Monday, April 11, 2011

The Ol' Switcharoo

So I just finished fully converting my 2000 SV650S controls from clip-on handlebars to standard upright ones. It took me pretty much all day yesterday and I decided to do a 200 mile shakedown ride today to give it a try.

I am totally and completely in love.

The bike feels so much more usable and rider friendly. I found myself grinning involuntarily more than I think I ever have on any motorcycle. And yes, there are a couple things I miss from from having clip-ons, but for the riding I want to do the bike is much more suited.

Here are the pros and cons:


No More Back Pain: It wasn't extreme with the clip-ons, but it was just enough to worry me and make me uncomfortable for the rest of the day, especially after long trips.

Eagle Eyes: Something about sitting more upright allowed me to see the road better. The change isn't much, either. But moving my position really helped my awareness.

Hooliganism up 40%: The front end is much livelier than I had imagined. I've never had the bike lift the front wheel in 2nd. Scaring grandmas and making little kids smile is more irresistible. And no, I'm not doing wheelies for miles and draining the front cylinder. But little, quick ones are fun!

Slalom King: The increased leverage of the handlebars gives me more confidence around town. I feel more agile and nimble, which coupled with better visibility, is quite nice.


Set Sail: It's a bit more difficult to get under the wind on the super slab. My upper body felt more like a sail than it did with the clip-ons. Not bad, tho. I'll figure it out.

Where's the Tire!?: I have lost a bit of feel with the front. The added body weight on the clip-ons did give me a better sense of what the tire is doing. So I'll really need to get used to trusting this lighter front end.

Love Lockdown: My ignition lock doesn't work anymore. Bummer. I really liked using it. It's okay, tho. I do have an alarm, so at least that's something.

Man in the Mirror: I couldn't remount my Napoleon mirrors. But it's all good. I think I've outgrown them anyway. It's time to move on!

Here's a full list of everything I purchased for the change over:

N model throttle cable (used)
N model brake lines (used)
N model choke cable (new)
N model clutch cable (used)
N model upper triple (used)
N model bar risers (used)
security torx set (new)
Superbike(?) bars from my friend Matt (used)
universal brake reservoir mount from Woodcraft (new)

The total for all of this, including some this-and-thats I had to pick up cost around $170.

There were a few surprises.

I couldn't figure out how (or was too scared) to remove the carbs to undo the throttle cable, so I just figured out a way to do it with them in. It was kind of a pain, but worked out fine.

I drilled a hole in the bar for the throttle-side control cluster in order to fit that little pin that keeps the controls still. It worked okay, but I still got some movement.


I had to come up with a way to keep the control clusters from swiveling around on the bar. I ended up buying some stair tread tape and sticking it on the bar then sandwiching it with the clusters. It worked like a charm.

Here are a few pictures from today's ride. I really need to find a riding partner so I can start taking actual shots instead of my bike sitting still beside some trees and street signs. But it'll do.


No comments:

Post a Comment