Changing the Handlebar Height with Risers

<img width="220" height="202" class="floatleft" src="" alt="" />One of the beautiful aspects of a stock or custom motorcycle is the ability to fit the handlebars of your choice for looks and comfort. With that said and the daily increase in handlebar styles coming on the market, you would think there is a set of bars that are perfect for your application, and for 99 percent of riders, there is the perfect set of handlebars. But there are exceptions and a couple of you reading this fit into that short list of exceptions. Let's face the facts: Until you ride your motorcycle with a set of bars, you won't be able to know for sure they are the ones for you.

We found a set of bard that had all the right contours and bends, but the one aspect that needed a slight tweak was the height. This modification is easy to accomplish by using a set of longer mounting bolts and spacers, placing under the handlebar risers. For normal Harley-Davidson risers, a piece of 2.54cm diameter aluminum bar stock accompanied by a set of 12.7mm diameter coarse-thread grade-8 bolts, 2.54cm longer then the spacers is the easy cure for height adjustment. 12.7mm coarse-thread riser bolts have been the norm, but be safe; take an old riser bolt to the store when you shop for new ones to insure you have the correct thread.

Last month we raised the handlebars on our '06 Harley-Davidson Softtail 2.5cm by using spacers made from aluminum bar stock. We cut the bar stock to a rough length and then finished them to final length and drilled a 13mm hole through the length.
For one of our friends '95 Harley-Davidson Dyna Convertible we made a set of 3cm spacers under the risers last week when we installed the bars. We were in the process of making some new changes to the Harley and wanted to raise the handlebars and additional 3cm so we crafted a new set of spacers 6cm in length.

The Harley Dyna is equipped with the threaded style of risers. We loosened both riser bolts first, and then unscrewed them from the risers and laid the handlebar assembly carefully back on the fuel tank, which we first covered with a fitted workshop cover to prevent scratches.

The mounting bolts slid out of the handlebar rubber bushings from blow. We made sure to check the rubber bushings for cracking or dry rot. New rubber bushings were easily installed while the handlebars were off.

To assemble the new spacers, we first transferred the lock washer and bushing washer to the new riser bolt, applied a drop Loctite to the threads, and inserted the bol up through the bushings. We then slipped the new spacers over the bolts, making sure the top washers were in place on the handlebar bushings. We then carefully placed the handlebar assembly over the spacers and started each riser bolt a few threads into their respective risers.

We tightened the riser bolts, alternating from one to the other until tight. The factory service manual calls for a torque of 30 to 40 fb-lb (a bit more then 40 N-m). We also checked that the throttle and clutch cable were free and were not binding when the frontend was turned fully from side to side. Lastly, we re-adjusted the hand controls to the riders personal comfort.
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