Great job on the bike. I love the 200's.
Good looking Dub!One of the things that you may or may not realize about the TW200, is that it's small. Way small. This of course makes it super-fun, nimble, and easy to "throw around", but it also makes for a somewhat cramped rider position... unless you're a shorty (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I'm not tall, but I'm also not short- I'd say average at around 5'10" or so. I stood up on the bike while riding over some obstructions the other day, and found myself in a pretty hunched over position- not great if you want to have total control of your bike when standing up. To fit the bike a bit better, I needed to raise the bars a little. Of course there's no real way to do this but install risers, taller bars, or both. I figured I'd start with some taller bars and see where that got me.
I looked at several different aftermarket bar manufacturers, and compared the specs of their bars to the factory Yamaha bars. My goal was to get something that would have a lot of rise, yet keep the same width and sweep as the factory bars. Also, since the bar clamps on a TW200 are built into the top triple clamp, I'd need to stick to the same diameter bar as the 7/8" Yamaha bars. I ended up going with ProTaper SE ATV High bars model 02-5257. These were about as close as it got to the factory sweep, gained me over 2" of rise, and could easily be cut down to the factory width.
Knowing full well that I'd be cutting off the old grips to remove them from the factory bars and throttle tube, I picked up some Single D grips from Scott (not the fanciest, but I've used them with good results for many years), as well as some grip stick glue. Some people prefer not to use glue, but I've found that it works well, and with the grips that I like being only $10, I figure that as many times as I'll remove grips from a handlebar and want to reinstall them, the $10 for a new set of grips (when I have to cut mine off because I used glue) is fine.
Here's all the stuff that I got. Setting the bars side by side, there's certainly a big difference in rise between the ProTaper's and the factory Yamaha ones.
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The first step is to remove all the things that hang off of your handlebars, such as the throttle tube, misc. wire wraps, switches, levers, brake reservoir, mirrors, bark-busters, etc. FWIW, I like to just leave most of that stuff hanging around off the front of the bike. Once all the junk is off the bars, take your bars off. When the bars are stripped, it's a good time to measure where the bar ends are, what kind of sweep they're at in relation to the clamps etc. You can take actual measurements, but I just take mental notes.
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Before cutting the bars, or beginning to reattach them, I like to install them in the bar clamps. Knowing that my mental notes only stay with me about 5 minutes, it's good to get them on and adjusted close to where I think I'll want them before I forget. Once they're clamped up, it's easy to go about cutting them straight. ProTaper is kind enough to provide some potential cutting options painted on their bars, and it just so happened that #4 was where I wanted mine. Even though they're clamped up and sturdy, and even with ProTapers nicely painted lines, I still mark my lines with some painters tape to make sure that I'm cutting them square all the way through the cut.
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With the bars cut to width, it's time to reinstall all of the bolt-on stuff that was removed from the factory bars. It's best to start from the outside and work your way in. The factory throttle on my TW200 has a little nub built into it to keep it in place. I don't think that older TW's had this, and I know that I've had plenty of other bikes that didn't have it, and I can't recall my throttle ever moving. I could either shave the nub off the throttle, or make a place for it to lock into the bars. I opted for the latter. The bars are thick and strong, and I don't think that the small indent will impact the bars too much. I might be wrong though, and I'll certainly post up here if I find that the bars fail at that point. I used some blue tape again to mark the dimple location, and using a cordless drill, made the indentation. FWIW, I used a 1/16" bit as a pilot, then a 1/8", and finally a 3/16" for the final diameter. Also, I did not drill all the way through the wall of the bar, as the nub is only about 1/8"deep.
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Bolting everything back on to the bars, it was all coming together.
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The front brake line needed to be moved in its support brackets a bit to give it some slack. With the added rise of the new bars, it had more tension than a brake line should have. I think that maybe a future mod will be to install a new brake line (2.5" longer) to compensate for the rise of the new bars. On top of just getting the slack in the line back, I've always preferred the positive feel of braided stainless brake lines as opposed to the squishy feel of the rubber ones, and this seems as good a time as any to go that route.
I like the look of the new bars on the TW, and have gained 2 1/4" of bar height (factory the bar end was at 42", now with the ProTapers it's at 44 1/4"), which feels just about right. I could have gone for about another 1/2", but this is fine for now, and certainly makes a big difference in the rideability and comfort of the bike for me. As an added bonus, I think the new bars look pretty cool too.
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