The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum Biltwell  

Go Back   The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE ZONE > Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders
XLF Gallery XLF Classifieds XLF Blogs XLF Shout XLF Arcade XLF Disclaimer/Privacy Statement/Terms Of Use

Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

Members Birthdays
jdhickm (79), Chip (66), Chief4x4 (64), willyobiker (62), CBryant (61), XLCH69 (58), sage (55), VettesRule (52), jerseyjeff (52), TheExecutioner (49), SalTheWop (49), manic_mechanic, pauldmedic16 (40), BluegrassXL (36), Superman
RYCA Motors
Motor Stage
Motor Stage
Energy One Clutches

DK Customs
Tags
drag bar, drag bar install, how to

Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 6th July 2008
Screw Loose Dan's Avatar
Screw Loose Dan Screw Loose Dan is online now
I think I like Sportsters
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Collegeville, PA
Posts: 5,991
Sportster/Buell Model: 883L (sorta)
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2007
Other Motorcycle Model: XR1200X
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
Reputation: 630054
Screw Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond repute
Default How I swap my stock bars for drags in 1 hour

So, a few weeks back I decided to swap my stock '07 883L bars with drag bars (PN 56558-95) . I wasn't convinced I would like them, so I didn't want to spend money on new cables and such. Just a quick and dirty trial to see if I liked them. I wanted to be able to ride with them to see how it felt as I had concerns about my back.

I posted in a couple other threads about it and got asked several questions. I ended up swapping back to the stock bars for my trip to the XL List Kansas City Rally (>3000 miles, see my ride report here). But, I REALLY liked the bike with the drag bars so I knew I would be returning to them once home. Well, I've been home for about 24 hours...time to change back. I did a search and couldn't find any How-To posts on the subject so I figured I would take lots of pictures and do a short write-up since there's often questions on the subject.

WARNING/DISCLAIMER - I rarely look at my service manual...I probably should, but don't. I probably do some things they don't recommend or have a different approach on. Please, refer to your manual and take everything I say as rubbish. This is just what works for me, not necessarily the "proper" way to do things.

Ok, this whole process is really short. Even taking photos, it was about 45 minutes to an hour. If your replacing your grips or swapping cables at the same time, it would definitely take longer. With stock grips, well I think you'll have to replace them as the left grip is glued on if I remember correctly. That would still only take a few extra minutes.

Tools you'll need:
  • 1/4" Hex Drive (Allen wrench) - I use a socket with extension for this.
  • 25 Torx - I use a folding wrench for these.
  • 27 Torx - I use a folding wrench for these.
  • (2) 3/8" open-end wrenches - Adjustables would probably work?
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Diagonal Cutters (for cutting zip ties)
  • Some cardboard - I like to use the light cardboard from an oil filter box, but anything will work.



Let's get started...

If you care about your paint, you should probably use a towel over your tank and also over your headlight eyebrow. I don't care...just thought I'd mention in case you do.

I should also mention, both sides are the same process. Since I'm not swapping grips, it's not an issue. If you have stock grips, plan on replacing them or doing things differently since they are glued on.

First things first, put a piece of cardboard in the levers. The first time I read that somewhere online I thought people were joking. After reading a million threads about guys wrecking their brake light switches I've concluded they are NOT joking. All it takes is a little paper or card board wadded up and stuck in behind the lever. On 2007 and newer bikes you'll want to do this on both levers as they have a switch on the clutch side (older bikes just do the brake/throttle side). The point of this is there is a little contact switch that makes contact with the lever when it is completely released. You want to hold the lever slightly depressed while moving things around so this little switch's tit doesn't get broken off. I used the cardboard from a oil filter box folded up a couple of times (look closely below and you'll see it shoved in there right next to the bottom of the mirror stem):



The stock low bars have 4 wire holders, I remove them with needle nose pliers. It ain't pretty when I'm done, but they come out (and I've been able to reuse them!).



With that out of the way, loosen the switch housing screws. This takes a 25 Torx wrench. No need to back them out far, just a turn or two loose will work. (If you are replacing the grips or throttle cable, you might as well back them the whole way out.) There's two screws for the switch housing, one on top and one on the bottom:





Next loosen the clamp screws for the lever perch. There's two screws, top and bottom, size Torx 27. Take these screws VERY loose (you will end up eventually taking them out, but there's probably no need to yet).



With both sides loosened up, undo the clamp holding the bar. Be forewarned...if you don't have a helper, the bars will swing down and possibly (read probably) hit the tank at this point! This is a 1/4" Hex Drive (Allen bolt). Set the speedo on the eyebrow (that you covered before with a towel, right?).





Completely loosen the screw holding the lever perch clamps. Be careful, there are little plastic washers that hold the screws captive. It's not a big deal if these get messed up it just makes it a little more cumbersome during reassembly. Here's pic showing the little nuts:



Also, as you remove these screws, hold onto the lever...it will just drop off. Just let the master cylinder (or on the other side the clutch lever/cable) hang off to the side for the time being.

Now by moving the bars off to the side you should be able to easily slide the switch housing off:



Everything just hanging off:





Time to clamp the new bars in place! Just place the bars in the clamp and reassemble. Just draw the screws down, don't tighten yet as you'll want to make adjustments to their angle. I am careful at this stage to center the bars as it's a bit difficult once the clamp is in place to see if they are truly centered.



Now this might end up being controversial...proceed with caution. The brake line, how it is run in the stock configuration, won't work with the short bars (it hits the clamp for the speedo). I simply loosen the bango bolt (12 mm socket) and leave it slightly loose while I line everything up. And when I say loose, I mean just so I can rotate the brake line. I do recommend bleeding the line if you loosen it...but I haven't bothered! One of my next projects is replacing the brake line and front caliper...so I'll worry about it then.

I do have to temporarily clamp the master cylinder onto the bar to break the bolt loose:



I really recommend leaving that loose only as long as you have to get the right side setup. And have rags ready, you'll get at least a drip out of it. AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT SQUEEZE THE LEVER WITH THE BANGO BOLT LOOSE... You will end up with a mess...ask me how I know.

To start reassembly, you'll slide the switch housings on and roughly into place and snug the switch housing screws (don't tighten as you'll likely still need to adjust). You'll want to make sure the wires coming from the switch housing are tucked into the dimples. Again, many guys bitch because their electrical stop functioning properly after doing a bar swap...it's because they aren't careful here and pinch a wire (or two). Take your time.





Then mount the levers, making sure they seat TIGHTLY against the switch housing (if you don't get this right, your brake light won't work). With the brake side, you'll need to swing the brake line around to clear the bars and speedo clamp/bracket. Once you get this roughly in place and snugged up, tighten the bango bolt.

Now, you have everything snug but not tight. It's time to check for clearances. With these short bars, the switch housings will be VERY close to the tank. This may take the longest out of the whole ordeal. Have patience. Time now will might save your tank from dings. It took quite a bit of fiddling to get, but I have a little bit of clearance on either side. The throttle/brake side is EXTREMELY close (less then 1/8"):



Also, try sitting on the bike to see how the levers are positioned:



Once you like how everything is set up...tighten down ALL the bolts. For the bar clamp, I usually do both bottom bolts then the two top bolts. I read on here something similar to that and that a cross pattern doesn't work as well. I'm sure the manual would tell you the exact procedure. I tend to wing it...

You'll need to spend some time aiming your turn signals and mirrors. You may have to loosen the stem of the mirror to reposition it enough to work. Some guys swap the mirrors to the bottom...I haven't yet but probably will eventually. Also, I pull all the wiring back to the left side of the neck and zip tie the excess there. The clutch cable is clearly too long. I just try to keep it clear of the front fender/tire. Also remember, the clutch cable can't have sharp bends in it. I also use zip ties to hold the throttle cables to the forks.

I've also found every time I change the bars I need to readjust the throttle cables (the clutch seems fine). Its simply takes two 3/8" open end wrenches to loosen the lock nut on the adjuster (under the rubber bootie).



I won't get into the throttle cable adjustment (there's a few good posts around here on how to do that, see chrishajer's post here...it's for carb bikes but the same idea applies), but will say if you follow your service manual (at least in 07) it's wrong and you will be confused. Just make sure there's no binding and the throttle opens and closes fully (check with the bars turned to full lock in either direction).

Now just go out and ride! (put long pants on first though!)



Here's before and after photos:
Before

After


Before

After


There's probably some other stuff...but that's about it. If I remember anything else, I'll post it up.
__________________
Screw Loose Dan


Last edited by Screw Loose Dan; 6th July 2008 at 10:49..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 6th July 2008
emzdogz's Avatar
emzdogz emzdogz is offline
XL FORUM TEAM MEMBER
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,996
Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200L/cobalt pearl
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Other Motorcycle Model: Yamaha XS650 project bike
Other Motorcycle Year: 1980
Blog Entries: 18
Reputation: 23686
emzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to allemzdogz is a name known to all
Default

Nice write-up, Dan! thanks, that's definately a helpful post.
Gosh, your bike seems so DIRTY. You'd think you'd been out riding it real far or something.
__________________
Aunty Em
Tampa, FL
'07 1200L cobalt pearl, SE slip-ons, SE AC, PC-V, Ultimas chrome covered (i.e the worst shocks in the WORLD), Mustang Daytripper

"A crazy lass who is mighty crazy. She enjoys to get down with the best of them, and likes to have drink-offs with bikies. All in all, a wild person. Often reffered to as Emmer".
- urbandictionary.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 6th July 2008
Screw Loose Dan's Avatar
Screw Loose Dan Screw Loose Dan is online now
I think I like Sportsters
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Collegeville, PA
Posts: 5,991
Sportster/Buell Model: 883L (sorta)
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2007
Other Motorcycle Model: XR1200X
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
Reputation: 630054
Screw Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Actually the pictures don't do the dirt justice!! And some of them bugs are probably from last year!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 6th July 2008
Flamin883's Avatar
Flamin883 Flamin883 is offline
Senior Chief Harley Engineer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: north east Kansas
Posts: 1,092
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 94
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1200C
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 03
Reputation: 1941
Flamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura aboutFlamin883 has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by emzdogz View Post
Nice write-up, Dan! thanks, that's definately a helpful post.
Gosh, your bike seems so DIRTY. You'd think you'd been out riding it real far or something.
DITTO your write up and instructions are worthy of publication.
but if you want to get in a mag you really need to polish the bike first
__________________
Kyle
94 Flamin 883
9.5-1 1200 flat tops under Flow Tech worked 883 heads
SE ac, SE bolt in cams
CS tapered cut exhaust
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6th July 2008
rottenralph's Avatar
rottenralph rottenralph is offline
XL FORUM TEAM MEMBER
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: cordova, tn
Posts: 13,397
Sportster/Buell Model: xl1218rr turbo
Sportster/Buell Year: 1993
Reputation: 296406
rottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond reputerottenralph has a reputation beyond repute
Default

I was wondering what the dykes were for. I kind of thought there would not be any internal wiring with that 1 hour schedule. I am starting to think internal wiring is overrated myself. Makes bar changs much more involved and pinching a wire is always a possibility.
__________________
Spoiled but definitely not rotten. Started life as a black 1993, 1200 Now-1218, Home ported 2009 FI heads, Andrews N6 cams, Dyna2Ki, JMC aluminum swingarm, Chainsikle custom mid forward controls, GBC inverted front end, 3 degree wide-glide trees and 5 degree raked cups. 18x3.5 fatspoke rear with 150/60 and 21x3.5 with 120/70.
Reply With Quote
Know Thy Hog

  #6  
Old 6th July 2008
Screw Loose Dan's Avatar
Screw Loose Dan Screw Loose Dan is online now
I think I like Sportsters
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Collegeville, PA
Posts: 5,991
Sportster/Buell Model: 883L (sorta)
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2007
Other Motorcycle Model: XR1200X
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
Reputation: 630054
Screw Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamin883 View Post
DITTO your write up and instructions are worthy of publication.
but if you want to get in a mag you really need to polish the bike first
Ain't bloody likely! Might get washed sooner or later, but polished? We don't have the time for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rottenralph View Post
I was wondering what the dykes were for. I kind of thought there would not be any internal wiring with that 1 hour schedule. I am starting to think internal wiring is overrated myself. Makes bar changs much more involved and pinching a wire is always a possibility.
I can't imagine wasting the time on these short of drag bars messing with internal wiring (although it probably wouldn't be hard...no bends). The wiring definitely doesn't stick out at all. Now on ape hangers and such it makes more sense. Yeah, the dykes were simply for trimming the zip ties holding all the extra wiring bundled up. At this point if I decided to switch back yet again to the stock bars, it would probably take 30 minutes. Now as I get shorter brake cables and throttle cables, well...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 6th July 2008
Jackster's Avatar
Jackster Jackster is offline
Senior Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 2,532
Sportster/Buell Model: XL 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XL 883
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1986
Jackster has disabled reputation
Default

Unless you're doing apes, I believe internal wiring is overrated too. The wiring sits low and out of the way with a drag bar.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 7th July 2008
sportytrace's Avatar
sportytrace sportytrace is offline
OzChick
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Townsville, NQ, Oz.
Posts: 2,676
Sportster/Buell Model: XL 1200N
Sportster/Buell Year: 08
Other Motorcycle Model: Trumpy
Blog Entries: 61
Reputation: 818603
sportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond reputesportytrace has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Hey Dan, great write up! Love the pics...firm believer that a picture says 1000 words! Thanks for taking the time to share it.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 14th August 2008
Nf4Joe's Avatar
Nf4Joe Nf4Joe is offline
Greasemonkey
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 102
Sportster/Buell Model: 1200 XLC
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Reputation: 19
Nf4Joe is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

How hard is it to change the grips? I wasnt planning on changing the grips but if it has to be done then so be it.
__________________
No one ever said it would be easy.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14th August 2008
Screw Loose Dan's Avatar
Screw Loose Dan Screw Loose Dan is online now
I think I like Sportsters
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Collegeville, PA
Posts: 5,991
Sportster/Buell Model: 883L (sorta)
Sportster/Buell Year: 2007
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2007
Other Motorcycle Model: XR1200X
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
Reputation: 630054
Screw Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond reputeScrew Loose Dan has a reputation beyond repute
Default

It's not hard. I didn't document that as part of swapping my bars because I had put the grips on previously.
Reply With Quote
Know Thy Hog

Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Custom Search

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 14:59.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
XL Forum - Linson Media LLC