Jump to content

'02 RT Bar Risers and Rear vision/ Wind deflection


Recommended Posts



As the title suggests, I have question regarding bar backs/ handlebar risers, it doesn't pertain to the usual "comfort" type of question. It has to do with the placement of the handlebars (grips and levers) with respect to the obstruction of the rear-view mirrors.


My '02 RT is completely stock and has the low seat. My riding position is comfortable. That is not to say it couldn't be MORE comfortable, but at this time it's not my chief complaint about the bike. My chief complaint is seat height/flat footing the bike, but that is a discussion for another thread and time and I don't want to get off thread here.


I am thinking about adding a pair of risers/backs to my ride. My main motivation is to get the grips/levers out of my line of vision obstruction of the reflection in the rear-view mirrors so that I have a clearer, safer, better view of what is behind me. At the same time however, I don't want to compromise any of the wind protection on my hands. The stock setup, has the grips pretty well shielded from the oncoming wind. In my not-so-scientific testing, I briefly altered my hand position up, down and back slightly, and it appears that there a little bit of "wiggle-room" where there is little effect from the wind on my hands.


A few years ago, I tried some LT mirrors, and while they gave me a better view of what was behind me, they tended to vibrate at various engine RPMS, and more annoyingly, they would deflect the wind down onto the backs of my hands. In cooler weather (with or without gloves) this was bothersome enough that I sold them and went back to relying on the stock mirrors.


Thus begins the quest to find the delicate balance of unobstructed rear vision AND wind protection. My understanding is that there are 3 or more manufacturers of handlebar risers/setbacks each with their various characteristics of height and distance.


My search of the topic here in the forum reveals SEVERAL people use and have used handlebar risers for different reasons (mostly comfort), but I am wondering if some of the users could share their experiences with the various manufacturers and how they affect rear-view obstruction and wind deflection.




Link to comment

The risers will yield a more clear view to the rear. The wind and weather protection, for me, was not impaired. I also ride a standard RT with Low seat.


Adding top-side mirrors is easy, often done, and many like it. I do not find it necessary.


P.S. I removed the risers and pull backs after about 6 months.

Link to comment

I have added bar risers from A&S Cycle in Cal (Moto's) just recently - but had added bar-mount oval GS mirrors much earlier for a wider view behind and aside than the stock RT mirrors offer. Result is more comfort and safety... I find myself looking much more frequently at the closer, higher bar-mounted mirrors than at the original body-mount RT mirrors... I have no perception of more hand-wind interaction...about 1K miles since the riser went on, and it is getting colder in Michigan; that's when the heated grips go on almost full time....Hope you find your balance !

Link to comment

I have GS mirrors plus spot mirrors mounting at the upper end of the stock mirror. I have found that the GS mirrors vibrate less when the engine is revved a little more. Even with the vibration though, they provide a better view than stock.

Link to comment

Hi Paul,


I have an '04 RT with a low seat and I have just installed a set of Moto-Techniques risers. I took the bike on a three day, 1000km trip which was a good test of any differences the risers made.


1. They actually provide better vision from the mirrors. The risers move the bars up, so your arms and hands obscure less.


2. Although the Moto-Techniques risers are advertised to raise and bring back the bars by 1" it is more accurately 3/4". Doesn't sound like much, but it is enough to reduce some of the pressure I was feeling on my left wrist. I have just bought this bike and previously had a cruiser, so I found that I was leaning in the bars more than I had on the previous bike. I have also lowered the back of the seat by about 1" by cutting the rubber stoppers and shortening the plastic posts that they sit on. This also reduced the amount that I lean forward.


It rained on the last day and my hands still stayed warm and dry, so the risers had no adverse effect on this.


I am happy with the risers, I think they do make long trips much more comfortable.



Link to comment

Hi Folks.


Thanks for all your input. Based on the replies, I have a set of bar backs coming soon. I am hoping that they will sit high enough that I have full rear view mirror vision (unobstructed by a gloved hand, grip and/or lever). I am also hoping that they don't put my hands out in the "breeze" too much. I will report back.





Link to comment
  • 5 months later...

UPDATE: Now that I have my bike back in working order, I played around with the bar-backs. Putting them on in the traditional formation, did nothing for my rear visibility issue. In fact it made it worse, as my hands were just closer to me, in the line of sight between my eyes and the mirrors.


So I got some longer bolts and decided to try mounting the bars in holes on the bar-backs that are meant to secure the bar-back to the steering tree. IE BOTH my handlebars, and bar-backs use the original holes in the steering tree. This gives the handlebars an "up" position, but not necessarily a "back" position. Not only does this greatly improve my rear mirror vision, but surprisingly, it is a very comfortable position for me. It does however, give me an ever so slight increase of wind on the back of my hands.



Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...