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Last night I was out polishing up my Tbird and I got it into my head to fiddle around with the handlebars just to see how easy it would be to lower them. I popped off the little plastic caps and got out my hex wrench and loosened the bolts. I dropped the bars about an inch and a half, and then tightened everything up. It felt a little different - more relaxed position or something, but I just cleaned up the garage and headed off to bed.

I kind of half forgot about it until I got on the bike this afternoon. I took a 50km ride and boy did it feel different! Like a whole new machine. Countersteering is much easier, and it feels like my shoulders are much more relaxed. I'm really shocked at how different it feels - and I really like it. :cool:

Not that it didn't feel good before - it has always felt incredibly comfortable, the best bike I've ever ridden ... just now it even feels better! I never would have thought that such a little thing would make such a big difference.

If you haven't tried fiddling around with your Thunderbird handlebars, I highly recommend it!
 

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It is amazing how much better a bike can feel after you get the ergonomics better suited to your body. I altered my seat angle, and it completely changed the ride for me, so I know exactly what you mean.
 

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Thats the one thing i miss about the stock bars. But i liked to push them forward so my hands were a little higher and i was leaned forward a bit. But i had to have the oh so awesome looking Tbars which i have since gotten used to, but are non adjustable. Even tho i'm used to them now i know i'd be happier with them if they were a bit more forward and higher. But you know what billy crystal used to say on SNL when he did his impression of ricardo montalban...."it's always better to luke goud than to feel goud". :D
 

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I kind of half forgot about it until I got on the bike this afternoon. I took a 50km ride and boy did it feel different! Like a whole new machine. Countersteering is much easier, and it feels like my shoulders are much more relaxed. I'm really shocked at how different it feels - and I really like it. :cool:

Not that it didn't feel good before - it has always felt incredibly comfortable, the best bike I've ever ridden ... just now it even feels better! I never would have thought that such a little thing would make such a big difference.

If you haven't tried fiddling around with your Thunderbird handlebars, I highly recommend it!
Thanks Draeger! I've thought about doing this but didn't get around to it. Your post prompted me and I've also lowered mine an inch or so. Yes, it really does suit me better. A recommended adjustment since we are all different arm lengths and preferences. With this and my rider's back rest this has got to be the most comfortable I've been on a bike in '?' decades.
 

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It was one of the first adjustment my dealer did for my bike. Being female we were tweeking everything we could. I have since also added some upgrades but that initial adjustment of the handlebars was essential.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is amazing how much better a bike can feel after you get the ergonomics better suited to your body. I altered my seat angle, and it completely changed the ride for me, so I know exactly what you mean.
Hey Lantesh,

How did you do that ... alter the seat angle? Are there adjuster screws or did you use something else?

Draeger
 

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Hey Lantesh,

How did you do that ... alter the seat angle? Are there adjuster screws or did you use something else?

Draeger
I had a new custom seat built on the stock seat pan. I am now sitting more straight up than the stock position. Here is a pic.

 

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Not to hijack, but does anyone know if there is a seat manufacturer who makes a 1 piece seat for the Tbird 1600?
 

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Thanks Draeger. Yes the lower back and hip support is great, and I really needed it.

BMK9251, Corbin makes a 1 piece seat.
 

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I have the stock bars and lowered them until they just clear the tank - it was a noticeable improvement. My shoulder still complains though after anything more than an hour. My right shoulder has limited movement, so I think that's the cause.
I'm scheduled for a complete shoulder replacement in December, so I'm going to wait until I can ride again before deciding if I want to replace the bars. Doc says six weeks after surgery and I should be able to try it - planned it for December on purpose.
My other bike is a Suzuki Volutia; the bars pull farther back and are more comfortable so I know that that I could improve the feel of the Thunderbird. Maybe just risers would do it - don't know.
 

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oldgreybull, this this experiment. Take some scrap foam cut in the shape of a wedge, and place it on the seat so you are sitting a little more upright, possibly even slightly forward. Go for a test ride. Try some different angles, so you get some different positions to try. This will change the angle of your shoulder, and the relation of how high your shoulders are from the bars. See if this alleviates the pain. Most people want to change and adjust their handle bars when often times it is the seating position that is wrong. All this experiment is going to cost you is a couple of bucks for some foam, and I'd be highly surprised if you can't notice some improvement. My shoulders used to get sore before I modified my seat. Now they don't get sore at all. Believe me it works!
 

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I have the stock bars and lowered them until they just clear the tank - it was a noticeable improvement. My shoulder still complains though after anything more than an hour. My right shoulder has limited movement, so I think that's the cause.
I'm scheduled for a complete shoulder replacement in December, so I'm going to wait until I can ride again before deciding if I want to replace the bars. Doc says six weeks after surgery and I should be able to try it - planned it for December on purpose.
My other bike is a Suzuki Volutia; the bars pull farther back and are more comfortable so I know that that I could improve the feel of the Thunderbird. Maybe just risers would do it - don't know.
I have back/shoulder pain that happens with all sorts of activity; motorcycling, mowing the lawn, backpacking...

Rotating the stock bars as far down as possible helps on the bike. I put on the Jims' Spacers, and they help more than I thought they would. They are only 7/8" tall, but since the yoke is at an angle they bring the bars back as well as up. They are probably the only alteration you can make without springing for the longer cables.

Having the floorboards helps, too. I am able to change my seating position frequently, which helps with the back fatigue.
 

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After reading the comments on this thread I lowered my handlebars about an inch or inch and a half. Wow, the feel for handling is better and my arms drop nicely from my shoulders now. A much more relaxing position...looks good too.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
 

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BTW, the handlebar lowering was done on my '10 America. I'm still lusting for the T-Brid Storm.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPhone app
 

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Storm riders do not need to lower their handlebars. They are already straight and low. No where can I find what the bars are named (called) specifically but the are nearly straight to be sure.
 
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