Mini ape hanger handlebars

I've always liked the looks of the old school choppers like Indian Larry used to build. One of my favorite features are the ape hanger handlebars. I decided to get a set for my bike, but I didn't want them too far in the air so I ordered a set of mini ape hangers.

I found a set at Scootworks that are made for metric bikes (P/N 650-08093). These will be a couple inches taller than my factory handlebars and the grip part will be more out than back. Because there isn't a huge difference in the grip height all the factory cables should be long enough.

A couple pictures of the stock handlebars

Here are the handlebars after I received them. They are made by Flanders.

I also bought a set of Kuryakyn grips (P/N 6190) and a Throttle Boss (P/N 6250). The grips are for a Valkarie and are about 1/2-3/4" longer than the factory Shadow grips.

The first step is to remove the levers and control housings. The levers have Allen head screws. The control housings use Phillips head screws. One of these screws was so tight I ended up having to drill the head off of it. I'll replace the Phillips head screws with Allen heads for future ease and symmetry.

To remove the grips stick a long, skinny flat-bladed screwdriver under the grips and spray WD-40 (or similar) under the grips. Give it a few minutes to dissolve the glue and the grips should twist/wiggle off without much of a fight.

The choke cable isn't long enough to allow the choke lever to slide off. Just wait until you unbolt the handlebars then slide it off.

I used a small pick tool to remove the chrome caps from the handlebar bolts.

Unbolt and remove the stock handlebars.

I put a towel over the tank 'just in case'.

Here is a comparison of the stock handlebars and the new mini ape hanger bars. The new bars are a few inches higher and the grip position is a little more forward. No radical changes.

One of the nice features of the Flanders bars is the knurling is placed at the edges of the risers. This makes centering the new bars a snap. (Sorry for the blurry picture)

Reinstall everything back onto the new bars. I didn't have to replace any cables. I had to unhook the front brake line and route the hose straight to the brake lever, but this was a simple procedure.

The switch housings have locator pins on them and the factory handlebars have holes for the pins. You can drill holes in the new handlebars for the pins or you can grind the pins off of the housings. I ground the pins off.

An overall view of the bike with the new handlebars.

The Kuryakyn ISO grips and the Throttle Boss.

Before (left) and after (right).

It only took a couple hours for the handlebar replacement.

I LOVE the feel of the new bars and grips.

Update 9/2005 - Every time I grab ahold of these handlebars I love them. I love the feel and the extra control I have. For me the bike is easier to control at low speeds.

Update 1/2006 - My old handlebars have found a new home in Virginia.

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