Went through a few different bar set ups and was amazed at the difference in looks, handling, rider position, and overall feel of the bike with each one. I mean I know there is a big difference between apes and drag bars, however the difference between 1" in rise or width made quite a difference and that is what surprised me. Such a small variance made such a difference.
As per below you can see most of the bars off the bike. Bottom left Is the step down beach bars that came on the bike. Above them are some trackers. On the right the window bars sitting on the "'Z' bars.
The beach bars had been roughly stepped down from 1" to ⅞". The grips were still 1" and had some pvc pipe glued inside to step back up. Nothing surprises me when it comes to shoddy work on this bike anymore. I had to remove my 3" risers as they wouldn't fit any of the other bars all being ⅞". I stuck the OEM clamps on.
Firstly I tried the trackers which are a good width. I also found as soon as I put these on I wanted to ride faster, harder, and more aggressively. Interesting how the body position has a psychological affect on your riding, well mine anyway. They also pull you forward form a upright neutral position I had been in previously. They also look crap & are in a ancient primer finish.
Next came the window bars, these looked ok. However they are the narrowest and tallest, this made handling a bit unsettling and I really didn't feel safe riding the bike in anything other than a straight line.
The height was still comfortable. It was at this point the left grip decided it was finished cooperating and was going to stay put. A bit of a dip in boiling water persuaded it to comply.
Then tried the 'Z' bars, these are pretty cool but to get a comfortable hand position I had to rotate them along way forward and on this bike it looked strange. It also mean't I hard to lean a long way forward and with my foot peg in stock position, and the XS being relatively small I end up feeling quite compressed.
Lastly I decided to take Hap up on his offer to try his bars and/or 4"x ⅞" risers. Unfortunately the PO didn't have any riser bushings so had over tightened the bolt, which had also seized with time and Hap snapped both bolts clean off. Which he was apologetic to me cos I couldn't now try them, and I was feeling guilty as It was something else he needed to fix before getting his bike on the road.
Well I still had a go with his Drag bars which I think are home made by someone. Obviously no rise in these, they had the least pull back and almost as narrow as the window bars. They are 2" overall narrower than the trackers. Still need to lean forward but not excessively and with 3"- 4" risers would probably be ok. This is the set up that came on Hap's bike.
I have been riding with these bars for a week now and are way better for dealing with traffic than the super wide beach bars that need heaps of clearance. However with out the risers the controls do hit the tank. Not good for the paint.
None of the bars allowed me to see anything in the mirror but my chest.
I'm thinking to try running the trackers for a week with bar end mirrors and see how that feels.
In conclusion I am now looking for bars the width of the trackers, and similar pull back, with about 3-5" rise in the bars or combined with risers. Also looking for 1" clutch, master cylinder & throttle.