How to Change the Handlebars on Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

A Vehicles is a stunning motorcycle in its stock form, but nothing screams Vehicles more than the addition of aftermarket handlebars. Handlebar choices run the gamut from low, aggressive drag-style bars to sky-high ape hangers, allowing a Vehicles owner to tailor the machine to her personality. Although changing the handlebars out Vehicles new bars would appear seemingly simple, there is quite a bit involved. Most new handlebars are universal, meaning that some modifications must be made to accommodate the Vehicles switch gear. This project can be completed within two to three hours by most Vehicles owners.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Handlebars on a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

Set your Vulcan on its side stand on a level surface. Remove the bar-end cap from both sides of the handlebar using a 5mm hex wrench. Set the caps aside.

Twist the left handlebar grip forcefully to loosen the grip adhesive underneath. Pull the grip off the handlebar. If the grip is too difficult to remove, spray a small amount of WD-40 underneath it to loosen it enough to pull if off the bar.

Remove the two screws on the back of the plastic control housings on each side of the handlebar and slide both housings off the bars. You can let these hang from the bars without damaging them.

Loosen the two 8 mm bolts on each handlebar lever clamp (the brake and clutch levers) using a socket and wrench, then slide the brake lever and clutch lever off the bars. Let them hang from the bike in the same fashion as the control housings.

Remove the four handlebar mount bolts using a 6 mm hex wrench. The handlebars will fall free of the bike. Set the new handlebars in their place and reinstall the handlebar mount bolts to secure them to the handlebar mounts.

Slide the clutch lever onto the left-side handlebar and the brake lever onto the right-side handlebar. Then slide the left control housing onto the left handlebar and the right control housing and throttle grip onto the right-side handlebar. Using a 5 mm hex wrench, attach the handlebar end caps to both sides of the handlebar.

Sit on the bike in your normal riding position. Twist the control housings and handlebar levers into the most comfortable position for you. Replace the two Phillips head screws on each plastic housing to secure them, then tighten the lever clamp bolts on each handlebar lever.

Double-check that every bolt is secured tightly, then take your Vulcan for a test ride to see if you like the feel of the lower handlebars and your new hand position.

Items you will need

  • 6 mm hex wrench

  • 5 mm hex wrench

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • 8 mm socket

  • New handlebars

  • Socket wrench

 How to Change the Handlebars on a Honda Rebel

Slide the grips off your handlebars. You can remove the left grip and right throttle grip by simply grabbing them and pulling them off the handlebars. You may have to rock the grips while pulling in order to break the suction seal before they will come off.

Use the screwdriver to loosen the clamp holding the brake lever to the handlebars. The small screw is underneath the clamp band. Pull the brake lever off.

Pry the covers off the Allen bolts holding the handlebars in place. The Allen bolts are set in a plate in the center of the handlebars, near the gas tank.

Use the Allen wrench to loosen the bolts in the holding plate. The plate is made of two halves that are held together by the pressure of the bolts and locking the handlebars in place between them. The two plates will separate, and you can slide the handlebars out from between them.

Insert your new handles between the plates, and tighten the Allen bolts. Reverse the rest of these steps to complete the installation.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Allen wrenches

  • Throttle cable (if needed)

  • Brake cable (if needed)

 How to Change Out the Handlebars on the Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom

Remove the plastic cable ties from the handlebars to free the switch assemblies' wiring. Unscrew the bolts from the bottom of the left switch assembly with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the switch assembly apart and remove it from the handlebar. Drape the left switch assembly over the headlight.

Loosen the round lock nut on the clutch cable's adjuster, positioned behind the clutch lever on the left handlebar. Turn the cable adjuster clockwise to loosen the cable completely. Pull the clutch cable out of the lever and drape it over the headlight.

Cut the left hand grip lengthwise with a razor, then peel the grip off the handlebar.

Loosen the clutch lever perch's mounting bolt with a 10 mm socket and a socket wrench. Pull the clutch lever perch off of the handlebar.

Unscrew the front brake master cylinder's mounting bolts from the right handlebar. Pull the master cylinder away from the handlebar and unplug the wiring from brake light switch.

Turn the cable adjusters on both throttle cables, positioned just below the right switch assembly, clockwise to loosen the cables completely. Pull the top of the switch assembly off the handlebar to access the throttle grip and cables. Pull the throttle cables out of throttle grip, then slide the grip off of the handlebar. Pull the switch assembly and the throttle cables off the handlebar.

Pull the plastic bolt covers off the handlebar risers on the front fork. Unscrew the risers' bolts with a 5 mm Allen wrench and remove the handlebar. Place the new handlebar onto the risers and tighten the rider bolts with a 5 mm Allen wrench. Push the bolt covers into place to hide the riser bolts.

Place a small amount of modeling clay onto the handlebars. Loosely mount the switch assemblies onto the handlebars and press the pins on the bottom half of the switch assemblies into the modeling clay. Remove the switch assemblies and drill a 1/8 inch hole into the handlebar with an electric drill, using the mark left in the modeling clay as a guide.

Reinstall both switch assemblies, the front brake master cylinder, clutch lever perch and throttle tube, following the reverse method of removal. Slide a new hand grip onto the left handlebar.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • 10 mm socket

  • Socket wrench

  • Razor

  • 5 mm Allen wrench

  • Modeling clay

  • Electric with a 1/8 inch drill bit

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