Once a specialty item, “fat” bars, handlebars that measure 1 1/8” in diameter, have continued to gain in popularity over the years. However, not all OEM motocross and off-road competition bikes come stock with the larger bar. Some still insist on delivering their bikes with puny 7/8” bars.
But if you currently run a more standard 7/8” bar and want to switch to the larger 1 1/8” bar, it’s easy to do with a set of aftermarket bar mounts, as Jay Clark of Jay Clark Enterprises shows us in this simple vid. Clark is a big fan of the larger-diameter bars, and he uses them on just about every project bike he builds.
“Only about half of the [competition-oriented] bikes on the market come stock with big bars,” Clark said. “KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha come with big bars stock, and it has been a slow change. I think that one of the reasons other manufacturers have resisted adding larger bars is because they add more weight to the bike.”
“Most racers and serious trail riders will want the added strength of a Pro Taper bar or a Renthal Fatbar or Twinwall bar,” Clark said. “They are a lot tougher, and they resist bending in a fall whereas a stock bar will bend easily. The 1 1/8” bars are just stronger.”
But even if you keep the stock 7/8” bar size, there is another potential advantage to swapping to an aftermarket bar mount set, ergonomics.
“For the most part, you can rotate your stock bar mounts to move the bar five millimeters forward or five millimeters back, depending on where you start,” Clark said. “But taller guys, above the six-foot range, may want a taller bar mount because just going with a higher bar bend may not be enough. Companies that sell taller bar mounts will usually offer sets that are five millimeters taller or 10 millimeters taller.”
Whether switching to an aftermarket bar mount in order to run larger-diameter handlebars or to tailor the comfort of your dirtbike to fit your stature, you can expect to spend about $60 for the bar mounts alone.
“Pro Taper, Renthal and Applied Racing all make very good aftermarket bar mounts, and there are a lot of other small companies that make them too,” Clark said.
So, if you’re interested in running a more durable handlebar, making the switch on most late-model dirtbikes isn’t all that difficult. Older motorcycles that use one-piece top clamps (which integrate the lower bar mounts into the clamp) will require the top clamp to be replaced as well.
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