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Bent handlebars or something else?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by RedWings01, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Hello guys,

    I posted yesterday on modifications forum on how to replace handlebars on VTR250. Well I just bought the bars and now waiting for delivery. I have just been searching more on the internet and apparently the bars may not be bent but something to do with the clamps or something like that.

    When I turn the handle bars full lock to the right, I have a good amount of clearance but when I turn it fully to the left, it almost hits the tank. I know that it was not like this prior to the low side. I was almost certain the bars were bent but now I found there may be other issues.

    The only reason I notice this is after the lowside the steering felt a bit "different" or "odd". Is there anything I can do to check if the handle bars are straight? If its not the bars, what else can it be? I have new bars coming anyway so I'll be putting them on but just trying to narrow down the issue.

  2. Sounds like the bars mate, stop worrying
  3. If you bars are bent, you would be able to see the asymmetry with the bike on a centre stand or held upright with the wheel straight.

    I'd check to ensure the lug that limits steering travel on the lower triple clamp near the steering stem is still there - there should be one on each side. It is possible for these to break off or deform in a prang of sufficient force to bend handlebars.

    I've seen and owned bikes that have had these sheered off or deformed due to prangs. Where the bars don't actually contact the tank, this is of little concern, but if the bars can come real close to the tank, a repeat performance can dent the tank. these lugs are generally a part of the bottom triple clamp bracket and I've never seen one that is replaceable without replacing the whole part. I've not bothered with the replacement.
  4. Might also want to check that the forks haven't twisted in the clamps, although that ought to be pretty obvious.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. The bar-risers can also bend, well not really the riser itself but the bolt that goes down through the middle into the triple clamp.

    How do I know this, you ask. Well, when you run off the road in a corner and hit a log which stops the front wheel dead, which stops the rest of the bike too but not you, and your knee makes sufficiently vigorous contact with the bar while the rest of you attempts an involuntary superman over the bars, and the bar is a very well-made item from TAG, you will bend both the riser bolts and not the bar. This just may have happened to somebody I know, you know, a friend of mine. No, couldn't possibly have been me, I'm much to clever and a gun rider and such to have performed this trick. No not me at all. A friend.

    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. Since I know someone who did something rather like that to his CBX250, we can call it "Wok's fault". He scored a broken wrist, compacted bone in his knee (from hitting the bars, twelve weeks in a mad-max frame for that) and tore off a fingernail inside his glove. He still maintains the fingernail hurt more than anything else.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. This, you know, friend of mine, he got off real lucky then. A couple of small bits where the bark came off and caused some leakage, and some bruising.

    And some bent bolts.

    And a bent wheel.

    And a bent front axle.
  8. Right, I hope it is just bent bars because I think that is probably the easiest to replace out of everything. The right side of the bar feels perfect and the clearance from the right hand side is prefect just like prior to the accident. The left one is pretty close that it crushes my fingers. This is why I am thinking its the bars. Anyway, I'll replace the bars and if it works then perfect.
  9. Let someone with experience at least have a look before you hit the credit card.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Normally I would but I actually wanted new handlebars for a while now so either way I was going to replace the bars if they were bent or not. The lowside actually encouraged me to buy new bars haha. If the bars arn't bent, easy new bars. If they are bent, easy new bars.
  11. Right, so the throttle cable snapped as i was changing the bar as the cable was rusted. Took it to the mechanic to get done and he did a horrific job. Asked him to put new bars on which he said didn't fit even though I've seen people put wider bars on...... He threw on a pair of stock vtr bars that were for the later models and that also didn't fit. Didn't stop him though, he still put it on even when the cables were binding so much. He put throttle cables on and didn't tighten any but one locknut. He rerouted my cables under speedo which reduces length even more..... Had to go home replace the bars, reroute cables, tighten the locknuts, fix throttle free play.

    Worst experience and not to mention he didn't tell me the cables arrive and also didn't tell me my bike was ready for pickup. I had to call up and ask myself. Cost a solid 180$ labour for a terrible job. Never going back again.

    But now my bars were actually not bent and was because forks twisted in clamps.

    Thanks for your help guys. Lesson learnt, I'm going to do all the work myself unless it's way too hard but even then I'm going to another mechanic.
    • Informative Informative x 1