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ethan346 06-23-2007 07:40 PM

Stock handlebar options
Im new to the forum, and still in the honeymoon period with my 2004 R1100S. Im coming to the sad conclusion that my arms are too short for these low handlebars, and im in the process of moving them above the yoke. I loosened all necessary bolts, slid the fork sliders out of the tubes (but not out of the yoke) and moved the bars to the top. It was here that i stopped. The bars dont tighten enough to prevent rotation on the fork sliders. I seem to need some kind of bracket that fits into the former holes of the securing bolts. As i do not have the factory installed high handlebar kit, and there is a chance I may want to move the bars back to the lower position, I want to make sure anything i do can be undone. Any suggestions? Also, I read somewhere that it may be necessary to bleed the forks? When i removed the sliders, a small amount of fluid came with them. Does this mean i will get air in the forks and screw up my front suspension? And finally, I also read somewhere that basically any position other than the stock low bar will require a longer brake line, but with them in position, my brakes seem to work fine. Should I worry?

ckcarr 06-23-2007 07:44 PM

I'm sure some old rabid dog here will have a suggestion...

signit98 06-23-2007 08:47 PM your handlebars have an alingnment pin on the top? Quite possible that the bike had the bars up and the previous owner has moved them down!? Otherwise, the brake line will be NOTICABLY short...

They should clamp tight though... something is not kosher if they don't... make sure the slider are high enough to come out of the handlebar top about 1/16"... don't worry about the fork slider and the few drops of oil you've lost... the oil in the stanchions has only corrosion prevention function...

Welcome to the board, Ethan...

ethan346 06-23-2007 09:20 PM

No alignment pins on top of the yoke; I'll post pictures tomorrow morning of what Im dealing with and of the brake line, which still seems to be the proper length for either the high or low bar setup.

signit98 06-23-2007 10:16 PM

...if you don't have alignment pins, then you already have the factory high bars... the low bars have the pins....

So, as an option to get a bit more up and back, you could go with Randolph the Dog's barbacks.... he is also known on here as Rapid Dog.

I have them and for touring they are quite good... I don't keep them on for my "every weekend riding" though but that would be an individual(s) decision, I guess!?

ethan346 06-24-2007 07:30 AM

I've posted pictures of what Im working with. Hopefully these can help to guide any suggestions. Thanks!

pwillikers 06-24-2007 12:47 PM

Man, you're doin' it the hard way. Post your location in your profile and maybe there'll be a volunteer to help you through this and all the other stuff that comes up (like adjusting the suspension).

There's no need to remove the fork tubes, you can slide them down into the sliders and out of the triple clamps. And, you say you can't tighten them enough so they don't rotate?!!? That makes no sense. Are you rotating the fork tube? Did you tighten the triple clamp pinch bolts? I ride with my clipons above the TTT 80% of the time. ard

ethan346 06-24-2007 12:55 PM

After giving things another good once over this morning, I was able to tighten the triple clamp pinch bolts. That seemed to solve the rotation problem, more than simply tightening the pinch bolts on the clip ons themselves. I didnt know you could slide the fork tubes down instead of up. I'll keep that in mind if\ when i move the handlebars back. I'm in the process of securing a bracket made for the bike by its former owner. Is it really necessary, or is yours primarily for a mount for GPS? I took a ride this afternoon with the bars up, but I was cautious, worried that if they gave way, I would have to steer the bike using only the power of prayer. Im SE Ohio at the moment. I meant to discuss my concerns with my local dealership but they will be closed until tuesday. Forum seems to be a better source of info anyway.

DeltaNu1142 06-25-2007 05:08 AM


Originally posted by ethan346Forum seems to be a better source of info anyway. [/B]
I've only owned my S since last year & I've most certainly found that! I haven't had to contact the previous owner with any questions--it's easier to hit the search button than it is to dial his phone #. Back on point, my clip ons were above the clamp when I bought the bike, and with the pegs lowered it's as if the bike were made for me. Welcome...!

signit98 06-25-2007 06:32 AM

ethan, you have the handlebars that came with the low setup... don't worry about the brackets... if you have tightened ALL the screw on the handlebars AND the triple tree clamps you are golden... just make sure of that or your handlebars will be the least of your worries!

I am - however - surprised that your brake lines are long enough... the previous owner must have taken care of that... yet, if it works all is well.... just make sure that you test the line WITH ALL THE WEIGHT OF THE FRONT... lift the wheel of the ground by putting the bike on the center stand and lifting it with a jack under the engine block... make sure that the line still has play and is not taught....

When all is well on that end, go riding and have fun!

Rapid Dog 06-25-2007 06:52 AM

barz definitely have the low bars.
If the "pins" which are actually bolts weren't in the designated holes then someone removed them so that they could be adjusted to suit the rider.
That's the drawback of the locked in position of both high and low bars.

The high (comfort) bas have a small tang on the base of the bars that notch into the top tripleclamp.
First thing I did was pull my comfort bars up on the forktube to clear the clamp so I could adjust to my own liking.

People call these tangs and bolts "anti-rotational", I'm not sure that's the proper term, maybe something like "liability fasteners" might be more apropriate.
A BMW dealer will tell not to change anything to do with your handlebars. That takes them out of the liability loop.

All that said, (and none of us can give you advice due to liability ;) ), The handlebars work on the clip-on design used by race bikes for years. In my humble opinion, even though the R11S bars have only one clamp screw, if torqued to spec, they're not going to rotate on you.
With your low-to-high mod, if you decide you don't have faith in the clip-ons, then use the existing holes to fabricate and mount a cross-bar after you get them in the position you want.

Hope this helps.

Looking at your pics, it doesn't appear that your comfort zone has to do with just the bars.
Your arms look relaxed, good.
Id suggest getting a peg-lowering kit from Suburban Machinery to help get the weight off your nads and wrists, and consider a flatter seat. Have yours modded or other.
Then re-evaluate where you want your bars to be.

throttlemeister 06-25-2007 11:17 AM

RD, why do you suggest peg lowering kit? He doesn't seem to need it imo looking at the angle of his legs and thighs.

Me on the other hand seem to have too long legs for the standard pegs, although it does not bother me even if I spend 12h in the saddle. And I don't want to loose too much clearance.

Rapid Dog 06-25-2007 11:36 AM

...yeah, maybe not, depending on how his lower back is feeling and where he likes his boots to rest...providing he does own a pair of boots ;) ...
I was just suggestin'. Rolling back on your tush instead of sitting on your boys helps some peeps depending on their inseam.
The peg kit gave me better leverage and comfort overall.

ethan346 06-25-2007 11:51 AM

I have to say that my back tends to be fine, but after about 3 hours, my knees were bothering me. I would say its the knees and the wrists that bother me the most. Im working on fixing the handlebars ( though Im working on getting a bracket since its unnerving for me to look at my handlebars and know they arent secured). I have to sit forward on the seat because my arms are short, and the reach to the bars feels far. My previous bike was a 2006 honda VFR ( rest in pieces) and she was egronomically perfect. Im worried i'll have to put a lot of money into altering ergos on the S with bar backs, low pegs, and a new seat. Maybe this isnt quite the bike for me.. :(

Rapid Dog 06-25-2007 11:54 AM

The R11S can be an ergonomic PITA...but yes, it can be altered to suit.
G'luck on your decision...

Bob Hancock 06-25-2007 12:29 PM

Hi ethan....sorry you're having trouble getting to the right position, but before you get rid of it or spend a billion bucks to match it to you, I suggest you give it some time and miles to match you to it. Now at 60 years old every bike I ride hurts, but I find that my body adapts and before long I start to find positions that work, which is why my BCPrep still has standard bars and seat with 43,000+ miles on it. Give it some time.

squall_line 06-25-2007 12:41 PM


Originally posted by Rapid Dog
The R11S can be an ergonomic PITA...but yes, it can be altered to suit.
G'luck on your decision...

I guess it depends on the body, but the R11S fits me pretty well. If you want an ergonomic nightmare, try an '02-04 K12GT. Stock, there is very little you can do to that heavy beast to make it comfy if it already isn't.

My F650ST fit me "to a T" after I got a Corbin. For that matter, my K11LT fit me quite well after a Corbin upgrade.

Haven't spent enough time on the R11S to get my body used to it yet (broke my foot 4 weeks ago, which was also 4 weeks after I bought the bike), so I'm still up in the air on it, but so far everything ergonomically is MUCH better than my GT ever was.

ethan346 06-25-2007 05:59 PM

I've noticed that the chance in wrist pain\ hand numbness isnt much different between the handlebars being above or below the yoke. If you were to recommend one main change I could make, would it be the high handlebars\ barbacks, a new seat, or the peg lowering kit? Which is the most valuable?

Rapid Dog 06-26-2007 07:23 AM

...well fellas?...sound off...
I'd like to hear the response here too...

Like I said, I messed with the bars first by moving them higher and adjusting them best I could but they didn't quash the problem.

If you go to the webpage and take a look at my posture, here you can see I look like a kid on his big brother's Skidoo.
That shot is pre-peg lowering kit, pre-barbacks, pre-logic...

Suffice to say, I was at the point of conviction that I'd bought the wrong bike until I managed to create some relief....:D

Bob Hancock 06-26-2007 07:41 AM

Rapid that looks so static and posed. When "in the wind", which I believe we must be to really evaluate comfort on the bike....with the wind pressure on the chest...the dyanmics change. I slump, sit up straight, go side over one-handed, move forward and back. I move around. The only time I am in "the position" is when I'm going fast and then I still move. I guess if I had to stay still I would be in the same boat as others, but I don't and quite honestly, I don't think it's supposed to be like that...static positioning. If you gotta stay like that, then an upright cruiser with a big old cushy seat and forward pegs is the way to go. My '95 Wide Glide was really if I'm gonna drop pegs and raise bars...might as well go back to the source of that riding position. Your local Harley dealer stands ready to take your money.
My 2cents fwiw.

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