Aftermarket Handlebars FAQ

compiled & edited by Kristian #562
pdates edited by PDuffy#1244
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.

General Questions

Q. What's the Width of the OEM Bars
2001 Dakar. 36" end to end. 31" with bars locked, this includes brush guards. Barry
A2. I can confirm Barry's measurement of 36" across the bars. Paul W (UK) Dakar

Q. Has anyone got the actual handlebar measurements for the OEM bars on a GS model? I did an eye ball measure and it looks like 4" rise, 30" width and about 3" sweep. It is hard to do with all the stuff on the bars so I'm hoping someone might have measured them in their naked state (the bars not the person). I'm considering new bars and think I can buy a bend that is higher than stock and avoid the need for risers. Renthal makes several 7/8" bars with more than 4" of rise. It would be nice to know what OEM was so I can just add 1" to that.
I don't know the OEM bar measurements. But a fellow from another list gave some good advice once. Bring tools and a thick towel and your bike to the shop where you want to try some bars (handle bars, not the booze kind). Take off your handle bars and place them on your gas tank, using the towel as padding to not scratch anything. You can then try out all kinds of different handlebars until you find some you like.

Q. What's the Diameter of the OEM Bars
After measuring it as best I can (I don't have a caliper I used waterpump pliers (channel locks) and the 'scape on my Gerber tool (I couldn't find a ruler)) it seems that the GS has 7/8" bars.
A2. If I remember correctly, they are 22m, and so the stock triple clamps will take Renthal steel bars (which are this regular size). The other option is to go for the oversized ProTaper/Magura bars (like I did). These are basically fatter around the triple clamp area to give more strength, but the normal 22mm at the ends, so you can fit controls on. But for a quick and easy change, the Renthal's are the ones.

Q. What Bar Adapters can I use.
A1. ProTaper adapter kit.
A2. I actually got a pair of O'Neil mounts that worked out well. I am sure they are very similar to the pro taper set.

Q. What about Narrower Bars.?
F650 ST handlebars ? They are narrower by about 2 inches. Jean
A2. ST bars. Be careful with others if you want heated grips, most other brands are incompatible with them. David #476
A3. Try Renntech. They have a pretty wide range of bars for streetfighter type bikes that might do the trick. Can't find a website (I've been looking to wider bars on the R1100R) so I think you might have to buy streetfighter magazine or whatever you have along those lines in the US. Andy Leeds UK #982

Q. I've got long arms, can I move the Bars Forward.? Ok, so I have been issued with a set of arms longer than the normal person, and obviously longer than those of the F650 designer! When riding my arms are bent the whole time, and I find this extremely uncomfortable. The only solutions seems to loosen the handle bars, and twist them forward to get move distance between the bars and me. Has anyone out there done this?
A1. Some people do that (and if you do, you might want to rotate the mirrors/levers back) but from what I've seen most people get an aftermarket seat which moves them back a bit further on the bike. For aftermarket seat opinions have a look at the FAQ under the Dualseat Section. Kristian #562
A2. Don't go too far, I ended up being unable to use the steering lock when the bars bumped the screen. to the extent that one of the bolts popped off its captive nut, which then dropped out onto the road. Adamx, UK. GSA #1001
A3. I did exactly what you are considering. It doesn't make much difference to be honest, due to the shape of the bar, .the way they sweep back towards the ends. I considered taking about an inch off each end to reduce that 'hanging onto a sail feel', but in the end I just persevered and just got used to them. Maybe you could try some straighter bars which should help get your hands further forward. Dirk.

Q. Which ones should I get.?
A. There are a whole lot of after-market bars available. Your problem is picking the right height, bend, pull-back, width and angle to fit both the bike and your riding style and comfort. A little research and measurement will be well worth the effort. Start at a bike shop that caters to your kind of bike riding. Richard #230

Q. Can I put Bar End Weights on All Aftermarket Bars.?
A1. On my OEM bars the end weights are secured to the bars using a bolt that threads into a sold plug that is welded in (on). I've seen bar end weights made to insert and clamp into 7/8" bars. Your other choice is a Bar Snake or one of the liquid solutions. The bar ends do make a difference in the vibes you feel in the OEM bars. Others report aftermarket bars feel fine without end weights so it may be that the aluminium bars are damping the vibes some. bg 1002

Bar Risers

BR-Generic Adapters

I am posting this for Ricardo Kuhn. He has been making custom sets of adapters so that riders of Beemers can have the option of running a high quality handlebar like the Pro Taper. He is highly regarded on the Advrider site with the 11xxGS crowd and posted this in query to the F650's. I thought I'd bring it over here. beemerbrandt.
From Ricardo:

I have a few request to make adaptor so you can Mount Pro-taper bars on the little BMW the F650,but I need to know how many people will be interested so I can figure out if is feasible to make a series of them to keep the cost down, I need to make at least 30 sets can you tell me if you are interested, you will not be bound to buy anything. I just like to know the quality and design will be the BEST possible and will be ready for heated grips, hand guards, throttle locks anything you need and want. the BARS them selves are already the BEST possible, and strongest bars in the market the total COST will be kind of High around $280 but will be homogenous and very well put together to give you and IDEA the cost of the bars is $105 retail, and the universal clamps (needed, because the different diameter) around $80 but they SUCK plus you need one of those Cheesy Touratech "lift" kits, to lift the bars Up another $75 dollars plus bolts another $10,,,end up being the same Price,,, plus you get ERGONOMIC ADVICE as part of their deal, to make the bike fit you PERFECT!!!! check the G-spot for the comments about the bars ,on the Big SISTER, the GS PIG I do hope this do NOT sound like SPAM thanks for the response in advance. Ricky,



Q. I got my order in yesterday with my Touratech handlebar risers and hopped (one footed) out in the garage to see if they were going to work with the ProTaper "vortex" clamps. The clamps turned out to be drilled just "a hair" off! So I took the handlebars all the way off to see if the clamps lined up with the triple tree and again, a hair off! You guys that have made the Magura/Pro taper mod. Is this typical of the clamps? Do I just need to "modify" i.e.. :"file out" the clamps or did I get the wrong clamps all together? I have the Pro Taper "vortex" clamps from Scotty FT. W, Tx. #1078




Q. Anyone know where I can find Barbacks for my 2002 F650GSA? I have found plenty of bar risers, but I am very short of arm, and don't need the handlebars higher, just back a little bit. Your help is greatly appreciated. I found some Barbacks on the GEN MAR website, but whether they will work on my bike I'm not sure. Waiting to hear back from them. They want $109 for them. GOOD GRIEF. They must be gold-plated or something!! Grits


Magura - Direct Magura Handlebar Link

ProTaper Bars

Installation Details

Renthal - Direct Renthal Handlebar Link

(from scx)


Q. I have plan to change stock handlebar to Renthal. Only problem is that there is numerous versions of Renthal handlebars available in the market... What Renthal handlebars you have installed ? Do you like it ? Feels better than stock one ? I am taking my Dakar to the dirt as often as possible and sometimes I drop it. How well Renthal can handle those drops ? Does it bend easily ? Do you have standard or any weights in the handlebar ? I have Touratech 35mm risers at the moment Marko, Dallas, TX (orig Finland)
I have a standard Renthal bar which have the same bend as the KX 125/250... The number is: 726 01 TT 01 183. I love them! I use them with the Touratech handle bar riser. They give MUCH more leverage on the bars and I love that they are wider. Yes, I have the stock brake line. I've had a few low speed drops in the dirt, No serious bending that I've noticed. dumbass

Q. Will the factory heated grips fit those Renthal handlebars? Steve #1059
Not with out cutting. You have to drill a whole in the center of the bar and on each end. I choose not to for strength reasons. It has been done. Cal BMW has done it on Renthal, Magura, and ProTaper bars for both the F650 and the R*GSs. dumbass
I ended up using Renthal's with a Honda CR80 bend, with stock cables, hoses, and risers. I machined aluminum ends to copy the stock ends from the BMW heated grip bars to keep the heated grips. There's probably an easier way to do it though. The bike has had a few easy drop overs without bending the Renthal's, so no complaints from me. iceman

Q. Can you use standard hand protectors ? Do your hand protectors touch the visor ?
I don't use a hand protector right now... I do plan on moving to the Touratech Rallye guard some time though... dumbass
Hi Marko - I installed some ProTaper bars on my Dakar a while back - I've got a whole load of photos on my
website. The handguards do touch the screen at full lock, but I only notice that if I'm pushing my bike around. Adam 906NC
Check my
site out. I am using Renthal bars. I took out the bars weight and install Acerbis guards. The bar had major spill at 120km/h and 70km/h. Not even a bent. Was lucky coz the handguards took the impact. The hoses I ordered from Touratech Germany. The handle is great and is cheap. I been using Rental for all my offroad bike. So far I hardly replace a damage Rental Bar except one time I crash big time when I took a table top (Jump) and there was another bike dropped in my way of landing. I broke his Rims and bent my bar. the hand guards DO touch the screen but nothing to worry about (very minimum). My 2 spill on the road didn't even damage my screen except for the handguard that got grind by the road, Anyhow you don't always lock your handlebar in either direction when traveling maybe only when you push the bike around. Maybe give you an idea what I did. I removed the bar balancers, replaced the handguards, add a 35mm bar raiser from Touratech, saw away about 10mm on both levers and tilt the bar more towards the back. Advise: If you plan to order the Handguards from Touratech, do not order the F650 type but just the standard guards. coz the F650 guards comes with bar raiser, spacer for the bar end so you need not saw away the lever and it the whole package is only for ORIGINAL BMW HANDLEBAR not for aftermarket bars. scx.


Handguards - Opinions

Acerbis Handguards



Handguards, Bars & Heated Grips- Opinions & Installation Tips





Q. I'm attempting to remove the heated grips on my GS so I can put new handle bars on the bike. Is there an easy way to do this without turning my ~$500 grips into garbage?

Q. Does ST With Handguards work.?

Q. Hand Protectors - Tightening: Over the weekend I purchased the BMW hand protectors for my GS. They were a snap to install but I'm a little concerned w/ the right hand grip. My tendency is to tighten it down so that it's snug. This causes the throttle to lock down completely so I've had to loosen it considerably to keep movement / recoil in the throttle. This causes 2 problems. 1. The right side hand protector is not as stable as the left one that is tightly fastened to the bike. 2. I'm paranoid that having the bolt anything but snug will cause it to eventually rattle loose and cause the bolt, weight, and connector to fall off the bike while riding. I remember reading a while back about some tips for securing this properly while allowing full throttle motion. Any advice will help. Besides this problem my hands are considerably warmer on that windy stretch along 101 by 3Com. Adding the handlebar weights makes a huge difference in reducing vibration on the handlebars.