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Renthal Bars - Installation

Author: 'Tobers' ukGSer.com 21/01/2005 (based on blow by blow instructions written
by 'Mouse' ukGSer.com 17/12/2004)
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This weekend I will mostly be fitting Renthal Twinwalls 01/2005 (external link)

AndyW - usual warning, refer to the BMW workshop manual.
Torque values

See also:

Renthal bars and OEM weights for dummies

Lower bars (Renthal FatBars) fitted (external link - ukGSer.com)

First, instructions by 'Mouse' ukGSer.com:
(original photos no longer available - see 'how to' by 'Tobers' below)

  • First, remove the branch guards - unscrew the large torx bolt at the end of the bar, and the small one near the mirror. The bar end weight, bolt and branch guards should come off.
  • Disconnect the clutch switch cable, unscrew the two bolts holding the mirror/clutch lever assembly on, and remove.
  • Removing the control cluster needs a smaller torx key than is supplied, but I found a 2mm (I think) Allen key will do instead. These screws are self tappers into plastic, so be careful when refitting.
  • Disconnect control cables and heated grip cables.
  • This next pic shows where the heated grip is screwed to the bar (like Joker wants to be  ). Theres another identical screw on the underside of the bar. Again this is an awkward screw, I didn't have the correct sized torx bit for it. So I filed an Allen key down a bit to fit. Bodgetastic. These screws are also self tappers, so if making new holes, it may not be required to tap a thread into them.
  • The totally stripped bar, showing the tapped hole for the grip screw.
  • The end of the bar, showing (sort of, bad pic, sorry) the threaded insert in the end that the bar end weight bolt screws in to.
  • This is as far as I have got to date. I am not sure yet whether I want to shorten my bars, or fit a different set with a better shape.
  • The problem I can see with shortening them, would be that the threaded insert in the end of the bar would need to be removed, and then reinserted into the bar after cutting a length off. I couldn't see how to remove this insert. An alternative would be to modify the bar end weight bolt so that as it's tightened, it grips on a bit of rubber or something that expands inside the bar, holding it firm.
  • The right hand side is simpler - the problem with the bar end weight will remain but there are no holes drilled in the bar, just a clamp that holds the twist grip in place.

...and the 'how to' by 'Tobers' ukGSer.com:

I'm getting rather annoyed by the amount of rearward sweep on the standard 1200 handlebars. This manifests itself in pain on the outer palms of my hands because the bars are angled back so far that, with my hands in a natural position, all the pressure is on the outside of my palms. If I change the position of my hands to even the pressure out, it puts stress on my elbows which get sore after an hour or so.

So, Renthal Twinwall's it is. They are rather lovely.

Renthall Twinwall Kit

You can see in the shot below the different sweep angle of the Renthal's -v- the standard bars.
 Renthal Bars compared to stock bars

PS - I'm using Mouse's (ukGSer) very detailed guide here on the ukGSer forum.

Bars stripped and removed in about 30 minutes. It's much simpler than the 1150 bars as there are no awkward heated grip wires threaded through the bars. Just very nice (well made) connectors behind the switchgear as Mouse pointed out earlier.

Note use of non-bodgetastic correctly sized torx bit to remove the diddy screws holding the switchgear on:

Removing switches etc from original handlebars

This is all the hardware removed. Note that the bar end bolts are Loctite'd in so quite tough to remove. Note non-bodgetastic array of various sized torx bits and torx sockets

Handle bar fittings removed

Removing the bars is quite easy. The left grip slides off once the hidden screws are removed. The right one wont come off straight away as the throttle cable doesn't stretch far enough. You need to remove the clamps and take the bar off to get enough slack to remove the throttle grip.

Make sure you have lots of cable ties ready for when you put it all back together.

Bar clamps removed

This is what it looks like without the bars. Make sure you keep the brake & clutch fluid reservoirs upright so you don't get air in the lines.

No bars!

You can see clearly here the bizarre angle of the standard bars (the ones without the crossbar). How anyone thought these would be comfortable is beyond me.

Also note the cross-hatched area on the clutch lever side of the Renthal bars - this will come into play later....

OEM bars and Renthal bars compared

Refitting is pretty much the reverse of removal. Make sure that you measure up the amount of room you need to fit the lever/mirror assembly - if you push the grips all the way on, then there wont be space to fit the lever/mirror bracket.

Because of the cross-hatched section on the clutch side, the fit with the clutch grip is very snug - quite a lot of effort is required to get the grip on - I used a twisting motion. However, once on it is v.secure. Therefore I have not had to drill and tap holes for the securing screws, though I may do this later when I am totally happy with everything.

As Mouse said, the standard fitment of grips has them sticking out beyond the bars, with the very large bar ends inserted into the remaining area under the grips. As the BMW bar ends don't fit the Renthals, I have simply pushed the grips in so they are just slightly protruding from the bars - just enough to have space to mount the lever/mirror assembly.

Renthal handlebars fitted

Renthal handle bars fitted

And here's the (nearly) finished item.

R1200GS Renthal Twinwalls

You'll notice that the handguards are not fitted. This is because, now the bars are effectively 3cm narrower on each side, they wont fit without spacers on the ends of the bars. Not sure if I can be arsed with creating some spacers yet - we'll see.

Also, I haven't put bar ends on yet. This is because I was waiting to get everything set up before buying some. I did however confirm that pink anodised Motrax bar ends will fit quite nicely (that was all they had in the handlebar shop, hopefully you can see why I didn't buy them). I'll get a set of sensible coloured ones or similar this weekend and fit them on.

Total fitting time - about 1.5 hours including a can of beer and some pottering about. Excellent result - well chuffed.

I took it out for a spin just now to make sure everything worked OK and check the riding position. Superb - pressure on my hands is now evenly distributed across the width of each hand and no longer on the outer palms. The riding position is slightly more canted forward as you might expect, with about 7cm less rearward rake on the bars. I'm not sure if I like this or not, but I'll try it for a week or so and see how I get on. If not the solution is pretty simple - some risers from Nippy Norman should put the bars back to the same height & reach as before, but much more comfy:

R1200GS Bar risers

Overall, very pleased indeed. Fitting was much easier than I expected. Just make sure you have the right tools - I have a set of Halfords Professional torx sockets (you'll need them for the bar clamps) and an array of torx bits for my screwdriver - you'll need a small one for the screws holding the grips on.

The bars cost £79.99 by the way.

Forgot to mention that the bike feels much more compact with the Renthal bars on. This is no doubt due to them being narrower, but the whole bike feels tighter. I experienced the same with my 1150 when I put narrower R1150R bars on that. Should enable faster filtering

Oh yes...do note that Renthal Twinwalls come in many different variations of sweep angle, rise etc etc. The ones in the shop I went into just so happened to be right for me so I bought them on the spot. I recommend trying a few to see what you think.

For the record, mine say Sebastian Tortelli 998 on them. They are really well made - lovely, yum yum. Never thought I'd have a thing about handlebars.

Tortelli is pretty cool, but Ricky Carmichael is the man. Have you seen him on Supercross - amazingly fast. And now James Stewart is out with a broken arm - damn - cant wait to see them go head to head.

Talking about Ricky Carmichael, you can also get a set of Renthal Fatbars that are called Ricky Carmichael models. These too are the larger diameter needed for the 1200 clamps so would fit as well, and they are also about £18 cheaper. They would do the job just as well as the Twinwalls, but in my opinion didn't look as cool and don't have the crossbar (though I think you can buy one separately).

Any other Renthal bars WON'T fit the 1200 as their diameter at the clamp will be too small.

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