Can handlebar position affect mechanical performance? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Can handlebar position affect mechanical performance?

Last night I was monkeying with my handlebars and rotated them to see what they would look like when more upright. Four bolts to loosen, rotate the handlebars to the desired position, retighten bolts. Piece of cake.

I took the bike for a spin today and the first thing I noticed was that when releasing the clutch lever, the clutch engage point was way further out than before. Weird, but maybe the cable was affected some way by the change in handlebar position. The next thing I noticed was that it seemed to be coming out of gear at higher rpms, and badly so when going up hill.

I won't have time to play with it until tonight, but I was hoping that someone might help me figure out what's going on. Do you need to adjust the cables when you adjust the handlebars? I didn't think so, since the cable sheathing is still all the same length, but I'm a bit of a rookie, so I'm coming to you all!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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One thought I had: Would it help if I rotated the control units on the handlebars themselves to be level relative to the new bar position?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 08:12 PM
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it is possible you might have messed up the adjustment. try readjusting the cable

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OleDirtyDoc View Post
it is possible you might have messed up the adjustment. try readjusting the cable

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Thanks for the advice, ODD. I looked around for some threads on this, but I'm actually not exactly sure what you mean by readjusting the cable. Is it as simple as adjusting the tension so that the engage point is more back where it used to be (possibly solving the slipping out of gear problem as well)? Or just following the cable to make sure there isn't anything wrong? (I gave that a quick try, but the cable goes internal pretty quickly).
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 12:59 AM
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it is possible you might have messed up the adjustment. try readjusting the cable

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+1 to this. He's talking about the hexagonal ferrules near the ends of the cables with the locknuts. Loosening them off the threads effectively lengthens the sheathing, tightening the cable. Sounds like you want to tighten them down so you can see fewer threads (I think anyway. I just do it by feel without paying a lot of attention to what exactly I'm doing)

I've always heard freeplay in the clutch is correct when the handle makes a gap of about a nickel's thickness before the clutch engages. Throttle cable should have just a little freeplay in it, and all the way from lock to lock when turning the bars. Make sure you test it. Nothing will make you feel sillier than launching your bike out from under you while maneuvering into a parking spot because revs shot up when you turned the bars all the way to the left.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 07:40 AM
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So the more play you have in the cable the BETTER it will STAY in gear but the WORSE it will be to CHANGE gears by pulling the clutch lever. So Slack cable keeps it in gear better. A too tight cable can cause slippage. BUT, the position of your cable should, in a perfect world, not change anything.


So, I think your cable is too tight. Try just loosening at the grip first. That is, allow for a little more play in the clutch lever.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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You guys are alright in my book, despite what your wives say about you

I really appreciate the help! A few twists of the adjustment knob, and the bike was off and running again. Super easy if you understand the problem.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 09:50 PM
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hell if you are talking with my wife you need to get out of my head.she's invisible, like all my friends. my friends aren't imagined, cause if they were,that would mean I'm crazy,and I'm not crazy. if I was crazy, I wouldn't know I was crazy anyway. isn't that crazy?they are all invisible. just don't sit on Bob.he hates that.and don't EVER say his name backwards

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BRING BACK WOLFIE."Peace and Carrots"RIP
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