How to Install Retro Bars on your VTX 1800 C
How to Install Retro Bars on your VTX 1800 C
Adapted from the Original Post by BIGLRY
By Brian "Tapper" Davis
If you're like me, the C bars just don't make it. With the stock risers installed, they cause cramps in your shoulders and wrists, and even with aftermarket risers, they still inflict pain over a long haul. I tried risers, and they helped a lot, but on long rides, my wrists still cramped bad. It was time for some help, and about that time I spotted BIGLRY's riser post.
So, I jumped in. I gotta say, I'm glad I did. The bars are comfortable as all get out, and look good on the bike too. In fact, I can't really think of a single negative thing to say about them. I can ride all day now, and no issues with shoulders or wrist.
These install instructions assume you will be installing the bars on the stock C risers, and that's what I recommend. Aftermarket risers pull the bars too far back, and the retro risers don't get the bars back far enough to really be comfy.
Part No. Description
53100-MCV-000 Handlebars for the 1800 Retro
90690-GHB-701 (x2) Cable Clips (you need 4 total, C already has 2)
45125-MZO-A41 Front Brake Hose for Valkyrie
1 bottle of Valvoline Synpower Brake Fluid
10mm Flare nut wrench recommended
Brake Bleeder - preferably a Mityvac or something similar
First, remove the old bars. This procedure can be found on page 13-3 in the Honda Service Manual. I'll summarize here, and add a few steps that aren't in the manual, so read through these even if you do have the manual. They'll save you some time.
1. Remove the fuel tank. This will help ensure you don't accidentally drop something on it and ding it, and will greatly simplify the process of re-routing cables later. You can find complete instructions on how to do this here (Howto Guide to remove fuel tank).
2. Release the clips that hold the cables to the bars, remove them from the bars, and save them. You'll need these later.
3. Disconnect the two spade connectors from the clutch switch.
4. Remove the two allen head bolts that hold the clutch master cylinder assembly to the handlebars, and carefully lay the whole asseembly alongside the forks and out of the way, and let them hang there.
5. Remove the two screws from the left handlebar switch housing, and remove it from the bar (put the screws back in a little, to help prevent losing any pieces.)
6. Remove the handlebar grip cap, and remove the grip from the handlebar. This is a pain, so take your time. Try not to destroy the grip in the process.
7. Disconnect the spade connectors from the front brake switch.
8. Turn the handlebars all the way to the left. Remove the cap to the front brake fluid reservoir. Using a turkey baster, or something similar, remove all the fluid you can from the reservoir.
9. Drain and remove the brake fluid from the front brake system (only). Do this by using the Mityvac on the bleeder screws located on the front brake calipers. Attach the vac, pump it up a few times, then open the bleeder and fully drain the system. Do the left bleeder first, then the right bleeder. You need to get all the fluid out of there hoss, or it'll get all over the damn place.
10. Place a large bath towel over the front fender, covering it completely.
11. Disconnect the front brake hose banjo bolt from the front brake reservoir. Be careful not to lose the two crush washers, and be extra careful not to drip brake fluid on anything, especially painted parts. Brake fluid *will* eat your paint away, but fast. Not a good time to be a clutz folks.
11. Remove the two allen head socket bolts from the front brake reservoir assembly, and remove it from the bars.
12. Loosen the two philips head screws from the throttle switch housing. (don't remove yet, the cables probably won't stretch far enough to get off the bars.)
13. Remove the little chrome bolt caps from the four bolts in the upper handlebar clamp. Remove the allen head socket bolts underneath. Pop the upper clap off, but hang onto the bars a minute. Now, slide the whole throttle assembly off the bar. Let it hang for now.
At this point, you should be looking at the risers. If you already had aftermarket risers on there, remove them, and replace with the original C stock risers.
Re-Route the Cables
1. Ok, first, disconnect the throttle cables from the throttle switch housing (grip end assembly). IUt's not as hard as it sounds. Just be sure and take a few minutes to note how the cables route around the rotator cuff. It might help to make a small sketch, if you memory is as bad as mine. Mark the upper and lower cables with a piece of tape.
2. The throttle cables normally route along the left side of the frame. We need them to run along the right side now. So, carefully thread them back along the frame, back through the opening between the jugs, and up along the top of the right side of the frame. Be careful not to put a twist in them, or kink them in the process. Take your time, and it won't be a problem. You can route them above or below the wiring harness. I popped the harness out from the frame, and ran mostly along the top, then re-attached the harness.
3. Run the cables out directly beneath the upper triple tree, and just above the curly bracket that normally holds the front brake line. This will give you the maximum slack for the cable.
4. Now, move the clutch line up to the wire bracket that the throttle lines used to occupy on the front left side of the bike. Using a 9/16" socket, carefully and slowly put about 30-45 degrees of upward bend into the clutch line where it hits the bracket just after the point where the rubber and steel parts of the line join. This will improve the angle of the clutch line when you make a full left turn. Be *very* careful not to kink the line. Smooth constant pressure applied slowly will do the job. Use a tie-wrap, and secure the clutch line to the bracket.
5. Disconnect the brake line banjo bolt from the right front caliper. Remember, fluid will probably run out. Keep a rag handy. Disconnect the little bracket attached to the rear fender strut that holds the two lines there. Pull the brake line out of that bracket.
6. Disconnect the front brake pipe. This requires loosening the two line nuts attaching either end of the line to the brake blocks. All this mess is hung in brackets under the lower triple tree in the front forks. The front brake pipe, is the one farthest forward. In order to loosen the line nuts, put the flare-nut wrench on a nut as solidly as posible, hold it in place securely, and give it sharp raps with a dead blow hammer until it begins to turn. These nuts are very soft, and if you try to just turn them in the usual way, they'll deform, and you'll end up having to use channel locks to get the nuts off.
7. Now that you have the pipe loosened up, remove the two hex-end screws, so the whole pipe assembly will come loose. Now, remove the hex end screw attaching the front brake line block to the assembly. Now you can remove the entire front brake hose (woo-hoo).
8. Now, reverse the last step, and install the new Valk front brake line. First, insert the brake pipe back into the blocks, and tighten it a few turns. Now, attach the block back into the bracket assembly with the screw. Now, re-attach the whole assembly to the lower triple tree with the other two hex-head screws (this is a fiddly step, take your time, things are a bit tricky to line up here, but you'll get it. Try swearing heavily and often, I find it really helps.)
9. Now that you have all the brackets hooked up, tighten up the line nuts (flare nuts) good and tight. Use the dead blow hammer, and make sure you have those suckers in there good, we don't want them to leak, or the brakes will suck air and stop working. Feel free to use a little teflon tape on the nuts, to be extra anal about it.
10. Re-attach the new hose to the little bracket, and re-attach the bracket to the rear front fender strut. This is a pain in the ass to line up.
11. Re-attach the banjo bolt to the front caliper, using the two compression washers you saved when you removed it. Torque this to 25 ft-lbs.
Woohoo! Getting there hoss. Now all we got to do, is mount the new bars back up.
Mount the New Bars
Ok, lets get the new stick on there.
1. Grease up the track the throttle rotator cuff turns in in the throttle swtich housing. Re-install the throttle cables in the housing. I found, it made it easier to remove the switch so I could turn the housing on the sleeves, since one of them must be screwed into the housing. Consult your sketch, and do this right. Once you have it all together, put the screws in there loosely, but enough to hold the mess together. Leave the lock collars on the throttle cables loose for now, so the cable can move back and forth a bit.
2. Pick up the new handlebars, and slide the throttle switch housing on the end. pay attention to the cables, make sure they hang right. Now, put the bars on the risers, and put the serrations dead in the middle of the risers. Eyeball this good. This step will be much easier if you get a helper to hold the bars for you while you clamp them.
3. Now, install the upper clamp. Locate it correctly, make sure the serrations are in the right place, and install the socket head bolts. Tighten just enough to keep the bar from flopping around, but not so tight you can't rotate the bar in the clamp yet. Now, look for the little pimple in the bar at the clamp. Mine was on the right side of the bar. I lined this up so it was even with the clamp, and pointing to the split. You can adjust this to taste though, and make the bars higher or lower if you choose. Once you have it where you want it, tighten down the socket bolts, and torque them to 20 ft-lbs.
4. Tighten down the throttle assembly by tightening the two philips head screws. Make sure you have it up on the bar all the way. Now, Install the front brake reservoir assembly with the two socket head bolts. Adjust it so it's on there correctly, and tighten it up snug for now.
5. Turn the handlebars all the way to the left. Now, tighten the lock collars on the throttle cables. Now, verify that the throttle works correctly at all handlebar positions. You may need to adjust something if you goofed here. But hopefully not. Watch the slack in the cables. They should be a bit tight when the bars are all the way left, but not really getting stretched. Attach the spade connectors to the switch housing.
6. All good? Now fully tighten the front brake reservoir assembly. You can adjust this, by turning the bars all the way left, and trying to get the housing as level as possible (so fluid won't pour out when you remove the cap later).
7. Thread the front brake hose up through the curly bracket, and make sure it isn't twisted. Now, attach the banjo bolt to the front brake reservoir, and torque it to 25 ft-lbs.
8. Install the clutch switch housing. Make sure to get the little plastic switch housing end on the bar the right way. It helps here to slide the left grip on long enough to locate the correct position for the housing. Attach the spade connectors again to the switch housing.
9. Install the clutch reservoir housing the same way. Get the housing level, tighten it down good.
10. Check all the lines again. Rotate the bars back and forth, looking for binding. Try the throttle, make sure it's all good.
11. Glue the left grip on.
12. Attach the clips to the 4 titties on the bar, and secure the cables in place. You may also want to tie-wrap a bit, to keep everything tidy.
13. Put the bolt caps back on the handlebar clamps.
14. Install the brake fluid in the front brakes, and bleed them. This will be the subject of a future guide, so I won't go into detail here. Just do it! I'll link the new guide when I finish it.
This would be a really good time to fix the crappy electronics ground. Take a look at this howto guide
and follow the directions there. This is a highly
recommended step. Just do it, don't be a dumbass.
15. Now, reinstall the gas tank and seat, and clean the bike up good. Stand back, and marvel at your handiwork. Drink a beer. Fondle the wife. Celebrate.
Now get out, and ride that hoss. You're going to love these new bars!
Last update: 2004-10-29 11:27