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Old 09-25-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
FOREVER HANDSOME OP
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Hit a bear - crashbars bent. Now what?

My first ride on new to me '11. 2,250kms. Pushing a little hard and riding at night on the Cache Creek to Lillooet road. Thinking about whether I should attempt the Duffy Lake Road to be home in time for work the next day. Just over a single lane bridge, picking up speed uphill when - just a brown blur to my left. Clipped with my bars, did not catch the wheel, no time even to pucker up. Bike and I wobbled but stayed upright. Doubled back to see what happened, and there was a baby bear, his little furry head laid out on the side of the road. Shitty shitty experience. But . . . after about 3 minutes he came to, and staggered into the bush. MY guess is that he was crossing with his momma and was lagging behind. This ended really well for him and me. Needless to say I stopped at the nearest campground. Lesson learned. Could have been really ugly.
So the bars are pushed almost into the head on the left. Is there a way to straighten them? Seems like a ton of work and no guarantees of a proper fit going forward.
And . . . what to replace them with? Middle of the road cost and function bars? SW Moto, Hepco Becker (junk I think) Alt Rider . . . OEM . . . looking for suggestions.
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
erkmania
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If your funds are limited then buy auxiliary lights to prevent future encounters and just straighten the bars. Time and heat will fix the bars.

If you have limitless funds then buy auxiliary lights and new bars.

Either way, buy some lights. I don't accept hurting wildlife in exchange for our personal enjoyment. I'm fairly sure you feel the same way.
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:21 PM   #3
FOREVER HANDSOME OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erkmania View Post
If your funds are limited then buy auxiliary lights to prevent future encounters and just straighten the bars. Time and heat will fix the bars.

If you have limitless funds then buy auxiliary lights and new bars.

Either way, buy some lights. I don't accept hurting wildlife in exchange for our personal enjoyment. I'm fairly sure you feel the same way.
I do feel the same erk. And I did have lights - it was just one of those situations where there was no time to react. I think I will limit night riding - with the increased lighting on this bike, with the aux lights, I just got over confident.
Have you straightened bars with heat?
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:37 PM   #4
erkmania
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Originally Posted by FOREVER HANDSOME View Post
I do feel the same erk. And I did have lights - it was just one of those situations where there was no time to react. I think I will limit night riding - with the increased lighting on this bike, with the aux lights, I just got over confident.
Have you straightened bars with heat?
I understand. I previously forgot to mention that I'm glad you are alright. I am glad that you're alright.

Yes, I have straightened bars. The key is lots of heat with an acetylene torch and to be sure the repaired part mounts exactly as originally intended and without any extra force by the mounting bolts. If the bar requires extra force to make it flush/square with the mounting surface then you are inviting future damage at the mounting point.
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erkmania screwed with this post 09-25-2014 at 06:41 PM Reason: ...make it flush/square...
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:58 PM   #5
Paladin53
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Heat would the last resort to straighten the bars.

They were bent cold, straighten 'em cold. Try to find a way to hold the bike steady and pull the bars back in place. It may take tying the bike to a post or tree and use a lever or come a long to pry or pull the bars.
If they are kinked they are probably trashed unless you want to cut out the bad spot and splice in new tubing.

Heat will probably soften the metal in the bars. Heat can be used to pound out slight kinks and relieve stress if used carefully. If they are stainless, forget it.

I built bars for my GS. If I had just worked my normal job, I could have bought three sets of top line bars with the time I spent on fabricating them. That's not even counting the money I spent on DOM tubing and fasteners.

I've been welding 'bout 37 years.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:25 PM   #6
marchyman
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A deer hit me on my '05, bending my H-B bars back into the cylinder head. I didn't go down. Don't know what happened to the deer. When I got home at the end of the trip I took the bars off and held them in a vice then applied tension in the direction I wanted them to bend. A hydraulic jack and scrap wood helped.

The bars weren't strait, but they were straight enough to put back on the bike. The down side was that from that point on I had to loosen (but not remove) the bars to remove the valve cover.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:32 AM   #7
billdonna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erkmania View Post
I don't accept hurting wildlife in exchange for our personal enjoyment. I'm fairly sure you feel the same way.
I share your concern but offer up another point of view. Doesn't running over toads and snakes on the road with your tires count? Honey bees splattered on the windshield?

Surely you must understand that riding for enjoyment involves causing harm to wildlife. Or is your concern limited to cute, warm, furry creatures? Just askin....
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:01 AM   #8
NZRalphy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin53 View Post
Heat would the last resort to straighten the bars.

They were bent cold, straighten 'em cold. Try to find a way to hold the bike steady and pull the bars back in place. It may take tying the bike to a post or tree and use a lever or come a long to pry or pull the bars.
If they are kinked they are probably trashed unless you want to cut out the bad spot and splice in new tubing.

Heat will probably soften the metal in the bars. Heat can be used to pound out slight kinks and relieve stress if used carefully. If they are stainless, forget it.

I built bars for my GS. If I had just worked my normal job, I could have bought three sets of top line bars with the time I spent on fabricating them. That's not even counting the money I spent on DOM tubing and fasteners.

I've been welding 'bout 37 years.
Agreed. Do your best to cold set them back into shape. Heat will put a huge colour stain on them that may never come out.

If unsure how to progress go talk to car panel beater (they have straightening jigs and can work a collision forces through in their head) and ask how he would do it.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:05 AM   #9
FOREVER HANDSOME OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin53 View Post
Heat would the last resort to straighten the bars.

They were bent cold, straighten 'em cold. Try to find a way to hold the bike steady and pull the bars back in place. It may take tying the bike to a post or tree and use a lever or come a long to pry or pull the bars.
If they are kinked they are probably trashed unless you want to cut out the bad spot and splice in new tubing.

Heat will probably soften the metal in the bars. Heat can be used to pound out slight kinks and relieve stress if used carefully. If they are stainless, forget it.

I built bars for my GS. If I had just worked my normal job, I could have bought three sets of top line bars with the time I spent on fabricating them. That's not even counting the money I spent on DOM tubing and fasteners.

I've been welding 'bout 37 years.
I think they are stainless. They look like the OEM BMW ones. Too hard to pull off?
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdonna View Post
I share your concern but offer up another point of view. Doesn't running over toads and snakes on the road with your tires count? Honey bees splattered on the windshield?

Surely you must understand that riding for enjoyment involves causing harm to wildlife. Or is your concern limited to cute, warm, furry creatures? Just askin....
Just do what I do: Don't hit wildlife.
I avoid hitting anything, I swerve for bees and slow down for bears.
Now Jack Rabbits, Dear and Antelope will run right into the side of you, so you have to be extra careful in those parts.

Fuzzy little baby bear cubs? Nope. Never hit one. I'd have to pull over and kick the shit out of myself if I did.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:19 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=
Fuzzy little baby bear cubs? Nope. Never hit one. I'd have to pull over and kick the shit out of myself if I did.[/QUOTE]

Don't worry, momma bear will do that for you. The original poster may be lucky he wasn't attacked when he went back to check on the cub.

PS: you may not feel so warm and fuzzy towards warm and fuzzy bears after they shred your gear because they smell something good inside. Just sayin'.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by longslowdistance View Post
?.....
.....
....
..
The original poster may be lucky he wasn't attacked when he went back to check on the cub.

PS: you may not feel so warm and fuzzy towards warm and fuzzy bears after they shred your gear because they smell something good inside. Just sayin'.
+ 1

Momma bears don't take kindly to us humans interfering with their family life.

Two thing I've learned about wildlife encounters. 1. Avoid bear encounter when possible. 2. When a deer crossed in front of you resist the temptation to see where it's going, instead look to where it came from to see if other are coming your way.....

Forever Handsome, I'm thinking you made out well here!
Paul
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:14 AM   #13
OldPete2112
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Agree with the others regarding not going back, or sticking around. Up here at work last week someone smacked a cub with a truck, I was driving by and mentioned to the on site security that the should NOT get out of their vehicles (it was after dark too) as the cub was in pain and crying, obviously it is only a matter of time before the mother bear shows up. They had nothing to put the cub out of its agony, and nothing to defend themselves when the mother bear shows up. Yet another time when I wish we had CCW here in Canada. A single 45ACP would have put the cub out of its misery quickly instead of waiting hours until Fish and Game could show to do the job. Not calling down Fish and Game here, but there are very few of them for the area they need to cover.


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Old 09-26-2014, 08:24 AM   #14
FOREVER HANDSOME OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longslowdistance View Post
Don't worry, momma bear will do that for you. The original poster may be lucky he wasn't attacked when he went back to check on the cub.

PS: you may not feel so warm and fuzzy towards warm and fuzzy bears after they shred your gear because they smell something good inside. Just sayin'.
That's a whole other conversation.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:27 AM   #15
FOREVER HANDSOME OP
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Originally Posted by Roadscum View Post
+ 1 .

Forever Handsome, I'm thinking you made out well here!
Paul
Roadscum, it was a cheap lesson about pushing it on a narrow wilderness road at night, that's for sure. Better lighting made me overconfident. Like I said, cheap lesson, could have been fugly.
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