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  1. #21

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    On a side note, I finally put the 6 over tubes on the last xs650 I built. 6 overs, stock rake, rabbit ear bars, while trying to run the hand shifter.....it’s a fucking death trap. I took it out just now and it rides real nice once you’re in 2nd gear with your feet up but starting from a stop is sketchy as fuck. Either the rabbit ears gotta go or the hand shifter.
    Attachment 103173
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 625C599E-41B1-4D8B-99D3-08D90E344099.jpg  
    Last edited by 79Josh81; 05-08-2020 at 5:21 PM.

  2. #22
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    The correct answer is hand shifter.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchet54 View Post
    The correct answer is hand shifter.
    Yes, that is what’s going to happen. Before I put the 6 over tubes on I had 15” ape hanger bars on and I got used to riding it with the hand shifter. But with the extra fork tube length, it’s pretty wobbly now at slow speeds which makes it almost impossible to run the handle bars with one hand like before.

  4. #24
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    Hand shifters exist to look cool but unless one is physically crippled such that they require one, they're stupid because their function requires removing one hand from the bars. That's not ergonomically intelligent so it went away except for pwecious Art that looks kool when parked.

    Jockey shifters were a functional improvement over standard hand shifters but that's like herpes being an improvement over AIDS. The lack of strong Bowden cables to operate clutches is the main reason foot clutches and hand shifters existed. Never forget the reality of ancient design considerations! The old designers were good engineers but severely limited by poor alloys and primitive production technologies.

    Choppers exist to show artistic disdain for function (bobbers OTOH were purely functional at their origin) but not everything chopulent is wise. We can pick and choose what goes into our two-wheeled fashion statements.

    Handlebars which are not ergonomically efficient may look kool but the realities of physics and the human body don't change. Apes done right offer natural countersteering (I taught Air Force MSF classes with them without the slightest impediment and would have instantly swapped bars if they didn't perform) and have a good grip angle. I don't care, at all, what style bars I run but they have to have natural, efficient, comfortable ergonomics.

    OTOH rabbit ear bars and even worse, pullbacks are ergonomically inferior to bends with better grip angles (no matter what the height, within reason). The reason they work less well is geometry. Handlebars giving best leverage have one thing in common, they facilitate efficient PUSHING. While it's impossible to steer a motorcycle without countersteering, consciously doing it is different from turning without knowledge. Apes, XLX (HD) or classic BMW bars, and motocross bars look different but all facilitate pushing at which human arms are more powerful than pulling and better suited to QUICK application of force.

    Pushing works like a punch. Training riders to "push left, go left, push right, go right" combines simple instructions with natural movements to produce as quick a movement as the rider chooses.

    Rabbit ear and pullback geometry doesn't facilitate pushing and their poor leverage is specifically why rabbit ears don't dampen fork movement as well as apes. That's a defect. They resemble boat tillers in geometry and boat tillers were designed for slow operation with long lever arms for leisurely steering quite the opposite of motorcycle use. Rabbit ears and pullbacks place the handgrips out of line with the operators shoulders unlike effective bars.

    Proof a handlebar choice is good is ability to easily perform aggressive countersteering maneuvers (which everyone should practice because ordinary street riding doesn't prepare for emergency maneuvers, racers train for good reason) like rapid lane changes. Lateral displacement can save your life in many situations where the best braking in the world would not so make sure you can displace instinctively and your bike will cooperate.

    The best functional answer is toss both disfunctional mods. It's perfectly OK to learn from our mistakes! Garage walls are full of handlebars which didn't work out, like all the stock buckhorns (indifferent geometry but every bar is a compromise) I take off Harleys.

    As for a hand shifter, would you motocross or road race or scramble with one and expect to beat foot shift machines? If not, what is the functional reason to run one on the street? Which is faster?

    Do whatever steams your Speedos but carefully consider exactly why you want what you want.

  5. #25

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    Yeah I hear you. I built that bike purposely in a way that if I ever wanted to delete the hand shifter completely I could. The mount I fabricated for it is bolted to the tappet cover on the bottom and bolted to the horn mount up top. I stayed away from welding any of it completely to the frame. The rabbit ear bars, while definitely more cumbersome than the apes, still seemed to allow me to swerve and dodge things just the same as the apes. The only difference was the apes, like you said, were more of a push on the bars motion where the rabbit ears are more of a lean your whole body to get the bike to weave. I'll tell you what though, the rabbit ears are way more comfortable when riding with the bike 6" higher in the front. It's like sitting in a recliner. The only problem is my seat angle wasn't built to be leaning back like that so it feels like you're sliding off of the back. All in all, I can make it a nice comfortable ride. I'm just going to have switch some things up and get rid of the hand shifter for sure.

  6. #26
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    The bike itself looks good and teething pains are to be expected. One thing to think about (or try if you or a bro has the parts lying around) may be a different bar but with risers that have some setback instead of being straight.

    That's why I keep bars and risers I never intend to use on my own bikes. What fits one of my bros may not fit me.

    You can also play with the seat height. Sprung seats in the old days sat higher than is customary for looks today and you could even try a positive (cushioned, like the Kong toy seat spring trick but as a bumper) stop to keep it from trying to dump your butt towards the fender.
    Last edited by farmall; 05-09-2020 at 8:49 AM.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    The bike itself looks good and teething pains are to be expected. One thing to think about (or try if you or a bro has the parts lying around) may be a different bar but with risers that have some setback instead of being straight.

    That's why I keep bars and risers I never intend to use on my own bikes. What fits one of my bros may not fit me.

    You can also play with the seat height. Sprung seats in the old days sat higher than is customary for looks today and you could even try a positive (cushioned, like the Kong toy seat spring trick but as a bumper) stop to keep it from trying to dump your butt towards the fender.
    Just curious, why do you say have more set back bars? I’m just trying to understand what that would help with?

  8. #28

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    I built the bike to look like this....
    Attachment 103190
    Attachment 103191

    ....which is why it looks so much better. To make this bike look right with the rabbit ears and 6 over forks I feel like I gotta delete the hand shifter, put more of a chopper style cushion seat on it with somewhat of a back rest, add some fender struts from the axle plates, and put a tall sissy bar on it.

  9. #29

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    Oh...and fab up a longer kickstand because I’m not going to carry around a fucking block of wood wherever I go.

  10. #30
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    You like the rabbit ears because they let you bring your shoulders/upper body further back but the grip position (vs where the bars put your shoulders) is poor for leverage. If you change bars (I should have made it clear I didn't mean to reuse the rabbit ears) setback can sometimes bring them close enough (and you can also tilt bars) to make them more comfortable. It won't fix the poor rabbit ear hand orientation. That's solved by different bars.

    One trick you can use is sit on the bike and put your hands in the most natural position in space, ignoring your existing bars, then try to match that hand grip location (picture it in x, y and z axis in space). Hold your fists as if gripping controls.

    Another way to see it what I'm getting at is picture your rabbit ears with the grips rotated outward, as if someone cut the vertical part of the bar in the middle then rotated the grips outward until pushing is more natural.

    If you drew a vertical line through the grips to the ground about where the middle of your palm sits, that's the area where you presumably want your hands since your back is comfortable there. Next challenge is grip orientation.

    The reason rabbit ears handle worse than apes is your hand grip axis is closer to parallel to the motorcycle. That adds the element of "swinging the bars sideways" instead of pushing efficiently. The closer your grips get to standard ape hanger hand orientation (not height or anything else) the easier it will be to push.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    You like the rabbit ears because they let you bring your shoulders/upper body further back but the grip position (vs where the bars put your shoulders) is poor for leverage. If you change bars (I should have made it clear I didn't mean to reuse the rabbit ears) setback can sometimes bring them close enough (and you can also tilt bars) to make them more comfortable. It won't fix the poor rabbit ear hand orientation. That's solved by different bars.

    One trick you can use is sit on the bike and put your hands in the most natural position in space, ignoring your existing bars, then try to match that hand grip location (picture it in x, y and z axis in space). Hold your fists as if gripping controls.

    Another way to see it what I'm getting at is picture your rabbit ears with the grips rotated outward, as if someone cut the vertical part of the bar in the middle then rotated the grips outward until pushing is more natural.

    If you drew a vertical line through the grips to the ground about where the middle of your palm sits, that's the area where you presumably want your hands since your back is comfortable there. Next challenge is grip orientation.

    The reason rabbit ears handle worse than apes is your hand grip axis is closer to parallel to the motorcycle. That adds the element of "swinging the bars sideways" instead of pushing efficiently. The closer your grips get to standard ape hanger hand orientation (not height or anything else) the easier it will be to push.
    Ahh gotcha. I get that now. I thought you were saying set back risers would make the rabbit ear bars better. Those aren’t even true rabbit ears either. They’re stock xs650 pull back style bars that I re-bent into a rabbit ear profile.

  12. #32

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    Well the conversion on this one is started anyway...
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