Indy Project Sled - New Handlebars
|Cost:||$50 to 100 (US)|
|Benefits:||More comfortable riding position|
|Parts Required:||New handlebars, grips, warmers|
|Mechanical Skill Required:||Average "shade-tree" mechanical skills|
Many aggressive riders complain about the bend of the stock Indy handlebars, especially after riding another brand with straighter bars. Changing handlebars is not a particularly easy job, mainly because of the handwarmers. But if you have some other reason to take the grips or warmers off and you don't like the stock bars, you ought to consider changing them at that time. It's a cheap mod and like I said, if the grips/warmers are off for some other reason, it's easy to change them.
I put on a set of '98 XC bars which are a bit straighter and therefore slightly wider. I didn't notice much of a difference and if I had it to do over again now, I'd look at a set of ZR bars or maybe a set of MX bike handlebars. Too late now - I'm not about to sacrifice a set of grips and warmers, but if they're ever off again for some other reason . . . . just keep in mind that with straight bars, opening and closing the hood might be an adventure, not to mention clearance between the bars and the windshield when turning.
To replace the bars you need to remove the brake master cylinder, the throttle, the dimmer switch and the handlebar pad first. Then take the old bars off by removing the four bolts that hold the bars in the block and attach the block to the end of the steering shaft. Putting the new bars in is an exercise in parts juggling. The trick for me was to get a couple of bolts in and get the nuts on a couple of turns while letting the bars "flop" loose. Once you have the bolts on part way, then you can move the bars up to their final position and tighten the bolts.
Put the dimmer switch, master cylinder and throttle back on next, but leave the pad off until you have adjusted the bars to your liking. Then tighten them down, put the pad back on and then install the warmers and grips and you're set to go.