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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
about stock handle bars being positioned so that the rise is in line with the forks. I put my stock bar back on today after about a year with an M bar. I noticed a few dimples on the stocker and thought they were for positioning. Haynes confirmed this; when positioning one dimple where the top and bottom clamp meet, the rise of the bar is aligned with the rake of the forks.
The other two dimples are for placement of the controls.
Flaco knows, you know. Learn it, live it. :D
 

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Yes indeed. The factory has to have a way of making all the bikes the same, for ease of assembly.

So you like the stock bars better over the M bars?
 

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the stock bars are so narrow!
What bars then Sweat?
I have rode so many bikes w/ different bars from HD Pan, Knuckle, Shovel, 45's, w/ Apes, Z's, Honda's, Ducks, Norton, BSA, etc, etc and I can assure you you that when you need to counter steer to avoid a high and or low speed steer avoidance (ie in a curve or avoidance maneuver) you better have your handlebars punched correctly to effectively utilize the ergonomics of control...
Period...
The point is, not the width or hight of the bars, just look at the rise of the handlebars and how they align parallel / perpendicular w/ the forks tubes...
Oh yeah, The indian I test rode 5 years ago had WIDE handlebars!
No thank you, clip on, no thank you...
I can get mine through my back gate daily...
I ride one way, my way of comfortable, effective that suits my needs...
Haven't riden another Bonnie that feels as good as mine...
Yeah, Iv'e riden a lot of others...
Can't wait for your trip through AZ...
Great rides await you!
 

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the stock bars are so narrow!
Agreed. I keep looking for bars that have the same rise as stockers, but are about 2-3" wider with roughly the same pullback. The bars on both of my 66's seem about right; they are 31" across. I once saw some Sportster bars that looked correct, but couldn't track them down.

Dick



Dick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes indeed. The factory has to have a way of making all the bikes the same, for ease of assembly.

So you like the stock bars better over the M bars?
Yeah, much more comfortable, which makes shifting, braking , etc. easier. I suppose ergonomics? I am kind of tall, long arms and legs so it is more natural. With the M bar, for instance, when I'd use the rear brake, I could feel myself leaning forward a bit to get my foot on the pedal, and then, the extra pressure on the bar. Steering is smoother too for the same reasons, I suppose.
The M bar is not bad - and I really, really dig the look, all low and cool. But, the Bonneville looks like a Bonneville, and that is cool regardless. Being a somewhat tranquil rider most of the time, I don't need all the time the front-leaning posture.
 

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Allow me to dissent a bit. While the stock bars maybe more comfortable for many...they feel good to me...I challenge the notion that that risers have to be in alignment with the fork angle. This may "feel" best for Flaco but there is nothing in physics to reinforce why this is best for countersteering. Countersteering which I integrate into my daily riding is about leverage, i.e. distance off the triple tree pivot axis centerline. There is nothing in Physics to suggest that the bars must eminate off the forks. Triumph engineers by the way understand this and natively the Thruxton has a more upright fork angle with less trail. This is inherently easier to turn. As a result, one doesn't need as much leverage and past clip ons were very narrow from end to end compared to the the conventional bar on a Bonneville. Also...in the context of rise, the Thruxton bars are still quite a bit lower than the stock Bonny as well as I presume the M bar.
Pullback is very common on virtually all motorcycles and rise doesn't haven't be in alignment with the forks. The only issue of countersteering affected by the stock position of the handlebars pertains to weight distribution on the bike. The more the front wheel is pressurized, natively the faster a motorcycle will turn in. This is a basic tenent of motorcycle racing. Rotating bars more forward promotes a more weight forward rider CG and more weight on the turning front wheel. Risers in alignment with the forks is a symptom of this but little else.
My thoughts,
George
 

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I know I'm walking into the tail-end of yet another discussion I don't know the lead up to here, but regardless... it's all about ergonomics and what makes you feel comfortable on the bike.

I'm running a Flanders cafe bar on the Scramber ATM, and it's tilted waaay back. (Not much rise, so this doesn't look ridiculous.) My hands are less horizontal, which they, my wrists, my arms, and my shoulders all like. Combined with the rearsets, it puts me in a comfortable position for drowning highway miles, and it's fine around town. I ride a bicycle a lot though, so I feel more comfortable tilted forward pretty far. On gravel and dirt, the narrower bar is not ideal, but I've been getting used to it, and the better fit makes me more comfortable through the hairy stuff.

Two up, it's absolute murder after about half an hour if I'm doing any braking at all, because my arms get loaded up from the extra weight of the passenger during braking, and they're just a little bit too bent to deal with it comfortably.

It's getting swapped for bar #3 here shortly, in an attempt to address the two-up braking issue and get back the gravel manners without completely giving up the better (for me) ergos.

Triumph certainly knew what they were doing when they put the controls where they did from the factory. Still, they're not in the right place for everyone, which is why other handlebars are available. Unfortunately, you can't just grab whichever one looks cool and expect it to work. It takes a lot of attention to getting the right bar in terms of width, rise, and pullback, and then positioning it correctly on the bike.

Flaco mentioned Sideroad Cycles, which is where I got my current bar. I would recommend them. Flanders bars aren't cheap, but they're worth the coin. Here's why: My current setup puts the inner edges of the controls less than 1/4" from the tank at full lock. I've been down twice on the bike with that bar (both low speed, dropped it in a U-turn once, got hit once), taken good whacks on the right end of the bar, and that dimension hasn't changed at all. Cheap handlebar = $20-50. Expensive handlebar = $90. New tank = $850. Or at least that's how I do the math.

(I hope to get at least an inch of airspace at full lock with handlebar #3.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Allow me to dissent a bit. While the stock bars maybe more comfortable for many...they feel good to me...I challenge the notion that that risers have to be in alignment with the fork angle. This may "feel" best for Flaco but there is nothing in physics to reinforce why this is best for countersteering. Countersteering which I integrate into my daily riding is about leverage, i.e. distance off the triple tree pivot axis centerline. There is nothing in Physics to suggest that the bars must eminate off the forks. Triumph engineers by the way understand this and natively the Thruxton has a more upright fork angle with less trail. This is inherently easier to turn. As a result, one doesn't need as much leverage and past clip ons were very narrow from end to end compared to the the conventional bar on a Bonneville. Also...in the context of rise, the Thruxton bars are still quite a bit lower than the stock Bonny as well as I presume the M bar.
Pullback is very common on virtually all motorcycles and rise doesn't haven't be in alignment with the forks. The only issue of countersteering affected by the stock position of the handlebars pertains to weight distribution on the bike. The more the front wheel is pressurized, natively the faster a motorcycle will turn in. This is a basic tenent of motorcycle racing. Rotating bars more forward promotes a more weight forward rider CG and more weight on the turning front wheel. Risers in alignment with the forks is a symptom of this but little else.
My thoughts,
George
Not that they must, but that they are, I presume for the reason Prop gave - ease of assembly.
 

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Correct. It makes it easier at the factory. Everything comes out the same, all is well.

Heck with the physics, adjust them to what feels good for you and be done with it.
 

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Correct. It makes it easier at the factory. Everything comes out the same, all is well.

Heck with the physics, adjust them to what feels good for you and be done with it.
+1 What I have always done and will continue to. The point is Flaco believes the factory position is the best for countersteering...what he said...riser in straight line with forks...and I challenge this notion. You countersteer best with the bar where you are comfortable on the bike.
George
 

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I know I'm walking into the tail-end of yet another discussion I don't know the lead up to here, but regardless... it's all about ergonomics and what makes you feel comfortable on the bike.

I'm running a Flanders cafe bar on the Scramber ATM, and it's tilted waaay back. (Not much rise, so this doesn't look ridiculous.) My hands are less horizontal, which they, my wrists, my arms, and my shoulders all like. Combined with the rearsets, it puts me in a comfortable position for drowning highway miles, and it's fine around town. I ride a bicycle a lot though, so I feel more comfortable tilted forward pretty far. On gravel and dirt, the narrower bar is not ideal, but I've been getting used to it, and the better fit makes me more comfortable through the hairy stuff.

Two up, it's absolute murder after about half an hour if I'm doing any braking at all, because my arms get loaded up from the extra weight of the passenger during braking, and they're just a little bit too bent to deal with it comfortably.

It's getting swapped for bar #3 here shortly, in an attempt to address the two-up braking issue and get back the gravel manners without completely giving up the better (for me) ergos.

Triumph certainly knew what they were doing when they put the controls where they did from the factory. Still, they're not in the right place for everyone, which is why other handlebars are available. Unfortunately, you can't just grab whichever one looks cool and expect it to work. It takes a lot of attention to getting the right bar in terms of width, rise, and pullback, and then positioning it correctly on the bike.

Flaco mentioned Sideroad Cycles, which is where I got my current bar. I would recommend them. Flanders bars aren't cheap, but they're worth the coin. Here's why: My current setup puts the inner edges of the controls less than 1/4" from the tank at full lock. I've been down twice on the bike with that bar (both low speed, dropped it in a U-turn once, got hit once), taken good whacks on the right end of the bar, and that dimension hasn't changed at all. Cheap handlebar = $20-50. Expensive handlebar = $90. New tank = $850. Or at least that's how I do the math.

(I hope to get at least an inch of airspace at full lock with handlebar #3.)
I generally agree with you excepting this comment. I like the bars on my new Triumph tilted back more which lowers them a bit and allows me to ride a bit farther back on the seat for better leg comfort and a bit more torso lean. The other thing is...The Thruxton and Bonnie have completely different bars and bar position and yet they are set up "by the factory" and are almost the same bike.
George
 

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I generally agree with you excepting this comment. I like the bars on my new Triumph tilted back more which lowers them a bit and allows me to ride a bit farther back on the seat for better leg comfort and a bit more torso lean. The other thing is...The Thruxton and Bonnie have completely different bars and bar position and yet they are set up "by the factory" and are almost the same bike.
George
As I said, what comes as stock isn't perfect for everybody, however, the stock setup is very well thought out. In the stock setup, as the bar moves through its arc, it doesn't do anything too weird to the hand grip position. You're right in thinking that countersteering is all about leverage, but you're ignoring the hands that apply that leverage. A mispositioned or wrongly contoured bar can force your wrists and/or elbows to travel through awkward angles as you steer. The arc that causes the least strain on your joints will be the easiest to manipulate, which should translate directly into easier, quicker, and more precise steering.

This is, of course, highly dependent on the rider and the rider's position on the bike. It also depends on the type of riding (the larger the steering inputs need to be, the shorter the bar should be) and the bike (the heavier the steering, the longer the bar should be). It's all about finding the right compromise between those factors.

Of course the Thruxton has a different bar, and of course it travels in a different arc. It also has longer rear shocks and a smaller front wheel. It handles completely differently, and assumes a different rider position. I have nothing to back this up, but I'd be willing to bet that if you put five different clubman bars on a Thruxton, the factory bar would travel the most neutral arc for the greatest number of riders. That's not to say that it'll be right for everybody, but it'll be a well-thought-out compromise.

My point was that I'm still trial-and-error-ing my way through finding a better setup for me, but Triumph actually did a pretty good job out of the box. Experiment by rolling the bar back by all means, and if it works better for you, by all means keep it, but there is a reason that those dimples are in the bar, and there is a reason that it has the attitude it has from the factory.
 

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As I said, what comes as stock isn't perfect for everybody, however, the stock setup is very well thought out. In the stock setup, as the bar moves through its arc, it doesn't do anything too weird to the hand grip position. You're right in thinking that countersteering is all about leverage, but you're ignoring the hands that apply that leverage. A mispositioned or wrongly contoured bar can force your wrists and/or elbows to travel through awkward angles as you steer. The arc that causes the least strain on your joints will be the easiest to manipulate, which should translate directly into easier, quicker, and more precise steering.

This is, of course, highly dependent on the rider and the rider's position on the bike. It also depends on the type of riding (the larger the steering inputs need to be, the shorter the bar should be) and the bike (the heavier the steering, the longer the bar should be). It's all about finding the right compromise between those factors.

Of course the Thruxton has a different bar, and of course it travels in a different arc. It also has longer rear shocks and a smaller front wheel. It handles completely differently, and assumes a different rider position. I have nothing to back this up, but I'd be willing to bet that if you put five different clubman bars on a Thruxton, the factory bar would travel the most neutral arc for the greatest number of riders. That's not to say that it'll be right for everybody, but it'll be a well-thought-out compromise.

My point was that I'm still trial-and-error-ing my way through finding a better setup for me, but Triumph actually did a pretty good job out of the box. Experiment by rolling the bar back by all means, and if it works better for you, by all means keep it, but there is a reason that those dimples are in the bar, and there is a reason that it has the attitude it has from the factory.
The reason is for repeatability and the factories' sense of correctness. That correctness sometimes doesn't resonate as we all come in different shapes and sizes. I have been riding racing bicycles for 30 years and still do today. A good rider will sometimes put five different handlebars on a racing bike to find a decent balance for fit. The Thruxton is a good example. Thruxtons weren't selling to Triumph's satisfaction because most riders didn't like that low a bar or that much lean forward. The factory got is wrong for a great many. No doubt many on here with earlier Thruxtons love the orginal clippon position but many do not. There are a variety of permutations to so called improve on the factories interpretretation of the best riding position. One is or was to remove the clip on and place it above the triple tree which brought relief to many who found the early Thruxton riding position too aggressive. For '09 Triumph went to a much less aggressive position with a conventional albeit lower handlebar bar than the Bonny. The factory doesn't get it right any better for the average rider than the racing bicycle industry because each of us are different and ride differently. The stock riding position may work fine for some however.
George
 

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I wonder what these do to my counter-steering potential...



Through pure chance, the angle I settled on puts the grips exactly on line with the fork tubes:

 

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Yup. Goes with the square tube sissy bar which got square tube purely because there was a brilliant piece of it sitting in the bone yard at the metal supply shop.
 
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