Getting your high dollar dual sport’s hand controls in just the right spot can be challenging. Since dual sport riding involves riding sitting and standing, getting the handlebar in the optimum place for both types of riding is worthwhile. As long as the stock handlebar comes close to fitting the rider’s ergonomics, and doesn’t need to be swapped out, it may be possible to improve its position with a little bit of work and some inexpensive accessories.
Here’s a definition for the Dual Sport rider to remember: “A compromise is an arrangement that leaves all involved somewhat unsatisfied.” Since it is not convenient to change the bar location on a ride, it is essential to find a workable compromise for street and dirt riding.
Sit on the bike while on center stand or have a friend stabilize it. Close your eyes and lean slightly forward as you would be riding. Then extend your arms slightly down and out, wrists straight, and open your eyes see where your hands are in relationship to the grips. Also ride the bike seated and standing and determine your comfort level.
Adjusting the handlebar
Some dual sports come from the factory with the ability to move the handlebar about in the top triple clamp. Spend a few minutes with your manual and see if your bike allows this. The factory settings may enough.
Cutting down the bar’s width
Many handlebars come very wide from the factory. Here’s an easy to tell if your bars need to be cut down. Open a measuring tape and lay it on ground in front of you. Do ten pushups and measure the distance from pinky to pinky. This is the ideal bar width. Measure your bar and see how far apart the bar width is from your pinky-pinky measurement. Assuming there’s sufficient space to move the hand controls towards, switch gear and mirrors towards the center of the bike, move these components appropriately and take a hacksaw to the bars after removing the grips. Remember measure twice and cut once!
Getting the height right
PowerMadd 7/8″ Universal Bar Risers offers this universal 1.6” tall riser that should be an easy installation. Keep in mind that the wires and cables leading to the bar may need to be rerouted to reach.
A BikeMaster 1-1/8″ kit offers a slightly different approach to moving the handle bar closer to the rider.
Sometimes it is necessary to tilt and raise the bar to find the sweet spot. A set of trick Rox Speed risers shown do this and provide vibration isolation.
Dual sport riding involves the merging of two divergent disciplines. With a little bit of work, it does not have to hurt.