Pic of me sitting on the motorcycle
Me and the Ape Hangers


Motorcycle covered in snow
April 18, 2011 🙁

Well, I’ve got about a month under my belt so far this riding season and it’s not been a great start. The weather hasn’t cooperated much, but we have had a couple of gorgeous days. At least I think we’re finally past the threat of snow. (Knock on wood.)

I been riding back and forth to work, but haven’t been on any real “rides” yet this year. And I wish I could blame it on the weather. I am still struggling with the new handlebars. I’ve adjusted them several times and rotated the clutch and brake levers. But it seems like even a short trip across town tires out my shoulders and forearms. They are just not working for me.

I suppose I have a couple of choices. I could go back to the shop that put these on, tell them and see what they’d want to do about it. Part of me says I should do this, just to let them know that I’m not a happy camper and give them a chance to make it right. But after my experiences and finding some loose bolts and three scratches on the bike that weren’t there when I dropped it off last fall, I really don’t want them touching my bike again.

Pic of me sitting on the motorcycle
Me and the Ape Hangers

Another choice is to go back to my favorite Harley dealer and basically repeat the process with them – swap out the handlebars. I did stop by and chat with them as I passed by on a trip out of town a couple of weeks ago. It sounded like there were some options for smaller bars. (I was afraid that going from 1″ to 1-1/4″ diameter bars created an irreversible problem.) But I’d wind up paying for the new bars and installation again. And the new cables are probably too long too.

I’d love to just take it to the Harley dealer and have them swap them out ASAP. But reality is that it probably won’t have the money to make that happen until next winter. So I’m back to wondering if I should go complain to the other shop to get something done yet this season.

The good news in all of this is that I really have no big rides planned this year. One I had hoped for in June didn’t come together and I’m not planning to make Sturgis this year either. So it looks like I’ll just be spending this year riding around town. At least I’m still riding. 🙂

Odometer: 9,522 miles


  1. Janet says:

    If it were me I would at least go back to the friend’s shop and talk to them – tell them you have tried to make these work and they won’t, and ask them why they put such big bars on there when you had originally asked for mini-apes, ask them what they can do for you. If they refuse to work with you, then you don’t have to worry about them anymore. If they offer to swap them out, you can think about it before you proceed, at least knowing they have offered. FWIW, I had mini-apes on my 883 and really liked them. AND, your HD dealer should know there are SO many types of bars for all their bikes… maybe bars made for another HD would work better. Dyna bars maybe…

  2. Julie says:

    Yup. That’s what the dealer suggested – Street Bob bars. Which are what I wanted in the first place.

    You might have a point there, about going back and seeing what they offer. It’s actually written on the invoice as mini-apes, so there’s no argument there.

    Anyone else want to make a suggestion?

  3. Julie says:

    Perhaps I have a plan. I’m considering printing out these two blog posts and giving them to my friend with a note offering him a chance to make it right. Any thoughts on that?

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