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Handlebar swap-out

Alan Sykes

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Has anybody on here chosen to change their handlebars and has any "How To.." details. BMW switchgear and the design of the throttle and clutch lever clamps seems extremely complicated. I gather from the Chris Harris videos for instance that you have to remove the mirror stalks to get at the hidden screw that's one of the three different ones holding the mouldings together on the bar. And that's just for starters, apart from the nightmare of the Start-Fast-Idle-Lever bowden re-routing and finally the heated grips cabling....

My '04 Rockster handlebar is killing my wrists on a long trip; it's a fab machine but the riding position caused by the stupid almost-dead-straight bar produces a strange elbows-cocked-out posture that's most uncomfortable. I believe it's possible to ditch the bar in favour of a standard 1150 roadster bar but wonder how complicated the process might be.

AL in s.e. Spain

Edited by Alan Sykes
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I also have a bit of a problem with the R1150R bars...my wrists also are uncomfortable on long trips...and I didn't realize how much different that they are from the Rockster...




I'm thinking about a set of risers...



and there is a bit of a difference in the Rockster Bars...




By the looks, it appears that a swap-out may not be too difficult, but maybe not worth it...


Maybe a set of risers would help...


Just a thought...





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Tenorman, I'm surprised you find the roadster bar hard on the wrists. The Rockster bar is much straighter with hardly any rise in the bends, so I would have thought the roadster bar with about 4" or rise and more of a pull-back at the ends would be more comfy. Even with the risers already fitted to my Rockster bar, it's excruciating after an hour or so.

When I get back to the UK next month for a short summer holiday with the bike, I'll spend a day trying to do the swap-out. Wish me luck !

AL in s.e. Spain

P.S. the bars on my Spanish bike, a Honda NC 750S-DCT, with no clutch lever and no pedal for its 6-gears, are supremely comfy.

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Possible to use the top yoke ( tree ) from a GS and convert to tubular bars. I have risers on mine which have helped me a lot with the wrist ache I used to have. I chose this route cause it was easier than removing the controls - which by the way is a lot easier than you think. I found risers gave me the change in angle for my shoulder/wrist /arm relationship to make it comfortable.

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Thanks David - I now have the roadster bar waiting at the rented workshop in the UK for me to start the swap-out job when I get there in a fortnight from now. I've searched and searched the web for a swap-out video how-to, with no success. Plenty of vids about peeling off the old rubbers or fixing a broken Heated-Grips slim wiring, or replacing all three throttle cables. But nothing showing how all the controls are removed and the H-G wires are reinstalled on a new BMW bar.

In one of Chris Harris's cables-renewal videos he warns about keeping an eye on the tiny ball&spring that's part of the Fast-Idle control cable assembly. But it's not clear whether that amount of disassembly is required for a bar swap-out.

Any ideas ? 'Cos you say the process isn't as complicated as might appear.

incidentally I'll be visiting one of my sons in Beverley in mid-August - which isn't all that far from Grimsby ? Hint, hint ?

Edited by Alan Sykes
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Hah ! "Everything comes to he who waits..."


After literally hours of wandering around the web in recent days, I eventually stumbled across a lovely little silent video from Germany, carefully and attentively made by Michael Hornig, who runs a bespoke-accessories firm dedicated to special bits for our bikes.


In the video, he's selling his beautifully-made conversion kit for owners of the sporty R1100S bikes who find its clip-on handlebars too low and too bad for the back.


But in the process, he shows in detail how to dismount the lever / switch assembly on each side of the bar, and replace the clip-ons with a straight Roadster-type bar. Wonderful.


Now all that remains for me is to find out how the wiring layout is connected that takes the wires from each heated hand-grip, presumably then through the 3-position handlebar switch on the throttle-side of the bars for "Off, Semi, and Full", down from the bars to the white connector that's hidden under the front of the fuel tank, just behind the headstock.


The video of Michael's that I've amended from 12 mins down to 5 to concentrate solely on the bars swap-out routine, is a 'private' Vimeo video so as not to offend Herr Hornig too much by nicking sections of his crystal-clear HD footage. If you want to watch it, you need the password :-





And if anyone here has fotos or sketches of how the heated grips control switch is interposed into the through-bar-wiring, I'd be most eternally grateful !


AL in s.e. Spain

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