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Old 06-29-2013, 06:00 PM   #17569
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Hide Away Hills, Ohio
Oddometer: 17,329
For those who have thought about handlebar replacement, I just replaced them on my '12 Roadie. Not too bad of a job, just requires a bunch of drilling. Since I run the Triumph accessory heated grips and triumph hand guards I wanted to retain the usage of the threaded inserts in the OEM handlebars, which do a good job of guiding the heated grip wiring as well as provide the outside mount for the hand guards.

I was looking for the highest rise handlebars I could get, while also hoping to bring the grips inward (more narrow). My hope was to gain a bit more pullback beyond the combination of stock bars and 2" Rox Risers. Ideally, if I could find a really tall set of bars I could eliminate the Rox risers altogether. I bought a set of Fly Racing Aero Taper bars, with the highest rise they offered aside from the "50" bars they sell for adults riding small bikes. Unfortunately I found the rise of these bars to be almost identical to the stock bars, and due to an error in my initial measurements I thought I was buying more narrow bars when in fact they are wider. But they have less upsweep, which I found favorable compared to the stock bars. I confirmed this with a test ride today - the fly bars distribute force across the palm of my hand much more evenly, while the stock bars tend to be more loaded to the outside. Even though I knew I would not be keeping these bars on the bike I decided to sacrifice them to work out the best way to drill and fit everything. Here is a photo of the bare handlebars as I was beginning installation:

Here are the two next to each other (fly handlebars mounted, stock handlebars in front):

Tapping the ends of the bars to fit the stock bar end inserts (by the way, the tap size is 16mm x 2.0 for anyone who is interested. The local NAPA warehouse had it in stock for $10, but I could have purchased for $6 online if I was willing to wait):

Installation completed:

You can see in the photos that I had already started drilling the necessary holes in the new bars. I measured the stock bars to determine where all of the holes should be, and drilled them without fitting everything first. This was the wrong way to determine where the holes should be. For the next set of bars I will first tap the ends of the bars, install the bar inserts, temporarily fit the grips and drill the screw holes for the left grip, and then mark the bottom just inside both grips to drill the heated grip wiring exit holes. Once those are drilled I will fit both switch housings on the bars and mark the position of the switch housing locating holes. This will likely yield much more favorable results, since the first switch housing locating hole I drilled for the left switch housing was a bit off.

I've already ordered the replacement set of bars. They are also made by Fly Racing, and are the aforementioned "50" bars. These bars have similar upsweep, almost twice as much rise, similar pullback, and are as narrow as the stock bars (I couldn't find any that are more narrow). I believe I will gain about 1.5" more rise compared to using stock bars with Rox Risers. I should have enough wiring room (aside from the left heated grip wiring, which I will have to extend) and clutch cable room, but the front brake line and throttle cables may be questionable. There's nothing wrong with the Rox risers, but since I decided to change bars anyway I figured I'd try to eliminate them in the process.

I'll post more photos once the next set is installed.
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