To clip on or not to clip on...?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Donkey, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Donkey

    Donkey Been here awhile

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    Hey guys I'm new to old's cool and recently picked up a R80/7 that I'm in the process of stripping and rebuilding with a friends help. I have been going back and forth trying to decide if I want clip ons or not and looking for some feedback and advice. I believe I'll need rearsets if I go clip on but wondering if just a a nice low bar would do the trick. I'll have a cafe seat with s/s short fenders if that helps with the visual. I'm using barend signals and a simple round tailight.

    I'm an old's cool n00b but not an adv n00b so I know enough to know that we like pics. Here's the bike after I cleaned it up a bit and put the new/used tank on for looks :D

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

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    Do not over look the dirt bike handle bars - BMW GS handle bars are kinda wide but regular dirt bike handle bars might fit your needs.:freaky
    #2
  3. mykill

    mykill odd

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    How fit are you? Plan to ride far? Clip-ons put a lot of weight on your wrists and can get tiring. They do make you one with the bike and are great in the twisties, it is a committed riding position and best with rear sets. S or Euro bars are a good compromise and work well with or without rear sets.
    Fitment issues: You need to drastically alter or swap out your headlight ears. Normally not a big deal, but you have an ignition switch that is in a bad spot for aftermarket ears. Mike's XS has 36mm alloy ears that work well if you relocate your ignition. Woodcraft makes nice 36mm clip-ons but are not adjustable. I think Telefix makes adjustable ones, but they look like a bad plumbing experiment. You will need "Euro" cables when fitting clip-ons or lower bars.
    #3
  4. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    A lot of the bikes I see here in ADVR with clip-ons have almost no turning radius. They would make certain Ducati's seem like they have plenty of room to turn around. Not to mention the multi-switch buttons getting into the tank and whatnot. I have been running a modified RS/RT frame attached headlight mount for decades now. They limit cornering radius enough as it is.

    Personally, clip-ons are harder on my neck than they are my wrists. Turning my head side to side just kills my neck for some reason in that position. On the flip side GS type bars and the sitting up straight position kills my lower back but I grew up riding on euro style bars so that is what I am use to. Plus there is no good way to run my frame mounted headlight setup with clip-ons. I prefer wider bars than most beemer euro style bars. I don't need to try to get away after they handcuff me. I consider my day done at that point! :D I like K1 bars but that's just me.
    #4
  5. bmwloco

    bmwloco Long timer

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    Personally, I love BMW "S" or Europa bars. The later US bars are too relaxed and IMHO don't offer good positioning for road work.

    It also gives you the option of putting an S faring on it. One of the best. Prior to getting into RS's, I rode several BMWs with the S faring. Good ergonomics, all the info you need to, you can add the original Clock/Voltmeter or put whatever in the holes for 'em.

    But in the end, it is your bike. Do whatever blows your skirt up.
    #5
  6. mykill

    mykill odd

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    Good point! My race bike cuts a very wide swath in the garage and pits, and I have no switchgear to deal with.

    You are old and you body is battered!:evil
    #6
  7. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

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    #7
  8. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    +1 on the S bars. They work really well as a daylong or sporty round town bar.
    #8
  9. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    Consider the stock RS bars. they are dead flat with no rise at all, almost like a dragbike bar.

    It is nice too becasue you can order RS cables if some of your stuff ends up being too long.

    Clip ons are a pain. I mean if you have to have them, then you have to have them but I don't really think thye work without a custom tank.

    Eric
    #9
  10. lkchris

    lkchris Albuquerque

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    The easiest way to go is to just fit an RS bar.

    I've noted, however, that pros have mostly gone away from clip ons and it looks to me like MotoGP, etc., are running something closer to S bars these days. Having ridden an RS with OE bars for 28 years, I'd still add S bars to your bike.
    #10
  11. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    That I am! :lol3 But I had the same complaint before I was old and battered! :D
    #11
  12. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    Personal preference here. My two favorite BMW bars have been "S" bars with 1.5" extensions welded on (that simulated a Tomeselli bar on my old Triumph that was just perfect for me) and the R80GS (not R-100GS) bar that I have used for, crap, must be 18 years now. It's more narrow than the R100 bar.
    #12
  13. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    I sure do like the LOOKS of those bars on your bike pfb. They make all the difference IMO!
    #13
  14. robtg

    robtg Been here awhile

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    With clip ons you have a certain amount of adjustability. I've used clip ons on several bikes including sidecars and i like them.
    #14
  15. Donkey

    Donkey Been here awhile

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    Thank you for all the replies guys, I'm surprised there were so many and appreciate it!

    Does anyone have a pic of their bike with "S" or "RS" bars? There seems to be some consensus on that route :beer
    #15
  16. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    Clip-ons should have a skinnier tank than what most beemers have on them. If you really want clipons I'd fit a skinnier tank so you can still steer the bike. My other gripe (a purely aesthetic one) is when people install clip ons and use a top triple with bar mounts that they leave empty. If you're gonna run clipons get rid of the bar mounts even if they're cast into the top triple. It just doesn't look right.
    #16
  17. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    The adjustability is a big plus in my book.

    Bars are like seats and windshields. You can talk and read about them until you are blue in the face but the only real answer is trying them and seeing for yourself. You never really know what you are going to like until you are there and have found it.
    #17
  18. robtg

    robtg Been here awhile

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    Yep, standard bars are even adjustable. Hack saw makes them narrower, welding can make them wider, and a BF pipe and a vise can change the bend.:D
    #18
  19. yellowbirdrs

    yellowbirdrs Been here awhile

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    TELEFIT clip-ons is what you are looking for you can adjust them up-down front & back
    [​IMG]
    form an inmate
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    You can even move them back and forth in their mounts. That can make all the difference in the world! :lol3 I just remembered one time I suggested that a pipe cutter is a great tool for shortening bars. Man that started a crap storm. :D:freaky:D
    #20