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maximo

Cutting handlebar down

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For the first time in 35 years of lane splitting, I hit a car mirror with my handlebar. I commute on the bike daily, and have logged thousands of hours lane sharing without a single incident. The FJ-09 is still somewhat new to me, and the handlebars are the widest of any bike I’ve ever owned. Muscle memory told me I had the clearance, but obviously I didn’t.

Has anyone cut down the width of their handlebars? I think I’d be happy taking 4-6 inches off each side.


’70 Yamaha 125 Enduro; ’75 Honda CB360T; ’81 Yamaha XS650SH; ’82 Honda GL650 Silver Wing Interstate; ’82 Suzuki GS650L; ’87 Yamaha Virago 535; ’87 Yamaha FJ1200; ’96 Honda ST1100; ’99 Yamaha V-Star Classic; ’00 Suzuki SV650; ’07 BMW K1200GT; ’12 Suzuki DR200; ’15 Yamaha FJ-09.  Bold = current

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1/2 inch is the max you can cut and still use the stock, hand guards, switch assemblies, grips, bar ends and perches. And you need to tap the end another 1/2 inch to match. The hard part is finding the tap and doing the tap work. The limiting factor is the perches clamping on the bend of the bar. Narrower bars would be the ideal solution.

john

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+1 look at the perches and where the bar begins to taper and you'll see how much you can gain by cutting. In addition to threading the bars if you want to retain the stock setup you'll find the control assemblies have nubs that match holes in the bars so you need to drill new holes or grind the nubs off. Some have used FZ-09 bars, gets you an inch on each side, or gone aftermarket. Search will find you some threads on different options. Also have to consider if any change you make will impact cable/brake lines routing/slack. 

Tap, handle, tapping fluid should be easy to get at a good local hardware place or order online at mcmaster etc.

 

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@maximo - If you're still running with the stock handguards, I would suggest you remove them and see how the bike feels to you.  I waited over a year before trying it on mine, and instantly wished I had removed them on day one...   While the physical width is narrower by only a few inches, the mental perception is MUCH greater.   The bike just feels lighter and much more trim without the big elephant ears on the end of the handlebars...   it's a visual trick, I realize, but for me it's a huge improvement.   For now I'm using FZ9 factory bar ends on the stock bars, but have a set of Rizoma MA006 bars on order, which should narrow the bars a bit more.  

If you have saddle bags on your bike, pay careful attention to not getting the bars narrower than the bags.  I'm using that as my guideline for 'how narrow is too narrow' with the handlebar mods.  

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Thanks.  My bike already has the handguards removed. It came that way, so I never had a chance to experience the big blobs at the end. 

All my other bikes with bags have had wider bags than handlebars, so it's not an issue for me. I gauge to clear the side mirrors, which automatically gives me a big cushion down lower where the bags are.

I'll be really interested in the Rizoma bars to see how they fit and work. 

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’70 Yamaha 125 Enduro; ’75 Honda CB360T; ’81 Yamaha XS650SH; ’82 Honda GL650 Silver Wing Interstate; ’82 Suzuki GS650L; ’87 Yamaha Virago 535; ’87 Yamaha FJ1200; ’96 Honda ST1100; ’99 Yamaha V-Star Classic; ’00 Suzuki SV650; ’07 BMW K1200GT; ’12 Suzuki DR200; ’15 Yamaha FJ-09.  Bold = current

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1 hour ago, maximo said:

I'll be really interested in the Rizoma bars to see how they fit and work. 

@coachluciano - Can you help a brother out here with some pictures & feedback of the MA006 Rizoma on your bike?  

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18 minutes ago, texscottyd said:

@coachluciano - Can you help a brother out here with some pictures & feedback of the MA006 Rizoma on your bike?  

@texscottyd @maximosure. Give me a day or so to take some pictures to best describe why this is a no brained swap. Lol. 

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2015 FJ-09 - Andreani Cartridges, Ohlins 535 Rear Shock, LightTech Chain Adjusters, Yoshi Fender Eliminator, Blaster-X Integrated Tail Light/Blinkers,  Full Yoshi Exhaust, Ivan's Flash, Bagster Seat, Rizoma: (Bar, Grips, Bar Ends, Mirrors, Oil Cap, Rear Pegs) Bremob Corsa Corta Master Cylinder, Bremob RCS19 Hadraulic Clutch, GPR Steering Damper, Speigler Hydraulic Lines, EBC Brake Pads, Puig Screen, HealTech Quick Shifter, MPG Rearset, XSR900 Slipper Clutch, Driven Racing Halo Gas Cap, SW-Motch Front / Rear Axel Sliders,  R1 Rotors / 320mm Kit Conversion. 

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I did this yesterday.I have already taken guards off, since they do bugger all except cause turbulence and look mmmm, so without the bar ends and guards they were shorter anyway, which will help your lane splitting. I cut 1" off both sides of bars. For me, it's much better, and you can certainly notice the difference even with that small amount taken off. It gives the bike a more solid feel, and puts my arms in a more natural position. I cut bars to get a more positive direct feel, which I'm happy with now. If you want any tips on cutting bars down, let me know. 

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On 3/20/2019 at 5:55 AM, jsp said:

1/2 inch is the max you can cut and still use the stock, hand guards, switch assemblies, grips, bar ends and perches. And you need to tap the end another 1/2 inch to match. The hard part is finding the tap and doing the tap work. The limiting factor is the perches clamping on the bend of the bar. Narrower bars would be the ideal solution.

john

Your right. As I run without guards (I put BB blizards on in winter) I cut 1" off both ends with sabre saw, using jubilee clip as guide. It's fine. I got (16mm 1.5) tap, eBay uk for £3.00 posted, and it took about 10mins. Buy new shorter bars for £££, or spend £3.00 and 10 mins tapping thread. Either way you still have to spend about 45mins taking off and replacing switchgear etc. And drilling holes for locating pegs.

Edited by Tripletrouble

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4 hours ago, Tripletrouble said:

I cut 1" off both sides of bars. For me, it's much better, and you can certainly notice the difference even with that small amount taken off. It gives the bike a more solid feel, and puts my arms in a more natural position.

Same experience here, I thought the factory bars on the FJ were ridiculously wide, I bought narrower bars and then still cut a little more off each side.  Much more comfortable now.


***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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On 3/19/2019 at 10:02 PM, maximo said:

I hit a car mirror with my handlebar. 

Try these, no problem with car mirrors. Trucks on the other hand...

IMG_4192.JPG

  • Haha 1

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37 minutes ago, Tripletrouble said:

IMG_4192.JPG

I wonder if he experiences any of the high-speed aero oscillation with that setup?   I see that the factory hand guards are removed, so he’s probably good...  :D

  • Haha 2

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6 hours ago, Tripletrouble said:

Try these, no problem with car mirrors. Trucks on the other hand...

IMG_4192.JPG

Plus if I crash, I'm already in the Superman position so that I can slide on the only protected part of the body. It's brilliant, really. 


’70 Yamaha 125 Enduro; ’75 Honda CB360T; ’81 Yamaha XS650SH; ’82 Honda GL650 Silver Wing Interstate; ’82 Suzuki GS650L; ’87 Yamaha Virago 535; ’87 Yamaha FJ1200; ’96 Honda ST1100; ’99 Yamaha V-Star Classic; ’00 Suzuki SV650; ’07 BMW K1200GT; ’12 Suzuki DR200; ’15 Yamaha FJ-09.  Bold = current

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On 3/20/2019 at 8:08 PM, coachluciano said:

@texscottyd @maximosure. Give me a day or so to take some pictures to best describe why this is a no brained swap. Lol. 

It’s really hard to show the original handlebar vs the Rizoma. Every time I try I realize it does not provide a true representation of how different the two are. Hopefully these pictures will help.  Way better for me and my riding style. Add to that, not unexplained shakes over 90 since I dropped the bar ends, bar, and mirrors. All really good things to wreak havoc at high speeds. 

4FC47FE4-B5EC-4770-91B0-E497E0E68085.jpeg

9A4D7635-CBD7-46E3-8D49-50F9AB8BC386.jpeg

2DF1C482-CCDD-4178-90A8-BBD2785D2E85.jpeg

BE7FD351-3E44-4BF3-9338-2CE733C5DAC3.jpeg

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2015 FJ-09 - Andreani Cartridges, Ohlins 535 Rear Shock, LightTech Chain Adjusters, Yoshi Fender Eliminator, Blaster-X Integrated Tail Light/Blinkers,  Full Yoshi Exhaust, Ivan's Flash, Bagster Seat, Rizoma: (Bar, Grips, Bar Ends, Mirrors, Oil Cap, Rear Pegs) Bremob Corsa Corta Master Cylinder, Bremob RCS19 Hadraulic Clutch, GPR Steering Damper, Speigler Hydraulic Lines, EBC Brake Pads, Puig Screen, HealTech Quick Shifter, MPG Rearset, XSR900 Slipper Clutch, Driven Racing Halo Gas Cap, SW-Motch Front / Rear Axel Sliders,  R1 Rotors / 320mm Kit Conversion. 

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