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How To adjust your bars and lever height
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The ferret Offline
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,791
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #1
How To adjust your bars and lever height
Setting up your bike properly to fit you is a lost art among motorcycle dealers, and the manufacturers have tried to standardize fitment by dimpling bars, and pinning switches (which comes close for most people), but to operate a motorcycle safely and comfortably you must set up the bike to suit you, the owner. Since we are not all built the same, we have different length arms, and legs, and we sit on the seats in different places, which means the handlebars may need to be rotated forward for long armed guys, or back for short armed guys to be comfortable. When you move the bars, it affects the levers, and the mirrors, and the switches. All need to be adjusted to the individual. In 17 years in the motorcycle industry this is something I did for every customer that bought a bike from me.

Lets start with the bars. There are 4 bolts that clamp the handlebars which when loosened allow the bars to be moved. These are bolts that take a 6 mm allen wrench and are capped with little plastic chrome caps. to adjust first we must remove the chrome caps. Take a small strdy bladed knife and place the tip under the edge of one of the caps. The object is not to scratch anything. The thin stury knife blade is the best tool I have found for this job. Screw drivers are usually too thick, and fingernails too thin.

İmage

Once you have the edge popped up, use the blade of the knife under the lip of the cap to pry it out.

İmage

İmage

now remove the other 3 in the same way.

Once all 4 caps are removed grab either a ratchet, small extension, and a 6mm allen socket or a 6 mm allen wrench and loosen all 4 bolts, not sloppy loose, but just lightly loose. (remember lefty loosy, or check your ratchet before beginning work)

İmage

İmage


Now sit on the bike, either on the centerstand, or put a board under the side stand to proximate riding position and grab the bars. Pull back if they are too far away, push forward if they are too close. The goal is to get the grips to fall right under your hands when in your natural riding position. (notice I spared no expense hiring a good looking model)

İmage

Once you have bars where they are comfortable for you, go ahead and snug up the 4 6MM allen bolts, that clamp the bars. I rotate bolts as I tighten them. Note * The torque spec for these bolts is 15 Ft Lbs, and Honda says to tighten the front 2 first and then the rear two.

Once you are happy with the position of the bars we have to roate the levers so that they fit properly. When sitting on a bike your shoulders elbows and wrists will form a straight line. Even if your elbows are slightly bent, from the side the line is straight. If you stretch your fingers straight out, the levers should come up and touch the bottom of your fingers.

There are 2 hex head bolts that hold the levers and master cylinders in position on each side. These take an 8 mm wrench or socket. To adjust a lever loosen the two bolt lightly until the unit will turn with light pressure. Sit on the bike and lower or raise the lever until it lightly touches the bottom of your fingers and snug it up. It should look like this.

İmage

If you have to bend your wrist either up, or down in order to squeeze the lever that will cause tension in your wrist and fatigue on a long ride

wrist bent up

İmage

wrist bent down

İmage

Go ahead and snug up your lever holders on each side.

Like I said the switches on todays bikes are pinned so there isn't much you can do about their positioning, but if you moved the bars at all the mirror may need to be rotated up or down a bit to put the object of reflection in the center of the lens. Just grab the mirror face and rotate up or down as needed.

İmage

Once your bike is properly set up, it will feel better, be more comfortable and less fatiguing to ride. With the levers set up correctly there will be no tension in your wrist, you will be able to extend 2 fingers on each hand to cover the clutch or brakes (I almost always ride with those covered by 2 fingers) and ride that way without fatigue to your fingers, and you will be able to squeeze the clutch and brake levers more quickly and easily.

İmage

Check all your bolts for tightness and don't forget to snap the 4 chrome plastic caps back into the handlebar holders.

İmage

That's it you are done.

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
(This post was last modified: 11-08-2016 04:31 AM by The ferret.)
07-30-2014 04:51 PM
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EmptySea Offline
Been There

Chicagoland, USA
Posts: 4,402
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #2
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Nice.

MTC


2013 CB1100 non-abs
2013 CB1100 abs
(This post was last modified: 07-30-2014 09:07 PM by EmptySea.)
07-30-2014 09:07 PM
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Pauley Offline
Running Like a Top

San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 508
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #3
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Nice tutorial. Thanks Ferret.
07-30-2014 09:20 PM
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offroadfx4 Offline
Running Like a Top

Indiana
Posts: 539
Joined: Apr 2014
Post: #4
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Nice Ferret! I refer to your post in my conversations with my wife so much, she thinks I know you haha!

While I was riding the dragon and other curvy roads today,

I found myself wondering about moving the rear brake lever down....a tutorial on that would be nice!

I was feeling the need to use both front and rear at the same time and keeping my foot hovering on the rear brake lever for an extended period of time was uncomfortable. (I know the whole science of which brake and when is controversial but a touch of rear brake sure seemed to steady rear end and lessen the dive on the front).

Seems like I did to my old CB750 but I'm still in dragon country, I'll check when I get home.

I'm guessing there might be a danger or limit to how far down you can move it to make sure it doesn't drag in a turn (I did have my boot touch today in a turn, that was a weird feeling ;-)

2014 Honda CB1100 STD
1984 Kawasaki GPZ750
1978 Yamaha YZ125
1976 Honda CB750 (cost $1776 new)
1973 Honda CB350
1970 Honda 50 Mini Trail
07-30-2014 09:44 PM
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Cormanus Offline
Moderator

Queensland, Australia
Posts: 10,724
Joined: Dec 2013
Post: #5
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Nice, Ferret. Thanks very much. Thumbs Up
07-30-2014 11:00 PM
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CIP57 Offline
High Mileage

NY & NC
Posts: 1,413
Joined: May 2013
Post: #6
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Nice job Mickey. Whats in the red plastic sleeves, cheat sheets for vehicle/motorcycle specs???

1982 Suzuki GS1100EZ
07-31-2014 03:44 AM
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The ferret Offline
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,791
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #7
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
(07-31-2014 03:44 AM)CIP57 Wrote:  Nice job Mickey. Whats in the red plastic sleeves, cheat sheets for vehicle/motorcycle specs???

Yes, and maintenance records for each vehicle

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
07-31-2014 04:06 AM
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Guth Online
Forum Founder

Portland, OR
Posts: 3,137
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #8
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together!

2013 CB1100: Placed deposit on Nov. 12, 2012; Received delivery on April 5, 2013.
07-31-2014 07:06 AM
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The Spaceman Offline
Road Warrior

First Amendment Street
Posts: 1,559
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #9
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
This seems like a good place to mention the excellent mirrors Honda provided with the CB. After reading the thread on the helmet with the rear
-view system, I couldn't help but note that our mirrors provide almost 180 degrees of vision behind. With just a slight lean I can see the lanes on either side. There's virtually no blind spot.

They aren't pretty, but they sure do work well!

Go hagofuku yourself.
07-31-2014 07:20 AM
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White Dog Offline
Running Like a Top

NC
Posts: 402
Joined: Mar 2015
Post: #10
RE: How to adjust your bars and lever height
Thanks for the detailed explanation and pics. I put risers on my Goldwing a couple years ago and noticed right away the pain in my left shoulder went away due to the re positioning of the handlebars. I had not ridden but less than 100 miles on my new CB1100 and felt myself having to lean too far forward to ride with comfort. GenMar sells a pair of risers which raise the handlebars 1" up, but since the stock risers are on an angle, the bars will have to move back and that's what I was hoping to achieve.

2014 Standard, lots of mods. Other rides: '08 Goldwing, '96 BMW R1100RT, '95 BMW K75.
03-16-2015 07:30 PM
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