Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Honda Hornet 919 Renthal Handle Bar Conversion

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Farab, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. [​IMG]

    Since I bought the Hornet in May this year, the first thing on the list was to change the handle bars, as I found the OEM ones just too high and narrow for my style of riding. The OEM bars just felt wrong for twisty work, much too high. After exploring several options, I came back to what most people go for, the Renthal Ultra Lows.

    A handy handle bar comparison can be found in this thread


    I ordered the Renthals in Tanium colour, with cross brace to match.

    A visual comparison between the OEm bars and the Renthals:


  2. The Renthal grips that where available where Grey only, seeing as I wanted black, I saw no reason why I couldn't use the OEM ones again. After you remove the OEM bar ends, the throttle grips obviously then stays put on the throttle assembly. The left one can be rolled off with admittedly much effort. I just took it easy so as not to tear or damage it. I left it rolled up and just rolled it back on to the Renthals. I did not use any glue, etc., it stays reasonably put, as the Renthals has knurled ends.
  3. Bar ends:
    I decided against the Renthal bar ends, as they have next to nothing weight to them. As the Renthal bars are significantly lighter than the OEM ones with bar weights, I wanted to go with weighted bar ends, to somehow make up for the weight loss.

    BTW ( for those that don't know), as the Renthals are aluminium, the wall thickness is thicker than the OEM bar. From memory, I think the Renthal bar is 13mm inside diameter and the OEM ones about 20mm so using the OEM weights was not an option.

    The OEM bar ends are 32mm long, the custom ones I decided to make an extra 10mm longer, so 42mm.

    I used a counter sunk M6x80 cap screw with a rubber nut (12.5mm in diameter) - as you tighten the screw, this compresses the rubber nut, which swells out and grips the inner walls of the bar, thus keeping the bar ends in place. This has been on the bike for about 3 months and so far its maybe moved 0.5 to 1mm out again. I may need to remove it again and trim the rubber lip of the nut, so that the bar end can sit right up against the handle bar.




    The bar ends were turned out of mild steel and I used a Dulux Satin Black
    spraycan to paint them (3 coats).
  4. End result:




    Absolutely love it! It made a huge difference to the feel / ride. The bike feels more connected and precise, spirited twisty work is a blast!

    It may be a touch too wide, I am still deciding on that. I have had a pair of 10mm spacers made up to match the bar ends (same diameter) to fit in between the bar ends and the handle bars (fits over the handle bars), so as to push the grips 10mm inwards.

    Also, Mark II bar end weights are in progress with incorporated steel inserts, just to make a more positive and safer grip inside the handle bars.

    Will update when this is completed.
  5. My Ultra-Lows have just arrived from the UK... I'm still deliberating over whether to drill the bars for the control units or just file off the locator-pins. What have you done?
  6. I also had a hard time deciding what to do. As the Renthals are much wider, I first wanted to see if I liked the bars as wide as that. I have picked up in other forums that some guys lob off about 10mm from the sides after a while, saying it was just too wide and then feels much better after the 10mm chop off.
    Having this in mind, I didn't want to drill more than one hole. Also, because the bar is aluminium, I was worried about helping aluminium fatique by doing so.

    So I opted to grind off the locating pins ( as some guys do) and leaving a little of a stub left so that it could press on to the bar as you thighten up the control assy's. If you opt for this, grind a bit and measure, grind a bit and measure, and so on. I also used a single layer of insulation tape for the control assy's to grip on, this definately helps.

    I was a bit remorsefull after doing that. It's not 100% rigid/secure - the control assy's can move with more than normal effort if you purposefully want to rotate or move it. Saying that, it hasn't moved with all my almost daily riding in the past 3 months or so, which includes commuting and weekends in the twisty bits. It has not been an issue so far.

    The other school of thought is to obviously drill the sucker - just up to you really.

    I did call Renthal in the UK and asked them if it was ok to drill (metal fatique), as they obviously know that bikes have these locating pins. The guy wouldn't commit to anything - official company policy is apparently not to recommend drilling.

    So both options have pro's and cons!

    Good luck!
  7. Thanks for the input! After riding my mate's Bandit with wider bars, I'm prepared to commit to the Renthal's width and just drill the sucker. I'll still have the option of drilling again or filing the nubs if I really hate it. I should have time on Boxing Day to do it all... can't wait!

    Glad to hear from another happy horneteer! Despite all the crappy press this bike received (especially in the UK) I'm only finding highly satisfied owners. I've just come back from a 10,000km round trip from Melbourne to Cairns, and after a year of commuting, touring and twisties, I can't think of a bike that'd I'd want in its place.
  8. Farab who did you order the Renthals from? Noticed that your first pics show the Renthals without the brace, but mounted on the bike you have the brace in place. I take it the brace is not a permanent fixture on the bars?

    I've been told that the bar risers/clamps will need to be changed as well to accommodate the new bars, they don't seem to have been in your pics. Am I getting wrong advice on this?

    Last question, any issue of the bar ends hitting the tank?

    I'm still to change the bars on my bike but I will be doing it soon enough.

    Kris, if you're changing over the bars on your bike (providing you haven't yet), I wouldn't mind coming along to see how easy/difficult it is to do. If you have, would it be possible to have a look to see the difference in position.
  9. Hey, I have previously fitted Renthal ‘Low rise’ Road handlebars to my 2006 Hornet 900. These Renthal lowRise road ‘bars don’t come with a crossbrace. They are lower than the standard, by almost half the height, which makes you lean forward alittle more.


    They are also wider & have a flat profile – they don’t bend back to you at the ends as much as the standard ‘bars. Pretty much like a MXer ‘bend’ actually.
    I drilled my Renthals for the switch-cluster tabs, but you don’t need to go right through, just drilling an indent to accommodate the tab is enough.
    I did not have to change the standard handlebar clamps, the OD (outside diameter) of the Renthals are almost exactly the same as the standard ‘bars.


    The Renthals don’t come with weights & you’ll notice straight off that you’ll get more vibrations at the handgrips when riding – as I did. The ID (inside diameter) of the Renthals are much less than the standard ‘bars so you can’t re-use the standard Honda ‘bar weights (there is another story in remove those as well).

    I use adhesive to glue the left grip back on ( I reused the standard grips).
    I also cut the width of the Renthals down to as narrow as I can manage without having any of the levers or switchgear foul on the ‘bars or bike.
    With the Renthals on, I bought some alloy bar-ends, but they didn’t weight the vibrations out very much from what I found.

    I ran these Renthal ‘bars on the hornet for 6 months, but then I when a step beyond & fitted some ‘clubman’ handlebars. These Clubman ‘bars bring the riding position way forward, more so than what you would get with clip-ons.

    This was a pretty dramatic step & have since modded these clubman ‘bars with risers on the clamps to make city riding bearable – the intention was to get out of the windblast without a screen on country rides & have that café-racer feel to the Hornet.
    The clubman ‘bars were a mongrel to fit & required customized routing of all the cables & wires to make it all fit. Also it almost crushes your thumbs on the tank at full lock – but if it’s OK for MV Agusta’s F4 then it’s OK by me.


    I re-fitted the ‘bar weights & ends from the standard Honda ‘bars to the clubman’s as well. The Honda standard bar weight & ends are real heavy & go a long way in suppressing those in-line-4 vibes @ 100kms/hr.
    The clubman ‘bars required drilling for the switchgear tabs as well as the tabs for the standard Honda bar weights/ends.

  10. F@ck it, I keep putting it off so I've just ordered the Ultra Lows. The current set seem too upright for me.
  11. Got the bars and brace from a local bike shop in Auckland. Are you after a specific colour? The Tanium seems to be very scarce. The brace I also ordered in. This brace should fit the street bar range. It was NZ$80. I got it purely for aesthetics.
    You can e-mail renthal and ask for your nearest dealer.

    Don't need to change the risers, etc.!!

    The only problem is getting a pair of bar end weights that suit. See my posts above. The custom ones are 10mm longer than the OEM ones. I can't really complain of any vibration, what ever there is doesn't really bother me.

    No, the bar ends don't knock into the tank.
  12. Picked the bars up on Thursday from the post office as they arrived from the UK. I spent part of this afternoon installing them and it was easier than what I imagined. Took the 9er for a spin and the difference was great.

    Haven't sorted the bar ends yet but will tackle that over the next few days.
  13. I knew you would like it! That OEM bar is awefull - what was Honda thinking?!
  14. Agreed farab, not sure what they were thinking. After my off a few months ago, I've been a little hesitant in the bends and twisties, more so than I am on my Spada, but these bars have helped. It certainly feels more natural.

    On the OEM bars I had bar end mirrors which made filtering difficult, on the Renthals it makes it almost impossible. I've put the original mirrors back on till I decide whether I trim the bars by about 10mm either side or an inch. As for bar ends, not mirrors, I've just bought some "internal plastic tips" for around $2 as there doesn't appear to be an issue with vibrations.

    Yes I know, I should post up a pic. I'll get to that.

    Cheers for your posts in this thread farab, they've really helped me make a decision, also to Kris and Marx.
  15. i would like to fit renthal ultra lows to my 900 hornet 06 model the questions i have are the brake lines and other control cables long enough to reach the extra bar lenght ,also do you still keep a reasanable upright riding position as i dont wont to be laying over the tank like im on a full on sports bike and is there much vibration though the bars and how close are the controls to the tank when on full lock, thanx brenno:
  16. You should have no dramas with the cables reaching. Despite their name, the "ultra lows" will still leave you in an upright position, just a touch forward. Can't say I've noticed much vibration in the bars. On full lock there's still some clearance from the tank so that should pose no problems.

    Good luck with it brenno.

    reading my previous post, I really should post up a pic of mine.