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Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
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ChipBeck Offline
High Mileage

Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 841
Joined: May 2013
Post: #1
Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Gentlemen,

A number of our members have replaced the stock handlebars on their CB11 with lower handlebars to give their bike a more sporting riding position and appearance. That look appeals to me as well and I am taking my bike in that direction. I love the appearance, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that Honda put into this bike but I knew before I even took it home from the dealership that there were four things I was going to have to change. The ungainly rear license plate bracket would be first on the list. For those who haven’t seen it I have posted a separate thread titled “Getting Rid of the Ugly Rear License Plate Bracket” detailing how to build a very simple and much prettier license plate mount. The unsightly exhaust pipe collector/catalytic converter with its sloppy exposed welds, odd shape, and steep funnel into the pipe leading to the muffler would be second (I’m still deciding how I’m going to deal with this). The rearview mirrors would be third, as they are extremely tall sticking up far more than necessary, and aesthetically I prefer an oval or rectangular mirror shape to the round mirrors on the CB11. I am not a fan of bar end mirrors as they are not pleasing to my eye. And finally, the handlebars. At low speeds I like the riding position that the stock bars provide but at highway speeds on any lengthy journey the bolt upright seating position makes for a very tiring ride. But my biggest objection to the stock handlebars is their shape. To me they look like miniature ape hangers and their appearance has bothered me almost as much as that rear license plate bracket. Once I installed the Road Comet faring on my bike the shape and height of those chrome bars as well as the very tall bright chrome mirrors really looked out of place. Here’s a photo of the faring with my stock bars and mirrors.

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So I purchased three sets of handlebars to decide which ones would look and work the best on my bike. The easy fit bars are predrilled to accommodate the positioning peg found on both the left and right hand controls, and they are about 1 ½ inches lower than the stock bars and are made of aluminum. The Yamamoto bars are lower still and incorporate more pullback but I would have to drill my own holes to accommodate the controls. And the Flanders low road bars are slightly lower than the Yamamoto bars but have less pullback. They would also need to be drilled to accommodate the controls. Setting all three bars in the triple clamp on my bike I like the shape and riding position of the Flanders bars the best.

İmage

I was about to install them when I read a post on this forum about one of our members who had installed aftermarket bars and experienced vibration so uncomfortable that he finally removed them and put the stock bars back on. His post gave me pause because my carpal tunnel problem makes handlebar vibration most uncomfortable for me in a short period of time. Nobody who has put aftermarket bars on their CB11 has been able to use the stock bar end weights.

How important are those weights and how do they work?

So I decided to start by taking a good look at those weights and how they are attached. I was very surprised at what I found. There is a whole lot of engineering, technology, and thoughtful design inside of our handlebars that very few of us are aware of. The black weight you see on the end of your handlebars is only a small part of the total system. When you wiggle that weight you can feel that it moves slightly and that it is not rigidly attached. That end weight is screwed into an even heavier and longer solid lead weight inside the handlebars that extends the entire length of the grip under your hand. That heavy lead weight has rubber rings at each end that are held in place by recesses in that weight. The outside of that rubber ring has a series of rubber fingers/ridges around it’s circumference that hold that weight suspended inside of the handlebars so that the weight does not contact the handlebar. This entire assembly has a spring steel clip on the bar end side with two small tabs that project into two holes drilled near the end of the handlebar. Those two tiny spring steel tabs are the only metal to metal contact that that big weight assembly has with the handlebars themselves. Those assembled bar end weights weigh more than the entire handlebar itself!! They are quite heavy. The Honda bar is fairly thin wall steel and those suspended bar end weights concentrate mass on the outside of the bar. As that bar starts resonate because of engine vibration, the buzz under the handgrips is dampened by the shock absorbing properties of those two rubber rings attached to those massive lead weights suspended inside the bar. Like rubber engine mounts, those rubber internal handlebar weights are insulated and do not vibrate in sync with the handlebar itself and instead dampen handlebar vibration just like a shock absorber.

İmage

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So I saw two problems with all three sets of my aftermarket bars. First, they were all aluminum with walls much thicker than the stock steel bars and so their smaller internal diameter would not allow the use of Hondas high-tech handlebar anti-vibration system. Second, they appear to be far more rigid than the stock bars and because they are rigidly mounted to the triple clamp they would certainly transmit vibration very efficiently.

İmage

Damn, once I saw all that went into Honda's bar end weight system I scrapped plans to use any of those aftermarket bars as I did not want to deal with any more handlebar vibration. Plus, I think the stock Honda bar ends with those weights look really trick and the bike does not look as good in my opinion without those weights in place. Back to the drawing board.

Where could I find a handlebar with the Flanders Low Street Bar bend and height I was looking for that would accommodate my stock factory bar end weights? I assumed my best shot at this was to go down to my local Honda dealership with my Flanders bars in hand. It didn’t take long for me to come across the Holy Grail. There it was! The flat black handlebars on the 2013 Honda CB500F appeared to be identical in shape to my Flanders low road bars AND…..they appeared to incorporate the identical bar end weight system found on my CB11. Below is a photo of my Flanders Low Road Bars and the flat black bars are from the CB500F. They are virtually identical except for color.

İmage



And they are the proper internal diameter.

İmage

Even better, the flat black rearview mirrors on that bike were oval in shape, much lower, and were exactly what I was looking for to go along with the Road Comet faring on my bike. I checked with the parts manager and verified that the bar end weights inside of the CB500F were indeed identical to those inside the bars of the CB11. Furthermore, the mirrors on the CB500F were threaded identically and mounted the exact same way as the mirrors on the CB11. So I ordered both mirrors and those handlebars. It took about a week for them to come in and with these parts in hand I rolled my CB11 back into my living room and went to work.

I set a bar stool up on each side of the handlebars of my bike so that when I took the hydraulic clutch and front brake reservoir/lever assembly off I could set it on those stools and keep them upright to make sure I did not introduce any air into the system. With both of those lever assembly’s removed I then removed the outside portion of the bar end weights on both sides by grasping that black weight and keeping it from rotating while I removed the Philips head screw. Next, although it took a lot of work because it is glued in place, I removed the rubber hand grip on the left-hand side of the bar. Although I blistered my right hand with all of the twisting and pulling that grip actually came off intact and in perfect shape! I had a spare on hand just in case I damaged it but my spare was unnecessary. Next I removed the two Philips head screws from the right and left hand handlebar control assembly’s. The left one splits apart and can be removed with the handlebar still in place. The right one requires that the handlebar itself be removed and slid away from the throttle pipe assembly as the throttle cables do not allow it to be slid off with the handlebar in place. To get your stock handlebar off carefully remove the four chrome caps by prying them up with the tip of a sharp knife. Next remove the Philips head bolts that secure the tops of the handlebar clamps. Now you are able to remove your handlebars while leaving all of the bikes cables and electrical connections in place. Once your stock chrome bars are off you will want to reinstall both bar end weights because you will need to grab them in order to pull the internal bar weight out. The two spring steel tabs sticking up into the holes near the end of the handlebars will need to be simultaneously depressed with a sharp object to allow that inner bar weight to slide out. When I took my inner bar weights out one of the rubber donuts came off and stayed inside the handlebar. It was easy to fish out with a hook I fashioned from a piece of coat hanger wire and I slid that rubber piece right back on to the inner bar end weight. Here is what that entire bar end weight assembly looks like once it’s removed from your handlebars.

İmage

Because the new bars are both narrower and lower the throttle cables must be routed in front of the guide wire mounted to the right-hand side of the headlamp. Next, the hydraulic line coming out of the clutch reservoir must be loosened just slightly so as to not let any air get in or hydraulic fluid get out and that hose should be rotated upwards about 25°. The same thing must be done with the hose coming out of the front brake reservoir only it must be rotated all the way around so that the hose is resting on top of the metal tab sticking out of the front of that reservoir instead of resting on the bottom of that tab. If you do not do this, those hydraulic lines will contact the top of the fork tubes and the clutch and brake assemblies cannot be mounted.

The pre-drilled holes in the bar ends to accommodate the bar end weights are identical on both the CB11 bars and the CB500F bars so the bar and weights slide in and lock into place perfectly. However, the holes drilled in the CB500F bars to accommodate the peg in both the left and right handlebar controls are not exactly the same so I needed to measure the location of that hole in the CB11 bars and drill a corresponding hole in my new CB500F bars. I marked the spot with a black magic marker and drilled a small pilot hole with the bars in a vise grip protected by a thick wrapping of newspaper and then followed up with a larger drill bit to make the proper size hole. That done I put the stock bars and my new bars side-by-side and verified that the holes in the exact right position. Bingo! Now I was ready to mount them.

Before mounting the new handlebars you must slide the right-hand end into the throttle control pipe as you will not be able to get it on once the handlebars are cinched down to the triple clamp. With the handlebars loosely clamped into place, replace both the left and right hand controls onto the bar careful to slide the alignment peg into the corresponding hole before you tighten them down with the two Philips head screws. Once they are in place, remount both the clutch and front brake assemblies. Carefully check your clearance to make sure that nothing hits your beautiful red gas tank. If it does just rotate the bars slightly forward in the handlebar mounts on the triple clamp to create more clearance. While all of this is being done cover your gas tank with a thick terrycloth towel to make sure nothing scratches it. Before you cinch everything down carefully check the clearance one more time between your controls and your gas tank to be sure that nothing hits. The way my bars are mounted is as shown in the pictures below I have over 3/4 inch clearance at full handlebar lock.

Before you remount your left hand grip you will want to coat both the bar under that grip and the inside of the grip itself with a thin film of Pro Honda handgrip cement available at your local dealer. Slide the rubber grip back on and allow it to dry for a couple hours before you ride the bike. Check that both your front brake, front clutch, and throttle all work smoothly and properly. And finally, with your bar end weights fully assembled, slide them into the handlebars so that the locking tabs are aligned with the two holes that those tabs lock into.

And finally, the coup de grace, my beautiful new oval low mirrors! Remove the locking and mounting bolts from the bottom of your stock rear view mirrors and screw them on to the new black mirrors. Then screw that assembly into the mounting holes on the brake and clutch reservoirs. Absolutely bitchin! They look outstanding IMO. These lower mirrors in conjunction with the lower handlebars have given my bike a whole new personality and they look absolutely great with the Road Comet faring. When I first bought the CB500F handlebars I intended the powder coat them brushed aluminum or possibly even chrome them which would cost about $50. However their flat black color matches all the other flat black in that area of my bike as well as the beautiful flat black mirrors. I like it a lot and I’m going to leave it just like it is now.

This is the first low handlebar conversion I’m aware of that uses the stock bar end weight system. Every part I have incorporated are genuine top-quality Honda factory parts that fit and function perfectly. I’m sure some will like this look and some will not. The important thing is, I really like it and that is the purpose of this whole exercise. For those that may want to duplicate it here are the factory Honda part numbers. I asked for a 10% discount and got it. The handlebars cost $48 and the two mirrors were $49 each. The ProHonda Hand Grip Cement was $4.

2013 Honda CB500F handlebar part # - 53100-MGZ-306
2013 Honda CB500F right mirror part # - 88210-MGZ-305
2013 Honda CB500F left mirror part # - 88220-MGZ-305

Here are several pictures of the end result both with and without the Road Comet fairing. All the best.

Chip

İmage

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(This post was last modified: 08-10-2013 03:27 PM by ChipBeck.)
08-10-2013 03:08 PM
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cb400four Offline
1st Service Completed

Manhattan, New York City
Posts: 222
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #2
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Excellent write up, thanks! Did you get a pic of the drilled holes / location, that seems to be the only part of the installation which can go pear shaped.

2013 Honda CB1100A, 1983 Honda CB1100F, 1982 Honda CB900F with Hondaline sport fairing, 1980 Honda CB750F, 1975 Honda 400/Four, 1982 Honda CBX
My only fear is that after I die my wife will sell my motorcycles for what I told her I paid for them
08-10-2013 03:33 PM
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The ferret Online
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,758
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #3
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Looks great Chip and excellent write up. I'm sure others will appreciate your efforts and leg work.

The only thing that surprises me, is you had everything apart and put the stock Honda grips back on. 2 things the big 4 have never figured out, seats and hand grips.

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
08-10-2013 03:34 PM
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ChipBeck Offline
High Mileage

Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 841
Joined: May 2013
Post: #4
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
(08-10-2013 03:33 PM)cb400four Wrote:  Excellent write up, thanks! Did you get a pic of the drilled holes/location, that seems to be the only part of the installation which can go pear shaped.

I did not photograph that because a photo wouldn't do much good. I just looked at the positioning hole on the underside of the stock handlebar (there is one on each side), found a largest size drill bit could squeeze into that hole in the stock bar, carefully measured the location of those two holes on the stock bar in relation to the bar end, marked the location on my new bar, drilled a smaller pilot hole, and then drilled the full size hole. Everything fit perfectly. Measure twice, drill once!! If the hole is a fraction off or a fraction too big it won't matter much as it's covered up once the controls are in place.

Chip

The road to Armageddon is paved with the good intentions of liberals.
08-10-2013 03:51 PM
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FUZZY Offline
Running Like a Top

Houston,TX.
Posts: 391
Joined: May 2013
Post: #5
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Looks mean! Like the blackl
08-10-2013 04:15 PM
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Joola Offline
Running Like a Top

Los Angeles
Posts: 267
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #6
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Thanks for another great mod how-to. I've always liked the road comet fairing but ought the stock bars fit them awkwardly. Your lower bar setup improves that greatly. I've held off on the fairing because of that. Maybe now i'll pull the trigger on that and new bars!

719 Gel Grips, Tandem Grip, Chrome Chain Guard and Meter Covers, K&H Hi Seat, Lucas Taillight, ViziTec Modulator, Painted Headlight Bucket
08-10-2013 05:37 PM
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mustakoira Offline
Break-In Period

Alpharetta Georgia USA
Posts: 42
Joined: May 2013
Post: #7
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Chip. Thank up so much for this write up. I agree with you exactly on what I want to change on my bike. I replaced my stock mirrors with Napoleon bar end mirrors and in the process managed to lose the inner rubber rings inside the stock bars. It haven't bothered fishing them out yet with a bent coat hangar but have been wondering what to do about the whole bar, weights, and mirrors puzzle. You have given me invaluable information on the whole setup. I may shamelessly copy exactly what you have done with the fairing as well. Thanks again for taking the time to post this.
08-10-2013 06:04 PM
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silascopathic Offline
Running Like a Top

Austin, TX
Posts: 533
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #8
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
nice man!!!! like the black Smile


______2013 HONDA CB1100 ______

Whitehouse-K Factory-Posh-K&H-Moriwaki-OVER-WH-Tanax

coming soon:
Clip on bars
Over Light Clutch Kit
Moriwaki Rear Step Kit
Progressive shocks
Power Commander
Powder coated frame

08-11-2013 06:46 AM
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CB4ME Offline
Road Warrior

Maryland
Posts: 2,051
Joined: May 2013
Post: #9
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Chip,

This is the most informative piece I've seen on the inner working of handlebar weights and their effects on vibration mitigation. Thanks for all the reseach, pictures, observations and explanations!!!

I'm not going to mess with my handlebars but I'm pretty sure I'm going to give those mirrors a try.

Accessories by: Agras, BabyFace, Chic Design, Daytona, Endurance, Force Design, Honda, K&H, K&N, Magic Racing, MotoGear, Moriwaki, Ohlins, PBI Sprockets, Posh, Power Commander, Ryujin, SP Takegawa, SP Tadao, SW Motech, TSR, U-Kanaya, WM, XAM Sprockets
08-13-2013 01:43 PM
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Bayoucityrider Offline
Break-In Period

houston tx
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2013
Post: #10
RE: Chip Beck Spec Low Handlebar/Mirrors Mod.
Chip,

Excellent write up on this mod. I too just ordered these mirrors last Friday and was searching for mirror options before I came across this thread today. Glad I can see what they look like before mounting them and I must say they look fantastic. Never was a fan of the high mounted chrome antenna looking things. Just one question. When I was looking at them at the dealer on the 2013 cb500 they appear to stick out just a tad more than the stock mirrors. Have you noticed a improvement in that area? I was also looking at installing some super race type bars but looking at yours makes me want to go that route instead. Thanks for the hard work and photos your bike looks great. Nice to stick with original Honda parts too.
08-13-2013 05:45 PM
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