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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
ProLibertate ProLibertate is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
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Default '66 XLCH Repro Bars? (VM38 Conversion Continued)

Hey, guys. I had posted previously about converting my '66 XLCH over to a Mikuni VM38 (Sudco kit) and my intent to retain the internal cable routing. I no sooner picked up all the parts necessary to make the conversion possible then I came across a used Biltwell Whiskey throttle at the local motorcycle shop. I felt was a steal at $20, and I couldn't pass it up. Now I'm having second thoughts about the direction I want to take this thing. While I think the internally-routed throttle cable is novel and offers a clean appearance, I prefer the feel of the Biltwell and its ease of adjustment.

I'm unable to use the existing right-hand bar because the collar/tang that the original grip abutted keeps the Biltwell throttle sleeve from fully seating (making it four inches longer than the other bar). I don't want to grind the collar down and bastardize these bars because they're simply too nice.

So... the way I see it, I have two options: I can try to find repro handlebars that exactly match what I currently have, cut them in half just forward of the knurling (thus making a right-hand bar that will work for my purposes), or I can get a new riser and top-clamp, and replace my handlebars with a single bar; of course, then I'd lose the spark advance grip and would have to do something different there. I'd also have to drill and tap the new bar for the various buttons (horn, low beam/high beam, etc.)

My questions are:

1. How have those of you that have converted from a dual bar set-up to a single bar dealt with these issues?

2. Is there a reproduction bar available that would be a perfect match to what I currently have? Mine is a mild buckhorn-- Speedsters, I believe they're called.

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by ProLibertate; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:13..
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Default

I've replaced the bars on Sportsters before by obtaining bars that are very close to the stock ones by cutting them, as you suggested.

However, an option is to remove that collar on the stock bar. I did this with my current bike, a '69 a few months ago. They are sweated on, not welded. What I did was to cut a thin straight cut across the bottom of the collar with a Dremel tool. I was then able to tap it off of the handlebar with a Hammer and dull chisel. If it doesn't tap off readily, you can open the cut a bit by using a flat blade screwdriver to pry it. Mine came off very cleanly and it could be reinstalled in the future if desired. Once that is off, you have enough room on the bar to bolt up a universal throttle. I also added a short length of 1" bar to the end of the handlebar with a little JB Weld for greater support of the throttle.

If you want to use one piece bars, you can add a pair of low Flanders style risers to your existing handlebar clamp by installing a piece of 1" tube to each side and bolting the risers to those . Or, you can replace your stock handlebar clamp with 2 bolt on risers. Thay are available at multiple lengths and styles.
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Default

Thanks, Doc! I appreciate ya'.

I was wondering about the collar and how it was affixed. Just to make sure I understand you correctly... you bisected the collar from the center out, as though you were going to slice a piece of pie, correct? Do you think having someone heat it with a torch while simultaneously hitting it with a hammer might yield success?

Removing the collar and utilizing the original bar would be my preference (as long as it can be done without damaging it). Doing so will allow me to retain the spark advance on the left grip, which I feel is a cool and unusual feature of the bike. I figured I'd relocate the kill switch to under the tank and possibly replace it with a hidden toggle that would serve as a theft deterrent.

Last edited by ProLibertate; 2 Weeks Ago at 23:48..
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I just cut it straight across on one side with the Dremel and inserted a flat blade screwdriver into the cut to slightly spread it. I hardly had to do that at all. Then I was able to tap it off the end of the handlebar. Initially, it took a couple of hard whacks but once it began to move it required less force. So, the collar is in one piece with one cut in it. Since it's intact it could be easily reinstalled.
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Thanks for the visual; sorry to be so dim! I'll give that a go and will report back.
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Forgot to mention--I didn't have to heat the collar.
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I ended up fashioning a sleeve out of steel tubing and sweated it on to the handlebar by putting it in the freezer overnight and heating the tube with an acetylene torch, simultaneously tapping it with a small sledge hammer.
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is it still tight after cooling to room temp?your procedure sounds backwards to me.
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Incredibly so! The inner diameter of the tube I used was actually several thousandths smaller than the bar diameter. By subjecting the bar to extreme cold, I was able to effectively cause it to contract while simultaneously expanding the sleeve through exposing it to extreme heat. It took numerous blows with the hammer to get it to fully seat, and short of cutting it off, I don't see any way it will separate.
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good deal.
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