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Discussion Starter #1
Since most dealers (and none within 50 miles of me) in this age have a decent selection of handlebars to choose from and determine which is "the one", I decided I would modify the stock one.



Step 1, evaluate and write down what I don't like about the stock set..

1" too much rise
3/4" to 1" too much pullback
1-1/2" too wide overall considering the bar end weights, etc.


Step 2, acquire a donor Vee handlebar (thanks nminus1!) and commence to "disassemble" it. A few minutes with a bead blaster and pipe cutter and we're underway..



I have a section of decent wall thickness steel tube that after a touch of chamfering, is a "light mallet fit" into the stock pieces. I'll be cutting a ~ 1-1/4" dowel to use on each side.

The upper and lower sections will be cut down to give the desired reduced rise and width (and control pod location holes re-drilled). The lower bar section will be drilled so I can plug weld the dowel in place. The upper section will be drilled through, fitted and rotated to give the desired pullback and that piece plug welded as well. Then I'll butt weld the ground joints all the way around and sand it flush.

And then I may look at welding some of that extra steel tubing off the main bars to use as mounting points for accessories. We'll see. If not, I'll call it done, bead blast it all and have it powdercoated.

Anyway, to be continued, slowly, as I only have access to the welder and other equipment I need 1 night a week.
 

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As a welder, I find welding thin wall tubing problematic, on numerous levels. I have welded everything from aircraft tubing, to bicycle tubing, all have their challenges. Brazing is easier to control, and can be just as strong. And we haven't even touched on the molecular level, annealing, etc.. But for myself, I would not consider welding or brazing my handle bar. Please proceed with caution, my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Between wall thickness of the bar itself and the mild steel tubing being inserted as the dowel at the joint, it's 5.2mm / .205 inch thick, plenty to work with.

I've successfully welded some much smaller tubing and/or sheet using the same equipment (Miller 250 and .030 wire): 1/8" (.125 inch), 14 gauge (.074 inch) and all the way down to 20 gauge (.036 inch) on rare occasion. After many test plates and playing with 1/2" - 1-1/4" diameter thin walled A53-B seamed tubing coupons by the dozen and then performing some destructive tests, I have my machine settings and technique pretty well set.
 

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Ah, the insert, that will help strengthen the joint!
I could use the exact opposite of bar the positioning. Could you send me the pieces you cut out and I can make the improvements to my bars!:biggrinjester:
 

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Sounds like you have it well planned out, go with a liquid cooled, square wave tig (if you can), for much nicer appearance, and better quality weld. Oxy/acetalyne with a #2 tip, will pass x-ray, on cromolly air craft tubing, if you have some skill. Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So, made some good progress tonight...but couldn't quite finish them as a slight distraction took place.....a 22 year old girl driving an 18 passenger short school bus backed up and side swiped my parked Tahoe and caved in the driver side door and fender. 13 years old, 1 owner, never even a parking ding and now it's been violated. Acres of parking lot to turn around in, she has to do it on top of my damned truck.. :furious:

Anyway, what I did accomplish before the accident and having to wait for the police to come and do a report (did I mention she didn't have her DL with her either?)

Dowel plugs made and holes bored for the plug welds..





Plug welds zapped in..



Belt sanded smooth..





Upper bar sections positioned and tacked in place..







Started the butt weld joint process and got about 2/3 done when the SHTF with the Tahoe.

Next time, finish the welding, belt sand it down, maybe bead blast it and stare at it to figure out if I'm going to add some custom mounting points.
 

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nice work, but you could have gone to a bike shop and bought a nice set of pro taper or renthal bars just as easy. they have a ton of different bends.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
nice work, but you could have gone to a bike shop and bought a nice set of pro taper or renthal bars just as easy. they have a ton of different bends.
I couldn't. As I opened the thread, no dealers anywhere near me have any bars in stock and bar selection is all about being "hands on" and knowing what setup is the right one.

This was also far more fun and good practice for making other accessories out of mild steel tubing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
And they're about done..










To get a rough idea of how much less pullback I wanted..



Next will be to fit them up sometime this weekend, hopefully, and see how they clear things, if my positioning of them was accurate and they didn't move while jigged, I should have 1/2" clearance for the handguards to the fairing at full lock.

And then I'll see if I want to narrow them up an inch or so and move everything slightly inboard.

After all that messing around, time to finish them. Not sure if I want to just keep the brushed look and have them clear powdercoated or go with black or something entirely different.
 
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