The stock handlebars just had to go. I have a bad right wrist (dirt-bikes, doncha'know), and the original angle put my hands to sleep in ten minutes. They just drooped down too much at the ends and it put all the weight on the nerves in the center of my grip. Apparently the 2002 version drops even more! I almost didn't buy the Hawk because of it but luckily I knew the rest of the bike was good enough to risk fixing the problem. It's still not a GoldWing, thank gawd, but is much better with more comfortable bars.

controlsI decided on Two Brothers Racing V3 bars. They are adjustable for height, rotation around the bar, and can be slid up and down the fork leg. Their catalog (and some employee who answered the phone) said the version with a 1.5" riser would fit, but there is no room under the fairing. The straight model bolted straight on and is adjustable to clear all bodywork.

The stock bars come off pretty straightforward. Unbolt the controls from the bar and let them hang to the side until finished. The throttle cables don't have to come off, just loosen the housing bolts, remove the clip-on from the fork, and pull the bar out of the throttle. It helps to have rags over the fairing to keep it from being scratched by dangly bits.

The original grips can be reused once the left grip is pried from the stock bar. Just peel a corner up and shoot WD-40 under it with the little red hose on the can. I also use WD-40 to re-install the grips. Lube the inside to help it slide on, but give it a day to dry before riding. It seems to "vulcanize" the rubber to the bar but I still always safety-wire the grips in place. Grip glue works great but keep it away from any paint and out from between the throttle tube and bar. In place of the originals, I used Pro-Grip FZR copy grips since they are softer rubber and I prefer a thinner diameter

A small circlip on the top of the fork keeps a loose clip-on from sliding off completely. It's probably overkill, but it doesn't hurt anything so you might as well re-install them. The switchgear has small posts designed to fit into corresponding holes in the bars. They keep them from spinning in the event the bolts came loose. While you should measure them and drill holes in the new bars, I preferred to grind them off so I can rotate the controls to a comfortable position. Just keep an eye on the bolts coming loose (mine never have, but you never know).

Once the new bars are on and the levers/grips/switches are installed, you can move the bars around to the best position. I wanted as flat and level as possible. With the main pinch bolts semi loose, turn the wheel all the way to one side. I pushed the bars as far forward and up as it would go without the levers hitting the bodywork. Make sure there is room for your fingers on the controls at full lock. When both sides are even, snug the bolts in place. Since the bolts are Titanium, the kit came with lube to keep the bolts from seizing in the holes.

The OEM bar weights will not work since the mounts are integral with the original bars. Aftermarket versions are available in different shapes, but they don't actually stop much vibration. They mostly are for cosmetic value. Make sure they don't interfere with the throttle tube. I also installed a lexan "donut" between the new throttle-side grip and the throttle housing. That keeps the rubber from dragging and making the throttle harder to turn.

The biggest drawback I have found is there is no room for a "cruise control" throttle lock. The fairing is just too close when turned to the left. They are still much more comfortable than the original set and is easy to replace in case of a tipover.

Main | Mods | Photos | Maintenance | Tires | E-mail

© 1999 - 2013 Hoffman