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Old 02-20-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
jdmetzger OP
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Airhead GSPD bars

I have searched the threads but really haven't seen anything recent. If I'm missing something, the mods are free to whack this thread into nothingness.

I love my 93 GSPD - I've done a lot of work and aside from one small issue, it runs like a dream. Unfortunately, the seating position is a nightmare for me. When riding, if I sit up straight my arms are straight out (no bend in my elbows) and down. Not very comfy. If I slouch, it's better. This is KILLING my shoulders and neck. Until I spent a blissful week on a 12GSA, I didn't realize how awful it is. I DID install some bar risers that also move them back a bit, and all that got me is the situation mentioned above.

So I searched the threads. I saw old threads mentioning the "ricky bars" setup, which I assume is NLA and I don't even know if it would work for me. I REALLY need some better positioning or I'm going to be forced to sell my beloved GSPD. Does anyone have suggestions to sort this issue out? The other problem with different bars then is longer control cables/brake hose/wiring. The heated grips are the least of my concerns. I think I'm built pretty "normal" - 6' tall, 32" (or 32.5") inseam. What has worked for others, or is the flea market going to be my next destination?
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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Can you send a picture of your arms next to a yard stick. Perhaps they're deficiently short? I'm 6' with a 33" inseam and the bars fit fine with my elbows comfortable.

I think some bar backs may fix you right up. If indeed you need to get a new front brake cable it's easy-peazy to order one to the length you need and put it on, or have someone else do it if you not a wrench.

My wife is 5' 8" and could ride my GS comfortably. I think she has a 29" inseam.

Tom
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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I was looking at some weird hunching, too, and it took a long time of futzing with risers to find a good position. Lots of compromises.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infracaninophile View Post
Can you send a picture of your arms next to a yard stick. Perhaps they're deficiently short? I'm 6' with a 33" inseam and the bars fit fine with my elbows comfortable.

I think some bar backs may fix you right up. If indeed you need to get a new front brake cable it's easy-peazy to order one to the length you need and put it on, or have someone else do it if you not a wrench.

My wife is 5' 8" and could ride my GS comfortably. I think she has a 29" inseam.

Tom
I'll get that photo posted. I don't think I have t-rex arms but it's possible. I may head out into the garage and get a photo of me on the bike as well - maybe that will help. I can deal with the wrenching on the bike - my biggest concern would be finding compatible throttle cables of the correct length.

I also have a problem with the pegs to seat height being a bit "short" and causing me knee pain, but that is easier to deal with/stretch than having massive neck/shoulder pain, which I why I'm less worried about it. I did install some fastway pegs which lowered them a little bit but it's not quite enough. I guess my body really IS weird. Back to my neck/shoulders, often while riding for a while I will look "down" to stretch my neck and the first time I do it, it burns like hell until things stretch back out. That shouldn't happen. I stretch a lot on long rides but still... ouch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand View Post
I was looking at some weird hunching, too, and it took a long time of futzing with risers to find a good position. Lots of compromises.
Do you know what risers (or how much rise) you ended up with?
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #5
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Aaand, photos.

First, the risers I currently have. They raise the bars one inch and move them back towards the rider 5/8":



And then me on the bike with the current risers. I had to remove my riding jacket so you could actually see my elbows aren't bent (sorry about the messy garage - had to make a sacrifice to get the bike in and have the snowblower ready for action):



I didn't have a yardstick but I did some rough tape-measure measurement of my arm (I'm here alone so had to try to do it myself). From my armpit to my wrist is about 20.5 inches. I get about the same from the top of my wrist to where my shoulder starts (where the arm seam is on my t-shirt).
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmetzger View Post
I'll get that photo posted. I don't think I have t-rex arms but it's possible.
Or, maybe, the sleeve length of your dress shirts may also provide a good benchmark. That is, if anyone wears dress shits anymore.

But arm length really doesn't matter if you're uncomfortable. Taller risers with more setback may be the solution you need. If you can't find them on the market the right machine shop would be able to make them. Unfortunately, you may need longer throttle and clutch cables depending on how much rise and setback you need.

How about stacking another pair of risers on top of the ones you have right now?

Sorry that I don't have a specific solution for you.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fishkens View Post
Or, maybe, the sleeve length of your dress shirts may also provide a good benchmark. That is, if anyone wears dress shits anymore.

But arm length really doesn't matter if you're uncomfortable. Taller risers with more setback may be the solution you need. If you can't find them on the market the right machine shop would be able to make them. Unfortunately, you may need longer throttle and clutch cables depending on how much rise and setback you need.

How about stacking another pair of risers on top of the ones you have right now?

Sorry that I don't have a specific solution for you.
I kinda sat there with bars I wanted to use in my hands, and got comfy, then figured out how I was going to get there. There are Rox risers on mine, and some other clamps that probably equal out to stock with the flat bars I have.

I call it a compromise because I still feel like I gave up some wicked good cornering for the ability to stand up and not feel all hunched over. ALso unless you make up some cables special, the GS ones are the longest you can get, stock, I think. I'm at the limit, and had to bring the grips in probably 2cms from the end and even the I'm probably binding it.

That windshield is probably sending buffet right at your face, too. Makes the neck ache after a while.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishkens View Post
Sorry that I don't have a specific solution for you.
I appreciate any and all suggestions. I actually have a set of risers (no back) that I COULD stack on top... just wondering if I'd then be dealing with cable length issues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand View Post
I kinda sat there with bars I wanted to use in my hands, and got comfy, then figured out how I was going to get there. There are Rox risers on mine, and some other clamps that probably equal out to stock with the flat bars I have.

I call it a compromise because I still feel like I gave up some wicked good cornering for the ability to stand up and not feel all hunched over. ALso unless you make up some cables special, the GS ones are the longest you can get, stock, I think. I'm at the limit, and had to bring the grips in probably 2cms from the end and even the I'm probably binding it.

That windshield is probably sending buffet right at your face, too. Makes the neck ache after a while.
I may check out the Rox risers to see what can be done. I'm wondering if I'm trying to make something "fit" that just isn't going to. I was afraid the PD cables were probably the longest I could get (and I'm already pushing it with the risers), so that's a downer. When I stand on the pegs I'm also quite hunched over - it's almost not worth it.

The shield is OK I THINK... though the wind may contribute. It dumps out just below the helmet which cuts down on buffeting but keeps my head in the air stream, which I generally like. That was the downside of the 12GSA - no airflow to my face unless I stood up, though at least it was comfortable for standing. I might just stick with the PD for another year and then invest in a new bike after I relocate. I love the airhead but I just don't think it will be as comfortable for me as it needs to be. When I sell there will be a lucky inmate getting a great bike, though.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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John,
You should be able to re-route the cables. I went through this with my GS sidecar rig. I ended up running K75C handlebars. The only drag is no crossbar.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:31 PM   #10
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John,
You should be able to re-route the cables. I went through this with my GS sidecar rig. I ended up running K75C handlebars. The only drag is no crossbar.
Interesting. I could deal with no crossbar if it works. Before the snow returned I went out and I think different cable routing might help me out a bit but I will have to see. Maybe a combo of risers and different bars will be the magic ticket. I had considered R12GS bars but from what I can find they are almost identical in height/sweep that the stock bars are. K75C bars, likely not. Maybe even get some RT bars...
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:32 PM   #11
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You could also try rox risers that change from 7/8" to 1 1/8" bars - then run a protaper CR high or something like that. I've been thinking of doing that myself, but I just can't find the time to futz with the bike right now.

I've had the same achey back / shoulder thing with the stock bars - and that is with 1/2" risers in place. After about 500 miles or so, I have to take a long break - my back just can't take it.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmetzger View Post
Interesting. I could deal with no crossbar if it works. Before the snow returned I went out and I think different cable routing might help me out a bit but I will have to see. Maybe a combo of risers and different bars will be the magic ticket. I had considered R12GS bars but from what I can find they are almost identical in height/sweep that the stock bars are. K75C bars, likely not. Maybe even get some RT bars...
The clutch cable and upper choke cable from a 88-95 R100RT might be longer and the same with the throttle cables however you might have to remove some of the outer sheathing on them(throttle cable) to work with the little plastic piece that they go into at the handlebar controls.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:56 PM   #13
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I have a set of these I'm not using if you're interested



Worked very well with my ST.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmweuro View Post
John,
You should be able to re-route the cables. I went through this with my GS sidecar rig. I ended up running K75C handlebars. The only drag is no crossbar.
Got a pic of your bike with the K75C bars? I'd like to see that. I'm always in pursuit of perfect ergonomics... so far my luck has been poor.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #15
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Couldn't find a good picture but I did find a short video that kind of shows the handlebars.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/canterburyfour/483652
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