W650 Cafe Racer - Fitting Clip-ons bars

After staring at the W650 for extended periods of time I made the decision to ditch the Clubman bars and get myself a set of clip-ons like I had originally planned (I used to be really indecisive).
I'm trying to give the front of the bike a lower profile to get the aggressive look I'm after, Clip-ons are perfect for this and the new triple clamp and dials I am currently sourcing should finish
the front end off nicely.

Clip-on bars are usually shorter than standard bars so your going to have to discover a new way of routing the existing cables or purchase a new set (accelerator, front brake and clutch). Kawasaki
produce shorter cables for the W650 which I managed to get my hands on and fitting them is a pretty straight forward, but fiddly job (I will document how it's done in a future post).

Start by removing all of the controls from your existing bars (accelerator, brake, clutch, starter unit, indicator unit)and let them hang down the front of the bike out of the way. Undo and remove
the old bars from the bike and sell them on eBay when you get the chance...there's always someone else eager to buy your old motorcycle parts. Now you will need to remove the top triple clamp.

Start by putting your bike up on it's center stand, if it doesn't have one prop it up so there is no weight on the front of the bike. If you remove the triple clamp with weight on the front wheel the bike
will slide down the forks and most likely fall over.

Remove the nuts that sit above each fork, they may pop up once unscrewed as they sit on springs inside the top of the forks. On the underside of the triple clamp at the top of each fork are a couple
of screws, loosen each one. The centre nut on the W650's triple clamp is 27mm, most socket sets won't come with a socket this big but if you visit a motor parts specialist store (I went to Super Cheap
Autos in Perth) you will be able to purchase one for a few bucks. Undo the centre nut and you should now be able to lift the triple clamp off the top of the bike (wiggle it a bit if it doesn't come
straight off).

Slide the clip-on bars on to each of the forks and let them slide down out of the way, make sure you have them the right way around!

Now you can re-attach the triple clamp in reverse order. On the underside of the W650 instrument cluster are 2 cable holders, remove these to allow you to angle your clip-ons wider and set them at a
higher position on the forks.

Now slide each of the clip-ons up to sit directly beneath the triple clamp and tighten the 2 screws on each one enough to stop them sliding back down. Now you want to get the angle and position of the
bars right before tightening them. Sit on the bike and move the bars in to a position that feels best for you. Check from several angles that the bars are even and symmetrical to each other and you
can fasten them in place.

Attach all the controls back to the handlebars and you're done. With the W650 you will need to drill the bars to fit the indicator and starter units. Do this by first fitting the handle bar grips and
marking the position of the pins located inside 2 units (make sure the controls are in the right place for your thumbs to reach) when they are sitting in place. Once you have the holes marked use a
nail and hammer to make a small indentation in the bars, this will work as a guide for your drill and make things easier. Once all the controls are back on the bike you will know straight away
whether you will be requiring new cables or not, chances are you will.

Your original triple clamp will still have the handlebar clamps on it so you may want to source a smooth one (I will be fitting one to my bike when it arrives next month). I have seen some people
put a short bar the width of the brackets in place to fill the gap which looks better than having them empty.

You may also need to add a steering limiter to stop the bars from hitting your tank. In the image below you can see the one I fitted to the bracket between the front forks.

Looking for Cafe Racer gear? Visit the...