adjustability. So you need to look into this market, Rob, because I think if you market it right, it could take off in this niche as well!

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post #29 of 42 Old 01-05-2010, 04:12 PM
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this thread needs a bump.

some of you may know that i did some racing on my 919 last year. here's where it started:

https://wristtwisters.com/naked-bikes...on-opener.html

at that time rob had prototyped his adjustable handlebars in steel, and was using them on his 919. i convinced him to let me race with them.

i had already dropped my stock bars as low as i could, but the added adjustability of rob's bars changed everything about riding the 919. the 919 is a very comfortable bike; the first time i sat on one in a showroom, it felt absolutely perfect to me. but its ergo's are designed for upright riding. once you start moving around on the bike, the stock handlebars become an obstacle. there is simply no way that a non-adjustable bar could work properly for all (or even many) riders in a dynamic riding situation.

i was able to adjust rob's bars to a position that was neutral for me. by neutral, i mean that i could easily reach the bars from all riding positions with enough accuracy to make small steering adjustments, without needing to put significant weight on the bars, or anywhere else. with the stock bars, some riding positions were awkward or uncomfortable. riding through turn 2 at willow springs, my whole body would be tense as i tried to support my weight while reaching over the tank to the outside bar. i could feel my inside leg straining by the end of the turn (that's not what you want to be thinking about in turn 2) but i still needed to hold the inside bar tightly to balance myself, resulting in unintended steering input when i adjusted my body position.

i adjusted rob's bars to a position that i could reach comfortably, while supporting myself with my legs. and the positions are comfortable, so my legs can relax and move, instead of being awkward and strained. the result is better performance, but also more comfort and less fatigue.

the beauty of adjustable bars is not that you can make constant, ongoing adjustments, it is that you can find the perfect position for yourself, and stick with it. it is incredible how much of a difference a seemingly minor adjustment can make. and it is surprising how much of our riding attention is occupied by discomfort, even if you don't realize it. once your mind is freed from the distractions, you'll be able to focus far more of your attention on riding.

unfortunately, i couldn't return rob's prototype to him. last june i had a major crash in practice (between turns 2 and 3 at willow) and broke them. fortunately, rob should have an aluminum version of his bars available soon. he's promised to let me buy the first production set , but there should be plenty of bars available.

if you want to take your riding to the next level without making the jump to a supersport model, bars like these will make a major difference. short of re-designing the motorcycle, no other modification has as great an impact on rider position and comfort and performance.

...j919

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post #30 of 42 Old 02-03-2010, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j919 View Post
this thread needs a bump.

some of you may know that i did some racing on my 919 last year. here's where it started:

https://wristtwisters.com/naked-bikes...on-opener.html

at that time rob had prototyped his adjustable handlebars in steel, and was using them on his 919. i convinced him to let me race with them.

i had already dropped my stock bars as low as i could, but the added adjustability of rob's bars changed everything about riding the 919. the 919 is a very comfortable bike; the first time i sat on one in a showroom, it felt absolutely perfect to me. but its ergo's are designed for upright riding. once you start moving around on the bike, the stock handlebars become an obstacle. there is simply no way that a non-adjustable bar could work properly for all (or even many) riders in a dynamic riding situation.

i was able to adjust rob's bars to a position that was neutral for me. by neutral, i mean that i could easily reach the bars from all riding positions with enough accuracy to make small steering adjustments, without needing to put significant weight on the bars, or anywhere else. with the stock bars, some riding positions were awkward or uncomfortable. riding through turn 2 at willow springs, my whole body would be tense as i tried to support my weight while reaching over the tank to the outside bar. i could feel my inside leg straining by the end of the turn (that's not what you want to be thinking about in turn 2) but i still needed to hold the inside bar tightly to balance myself, resulting in unintended steering input when i adjusted my body position.

i adjusted rob's bars to a position that i could reach comfortably, while supporting myself with my legs. and the positions are comfortable, so my legs can relax and move, instead of being awkward and strained. the result is better performance, but also more comfort and less fatigue.

the beauty of adjustable bars is not that you can make constant, ongoing adjustments, it is that you can find the perfect position for yourself, and stick with it. it is incredible how much of a difference a seemingly minor adjustment can make. and it is surprising how much of our riding attention is occupied by discomfort, even if you don't realize it. once your mind is freed from the distractions, you'll be able to focus far more of your attention on riding.

unfortunately, i couldn't return rob's prototype to him. last june i had a major crash in practice (between turns 2 and 3 at willow) and broke them. fortunately, rob should have an aluminum version of his bars available soon. he's promised to let me buy the first production set , but there should be plenty of bars available.

if you want to take your riding to the next level without making the jump to a supersport model, bars like these will make a major difference. short of re-designing the motorcycle, no other modification has as great an impact on rider position and comfort and performance.

...j919
I ABSOLUTELY AGREE! I keep saying I will try my bars in the upright position, but I have NO NEED TO DO SO! Without even a flyscreen up front, it would be completely awkward to set it up high, as I would be like a parachute trying to force myself through the wind blast. The way I have my bars positioned now is also "neutral" as you had described it. I can completely move around on my bike and feel I'm in full control, and it's because of the ability to fine tune the position of these bars to be in sync with my ergos.

They just need calibration lines/markers, imho, to make them easier to set up. But then again, as I've said again and again, once you have them set up, you will have no need to ever move them again.

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post #31 of 42 Old 02-04-2010, 09:35 AM
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Rob 919,(thread derail)
How did you get those headers black? Painted or coated? Easy to clean. My bike is not a garage queen, but spend too much time cleaning the headers

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post #32 of 42 Old 02-04-2010, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Rob 919,(thread derail)
How did you get those headers black? Painted or coated? Easy to clean. My bike is not a garage queen, but spend too much time cleaning the headers
Powder coated flat black. They've held up pretty well, and are easy to clean. Well worth it! If you look at the pics I just posted in the belly pan thread (Naked Section), one of them got a little chip from the crash, but other than that they're holding up fine.

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post #33 of 42 Old 02-04-2010, 10:15 AM
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Rob,

A very clever doohickie you've got there. Of all the skills/gifts a person could envy, I wish my brain worked a bit more like yours. I have no business buying toys right now. However, I want those. Great Work! When and how much?

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post #34 of 42 Old 02-04-2010, 10:56 AM
The 919 project continues
 
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These bars look awesome! I've wasted way too much money trying to find that 'perfect' handlebar bend, and after 4 sets of handlebars I'm still looking... Having something completely adjustable would be perfect!

One question: I see that the clamps on the center bar are offset so that if you flip the center bar over the bars can be angled up or down. But what about fore and aft adjustment? If the clamps on the center bar were offset by about 10mm then rotating the center bar 180 degrees would move your bars forward or back. Similar to the offset bar clamps on some MX bikes, just rotate the bar clamps and the bars can be moved forward or back.

Amazing product, I'm very excited to see the final version. I'm sure you're gonna sell a ton of them!

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post #35 of 42 Old 02-05-2010, 01:17 PM
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Finally!

Well, at long last I've got all my supplier's ducks if not in a row, at least all headed in the same general direction. As soon as I receive the handle sections and thoroughly inspect them there will be 16 handlebar assemblies for sale for $150 each. Three are already spoken for, so let me know if you are interested and I'll put you on the list.

For the time being I'll be bootstrapping, so there will be a short delay between lots. Don't worry -- I will fill all orders, but patience will be appreciated.

Here's what you'll get:

The throttle housing shim is a little innovation I came up with -- and learned how to "injection" mold polypropylene at home -- that holds the throttle housing firmly to the bar without grinding the locating pin out, enabling positioning to suit your needs before drilling the bar. I'm considering selling them separately to those of you who for some strange reason don't want to buy my bars just to get the shim. Cheapskates.

Anyway, that's about it for now.

Rob

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On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------
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post #36 of 42 Old 02-05-2010, 01:45 PM
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Very cool idea. Will there be a complementary 919/RC51 triple clamp included on the first 100 orders?


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post #37 of 42 Old 02-05-2010, 02:10 PM
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Very cool idea. Will there be a complementary 919/RC51 triple clamp included on the first 100 orders?
Let's put it this way: NO.

On the other hand, If you want these:

I'll give you a discount on the bars. That's $950 for the triples and $100 for the bars / clamps. No returning the triples without the bars.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------
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post #38 of 42 Old 02-05-2010, 04:14 PM
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I would like to buy set of these bars. Are these steel or stainless?

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post #39 of 42 Old 02-05-2010, 05:21 PM
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I would like to buy set of these bars. Are these steel or stainless?
Keith:
Thank you for your interest.

My bars are made completely of 304 stainless steel, 6061 aluminum, and 18-8 stainless steel bolts. While they can corrode (stainless is very corrosion resistant, but will rust a small amount given sufficient provocation), it is laughably easy to maintain -- a quick wipe with WD40 every couple of months is sufficient.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------
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post #40 of 42 Old 02-05-2010, 06:27 PM
When in doubt.....GAS IT!
 
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Thats going to be one sweet set of bars, Rob. I think you got a winner there!

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