Handlebars for dummies? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Handlebars for dummies?

I've been looking through the thread histories to answer a question about handlebars but haven't found any answers. I have seen bits and pieces on different threads about people putting different styles of bars such as the renthal ultralows. Others have talked about bar risers.

I don't really know what advantages or disadvantages changing the bars will have. Can someone please educate me?

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post #2 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 05:49 AM
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It's all about your comfort and preferred riding position.

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post #3 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 06:10 AM
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different bars will have a different amount of rise, pullback, and grip angle.
just type "motorcycle handlebars" into google and it will begin to open your eyes to the possibilities. do you want "drag bars" which are essentially flat with no rise and little to no pullback...do you want "clubman" bars? do you want "apes" or "apehangers"? steel or aluminum? maybe you would be well served by a set of Rob Tharalson's TharBars that are fully adjustable...or not. have fun searching and accessorizing!



Renthal is popular on this site and they make a fine product.

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post #4 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 10:08 AM
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The Renthal site has diagrams showing dimensions and sweeps, I believe. For me, the stock bars' sweep was just too much. Most of the pressure was on my outer palms.

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post #5 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 10:18 AM
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The handlebars are one mod that if I had to do it all over again I simply wouldn't bother with them. The Renthal bars were wider than stock which gave a lot more leverage to the steering making any little movement of your upper torso a direct input to the bike. This went from irritating while droning along the highway to a plain nuisance when shredding the twisties and trying to use body english while hanging off.

Additionally I found that no matter what bar end weights I used the vibration I felt through the bars was always about double that of the OEM handlebars and weights.

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post #6 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
The handlebars are one mod that if I had to do it all over again I simply wouldn't bother with them ...
Ok, I understand your points about width and vibration. Whats your take on the slightly modified body position ( a little lower and more forward) and handling ?

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post #7 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 11:00 AM
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The renthals are wider, as LDH says...but that can be changed in two minutes with a hacksaw and a file.

Like Shmoo said, the sweep of the stock bars was too steep for my wrists to feel comfy. The renthals also damped out the buzz @~4500rpm that was making my hands go numb on the highway.

Bars are cheap! Especially used ones...Find a set that makes you comfortable! Your wrists & hands will thank you!





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post #8 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 11:12 AM
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There's tons of threads on this site with probably dozens of people talking about their observations.

I went with Rizoma bars which are a similar spec to the Renthal UL's. I also installed Rizoma bar ends, but I would not call them weights.

The bar vibrations are way down, so much so that my shift points in traffic are higher. I didn't expect that kind of improvement in reducing the 4,500 - 5,000 RPM buzz.

The riding position is definitely more "sporty" and the extra weight on the hands is noticeable. I really like the position, especially in the twisties. I did not cut mine down, so they are wider than stock. The extra leverage is helpful with slow speed maneuvers, but I can see LDH's point, especially if you were used to hanging off with much-narrower clip-ons on race bikes. It doesn't bother me though, because I don't know any different.

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post #9 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichT View Post
Ok, I understand your points about width and vibration. Whats your take on the slightly modified body position ( a little lower and more forward) and handling ?
If it makes you more comfortable and confident then sure, otherwise I simply don't see the point. Some people change things just because they think different is better.

I've also ridden more than one 919 with clip-on style handlebars and all of them to me required way too much effort to steer the bike and totally compromised the ergonomics. The 919's lazy geometry suits the wider style handelbars, but I think Honda got it right with the OEM ones.

Sure you can shorten the Renthal's with a hacksaw and then they get even more vibration through them...

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post #10 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb View Post
It's all about your comfort and preferred riding position.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
different bars will have a different amount of rise, pullback, and grip angle.
These pretty much cover the reasons that people change bars on their street and dirt bikes. Just like adjusting your levers and mirrors, you're dialing in your ride so it feels best for YOU.

I'm on my second 919 and have tried at least half a dozen different bars between the two, and my suggestion is - if you can afford it, get an adjustable set of bars (either the TharBars or others). The up-front cost might seem steep (2-3 times that of a standard bar), but in the long run it will be FAR cheaper than buying multiple bars and still not having the 'exact' position you want. Because of the seemingly endless adjustability, any future street bike I own will have adjustable bars on it.

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post #11 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Duckhunter

Sure you can shorten the Renthal's with a hacksaw and then they get even more vibration through them...
I disagree with this portion of your statement from my own experience... if you trim them to the stock width, all is good. Trim them really short and the thick-walled aluminum may not be able to compensate. We're talking about the dynamic harmonic transmission properties through dissimilar metals, after all. My current bars are unmodified Renthals, and i like em very well.

I do agree about what you've said about really narrow bars & clip-ons on the 919, though.

RichT, I stand by what i said before...try some different bars out, and see what YOU think. Personal preference is everything in matters like this.

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post #12 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 12:25 PM
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I've ridden my 919 over 1000 miles in one day with the stock bars and weights, stock bars and Vibranators, and recently with Renthal medium bars (only 700 miles in a day with them so far.) I am very sensitive to vibes and don't feel that much difference between the different setups. The stock bars with Vibranator ends seem to be the best, but only by a small margin. Attached are some pics of what my most recent setup looks like. I compared Renthal high and medium to stock. The Renthals are wider but not by some huge amount. Note that I also moved the controls in 3/8" to allow for bar end mirrors that I wanted to test (sweet!) I like the black mediums the best. The height differences are very small as you can see in my kitchen chair picture. Renthal has lower options that people like. I like comfort and ride a lot so those are not for me. Installation of Renthal bars, including the drilling, is quite easy. My levers are eBay knock-offs from Hong Kong but the mirrors are CRG.

The vibration issue with my 919 exists in the pegs around 4600-4800 RPM. Root cause is known but has no cure. Treating the symptons may be accomplished by wearing boots with two pair of socks. And when it comes to riding socks, I try to remember what a girlfriend once told me: Long and thick will do the trick.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Renthal High Med and 919 Stock bars.jpg (309.1 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (351.1 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg 002.jpg (248.3 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg 003.jpg (222.6 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg 004.jpg (393.9 KB, 71 views)

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post #13 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 12:29 PM
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P.S. I have black Renthal bar ends installed. They are overpriced at $30 and weigh near zero, but they do at least close the hole.

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post #14 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 01:17 PM
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Stock bars are gay. They are the weirdest looking little bar ever - silly tight bends too close together. I suspect they are borrowed from one of Honda's domestic only 49cc mini bikes.

I'm running ultralows with 15mm off the ends and bar end mirrors (so effictively a inch shorter each end) - I've run up some solid SS bar end weights and they are vibration free.

Best of all the position is sweet - slightly wider, lower and more forward.

Hell if my dwanger was the size of a pencil I'd remove a barend weigh, lube it up and have ulterlow sex with them.

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post #15 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
If it makes you more comfortable and confident then sure ... .
While comfortable/confident is nice (and very subjective) I am looking for some feedback on a couple of specific 'slight' improvements.
  • A little easier shifting the butt around in corners, when a little more of my weight is forward on the handle bars (I have a corbin with the built-in butt pocket)
  • Slightly less wind resistance at 100+

What do you guys think?

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post #16 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 03:58 PM
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Bump. I am very sensitive and get upset when I post pictures and no one tells me how clean my bike is.

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post #17 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 04:00 PM
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The only functional reason to change bars is to get the pullback where it needs to be for you. Why? An illustration: place your hand flat on a table and flex the wrist from side to side. Not much rotation is possible, and the range of comfortable movement is about half of that. Pullback affects this range of motion. If while holding the bars you have to rotate you arms in or out to get comfortable a long ride will prove very tiring simply due to the arm and back muscles working to keep your wrists straight, resulting in aches in your back and neck which in the long term can become chronic. Personally I kept the stock bars for too long and lived with the excessive pullback which is, as stated earlier in this thread, angled too far back for the seat position for me. I will never assume it's universally wrong nor perfect for all -- an impossibility either way.

Any other parameter is to tailor the bars to a specific use such as canyon carving / touring / errands / whatever else, and any combination, and are in the realm of getting comfortable on the bike. As such, there is no reason to live with bars you are not comfortable with.

This is why I made the prototype for TharBars. See this thread: https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...eap-13145.html Not surprisingly, once I got it adjusted properly it never got moved again, meaning a fixed bar would work as well. The question then is which bar? It's strictly a hit or miss proposition as even given a recommendation from someone who rides the same bike as you and is the same stature, their bars may not work for you for a variety of reasons.

On the subject of the necessity or desirability for "leverage" in steering inputs -- I have always run widths most others deem anything from "weird" (my favorite compliment!) to unsafe, and all I can say on that subject is "It works for me.", never assuming it will for anyone on the planet. As LDH stated wider bars can be a detriment to accurate control inputs: leverage works both ways, being easier to steer (as if any motorcycle is difficult!) and reacting to every twitch and sneeze. Most tank slappers I have witnessed were the result of overcontrolling once the oscillation starts, and with lots of leverage every "correction" simply feeds back more out of phase forces, exaserbating the oscillation to the point of uncontrollability. The narrow bars I run take a tiny amount more force to initiate a turn, but combined with appropriate body english amounts to less effort spent, gives plenty of feedback, and isn't prone to unexpected jumps in response to moving in the saddle: a big plus when railing a twisty road. Again, for me. Another thread on this subject: https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...nge-21152.html Pretty well sums it up.

On vibration: never expect changing bars to make much of a difference in vibration levels. Some may work on one bike and not on another outwardly identical bike. One thing that does work quite well is to keep as light a touch on the bars as possible. The less you grip the less vibes you will feel. This, of course, requires the bars be placed such that they are not being used to support more than the weight of your arms, yes even when braking. Again, works for me.

Rob

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post #18 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 04:01 PM
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You are right, it *is* a very clean bike.

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post #19 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 04:30 PM
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Thanks guy - I feel better.

I like the Thar Bars too and love the idea of adjustability. The other "x" factor is what looks good to YOU. So far I am gawking a lot at my latest setup, but that's my taste. The black bars with silver Renthal logo blend right in nicely

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post #20 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mambomonster View Post
Bump. I am very sensitive and get upset when I post pictures and no one tells me how clean my bike is.

You do have a very clean bike, but I think Sbeau's SuperDuke maybe a tad bit cleaner. Do you also Armor All the inside of your valve stem caps?

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post #21 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 05:04 PM
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Mambo...it's so SHINY! the vivid red is almost unearthly...did you just give the whole thing a light coating of CLP or something?

I'm shocked...amazed, too! Really!











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post #22 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 05:34 PM
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I absolutely hated the stock bars.
In too tight, too far back, too turned down, too high, just all round "too" much !
Off they went and on went some Renthal ULs.
Now it is much more comfortable, and to be honest, more familiar.
As in to my old CB750 with a set of Tomaselli Superbike bars (P/N 189) on.
I remember how long the stock bars lasted on the 750, let's see, about 15 miles.
I picked the bike up new from the shop, rode home with new bars in my backpack, and changed them as soon as I got home.
Back to the 919 stockers, I can't imagine the struggle to get forward and down on the inside with those puppies, unless one has universal joints for wrists.
And my Renthals are very smooth, and the CRG mirrors are crystal clear all the time.

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post #23 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 07:51 PM
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I wanted to keep the upright comfortable position but get rid of the horrible wrist angle. So I went with Renthal High bars and some Gel grips. The Renthals didn't do much for vibration - On long trips my right pinky would go numb. But my wrists felt alot better.

Gel grips made a huge difference as my hand no long goes numb. I bought a $10 cramp burster but haven't had a good chance to use it yet.

Pick what you think you'll like. If you're really picky get the adjustables (tharbars) I wish I did. I'm considering a set of ultra lows- as I'm not putting the miles on the bike like I wanted to and want a more sporty riding position for the miles I do put on.

Bryan

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post #24 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mambomonster View Post
P.S. I have black Renthal bar ends installed. They are overpriced at $30 and weigh near zero, but they do at least close the hole.
You know, you could have just gone with a set of Pro Grips with closed ends and saved yourself $30.



And just to make you feel better, yes your bike is very shiny.



I have just discovered the awesome power of Honda spray polish. Hopefully this means I won't have to freeze my ass off washing my bike outside this winter. We shall see how long my infatuation with this product lasts.


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post #25 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 09:06 PM
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Honda spray polish is the shit!

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post #26 of 35 Old 10-28-2011, 10:09 PM
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Honda spray polish is the shit!

Lemon-fresh Pledge furniture polish works pretty good too..

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post #27 of 35 Old 10-29-2011, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
You do have a very clean bike, but I think Sbeau's SuperDuke maybe a tad bit cleaner. Do you also Armor All the inside of your valve stem caps?
Yes, Sbeau is at another level. Of course his SD only has 1500 miles on it too

I wash it often because I ride often and unfortunately it gets rained on a lot. I also just like it SHINY baby! I wax the unearthly red parts - thanks for noticing.

Hey Lucille, I did consider going without bar ends but decided against it. I had a couple of pair of Pro Grips (already open ended) in the bin and I also wanted to be able to try different looks. I just think the Renthal bar ends should be like $12

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post #28 of 35 Old 10-29-2011, 10:33 AM
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Oh wait LB, I remember why I needed bar ends. I wanted to try the bar end mirrors and wanted to stick with the clamp-on style. So far I love them - took about 2 rides to get used to them. The one downside is that it prevents the use of a throttle lock, which I was considering for my long rides. I will have to stick with the crampbuster. That's fine - shouldn't be doing 1k mile days on a damn 919 anyhow.

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post #29 of 35 Old 10-30-2011, 06:10 PM
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Just a little feedback on the renthal ultra-lows vs stockers, with an attempt to be somewhat objective.
After ~20K miles on a set of stock bars, I installed a set of ultra-lows that I bought last week. The bars were cut to be 3/8" wider than stock on each side. After spending a few hours in the mountains and on straight/flat hiways, I believe that the following observations are valid:
  1. Significantly less effort was required to setup and adjust to corners in the twisties.
  2. With the weight distribution shifted slightly forward, shifting the butt around in the corners was far easier (especially with a corbin)
  3. The footpeg position, while a little awkward in the twisties from day one, got worse. For me, the position needs to go a little back and up.
  4. As expected, the wind resistance was less at high speed (100+)
  5. The pressure on the wrists was quite a bit more, except on the hiway at 50+.

As long as I don't run into any issues with the increased pressure on the wrists while commuting, I think the bars are a definite improvement. It is likely that I will also pick up a set of the Sato adjustable rearsets in the future to take care of the footpeg position issue.

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post #30 of 35 Old 10-30-2011, 06:21 PM
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Which Renthals

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambomonster View Post
I've ridden my 919 over 1000 miles in one day with the stock bars and weights, stock bars and Vibranators, and recently with Renthal medium bars (only 700 miles in a day with them so far.) I am very sensitive to vibes and don't feel that much difference between the different setups. The stock bars with Vibranator ends seem to be the best, but only by a small margin. Attached are some pics of what my most recent setup looks like. I compared Renthal high and medium to stock. The Renthals are wider but not by some huge amount. Note that I also moved the controls in 3/8" to allow for bar end mirrors that I wanted to test (sweet!) I like the black mediums the best. The height differences are very small as you can see in my kitchen chair picture. Renthal has lower options that people like. I like comfort and ride a lot so those are not for me. Installation of Renthal bars, including the drilling, is quite easy. My levers are eBay knock-offs from Hong Kong but the mirrors are CRG.

The vibration issue with my 919 exists in the pegs around 4600-4800 RPM. Root cause is known but has no cure. Treating the symptons may be accomplished by wearing boots with two pair of socks. And when it comes to riding socks, I try to remember what a girlfriend once told me: Long and thick will do the trick.
I am about to change from Pro Taper to Renthal. Going Back and forth between Renthal Medium and High. Looking at the pics you posted and are the silver bars on top the High bars? I know the middle bars are stock and the lower ones are the mediums.

BTW that is one of the CLEANEST 919s I've EVER seen! Almost... as clean as mine

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post #31 of 35 Old 10-30-2011, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBB2 View Post
I am about to change from Pro Taper to Renthal. Going Back and forth between Renthal Medium and High. Looking at the pics you posted and are the silver bars on top the High bars? I know the middle bars are stock and the lower ones are the mediums.

BTW that is one of the CLEANEST 919s I've EVER seen! Almost... as clean as mine
Your bike must be a jewel! Yes, the other silver bars in the chair picture are Renthal high bars. I bought the highs and mediums together so that I could compare them. As I mentioned, I've been riding quite a bit now with the mediums and find them great - sportier look and just a bit lower than the stock bars. I personally didn't feel the need to go higher.

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post #32 of 35 Old 12-08-2011, 08:13 PM
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I have the Renthal Ultra lows on my 919 and they are much better than the stocks for my style of riding. The stock bars had me leaning too far back and when a gust of wind would hit me I felt like the front wheel would pick up. Too cruisey. I had a Suzuki 1200 Bandit before the 919 and it had a forward leaning posture on it. So I installed the Ultra lows and I kept the stock length, but I had to check the width when lane spliting here in LA. Last thing you want is bars too wide to fit under, around, and past vehicle mirrors. But they were only about 1" wider on each side than the Bandit, so they worked out fine. Black bars with the black bike. Very happy with them now.

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post #33 of 35 Old 12-16-2011, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marylandmike View Post
You do have a very clean bike, but I think Sbeau's SuperDuke maybe a tad bit cleaner. Do you also Armor All the inside of your valve stem caps?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambomonster View Post
Yes, Sbeau is at another level. Of course his SD only has 1500 miles on it too
Wow, see what I miss when I don't check in for a couple of months?!

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post #34 of 35 Old 12-16-2011, 03:01 PM
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Does anyone have a picture of themselves on the bike from the side with the Ultra lows installed? It's hard for me to picture how far forward you would be shifted.

"A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life."
-2005 CBR 600 F4i
-2001 RC51 ** SOLD
-2002 VFR 800**SOLD
-2002 919 **SOLD
-2006 599 ** WRECKED
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post #35 of 35 Old 12-16-2011, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sbeau1960 View Post
Wow, see what I miss when I don't check in for a couple of months?!
Just seeing if you're paying attention. Welcome back and Happy Holidays.

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