To sell my beloved GSXR750Y or upgrade it, that was the question posed in Part 1 of the article. The decision was ultimately made to go for the latter option and attempt to make the Suzuki more comfortable to ride on the winding Spanish mountain roads.
After some Googling, emailing and a few phone calls it was decided to jump in at the deep end and alter the riding position with a change of handlebars which should help with the wrist ache and occasional back pain, but what to go for? How much of a change was necessary? Would a height increase help or was more adjustability required?
There are a number of kits on the market for this type of conversion, from the very basic being new clip-ons with a 1 inch lift to the quite outrageous. This was not going to be an easy decision.
Each of the options from 5 or 6 different suppliers were considered, firstly for suitability, then for modifications necessary to fit the kit and finally for price. Most of the kits fell down on mods necessary to fit, it's no good paying for unlimited adjustability if that adjustability necessitates the destruction of the fairing or a loss of steering lock because the bars hit the petrol tank.
Was I expecting too much? Compromise is always an option but really I wanted something that would just work.
Gilles Variobars on the left and Convertibars on the right.
The obvious choice would be the well known Gilles Variobar kit, this comes in a few different flavours with height, angle and reach adjustment. Or the American Convertibars. Whilst both of these kits appear to be really good options, after reading many reviews and reports by customers on forums the world over it appeared that the adjustment available would be far less than the kit allowed due to bodywork restrictions. At this point I started to consider the sale of the Suzuki again.
Maybe something more extreme was in order. On a number of sites I had spotted Suzuki's and other brands with top yoke conversions and Renthal bars, surely this type of conversion would need major bodywork mods to fit? Having spoken to a number of people and checked out conversions from a number of companies on YouTube etc it appeared that my worries may come to nothing.
Maybe the top one is a bit too extreme, however the one at the bottom looks awesome.
I again contacted a number of companies for advise and eventually made a decision to order a complete kit from CNC in the UK. They are a small shop with a website offering top yoke conversions for a range of sports bikes like mine and even had a kit on the shelf for my now ageing Suzuki. I was advised by the guys at CNC that the cables for the switchgear would be long enough as well as the choke, throttle and clutch cables however the front brake hoses would need to be lengthened or replaced. They could supply the longer hoses from stock, which are sourced from HEL, and also were able to supply the required Renthal bars.
Whilst discussing my requirements via email it came to light that the screen would need to be modified however the fairing should be OK and they agreed to send a couple of extra blocks to raise the bars an extra inch and bring them back further to try to avoid any fairing mods. The extra blocks would need to be anodised black to match the rest of the kit which delayed delivery by a few weeks. A review of the CNC parts will be on the website soon along with Part 3, the installation.
In the intervening weeks a new double bubble screen was ordered, from M&P, for modification, along with a new clutch cable, a new front indicator to replace a damaged one and couple of other small odds and ends. Might as well do a proper job.