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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy y'all! I'm new to this forum, new-ish to riding, and bought a 2006 en500 LTD a few weeks ago. I'm absolutely loving the bike, but I'm having a problem with the handlebars. I'm 6'0" and the stock handlebars are just too low to ride comfortably, as the last 5-10 minutes of my commute start to get uncomfortable to painful, especially in the lower back. I'd like to put a set of mini apes or similar, close to 8" or so. Has anyone who's swapped these have a good idea of what risers to get? I believe the bars are 7/8", and most risers are 1". So if I put a 1" thick bar, would the throttle house and all that not fit? The stock handlebars have welded risers btw. Thanks for any help!
 

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Hello!
Well, there are Scootworks risers for Vulcan 500. Close to $80, too pricey in my opinion and not that much rise.
Kit provides approximately 1-3/4" rise and an additional 1-1/2" of pullback for your factory bars.

I am not as tall as you but also find handlebars a bit lower than they should be. I decided to make custom risers (same dimensions as Scootworks risers) with the help of a friend on his lathe.
Cable length is not an issue for these Scootworks 2'' risers, but the clutch cable is what you should be worried about if you go with higher risers/handlebars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies! I'll look around at some of the bars and risers and post pics here when I get to actually changing them. Do any of you know by chance how much rise/pullback I could get away with with just stock cables? Marko mentioned above that the clutch might be an issue
 

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I actually just did a swap pretty close to what you are describing on my '08.

I'm 6'3, about 250lbs, so I understand exactly what you meant by the low setting of the stock bars.

My new bars are OEM from either a 900 or 1500 Vulcan. Those, combined with 4" up 1" back risers have made a world of difference.

Your stock bars are 1", not 7/8", so many of the aftermarket bars for HD and a lot of other metric cruisers cross with no problem. If you're on a budget, check with your local motorcycle shops for their take offs. The shop I was working at averaged $20 for most used bars.

As my new bars are considerably taller, wider, and more swept back, I did have to make some mods, but everything is smoothly running my factory cables and hoses.

My right hand controls were the hardest. I ended up having to reroute the throttle cables out through a custom made notch in the side of the dash console instead of the factory routing where they came out under the front of the tank. To protect the cables form the raw metal, I simply used some 1/4" fuel line, put a slice down it, and tucked it along the cut I made in the dash. I also added a 1' extension to the wiring on the right side. For that I found the appropriate ends in my stash and simply made an extension wire to plug in to the wiring harness. You could just as easily splice in wire to the section coming off your switch on that side. The brake line I basically unhooked from all the factory spots where they tuck and route it (never unhooked the brake line itself though) and worked out the slack and resecured with zip ties where needed.

The left side was a lot easier... Pull some slack here, untuck a cable there, and it worked out fine. Never had to unhook wiring or the clutch cable to make it work.

Couple other tips...

Test fit everything repeatedly as it goes together. It sucks getting the last bits put together, only to discover some little thing that means you have to take it all apart again.

If you opt to extend your wiring (instead of making an extension like I did), stagger your cuts so your connections aren't all in one big lump. Give 1" or so up the wire to make the next cut. The finished product turns out much more professional looking that way.

Shoe Goo works great for gluing on your grips. Just make sure to give it a day to fully dry.

Pics attached of my bike after the swap. Also the same day I modded a Boulevard sissy bar to be a driver's backrest, but that's another post...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I actually just did a swap pretty close to what you are describing on my '08.

I'm 6'3, about 250lbs, so I understand exactly what you meant by the low setting of the stock bars.

My new bars are OEM from either a 900 or 1500 Vulcan. Those, combined with 4" up 1" back risers have made a world of difference.

Your stock bars are 1", not 7/8", so many of the aftermarket bars for HD and a lot of other metric cruisers cross with no problem. If you're on a budget, check with your local motorcycle shops for their take offs. The shop I was working at averaged $20 for most used bars.

As my new bars are considerably taller, wider, and more swept back, I did have to make some mods, but everything is smoothly running my factory cables and hoses.

My right hand controls were the hardest. I ended up having to reroute the throttle cables out through a custom made notch in the side of the dash console instead of the factory routing where they came out under the front of the tank. To protect the cables form the raw metal, I simply used some 1/4" fuel line, put a slice down it, and tucked it along the cut I made in the dash. I also added a 1' extension to the wiring on the right side. For that I found the appropriate ends in my stash and simply made an extension wire to plug in to the wiring harness. You could just as easily splice in wire to the section coming off your switch on that side. The brake line I basically unhooked from all the factory spots where they tuck and route it (never unhooked the brake line itself though) and worked out the slack and resecured with zip ties where needed.

The left side was a lot easier... Pull some slack here, untuck a cable there, and it worked out fine. Never had to unhook wiring or the clutch cable to make it work.

Couple other tips...

Test fit everything repeatedly as it goes together. It sucks getting the last bits put together, only to discover some little thing that means you have to take it all apart again.

If you opt to extend your wiring (instead of making an extension like I did), stagger your cuts so your connections aren't all in one big lump. Give 1" or so up the wire to make the next cut. The finished product turns out much more professional looking that way.

Shoe Goo works great for gluing on your grips. Just make sure to give it a day to fully dry.

Pics attached of my bike after the swap. Also the same day I modded a Boulevard sissy bar to be a driver's backrest, but that's another post...
Thanks for such a detailed response! Everything looks very clean, especially routing it out of the dash. Are those the Scootworks risers?
 

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I honestly don't know what brand they are. There are no brand markings on them that I saw. The bars were given to me with 5" up, 2" back risers, and that was just too much for my cables. A buddy had these 4 up, 1 back risers and swapped me.

If I were to guess, I'd say they were cheaper eBay type risers. The chrome isn't very good quality, the screws and setscrews all had rust, etc etc. But they work, and that's what counts for me. If the chrome gets too bad, I'll pull them and paint them. And btw, all the rusty screws have since been swapped to high quality stainless...

One other note I forgot to mention. Routing the cables out of the side of the dash does have one drawback. If I need to pull the tank for any reason, I have to disassemble the controls and unhook the cables. Not such a big deal for me, but for others it might be an issue...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ordered parts today! I'll post pics and keep this thread updated if I have questions and for anyone else thinking of doing similar mods
 

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So I curious -
Most of the new bikes I see look like all the handlebars seem to be much lower than what our 500 factory bars are.
Is this true?
I've not gone to any dealer to check it out just ones on the street and in pictures.
Seems like if they would just make them longer and bend them back some problem solved.
 

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Sorry for no posts, just been very busy with work and school. The parts came, but now I'm facing another issue (ain't that always the case). The risers I got have a bolt that's too big for the triple tree. Since I don't have calipers to measure, does anyone know the bolt diameter of the stock bars? And are there risers that have that bolt size but clamp a 1" bar? The process is going slowly, but I'm learning along the way. Thanks all
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Added a few pics so y'all could see ^^^ The risers are just some generic ones I got off JP Cycles.
Here is a pic of the handlebars I'm putting on as well.
240980
 

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Stock bars should have 10mm studs, which should be 3/8 in Imperial size. You can probably find risers that will work, and most of the Kawi handlebars are 1'' so what is important here is getting risers with right bolt size.
 

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My risers used an M12 bolt... M10 (10mm) sounds about right for OEM bolts. I ended up carefully drilling the holes in my triple tree to make the new risers fit. I stepped up 1/64" at the time until the new bolts barely would fit. I forget the exact size I ended up at, but the bolts were a tight fit in the tree. I also added a case hardened washer on the underside to reinforce any material taken away.

The key is to step (drill) out only a little at the time and keep the drill straight with the hole.

If you don't have the correct size bits, the cheap set at Harbor Freight Tools will do nicely, especially since you're only drilling aluminum...
I think this is the set they usually have a coupon for for around $10
 
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