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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For some time now this handlebar swap DIY was buried in my modifications thread and some folk have found it quite useful, so I thought I'd make the information more accessible by copying it from my thread and creating a new dedicated thread. It seems to be quite a common modification so perhaps this will be of some use.

EDIT - It has been pointed out that on post 2016 bikes the clutch side switchgear disconnection is different. Please see post No78 in this thread by @Brianm490 for more details. Thanks very much for this!

2014-2016 bikes the procedure is still accurate as far as I am aware.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Handlebar Transplant - Part 1

Recently spent an evening removing the handlebars and replacing them with Pastrana FMX black bars. This gives some idea of how I did it for those of you that might be interested....

Here we go....

1. Bug antennae mirrors off!



2. Endcaps off! Needed a fairly heavy haul on the wrench but no major issues.



3. Here's the weapon for removing the small torx screws in the switchgear:T8 Torx driver.



4. Unbolt the brake lever assembly clamp and let the brake assembly move out of the way slightly to give you room to easily remove the switchgear. Remove brake side switchgear - 2 screws. The bottom half of the switchgear (not shown - already removed) should come away easily.




5. If you have Heated Grips, unplug the connector underneath the bar - note you can see the silver tip of the control locator bolt to the left of the plug.



Unplugged!



6. Lift away the switchgear and move it gently to the side. You can now see the bolt you need to remove



7. A T10 torx driver is all you need!



8. Now shift attention to the clutch side. Remove the clamp bolts holding the clutch lever assembly to the bar and let it gently hang below the bar. Pull back the handlebar rubber grip and you'll see the screw that needs to be removed.



9. Remove the clutch side switchgear by unclipping the cover plate underneath the bar at the side where the wires enter. Gently unplug the wires. Slide the clutch grip and switchgear off the handlebar.



10. Loosen the handlebar clamp. Be careful to watch out for the bar moving suddenly. If you haven't already covered the tank with something nice, soft and protective, now is the time to do it! Try to support the bar.



Undo the clamp completely and then move the bar a little to the clutch side and this will give you enough room to slide the throttle grip off the end of the bar... Let the throttle grip hang to the side of the bike.

11. Look - no handlebars! lol



12. Another item for the OEM parts box!



13. Install the new bars (in my case Pastrana FMX) and tighten up the handlebar clamp bolts just enough to hold the bars in place.




Stand back and admire the work so far.... You are about half way there!



More to follow tomorrow........................... ;)

PS It's 1AM here so please excuse any typing or spelling mistakes. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ahaa! Did anyone notice the slight mistake in the pics above? :D

A black handlebar made a sneaky appearance before time! I had two pics - one the silver bar with the switch ready to come off, and another with the black bar and the switchgear just slid on! D'oh!

Either way the only difference really is the colour of the bar. Still illustrates the point well-enough.....

All seeing it was approaching 1AM when I was writing the post! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Handlebar Transplant - Part Deux (2)

OK after finishing admiring the work so far (and a swift single malt) it's time to crack on and get the controls back in place.



1. I loosely fitted the controls on the bars to see how things would bolt back together and check the orientation of the bar for riding position. Once I got the handlebar position about right I tightened the handlebar clamps some more to prevent movement during drilling and other work. I then marked the drilling holes on the bars. I used a sharp nail to make the mark on the black bars through the bolt holes in the grips/controls.



2. The brake side is the trickiest to drill as the bolt hole in the control mounting bracket is on the underside of the bar. I started by removing the brake lever assembly, however I left the throttle twist grip on the bike but slid it to the far end of the bar to prevent damage when drilling. A small pilot hole was then drilled from the underside through the bar (taking care to get a nice straight drill hole) and then I used the pilot hole to drill from the top downwards using the drill exit hole on the top of the bar. The way I tackled this was to drill through the top wall of the handlebar first, stop, then look from the underside and place the very tip of the drill on the centre of the pilot hole before drilling through the bottom wall of the handlebar. A bit of a contortion to do this and life would have been soooo much easier if I had a drill on a stand! Here's a pic of the drilling from above with my trusty 30 year old Black and Decker!




One hole drilled, one to go!



3. For the Pastrana FMX bars the clutch side has a lot of serrations designed to hold hand grip firmly in position. Great for Motocross bikes but a pain in the bum for R NineT owners! Makes easily fitting the hand controls a real struggle. Different folk have found different ways of trying to solve this, but after someone on the forum suggested sanding the serrations down a bit I decided that was the solution for me! I got some 80 grit emery-type paper, masked off the bar beyond the serrations to prevent any damage and sanded down the serrations a bit. OK the handlebar now looks a total mess but the sanding work is completely hidden when the grip is slid on. I took things slowly and kept trying to fit the grip after each sanding session. On the third attempt I got a nice and snug sliding fit that only required moderate pressure to install/remove the grip. Other bars such as the Rizoma MA008Bs that I later fitted don't have the serrations so no sanding (or cursing whilst sanding in my case!) will be needed and the clutch controls slide on without a fight.

4. Clutch side is a lot easier to drill. Just position the controls where you want them and mark the hole and drill straight through the bars. I still recommend drilling a pilot hole to make the drilling of the right size of hole easier.

Anyone recognise this photo from before? lol As you can see the sanding work is totally hidden by the controls.



5. If you aren't fitting bar end indicators or mirrors then the job is pretty-much done! Just bolt everything back together and bask in the satisfaction of your handiwork! IMPORTANT - Be especially careful when tightening the brake and clutch handlebar clamps. The clutch one especially appears to be particularly fragile when over tightened. There have been cases of the master cylinder body breaking which is a very expensive mistake as the part cannot be bought separately. Must be why the clamps are marked with the torque setting to be used - 8NM Please use caution and respect the factory recommended torque settings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Another Handlebar swap!

As indicated earlier I did change the bars a second time. Bars of choice were Rizoma MA008B (apparently no longer available at time of editing this post). Rizomas are lower and narrower than the FMX and suit me perfectly (don't get me wrong, the FMX bars are good, just not perfect for me).

A little easier to install as there are no serrations on the bars so the clutch side just slides on without any sanding or bad words!

I took the obligatory pictures post-install. To be honest I almost didn't do this as they will just look like another set of black bars on my bike, but what the heck! lol

If you look REAL CLOSE you might see the difference..... ;)

The overall look.....




And just to prove the handlebar swap did take place! ;)




One final thing I will say is that the narrower and lower bars are making the original cables more difficult to route as they are on the verge of getting too long with lower/narrower bars. I'm not sure if you could go much lower than the MA005s, without some major fiddling or new cables/hydraulic lines..... :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Any questions on the swap, I'm happy to answer. :)
 

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Hi Dave Ive just replaced my bars unfortunately i did it before finding your excellent guide and being a bit of a muppet i have snapped the left bar plastic piece that is bolted through the bars.what are my options do i have to purchase a complete left hand switch gear or is it possible to just replace the damaged part.cheers Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
@rigormoot I'm sorry to hear of your woes, Steve!

I take it you were tightening the clutch assembly handlebar clamp and the clutch master cylinder body snapped? You are not the first that's had this happen to them on this forum (I know of 2 people other than you). The clutch side master cylinder appears to be especially fragile.

From what I have been told, and what some non-exhaustive investigatory work has seemed to show, the clutch master cylinders from the latest liquid cooled boxers are the same as what is fitted to the R9T. Some of them are identical in pattern but are made from metal rather than the plastic that the ones fitted to the 9T all appear to be made from. Can't be more specific, I'm afraid.

I would suggest you try several BMW bike breakers as the new replacement part is very expensive and you can't buy it separately - you have to buy the complete master cylinder assembly.

There are a few specialist breakers out there - e.g. Motorworks. I'd suggest you give them a phone and pick their brains. Please don't just take my word for it! lol ;) Like I've said I have only got most of my information second-hand and merely did a quick investigation into compatibility.

Here is Motorworks' web site:

https://www.motorworks.co.uk/vlive/Home/index.php

You have brought up a valuable point to watch when doing a bar swap and I'll edit my Handlebar DIY to reflect being very careful with tightening the handlebar clamps on the brake and clutch levers.

Good luck with getting a resolution!

***EDIT***

Here is a thread detailing the clutch lever/master cylinder failure issue:

http://www.ninetowners.com/forum/engine-technical-discussion/89426-psa-clutch-torque-values-plus-soluton.html
 

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Wot I learned: Handlebar replacement. Not Clip-Ons ….

I found the original bars too high and with the OEM mirrors it made the front look like a cross between a reindeer and a surprised looking extra from Bugs Life. They had to go. As a short-arse, clip-ons were just too low and would require me to lie on the tank in order to ride the bike. :D

After much debate I chose a Rizoma Conus bar with Rizoma clamps. The BMW dealer said I would need to file down the OEM clamp for the Rizoma bar but I’m not sure if this is true. I liked the Rizoma clamps anyway.

Replacing the bars was relatively straightforward, the grips (I also have heated ones which adds a connector and only makes it slightly more complicated.) are attached to the bars with small bolts which go right through the bars – so you have to drill the bars. There is no clamp in the switchgear or grips, only through-bolts so a bit of tape won’t hack it to stop the grips/switchgear rotating.

After much head-scratching about how to line up the holes I made a template out of a toilet roll tube which I cut and wrapped tight round the original bar and wrapped it with tape to make a sturdy tube. The idea was to make a tight fitting template I could slide on and off the bars. I then carefully drilled one hole through one side of the template. I put it on the OEM bar, lined up the hole on the template with the hole in the bar and drilled right through both sides using the OEM bar as a drill guide.

By doing this I had created a close fitting cardboard template with a hole in each side in exactly the right position.

Once I had fitted the new bar, adjusted it and worked out the position of the switchgear, I marked the bar through one hole of the switchgear/grip as a guide. Then I removed the switchgear and drilled through one side of the bar based on my mark. I slid on the cardboard template, lined up the holes and fitted the original bolt part-way in to hold the template in place on one side. I then turned the bar over and drilled the other hole from the other side using the template as a guide. Once through I removed everything and the drill passed perfectly through the bar, the switchgear bolt did too. Everything lined up perfectly.

Using the same process I repeated it on the other side. New mirrors and levers completed the set-up.

The original bar ends are bolted directly into a thread in the original bar and probably won’t transfer to a new bar. The alloy ends can however be re-used with a suitable washer and new bar end internals (Rubber compression tube, washers and bolt.) I used Rizoma Bar Ends. Any cheap bar-end internal clamps can be used with a washer and bolt holding the original BMW alloy bar ends.

Here’s the result – Rizoma Conus bar, clamps and bar-ends with PUIG Hi-Tech mirrors and ABM levers.

The centre clamp bolts are 39Nm for the big bolts which should be tightened first, then 19Nm for the small ones. I also have a ball fitted for my Navi.

After fitting check carefully the routing of all cables and pipes to ensure that they are not strained or kinked and that they don’t prevent free movement of the bars. Check the end-stops prevent the bars from hitting the tank.



 

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Discussion Starter #10
***EDIT***

After much head-scratching about how to line up the holes I made a template out of a toilet roll tube which I cut and wrapped tight round the original bar and wrapped it with tape to make a sturdy tube. The idea was to make a tight fitting template I could slide on and off the bars. I then carefully drilled one hole through one side of the template. I put it on the OEM bar, lined up the hole on the template with the hole in the bar and drilled right through both sides using the OEM bar as a drill guide.

By doing this I had created a close fitting cardboard template with a hole in each side in exactly the right position.

Once I had fitted the new bar, adjusted it and worked out the position of the switchgear, I marked the bar through one hole of the switchgear/grip as a guide. Then I removed the switchgear and drilled through one side of the bar based on my mark. I slid on the cardboard template, lined up the holes and fitted the original bolt part-way in to hold the template in place on one side. I then turned the bar over and drilled the other hole from the other side using the template as a guide. Once through I removed everything and the drill passed perfectly through the bar, the switchgear bolt did too. Everything lined up perfectly.

Using the same process I repeated it on the other side.

***EDIT***
Excellent idea about using a template. :)
 

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This came in super helpful this weekend, so thanks! Turns out the drilled holes are more forgiving than I would have thought. I didn't need a template, just positioned the grip and started a small pilot hole in the middle of the grip's screw hole. As long as it's decently close to centered, it'll work fine.

Only thing I wish I'd paid closer attention to is the alignment of the throttle cable with the brake lever assembly. I positioned the throttle assembly where I thought it should be, drilled it, and mounted it with no problems. After I had the brake assembly back on, though, the throttle cable was sitting way above the brake lever. It was easy to re-drill (would have worked fine, but it was an eyesore), but Obviously, you don't want extra holes in parts...Just something to watch out for.
 

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I’ve just used this tutorial again changing the bars on my Scrambler/Adventure bike. I’m fitting the Unit Garage high rise bar that I had on my last Rninet. I’m assuming the switch gear on the 2017 bikes might be slightly different as I didn’t have to seperate the left hand switch. Just remove the screw holding the grip in place then loosen but not remove two screws holding the two halves of the switch gear together and then the whole lot slid off the bar, obviously once the centre bar clamp had been removed.
What a fiddly old job though. Tiny screws and delicate wiring. Come back Joe Lucas all is forgiven.
 

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Oh Boy! Phase one removal accomplished and what a heart-pounder! Not looking forward to drilling tomorrow (5mm holes?) and then trying to remember what went where. Hope I don't have to have it shipped off to BMW for a fix, lol.

Mounting Rizoma MA006B. Will update with pictures if and when I have done it.

Thanks BD for the pics and tutorial - it's been a big help
 

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Been thinking about swapping my bars, but it seemed pretty complicated. Glad I came across this post. Thanks for sharing.
Swapped my bar last week, not as complicated as it seemed. Removed old bar, put the new one on and marked were i wanted the grips.

Marked it on one side, removed it from the bike. Took a piece of paper and some tape and just mapped the holes from the old bar and transfered it to the marked spot on the new bar and then i marked the other hole were i couldnt mark.

Drilled a small guide hole on each side, then i drilled straight thru.
The holes was spot on! :eek:ccasion14:

 

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Phase two - complete :eek:ccasion14:

What a difference a day made. Yesterday, froze my you know whats off it was so cold, yet today is a balmy 50+ degrees. Anyway, made working in the garage much more pleasant. Phase one was getting all the old stuff off in prep of installing the Rizoma MA006B handlebar. Couple of thoughts - clutch side much easier to remove than the "brake" side. BD mentions that there are 2 screws holding the brake side switch gear and he's right. Found one right away (nearer the rider but underneath the switchgear) but wasted about 15 minutes looking for the other one :icon_scratch:. Finally found it - it's underneath the cover.

Drilling the bars: I probably freaked over this more than the average bear. I wanted to do it right the first time - I pictured my bar looking like a Swiss cheese. After taking careful measurements, I used the handy-dandy tool pictured below. Worked like a charm. BTW, for those of us who use old-fashioned measurements, after drilling your pilot holes, use a 9/64th bit for perfectly-sized holes.

Something else to save you a bit of time when preparing to put all the switch gear back on - place the throttle grip on the bar BEFORE you clamp the bar down - otherwise the cables are not long enough to allow you to put the grip on. Ask me how I know!

Tested out all the switches, directionals and heated grips - whew, all in working order. I am quite chuffed with myself and again, big thanks to BD et al for all the hints, pictures and write-ups. Would not have done this without all the help.
 

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Just to add a picture of the finished job. Took the same opportunity to add Pazzo shorty levers in black with blue adjusters. Fairly easy and quick job if it were not that the OEM lever barrel had the set screw completely cross-threaded and seized. Got it working but will probably try to order a new one. Good video how-to on line.
 

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