Road Glide banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently purchased a 2020 Road Glide Special which is almost done getting ready for March trip from Philadelphia to Key West and back.
Got a Russell custom heated seat with removable backrest, Legends shocks, new pegboards (combines floorboards with highway pegs), heated grips, rear removable rack and some other accessories.

The last thing to complete the package is handlebars. I'm looking for the grips to move backwards about 1-2". The height of the stock handlebars is fine for me, I can compromise with a taller grip location, if they move back 2". The angle of the wrists with the stock bars are fine as well.

Anyone know of bars that fit this description? I've done a lot of searching with little positive results.

This thread (touring bars for coast to coast adventure) had some info but not the solution I'm looking for.

For most bikes, I've used the Rox Risers, but for the Road Glide, with the plastic cover over the bar attach point, this doesn't look like a viable solution.

Helibars makes adjustable handlebars (picture below) but at $750 they're kind of pricey and the internal wiring would have to be moved.

The other option is to get taller bars and just rotate them back to achieve the desired grip setback from stock. Krome Werks has a set for under $120 (here).

Thoughts?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
KST's seem like a good fit. Their new bars are adjustable for the pull back (grip position) and you could go a little taller than what you have and roll them back to where you like. They are fairly in line with other aftermarket bars of like make up. They will be my next set with 14".

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. Decided on the 12" rise black KST Spearhead. $391.50 at DennisKirk.com (P/N KST-3SH12HG). Already did a heated grip install so have been through the process once already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Use the stock bars from a road glide limited. They are about 3” taller than special bars so you could roll them back towards you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Seems you already bought some.

My suggestion would have been JSR Customs "bad attitude". They have a bend at the bottom that bring the tops closer to you. I have a set and love them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The 12" KST Spearhead bars arrived and got them installed. The only difficulty was searching for my Dremel tool to grind off the locator nub from the inside of the right brake assembly. Never did find the tool (it's somewhere) so found other means to grind it flush.
Was careful to measure how far back the handgrips with the stock bars set ones hands and marked it on a piece of tape on the tank. Also measured the distance between the grip ends. The KST bars did not move the grips back at all, while maintaining the same height above the ground and the same distance between the grip ends; a bit disappointing.
The angle of the grips is a bit different (seems more comfortable).

EDIT
The install just didn't seem right to me. Then I realized I had installed the bottom crossbar backwards. Fixing it took a while but at least I didn't have to rethread the cables. Once that was done the bars could rotate backwards freely and the speedo/tach shroud installed easily. Also freed up range for the brake and clutch lines. READ THE DIRECTIONS.

Note: the instructions' torque recommendations of 30 ft.lbs all around are suspect. The shop manual calls for 20 ft.lbs, which is a huge difference.
Going with the 14" bars would have created problems for me, imo. Based on the hydraulic lines, the bars would have to be much more vertical to have enough play than the 12". So, my goal of moving the grips back wouldn't be achieved.

Seem like decent quality bars. Have had far worse install nightmares with other bikes. Was it worth the $400? Probably half that for nicer looking bars and better angle of the grips. But, I've burned a lot more than that on useless 'great ideas'. No longer own a boat so not as many opportunities to Bust Out Another Thousand (BOAT). :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Pulled the trigger on 14" KST bars, to swap with the 12" set. Ordered extension cables for the right and left buttons and the left heated grip controller. May not need them but playing it safe. Will post pictures when finished.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,324 Posts
That didn't take long to go to 14" LoL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #10

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Here was my post on another forum about the install of the 12" bars:

Installing the bars not difficult, more like tedious. The best thing to do is to take the right brake and left clutch assemblies off the bars first.

Remove the main fuse under the left Tupperware under and behind the seat. If you don't do this you can get errors from disassembling the wiring.

MAKE SURE YOU COVER THE TANK of remove it. I did and one of the assemblies slipped and dropped on the foam sheet covering the tank. I would be still crying about it if it hadn't been covered.

[For Road Glide] Remove the two screws on each side of the speedo/tach housing. Turn the ignition switch to the right, push down on the housing next to the cover that's under the ignition switch and pull up on the cover with a fingernail or really small screwdriver/pick where you will see a tiny notch. There's a tab holding that cover. It will pop up and you can slide it out. Now the whole speedo/tach assembly can come off. You have to remove three connectors. Again you will need a small flat screwdriver or pick. Take the bottom right connector off last. The release tab is on the bottom (thanks Harley) and is a bitch to press up on to release the connector. Take you time and it will come off. After you've done it a few times it gets easier.

Trace the wires coming out of the bars to the connectors and disconnect all of them. What I did was use thin blue painters tape and a sharpie to write numbers on pieces to stick on the ends as I took them off. That way I could match numbers when putting it back together. Also helps to pulll out the cables a bit so you can see all the connectors and take a picture. Comes in really handy later when you try to remember how things were arranged.

Once the cables are disconnected, undo the 4 bolts in the center handlebar clamp. If you're taking the bars out for some reason and plan on putting them back, I would use a sharpie (I use black and ordered a sliver sharpie for marking black surfaces) to make a mark on both the lower clamp surface and the bar in the center, so you can line them up later. If you're replacing the bars, don't do this.

Remove the bars and put on a bench. With the KST bars, you will need to take care of the pin sticking up from the base of the clamp on the bike (4:30 in the video). Take a center punch and drive the pin flush with the clamp.

IMPORTANT. with the bars removed, cut the tie wraps for the hydraulic lines near the clamp. This frees up the hydraulic lines for the taller bars. If you don't do this binding may be an issue.

You can then remove the switch assemblies from both sides and pull the wires out of the bars. Lots of YouTube videos to show how this is done. Note there are small clips holding the switches to the bars, once you remove the metal covers. Use a small flat screwdriver to pop the clips on each side (6:20 in the KST video). Again, take lots of pictures for each side, showing how the wires (especially the exposed non-shielded parts) are arranged to not get pinched by the metal shrouds. Seems dumb but I mark the right and left side parts with painters tape labeled with a sharpie pen.

Now that the original handlebars are bare, you're not done. What I did was put the bars on the bench with the bar ends facing down on the bench surface. Helps to use a large piece of cardboard under the bars. I then use a sharpie pen to draw a line along the bottom edge of the bars and circles around the bar ends. Why? So when you assemble your new bars, you can get an idea of how far apart to set your new bar ends, if the handlebars are adjustable like the KST set I bought. It's also useful for measuring the new bars vs the old to see if they're even going to work for you.

You also have to remove the centering nubs from each side metal switch housings. For me one side came off clean using a center punch, hammer and a solid swift bang. The other side broke off leaving a stub. Had to use a grinder to take it off.

For the KST bars which are adjustable, I prefer to run the wires through each side before I put place them into the lower horizontal bar (3 pieces to the handlebar set). For both sides, you're going to have two sets of wires to thread through the bars (assuming you have heated grips). For each side, do NOT spray WD40 to be a 'lubricant' for the wires. Use a lubricant that is made for electrical wires like CRC available in Home Depot. A can is $3 and will make your life a lot easier.

On the right throttle side, there will be the throttle tube assembly which goes in the end and the right switch assembly wire which goes into the cutout (will be obvious with the bars in front of you). First thread the throttle wires through the end and out the cutout. Then use electrical tape to join the connectors for the switch assembly (10:00 in video). Push the supplied (by KST) nylon sock cable (7:50 in video) from the bottom of the bar up and out the cutout. Use the nylon sleeve to pull the wires through the bar. This is where the lubricant helps. Repeat the process on the other side.

Unlike the video, I then put the bars into the lower horizontal piece that clamps to the bike. Note the instructions call for using 30 ft.lbs to tighten the 4 bolts. I think this is high and used 20 ft.lbs. They have locktite on them so it shouldn't be an issue. Checking the shop manual, it calls for 20 ft.lbs.

This is where the cardboard marked earlier comes in handy. Measure the lower bar and mark the center of it. Measure the handlebar marks on the cardboard and mark the center pointbetween them. Draw a vertical line with a Carpenter's square on the cardboard, at the center point between the old bar end marks. This makes it super easy to assemble the bars and have each side at the same angle and bar end width before you make adjustments. Place the lower bar center point over the center line you just drew. Adjust the bar ends so they are each in the circles you originally drew. Now you know the bars are at the same angle and equal distance from the center. Now you can adjust the bar ends by marking on the cardboard.

Before you place the bars into the clamp, position the hydraulic lines so they will be under the bar on each side. Also measure the width of the clamp and use a sharpie to mark the center of the clamp. This is important as you can use this mark to center the bars. Then place the bars in the clamp. Two of the connectors for the tach/speedo assembly go under the bars. Measure the width of the lower horizontal bar and make a mark (in my case black bars to silver sharpie) in the center of the bar. Match the mark with the one you made on the clamp. Now you know the bars are centered. Install the upper clamp and hand tighten the bolts. Adust the bars to the desired height and torque the bolts to 20 ft.lbs. Reconnect the connectors and reinstall the speedo/tach shroud. Install the main fuse and left Tupperware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The 14" bars arrived.

Watched the KST install video (posted above) again and made sure the brake lines were on top of the bar/clamp (15:00 in the video).However, the brake lines were still too tight to fit the speedo/tachenclosure.After a LOT of fiddling around, I noticed there is a plastic block on the right (throttle) side of the steering head that holds four hydraulic lines. Popped that out of the holder and did get more play in both left and right (clutch & brake) lines.

Still not enough to be comfortable about binding at full lock, especially turning right.

Then popped the two hydraulic lines (clutch and front brake) out of the plastic block, keeping the other two there and put the block back in the holder. Also, found a tie-wrap holding one of the lines to an electrical connector near the block on the right side of the steering head and cut that.Substantially more play now with no binding at full lock left and right. Once I get everything buttoned up, plan on going back and adding some tie wraps to support the lines (no longer in the plastic block) without causing binding.

Was still not happy with the hydraulic line routing using the 14" bars. Had to put the hydraulic lines above the cross bar (per the above KST video) which then caused interference with the Speedo/Tach housing. Not sure how KST solved that but clearly it wasn't working for me. What to do?

Took a drill and CAREFULLY drilled a hole on each side of the center wire shroud. Measured many many times and finally resorted to using a rubber grommet that just fit around the hydraulic line. Then took the rubber grommet, placed it on the shroud to figure out where to make the hole. Used a silver sharpie to mark it. The sharpie ink comes off if you use something like goof-off or goo-gone, so don't worry about the ink. Then took a utility blade to square off the edge contacting the speedo/tach housing. Finished with a small file to clean up the edges.

Came out much better than expected. Note the right side hole had to be bigger as the line does not come out at a 90deg angle. It's more like 60deg so the hole has to be bigger to accommodate. The trick is to start a much smaller pilot hole. Then you drill the bigger hole with the edge of the bit just barely cutting through the edge of the housing. TAKE YOUR TIME! and, cover the bars with electrical tape. Or do this before the bars are installed. I took the shortcut and did it without removing the bars yet again.

Very happy with the results. Looks great with lots of play for the hydraulic lines. The bars now are 2" back from stock with stock grip height from the ground. Not interested in taller grips, just want a more natural upright position to keep the head centered and reduce neck strain.

Forgot to mention that I did not need any extension cables. I had ordered both the throttle by wire extension kit and the heated grip extension. Other than the left switch cluster wire, none of the other cables are too short. By popping that connector from the retention shelf (the one on the left of the three attached to the shelf), it provides enough play.

IMG_0167.jpeg IMG_0168.jpeg IMG_0169.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Better picture of the left side, showing the clutch hydraulic cable with the hole drilled in the instrument shroud.

IMG_0173.jpeg
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top