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Change from handlebars to clipons?

  1. #1
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    Change from handlebars to clipons?

    I bought my SV650 with the LSL superbike bar kit installed and have ridden it for 3 seasons now. Each year I've made modifications to the bike and it's become less utilitarian, although I plan to continue using the bike for commuting, daily rides, and some track days (until I get a 2nd bike).

    I have the stock clip ons from the prior owners and have been thinking about putting them on to try out. Before I bought this bike, I test rode another SV with the clip ons and I thought they felt pretty good, but it was only a quick ride. I don't want to buy any aftermarket clip ons, but feel free to suggest any over stock..

    What would you do?

    I do a mix of back roads and highway. The wider, upright bars are great for slow speed maneuvering, but the position is tough on the shoulders when trying to tuck on the highway. I also felt that they made hanging off the bike more difficult in my track day last year, but that could be more related to my lack of body position practice. I think the drag difference is pretty substantial too.

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  2. #2
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Since you already have the clip ons, it's free to try. So why wouldn't you? It's not like it's a permanent modification

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  3. #3

    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    I would do it...clip ons rule for sportstyled bikes

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    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    What kind of "tuck" are you trying to do on a highway with handlebars?

    I swapped clip on to my street triple last year and rode with them for a few months. I wasn't a big fan of the position so I swapped back. The whole thing took me a few hours. If you have the parts you may as well try it.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    The sv clipons have a built in rise to them. Race ones typically don't unless you order the riser ones.

    The drag difference is only really notice le with body position. But, having raced a motard, I don't like the feel of clipons at all. I don't have a problem getting into the right position with regular bars. I think it's easier, in fact, and gives more leverage to whip the bike back and forth. I didn't tuck on the freeway either. I either say upright like a bmw rider, or my bar reach was almost perfect enough to lean on the wind. It sorta held me up nice.
    So...go with what you like. 'Speriment till you find something comfy.

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  6. #6
    Bizarro Zoolander Petorius's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    What top triple do you have? And what gen SV? 2nd gen stock clipons have locating tabs that fit into the S model top triple. You may want to confirm that they will work with your triple or some cutting/grinding may be required. It can't hurt to try it out for a while. I liked the stock bar just fine for the track, but bent it in a crash and went to Woodcraft clipons with no rise (which I got with the bike). Big change, probably way more than what you are contemplating though. The harder transition for me was high rearsets. That took me a good many TDs to adjust to, but was needed due to lots of peg dragging with the stockers.

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    Since you already have the clip ons, it's free to try. So why wouldn't you? It's not like it's a permanent modification
    Time is the main reason I'm not sure I want to try it. It would probably only take 2-3 hours time so I'll probably just do it.

    Also, I think I'd actually have to buy an "S" clutch cable since I put a naked cable on after the stock one broke (the original install used the stock cable, which was stressed quite a bit with the handlebar position).

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    What kind of "tuck" are you trying to do on a highway with handlebars?

    I swapped clip on to my street triple last year and rode with them for a few months. I wasn't a big fan of the position so I swapped back. The whole thing took me a few hours. If you have the parts you may as well try it.
    When I "tuck" I'm just trying to get out of the wind to save energy. I have the stock windscreen and, with the bars, the wind hits my head and upper body. This isn't bad for a short stretch of highway, but after an hour it gets kind of annoying. I've thought about putting a double bubble screen on, but I'm not really sure.

    When trying to tuck and get my head out of the wind, the bars are high and my shoulders get tired from that position. Again, it's not really that bad, but figured it might be worth a shot using the stock clip ons. Of course, the clip ons might just move the pain to my back, wrists, etc..

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    The sv clipons have a built in rise to them. Race ones typically don't unless you order the riser ones.

    The drag difference is only really notice le with body position. But, having raced a motard, I don't like the feel of clipons at all. I don't have a problem getting into the right position with regular bars. I think it's easier, in fact, and gives more leverage to whip the bike back and forth. I didn't tuck on the freeway either. I either say upright like a bmw rider, or my bar reach was almost perfect enough to lean on the wind. It sorta held me up nice.
    So...go with what you like. 'Speriment till you find something comfy.
    Yea, I thought the stock rise was higher than most supersports. The bike I test rode was pretty comfortable for the <30 minute ride I did.

    I'm leaning toward trying them. My hesitation is I've heard the install of the LSL kit is kind of a pain, so it would suck to redo it if I hated the clip ons. I'm also really used to the handlebars after 3 seasons so I'm sure it will be so different!

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petorius View Post
    What top triple do you have? And what gen SV? 2nd gen stock clipons have locating tabs that fit into the S model top triple. You may want to confirm that they will work with your triple or some cutting/grinding may be required. It can't hurt to try it out for a while. I liked the stock bar just fine for the track, but bent it in a crash and went to Woodcraft clipons with no rise (which I got with the bike). Big change, probably way more than what you are contemplating though. The harder transition for me was high rearsets. That took me a good many TDs to adjust to, but was needed due to lots of peg dragging with the stockers.
    The LSL kit uses a separate top clamp with the risers for the handlebar. It's a 2nd gen. I have the stock top triple clamp and clip ons in a box. They came off the bike. The only things I'm unsure of since I didn't do the original LSL install:

    Do throttle cables need to be rerouted (think I read somewhere that they needed to be rerouted with LSL kit due to the extra height of the bars versus stock)?
    Will the longer Spiegler stainless lines work?

    It took me shorter than I thought to get used to the Woodcraft rearsets, but I don't ride track really. My legs are pretty long and feel cramped, making it more difficult to move around on the bike compared to the stock pegs. I'm considering some riser plates (mounted upside down) to get a more comfortable position. I'm not worried about ground clearance right now since I've only done one track day. The main reasons I got the Woodcrafts were the solid mount, grippy pegs, and they were supposed to move the peg back an inch. The peg only seemed to move up an inch or so compared to stock, but I'm not sure.

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  11. #11
    Posting Freak Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by stanga5o View Post
    Also, I think I'd actually have to buy an "S" clutch cable since I put a naked cable on after the stock one broke (the original install used the stock cable, which was stressed quite a bit with the handlebar position).
    I put on Woodcraft clipons on my 650N and did not have any issues with the clutch or throttle cables. Just had to tweak the perch a little. I bought the S clutch cable but have not put it on yet. Don't know if I will either and I did 2 TD's with no issues.

    Just My experience.

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by stanga5o View Post
    When I "tuck" I'm just trying to get out of the wind to save energy. I have the stock windscreen and, with the bars, the wind hits my head and upper body. This isn't bad for a short stretch of highway, but after an hour it gets kind of annoying. I've thought about putting a double bubble screen on, but I'm not really sure.

    When trying to tuck and get my head out of the wind, the bars are high and my shoulders get tired from that position. Again, it's not really that bad, but figured it might be worth a shot using the stock clip ons. Of course, the clip ons might just move the pain to my back, wrists, etc..
    For me, the clip on's moved the discomfort to my wrists. I'm on my fourth year with a naked bike and I can do all day highway rides as long as I stop and rest. That said, I totally understand it's all personal preference.

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    I'm leaning towards keeping the handlebars on. I'm in the middle of rebuilding the front calipers and installing a Brembo master cylinder so it just made sense to me to consider the switch now. Also have to check my valve clearances, do new sprockets, rear tire, etc. so I'll probably skip the clip ons for this season, but I could change my mind ha!

    I think I'm mainly interested in trying something new and the bike has almost transformed into a track day bike with everything I've done to it. Maybe if I finally get the Daytona I've wanted, that'll give me the different ride I'm looking for..

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  14. #14
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    You're welcome to take my SV with SM2 bars for a spin in the spring. I found the bars to be a great compromise between the aggressive clip on riding position and the more relaxed stock bars. Riser clip ons would give about the same position with the added benefits of being able to lower them and replace one side at a time in the event of a crash. Downside is they're about 2x the price of SM2 bars.

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    Posting Freak Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    I realize I have VERY LIMITED seat time on the track with the SV but I prefer the clipons for the track and stock bars for street riding. I can only imagine but tracking the SV with the stock bars would give me a feeling of what a motard might feel like. I did think about the Convertibars but because I was going to convert the SV to a track only bike I did not go that route.

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    I might take you up on that offer, chicken. I actually hadn't considered another bar setup because I already have the stock clip ons so it would pretty much be a free swap for me. I actually just bought the stock S clutch cable if I decide to swap back. How much do the SM2 cost?

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tas View Post
    I realize I have VERY LIMITED seat time on the track with the SV but I prefer the clipons for the track and stock bars for street riding. I can only imagine but tracking the SV with the stock bars would give me a feeling of what a motard might feel like. I did think about the Convertibars but because I was going to convert the SV to a track only bike I did not go that route.
    My bike is an S, but the original owner (I'm the 3rd) had installed the bars. I was happy when I bought it since it seemed really comfortable and it's been great around town and commuting. However, over the last few seasons of upgrading and improving my skills, I've wondered if the clip ons would be fun to try. I did my first track day last year and my body position was pretty poor. I have the pictures and I barely have my body shifted and my upper body is up high. I know it's mainly due to my inexperience, but I know clip ons put you in a better position for hanging off the bike.

    And although the light, easy steering with the handlebars is great for traffic and slow speed control, there's something I miss about that feeling when hitting corners with the clip ons.. from riding my friends' supersports years ago

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  18. #18
    Posting Freak Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    It is very comfortable with bars but again I was going to ride strickly track so I went clipons. It does make it easier to improve Body position by allowing you to get lower along with me shaving the oem seat down an inch or two. I could still have fun on the back roads here in NH and VT with the stock bars. Just have to ride it like a Motard.

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Quote Originally Posted by stanga5o View Post
    I might take you up on that offer, chicken. I actually hadn't considered another bar setup because I already have the stock clip ons so it would pretty much be a free swap for me. I actually just bought the stock S clutch cable if I decide to swap back. How much do the SM2 cost?
    You can occasionally find them used on SVRider between $100-120. Obviously I understand if you want to just use the clips you already own.

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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Thanks for the link. I'm going to hold off for now since I just bought a bunch of parts. I'm curious what the rise/pull back of the SM2 is compared to the clip-ons, though.

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  22. #22
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Change from handlebars to clipons?

    Suzuki SV650 Handlebar

    They are flat, no rise. The SM1 was intended to give the same placement as factory clip ons with angled (as opposed to flat) ends.

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