The Search for Handlebar Perfection - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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The Search for Handlebar Perfection

The following posts are reposted from another forum. I thought that some of the Stromers over here might find this helpful.


After debating about it for 4 years, I've finally gotten around to replacing my 'Strom's handlebars myself. (Yeah, I know... I'm kinda slow sometimes.) Cycle Gear was having a 10% off sale, so I went ahead and got bars, clamps, and heated grips. I decided to go with ProTaper Countour bars in the CR Hi bend in the Titanium color. thesea are just a shade lower than stock, but with MUCH less pullback. I'm also replacing the OEM bar clamps with ProTaper bar clamps. I think they just look a lot cleaner than the universal adapters that stack on top of the originals.

I have the left side disassembled, but the nut for the right-side stock bar clamp rounded off on me. So, now I have to take the fairing side off to get a better angle on it and get a Gator Grip socket up there to grab the nut. I'm also going to have to drill out the metal discs on the top and bottom of the rubber mounts, since the ProTaper mounting bolts are larger than stock. Unfortunately, I probably won't have the time to work on it for a few days. Once I get the new bars and clamps mounted up, I'll be adding my new heated grips. I'll post some pics as soon as I'm done.

Last edited by Warhammer; 03-04-2009 at 06:06 PM.
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post #2 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I didn't get the new bars installed today, but I did buy a set of damaged bolt/nut removers and I got the right-hand bar clamp off. Just for comparison, here are the original clamps and bars with the new clamps and bars.



The new bars look considerably lower in these pics, but the rise is actually only .26" less than stock. Since the Contour bars are so much thicker, they appear to have less rise than they actually do. The new bars and clamps have a much beefier appearance than the originals. I'm still debating whether to leave the new bars full width or cut them down to more of the stock width. I'll probably mount them with my old grips and give them a test run before I decide for sure.
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post #3 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Change of plans... the CR Hi Contour bars just aren't going to work. I'll be taking them back to Cycle Gear tomorrow and ordering the ATV Mid bend.

If I rotate them to the angle that is most comfortable for me, they are too low. At full lock, the controls hit the sides of the cowl. I gave myself a little 1/4 inch scratch on each side.


Oh well, I'm repainting the whole thing this winter anyway. The ATV Mids have a 4.25" rise versus the CR Hi's rise of 3.74"

Also, the grip area is too short. There just isn't enough room to mount all the controls to my satisfaction. If I push the levers in far enough to get the grips where I want them, the levers are cocked at an angle, rather than parallel to the bars. The ATV Mid bars are 1/2 inch wider, so they should help with that.

I also changed my mind on the Platinum Gray color and I'm going with the dusk black bars. Hopefully, I won't have to wait too long for the new bars. There's a big Tucker Rocky warehouse just a few miles away, so I may be able to get them this weekend.

The clamps look great on the bike. I can't wait to get the right bars on there and take it for a ride.



Edit: Yep, I return the CR Hi bars, but I won't receive my new ATV Mid bars until Monday or Tuesday. Well, no riding for me this weekend.
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post #4 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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My ATV Mid bars came in today and they fit wonderfully! I haven't put the grips on yet, but here's a shot of the bars.

(Yes, I know my garage is a mess!)

Anyway, I have new heated grips to install, but I'll probably just reinstall the old ones for now so I can take it out for a few rides to adjust everything.

I'm also replace all but one piece of the OEM bar ends. Man... these things are a study in unnecessary complication! I think the original designers where getting paid by the piece! Here are a couple of pics comparing the old setup to the new one:


The original bar ends weigh 15 3/4 ounces each. My new ones weigh 3 5/8 ounces each. Since I no longer need all that weight to dampen vibrations, why lug it around. Besides, my new ones look so much better!

I'll post more pics when I'm done with the whole setup.
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post #5 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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I got the ATV Mid bars all mounted up and here are the pics:

Edit: I uploaded the wrong pics. I'll have to pull them off my camera card tonight.

In the garage, they seemed great. However, things can feel MUCH different on a ride than they do in the garage. So, I took a 375 mile test ride, and by the end of the day I was hating these bars. I underestimated how much the reduction in sweep would effect the overall reach. The combination of less sweep, lower clamps and lower bars (ATV Mid) was just too much of a change. I just couldn't get comfortable on the bars. It felt like I went from too much sweep, with the stock bars, to too little, with the ATV Mid. After an entire day in the saddle, might right hand was killing me.

Since I decided to actually replaced the stock clamps with the Protaper clamps, rather than using the adapters that bolt onto the stock clamps the bars just didn't fit me right. The adapters act as risers, while the Protaper clamps are actually lower than the stockers. In fact, the ATV Mid bars just BARELY had enough clearance to allow the bars to turn to full lock.

So, my next try is the Raptor bend bars. The Raptor bars, when mounted the way I did it, are about the same height as stock, just wider and with less sweep. Here's a pic comparing the Raptor bars and the ATV Mid:

I think that I may have it right this time, but only a real test ride will tell. Unfortunately, I have to wait for my new throttle tube before I can take her out. Hopefully, it will be here in a day or two.
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post #6 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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More pics. This time with the Raptor bars:





Bars will turn full lock to both sides. Nothing rubs. All lines and cables are (just barely) long enough. Very comfortable sitting in the garage. Test ride this weekend.
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post #7 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got a chance for a test ride and I believe I have finally achieved Handlebar Nirvana!

The Raptor bars feel like the were custom made just for me. They are about the same height as OEM, but the greater width and less pull back combine to give a (very) slightly more leaned forward riding position. The reach to the bars feels very natural and my wrist position is completely neutral. The angle of the pullback on these bars is PERFECT! The greater width gives greater leverage, which makes the steering feel lighter and quicker. It also sets the (Aprillia Tuono) mirrors out a little wider and improves the view.

I am 5'10" with a 30" inseam. The bars are on a DL1000, stock seat with an Alaska Leather sheepskin (1" thick). I used the Protaper Contour bar mounts so there is no additional height from adapters (it also looks MUCH better that stacked-up adapters).
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post #8 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warhammer View Post
I used the Protaper Contour bar mounts so there is no additional height from adapters (it also looks MUCH better that stacked-up adapters).
I'm not a fan of the adapters either.

Nice set up, something else to think about...

DL1000K8

So what is it, am I a smart*** or a dumb***? Maybe I'm just an ***hole.
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post #9 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 07:05 PM
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Depending on whether my bike had an upright stance or a cafe racer setup, I always ran 1970s era Suzuki GT185 handlebars or BMW R90S handlebars. Except for actually owning an R90S, the DL650 handlebars are the first ones I've left stock on a bike. They fit me just fine. I find it interesting to see how many people feel the need to change them.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #10 of 36 Old 03-04-2009, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
Depending on whether my bike had an upright stance or a cafe racer setup, I always ran 1970s era Suzuki GT185 handlebars or BMW R90S handlebars. Except for actually owning an R90S, the DL650 handlebars are the first ones I've left stock on a bike. They fit me just fine. I find it interesting to see how many people feel the need to change them.
I have a GT 185 in the back yard, it was one of my Mother's bikes when I was growing up...

As for the bars, I haven't had the chance to go on any real long rides yet so I'm reserving judgment until then but my first impression is that there are too swept back, only time will tell though.

DL1000K8

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