What Are Clip Ons For Motorcycle – If your bike comes standard with one-piece handlebars and you want a race-style break-in riding position, lower clip-ons that bolt directly to the fork legs are your solution.
Alternatively, if your bike is already equipped with fixed position clip-ons, you can replace them with clip-ons that have some adjustment to raise, lower or change the angle of the bar section to reduce pressure on the wrists and hands. Easy to reach them. Aftermarket clip-ons are also cheaper than original parts if your handlebars are damaged.
What Are Clip Ons For Motorcycle
Socket wrench set (minimum 8-17mm sockets), combination wrenches (8-19mm), assorted screwdrivers (Phillips and slotted), Allen wrenches (from 4-10mm), a tape measure, new handlebar grips, torque wrench. and a large socket for removing the steering head screw on the upper fork bridge.
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Cables and hoses may need to be rewired and in some cases replaced with longer pieces – especially if you increase the height of the handlebar section.
Basically, it should be understood that clip-ons are much more than decorative lumps of metal – they are as important to the rider as the engine or bike wheels because they control the steering. If you get it wrong, you can seriously damage the bike’s ability to turn or brake – with obvious consequences. On the plus side, this is a relatively easy task that is relatively difficult to achieve.
1. Price determines what type of clip-on you choose. For all-aluminum, lightweight items with adjustability, and a quick-release system, then expect to pay more. If it’s just for racing, then the cheaper all-steel clip-ons are a bit heavier but more drop-resistant. These Gilles items (above) are adjustable and well priced at £200.
2. Before removing the original bars, check the area where you screwed them. Some clip-ons fit into the top yoke. If bespoke replacement clip-ons aren’t used there’s a good chance they’ll be too big to fit the small amount of fork that extends through the triple clamp above – pushing the fork through more can help but detract from handling.
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3. Remove the rod end weight (if equipped), then remove the throttle body (RH). Remember to separate the throttle cable(s) from the throttle tube – wrap tape around the cable and mark the appropriate hole in the tube. Remove the front master cylinder and all switchgear. Repeat on the left side.
4. If the clip-ons are not the quick release type (the fork clamp portion is hinged), it will be necessary to remove the top triple clamp or lower the forks through the fork. Lowering the forks involved securing the bike to the rear work stand and raising the front end (we did this with a jack on top and blocks of wood under the engine).
5. To remove the upper triple clamp, loosen the fork pinch bolts and loosen the nut on top of the steering head shaft. Sports bikes have larger nuts and require a socket and wrench to loosen them. The wrenches are fine but cannot be used to tighten the nut when re-installing. The Ducati above requires a special wrench to loosen the upper triple clamp nut.
6. Make sure the original clip-ons are not screwed into the top triple clamp so they won’t rotate if the bike falls. If so, they should be separated. Now loosen the clamping screws of the clip-ons. Gently slide the old clip-ons up and out of the fork legs. If they are bent, throw them away, but if they are fine, save them to use as spares.
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7. On some bikes – like the Ducati shown – the switchgear and master cylinder brackets are fixed to the rods to hold them in a fixed position. You can poke holes in the new clip-ons, but you’re effectively weakening the bar. Depending on the type of pin attached, you’ll either need a sharp knife (like the plastic one above) to pull the mole handles out, a file to sand them down.
8. Slide the new bar mounts onto the fork legs and reinstall the upper triple clamp. Remember to tighten the center nut (get a picture from your dealer) and then tighten the triple clamp pinch bolts. Place the clip-ons. If you are installing lower than stock and the forks are upside down, make sure the clamps are seated on the thick top of the fork legs.
9. Slide the rods into their clamps and tighten. Make sure they don’t contaminate the tank or any part of the bike when turning lock-to-lock. Fit a new left grip (which has a smaller ID than the throttle grip) leaving room to fit the shifter and brake lever bracket. Reinstall the original bar weights (if their attachment method is compatible with the new bars).
10. If existing cables and hoses are not long enough to fit larger or adjustable clip-ons, throttle and clutch cables (and wires) may be able to be re-routed. If they can’t, you’ll have to make new cables. Hydraulic brake and clutch lines are in perfect order with one-off braided steel replacements.
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11. Now reinstall the right switchgear and throttle tube and reconnect the throttle cable(s). Make sure the throttle has at least an eighth of an inch of free play – too tight will pull the cable as the rods turn, causing the engine RPM to rise. You can put a small amount of soft grease on the rod for smooth throttle movement.
12. The last trick is to get on the bike and check for symmetrical feel. If it feels wrong, measure from the end of each bar to a reference point on the headstock. Check the fluid level in the front brake master cylinder mounting bracket. Finally, check again for debris and make sure you have properly tightened the various terminal screws. Replacing the handlebars on a motorcycle can dramatically change its look and feel. For better or worse, handlebars have a huge impact on a bike’s aesthetics – they can stick out like a sore thumb or be the finishing touch to a purposefully designed front end. They are also inherently functional and have a direct impact on handling characteristics and riding position. From Monkey to Inverted Clubman, the right handlebar can make all the difference in how your custom project turns out.
So how hard is it to replace your motorcycle’s handlebars? It sounds easy enough, but it gets difficult when you make significant changes to your bike’s geometry. A significant change in height or width causes a ripple effect that can affect the functionality of neighboring components. For example, swapping scrambler bars for clip-ons requires re-routing or replacing wires, drilling for internal wiring, and other minor construction work.
During my own custom motorcycle project, I decided to give it my all and overhaul the cockpit of my Honda CL350. Most of the parts I use are easily purchased online, I found most of mine at the-cafe-racer.com. Here’s how I go about replacing my handlebars, from choosing the right handlebars to installing all the parts on my bike.
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There are certain measurements that all retailers and manufacturers use to define handlebar size. Some are obvious, others less so. Understanding the terminology allowed me to compare potential bars to my stock bar and visualize how each would look on my bike.
Starting with the basics, there is height, width and height. The first 2 are obvious, but the rise refers to the vertical measurement from the bottom point of the bar to the point where the pullback begins. So, pullback is a front-to-back measurement that determines how dramatically the handlebars tilt toward the rider. A stronger pullback usually allows for a more natural wrist position. Finally, there’s diameter, which is fairly easy to measure, but important to choose handlebars and bandages that match your bike. Most bikes accept 7/8″ or 1″ handlebars.
Clip-ons are undoubtedly the most popular style for cafe racer applications. These individual steel tubes are mounted on each fork leg below the upper bridge and offer an aggressive riding position and a clean aesthetic that is hard to pass up. However, this also means that they come with unique requirements that may put some drivers off them.
For proper installation you need to leave your forks out of the upper bridge. But before you get to that, check for interference with your fuel tank due to the extremely low position of the bar end. If there are problems with spacing, expect to change your steering stop. You should also pair them with rear-adjusted footpegs for a comfortable riding position.
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In the end, I settled on an EMGO 7/8″ road bar, which combines practical rideability with a (fairly) minimal look. The rise is 2¾” lower and the width is 2½” longer than the Honda Twin’s stockers. This bar will clean up the front end, improving handling. Will do and provide comfort with my OEM footswitches.
For components, I focused on Motogadget’s sleek German engineering because their quality and aesthetics are second to none.
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