Handlebar adjustment - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 32 Old Sep 28th, 2018, 11:53 am Thread Starter
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Handlebar adjustment

So, after purchasing a 2004 LT a few months ago, I'm taking it upon myself to pull all the tupperware and do a major clean, filters change, fluids, valve clearance, etc. etc. When I started, I thought to myself maybe this would be a good time to tweak the handlebars up a bit. Now that I have everything off, I'm surprised to find there is zero ability to rotate the handlebars up or down. There's a black metal bracket welded to the bar that forces it to fit only one way. To me, the factory should have made that black metal bracket attach to the Upper Fork Cross Brace. That would give the owner more flexibility on bar rotation. I don't really want to cut the weld and re-weld, but if I do cut it off, I'll find a way to attach it to the Upper Fork Cross Brace permanently. Not a huge deal, but has anybody else wished they could get the grips up an inch or two?
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post #2 of 32 Old Sep 28th, 2018, 12:29 pm
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I was planning on moving my bars up an inch, when I do my fuel filter change this coming winter. I'm also doing a suspension upgrade to the olins, that I got, & a replacement of my broken cruise switch.
That would have been an ideal time to rotate the bars up a little.
Oh well, BMW's "we know what is the best for you!" strikes again...
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A good man once told me, "Don't ever get rid of your bike. It's your soul."

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post #3 of 32 Old Sep 28th, 2018, 2:22 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Click on Technical, then HOW, then enter "Handlebar Adjustment" in the Search FAQ box, then scroll down to the Steering tab and click on Vic Agresti's handle. I don't know if it's model-year specific, so ......
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post #4 of 32 Old Sep 28th, 2018, 2:38 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob.K1200LT View Post
So, after purchasing a 2004 LT a few months ago, I'm taking it upon myself to pull all the tupperware and do a major clean, filters change, fluids, valve clearance, etc. etc. When I started, I thought to myself maybe this would be a good time to tweak the handlebars up a bit. Now that I have everything off, I'm surprised to find there is zero ability to move/tilt the handlebars up or down. There's a black metal bracket welded to the bar that forces it to fit only one way. Not a huge deal, but has anybody else wished they could get the grips up an inch or two?
I thought about changing the bar angle, too when I first purchased the motorcycle. After tearing into the Tupperware, replacing all the rubber lines, and everything else one does with a new to them almost 20 year old motorcycle, and noticing the bars sit at a particular angle... I discovered while riding the bars are fine. Having a 30" inseam, I modified the seat by removing a bit of the padding to be able to stop flatfooted. Raising and lower the windscreen is what really matters to me. And, I need to watch my speed because 90 mph creeps up fast as i am tucked in with the lowered seat and raised screen!

I have ridden mostly Japanese, American, and Italian bikes in the past--my 2000 KLT is my first ride which offers a different level of comfort and ride-ability. And, at my age, it all woks beautifully after some other upgrades and mods.

Ride it for a while, and enjoy!

Bob
Covina, CA
2000 K1200LTI Champagne


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post #5 of 32 Old Sep 29th, 2018, 12:31 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

You can move them but you will have to cut the covers to fit as they are really what limits the movement.
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2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
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post #6 of 32 Old Oct 1st, 2018, 11:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

As mentioned in my first post, I went ahead and cut the welds that hold the fork bridge cover bracket to the handlebar. Then, tapped two holes in the upper fork brace and mounted the bracket to the fork brace. Makes more sense to me that if should be independent of the bar. Now, the bar is free to move as needed and the cover remains fixed

/Bob
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post #7 of 32 Old Oct 1st, 2018, 12:44 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

How much movement did you get without cutting the bar covers?
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2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #8 of 32 Old Oct 1st, 2018, 4:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
How much movement did you get without cutting the bar covers?
I haven't had to cut the covers, yet. Since the cover bracket is still flat against the upper fork brace, the rotation of the bars follows the curvature of the cover nicely. I rotated the bar up enough to give me a full inch of rise at the grips. Perhaps if I went more I might find out it needs a trim, but for now I'll ride it a while and see how it feels.

/Bob
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post #9 of 32 Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:17 am
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Originally Posted by Bob.K1200LT View Post
As mentioned in my first post, I went ahead and cut the welds that hold the fork bridge cover bracket to the handlebar. Then, tapped two holes in the upper fork brace and mounted the bracket to the fork brace. Makes more sense to me that if should be independent of the bar. Now, the bar is free to move as needed and the cover remains fixed

/Bob
Very nice Bob..

Sometimes we forget we Own the bikes, they don't own us..

hack away..
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post #10 of 32 Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:22 am
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Originally Posted by Bob.K1200LT View Post
I haven't had to cut the covers, yet. Since the cover bracket is still flat against the upper fork brace, the rotation of the bars follows the curvature of the cover nicely. I rotated the bar up enough to give me a full inch of rise at the grips. Perhaps if I went more I might find out it needs a trim, but for now I'll ride it a while and see how it feels.

/Bob
What bothers me of the current bar position (I assume stock) is the "Down Sweep" (drop) of the grips, by moving them up/forward i think i can gain a more flatter/horizontal grip set up..

I show you tomorrow..
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post #11 of 32 Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 4:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

The down slope was too much for me. Moving the bar up gives me much better feel and control. I don't have a clean view of the mirrors anymore, but I manage, and most of the time for a lane change I'm looking over my shoulder anyway. Old habit.

Bob

Bob Johnson
Knoxville TN
2004 K1200LT
1973 R75/5
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post #12 of 32 Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 10:10 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

I work on mine today, Still not satisfied but they feel better than before

One really bothersome side effect, in my "Optimal" position so far, the grips interrupt about 40% of the mirrors, maybe the reason why bmw affix them to a certain angle..

here is a detail link to the disassembling process

I'm going to ride it without any of the plastics for a few day and see if I can find the sweep spot, I will thermoform or cut the plastics later, I'm not worried about it..
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post #13 of 32 Old Sep 24th, 2019, 9:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Nice work,..I see you went the same route and cut the weld on the bracket. Good going. Really can't understand why BMW did that, except for like you say, the mirrors.

Bob Johnson
Knoxville TN
2004 K1200LT
1973 R75/5
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post #14 of 32 Old Sep 24th, 2019, 12:52 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Nice work,..I see you went the same route and cut the weld on the bracket. Good going.
Well Bob your encouragement made all the difference..

I cut the two welds with a 4 1/2 grinder and a cutting wheel, very easy but the space is kind of cramp.


same with the back, then use a "Flapper wheel" (I love those things) to smooth it out, primed and then painted with "Apliance Laqued" (Takes hours to dry but last forever, much better than skinny paint.


I paint everything so the rust those not get to it, the handlebars was already showing some signs (minnesota you know)


I found this on my bicycle stuff bin, fits perfect..


As you can see on the other pictures, the orifice on the bracket is about 14mm, so the "Washer" has some room to move for the time when i need to install the "UFO" plastic cap and the covers for the handlebars


This is how it looks all ensamble back together and I'm going to leave it for now like this, testing how much lower I can rotate them (At the moment they are as good as they are going to get for my physique) to gain access to the mirrors, actually i'm even contemplating to add a set of standard handlebar mirrors (I'm very use to those anyway)


they are kind of "Poppy Dog" high, but the drop/down sweep of the bars is a lot less noticeable so my wrist have a more natural angle and my elbows are "Outwards" the stock setup forced them to in "Inwards" (really bad ergonomically if you ask me and I do have a deggre in the topic)


Actually i will love to find a old LT handlebar and see if i can rotate the grip portion, this bmw bars with the rubber isolators are actually really weak and bend just by looking at them, but bend them accurately is actually not that easy (because the rubber isolators deform before the bars start to move)







Quote:
Really can't understand why BMW did that, except for like you say, the mirrors.
if BMW is good as something is production optimization, so having the bracket welded on is a no brainer (also for the dealer when they do the PDF, that way all the bikes have the bars on the exact same place and the mechanic those not need to estimate the exact angle..

I can only tell you that been able to rotate them took a big chunk out of the shoulder.neck pain that I was getting, but they still need some "Hard" work to get them optimal..

Again thanks for starting the posting

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post #15 of 32 Old Oct 10th, 2019, 9:30 am
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

I decide to implement a "Tavola raza" intervention with the handlebar set up, in my opinion a compromise can not be achieved do to the shape of the OEM bars..

Basically the bmw tiller bars will be gone..

Waiting for parts to arrive..

Don't fully warranty success since i'm using premade parts that only come in certain dimensions, but I calculate the results will be satisfactory and needless to say with shake a few feathers too..

Snowmobile adjustable riser are at the core of the implementation..


pictures to come when parts arrive..
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post #16 of 32 Old Oct 10th, 2019, 5:21 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Looking forward to how you hack this together, it should be interesting.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #17 of 32 Old Oct 10th, 2019, 6:42 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Looking forward to how you hack this together, it should be interesting.
Well is not really a Hack...

I used to have a company that provide custom fitted handlebars for the GS's and i still have all the math of the different body type proportions, deviations and even aberrations (endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph) and I have more than eleven hundred happy clients to corroborate my findings..

Not like I will even want to start another business endeavor because i'm a horrible business man, but if I can put all the collected data to good use why not..

This is just a "Zero effort" approach, sure the parts do cost money but is nothing in comparison with the cost of R&D and prototyping..

Just little GIF kind of shows some of the advantages of my old set up..

They are so many interrelated factors is kind of hard to explain, but basically the stock bars are really prone to have to much "Back sweep" forcing awkward bend on your wrist and in his turn forcing the "Elbows IN", I'm a firm believer of "Elbows OUT"
all this support by the success rate (for each specific, heights, body type and wants.. (I do have a deggre in Ergonomics
masters so all the data was collected with a high deggre of accuracy (I'm keep all those charts on my own treasure chest)

Well look at the difference, this is kind of a extreme case where the grips end up in exactly the same place in space, but with a very different bend (just imagine the grips able to move in space)


I'm also a Industrial Designer but no way in hell I get on the trouble of designing a "Fashionable" mounting system with such low numbers and of a model is on the way to the elephant cemetery.
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post #18 of 32 Old Oct 10th, 2019, 6:52 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

One of the first things I did to mine was install some nicely made Barbacks which, depending on the maker and style you chose should solve the problem. Mine move the bars slightly closer to rider and raise the bars a bit. Worked great for me, feels very similar to the more upright position I had on my LT. They look great and require no change to the bike other than replacing the stock mounting bolts to the ones provided with the kit.
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post #19 of 32 Old Oct 10th, 2019, 7:28 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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One of the first things I did to mine was install some nicely made Barbacks which, depending on the maker and style you chose should solve the problem. Mine move the bars slightly closer to rider and raise the bars a bit. Worked great for me, feels very similar to the more upright position I had on my LT. They look great and require no change to the bike other than replacing the stock mounting bolts to the ones provided with the kit.
Barback with out taking care of the core issue (the bend on the bars) in my opinion are a "Placebo" effect..

Sure they work, but they do because you end up placing less load on the grips and as a result your upper body hurt less..

This was a Impromptu Fix for a friend that had cramps so bad was unable to keep riding that day, that was in 2002 and he still has the same setup..

"Bar Forwards" a la ricky

I made this Case Study in 1996 a few months after I got my first GS and a realize the stock bars where totally wrong for my size (and most sizes)and they become Vox Populi by 1998 on the short live "GS list

If you study the pictures you will find a "Better Rox riser" that I simply abandon/disregard because the rotate "The Wrong way"

This proofs I'm just a Biomechanical Nerd with Zero sense of business strategy..

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post #20 of 32 Old Oct 12th, 2019, 5:46 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

The core part of the experiment arrive already (order on tuesday night from ebay, free shipping too)



sadly I already found a big problem, the BMW bar clamps and the riser have more or less the same dimensions (The riser require to be widder, but No biggie I figure something out)

I'm also waiting for the "Fat bar" adapter clamps (Kind of stupid the riser are only 7/8" when fatbars had been standard on snowmobiles for the last 15 years..

I also order a 2" extension, but I don't think I will need it..

The last part to make the project "Just so" are stored on a POD in minneapolis but I don't have access to them at the moment (need to buy a house first)



This clamps are not totally necessary, but they will move the lower clamp about two inches higher so i have clearance for my instrument platform..

I'm remaking it anyway, so is the perfect time to make sure they work well together..




Then again if the big platform those not work I can still use some of the ones I used to make but at the very tip of the riser bar clamps..



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post #21 of 32 Old Oct 12th, 2019, 7:00 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Have you thought about all the cables and hoses that will need to be extended or replaced. I can't see any of this working and I think you will also find that the way the bike handles will be affected.
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post #22 of 32 Old Oct 12th, 2019, 7:48 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Have you thought about all the cables and hoses that will need to be extended or replaced.
first the "Closest distance in between two points is a "StRAIGHT LIne"

Sure maybe they will no be "De Lux" anymore (Like running the cable and hoses inside the riser, what a pain to update/exchange anything if I feel like installing another or different riser) but I don't know if you notice the wires out routed to fit the CURVE of the handlebars..

cable fit is not even a concern, plus is not like I'm afraid of replacing a brake line if I have too




Quote:
I can't see any of this working and I think you will also find that the way the bike handles will be affected.
Sure, Hopefully it will handle MUCH BETTER...

I'm a Factual designer, not a "lets cover everything with plastic trims"

Other riser exist that are "Independent", I chose the extruded type because the Box seccion is very rigid (looks like it is now that I have them on my hands)

only time will tell, is not like I'm trying to sell you anything, if it those not work I tell you and if it works you will need to figure out a way to implement your own..

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post #23 of 32 Old Oct 13th, 2019, 4:44 am
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Yes a straight line works if you are flying from point A to point B but when you try to drag all those cables up to match what looks like quite a dramatic change in height I think you will find that yes some of them might pull up close but what happens when you try to turn the bars lock to lock. You may also find that throttle cables may end up with a tight right angle bend that will effect the way they work internally.
Do you intend to have that riser up at full extension?
I will be very interested to see how it all looks.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be dismissive or insulting in any way, just trying to see where you are going with this and if you have investigated things like cable reach. I do a lot with very complicated machinery such as industrial robots and computerised multi step processing machinery and it's very often the little details that will torpedo the biggest plans.
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post #24 of 32 Old Oct 13th, 2019, 1:45 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Faskinating thread, guys. Good text, great pictures. Enjoyable reading!

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #25 of 32 Old Oct 13th, 2019, 4:22 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

I can't wait to see the final product.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #26 of 32 Old Oct 13th, 2019, 4:37 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

I'm also wondering how much of your instrument panel will be obstructed from view with all that up in front of it.
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post #27 of 32 Old Oct 13th, 2019, 7:49 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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Yes a straight line works if you are flying from point A to point B but when you try to drag all those cables up to match what looks like quite a dramatic change in height I think you will find that yes some of them might pull up close but what happens when you try to turn the bars lock to lock. You may also find that throttle cables may end up with a tight right angle bend that will effect the way they work internally.
Taking into account the way I approach problems I'm more of a "Helo Jumper" that just takes the plunge and right before is hitting the floor opens the shoot, basically if you are so worried about so many fixable "None Issue", factors, you will never start anything that is radically new..

As a Precaution, When I took the bars apart the other day i did a basia measurement of the lengths of all the wires and hoses (Basically Pull the bars up and away as much as possible and I have about 4 more inches of free play)

plus I'm pretty sure this set up will give me room to run the wires close to the tower so they are not to intrusive in the looks department..

Quote:
Do you intend to have that riser up at full extension?
I have no freaking Clue...

But I do know EXACTLY where and what angles I grips to be in relationship to the rest of the bike..

No I don't want to run the riser all the way out (less overlap in between the two segments > less stiffness).

plus I don't think i will have too since the grips are more or less okay in the coordinates they are, the issue is that are in the wrong angles (look at the GIF I post a little ago..)

One big Mantra I learn from my "RickyBar" Business is that you need to have a "Macro adjustment" (The Bar Clamps) and then a "Micro adjustment" (The Handlebars)

For example Protaper use to sell 23 models on bars, I used 16 of them, plus three more from Renthal, that provide angles I was not able to find with the protaper bars (you see how I'm a horrible business man, I had to have Hundred of freaking bars ready to achieve a 95% satisfaction warranty, even if 50% happiness will be more than plenty since the difference is night and day..

Just take the stock bars as a example, every deggre of rotations, changes the up and down and fore and aft in a dramatic manner, so if you want them one inch higher they are also going to be more forward than before, with my macro/micro approach, you can fine tune them in a very exact form with very little compromise..


I cross the Bay bridge so many times loadad like this..



Quote:
I will be very interested to see how it all looks.
I'm going to select the bars for Me, (Wide shoulders, somehow long arms, 6'2") but I think the best will be to get the bike tested by a impartial rider (after I do a custom set for his size and body type)

looks, at the moment looks are the least of my worries, I know I can make things look really pretty, nice and profesional, but for a single One-off I can not worry about that right now..





Functionality is everything for me..


I do think I have a very KickAss revolutionary approach for a very "Absolutely Customizable" grip relocation system for the newer RT's but I need to learn more about the number of units and possible market share before I start to spend energy on R&D (I takes hundreds of hours, is not just a napkin drawing type of project)




Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be dismissive or insulting in any way, just trying to see where you are going with this and if you have investigated things like cable reach. I do a lot with very complicated machinery such as industrial robots and computerised multi step processing machinery and it's very often the little details that will torpedo the biggest plans.
oh know I'm not offended, i have live my whole life "Out of the Box" i'm totally use too the exeptisimum by now..

You need to see this comment about my Bike Rack for Motorcycles
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post #28 of 32 Old Oct 13th, 2019, 8:01 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

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I'm also wondering how much of your instrument panel will be obstructed from view with all that up in front of it.

Oh easy absolutely Zero interference...

100% field of view for the instruments, but if the 'Perfect position" of the grips gets in the way of the Mirrors > well I will have the change the mirrors, matter of priorities you know..

I do plan to implement my really big Galaxy pro tablet (12.2") and that may get in the way of some of the instruments, then again priorities, I'm worried about it but I'm not sure if is going to be a issue..
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post #29 of 32 Old Oct 15th, 2019, 2:41 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

The other parts arrive today..

I get working on it as soon as I can, be sure I will take pictures *with links from where i got them, etc) of the whole procedure, but I will take my time because I enjoy cleaning, painting the parts as a form of getting use to them..
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post #30 of 32 Old Oct 15th, 2019, 7:44 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

I think I'm ready to install the clamps but is snowing outside..

The main thing that needs attention was this "Adapter plate" so the risers can be connected to the stock clamps..



I made them this fashion trying to merge with the curvasius contour of the the risers, is just a "Stetic" approach, no to sure about it so far, will see how it looks painted black.


I made the plate with only hand tools, except for the drum sander that is kind of big, but a rat file will do too..


here is the LINK to the new pictures

I try to get it done as soon as the weather is a little less freezing..
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post #31 of 32 Old Oct 16th, 2019, 11:50 am
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

I got stop by the most obvious..

When I cut and repaint the bars I did notice they have a bigger diameter than the usual 22mm

well this morning I confirm that they do, never seeing a stock bmw clamp with a 1 1/8" but this LT those, so now I need to wait until I find some and then they get shipped..

That was a total rookie mistake
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post #32 of 32 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 7:38 pm
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Re: Handlebar adjustment

Stage two of my alternative handlebars experiment is ready for test fit, after I see how it works I will finish the cosmetic issues, but so far structurally is solid as a rock.

here is a vague comparison of the different lengths, more than anything because i really have no clue where the handlebars want to be until I test ride the bike for a few days, even a pair of millimeters can make a difference so consider this as a "Test mule".

I decide I'm going going to bother running the control cables inside the tower, sure it will look cleaner but it will be such a pain to take half the bike apart just to retune the bar mount, thanks but no thanks..

Lower/closer.


Half way.


All the way Extended..


Remember the goal is NOT TO have the extended all the way out but to find the Optimal location for the axis of the bars so they can rotate with the minimum of compromising side effects..

The same manufacturing method was use, Drill, hole saw, 4 1/2" with a flapper wheels, taps and my trusty up and down sander, in fact I chose the size of the hole saw taking into account the biggest sanding barrel I have and made things much easier (the fours round cuts use the exact same radius saw.


here are All the PICTURES just in case you feel like looking..


enjoy..

Ricky
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