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.