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Rating: 4
BSA Handlebars #727762
03/06/18 6:26 pm
03/06/18 6:26 pm
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 53
Oklahoma
T
Tracey Spear Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Tracey Spear  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
T

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 53
Oklahoma
The only modifications to this 96 Thunderbolt I've acquired are stupid 12-16 over ape hangers, and a tall 70's style sissy bar.

The sissy bar has to go and I plan to return to stock bars and cables.

From what I've seen there are two parts listed. A higher Western set that was delivered to USA, and a lower set that was on the bikes sold in UK an elsewhere.

From scouring pics on the interweb, I like the looks of the lower bars, though they appear harder to find.

What are your thoughts?

Does it matter?

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Re: BSA Handlebars [Re: Tracey Spear] #727766
03/06/18 6:38 pm
03/06/18 6:38 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 5,099
Stone Creek OH USA
R
Rich B Online happy

BritBike Forum member
Rich B  Online Happy

BritBike Forum member
R

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 5,099
Stone Creek OH USA
I use what is called “home market” bars on my BSA’s. I prefer them over the “western” bars. The home market bars are not hard to find. Order from a Brit parts supplier by part number.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: BSA Handlebars [Re: Tracey Spear] #727786
03/06/18 9:03 pm
03/06/18 9:03 pm
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,810
Elburn, Ill. USA
I
Irish Swede Offline
BritBike Forum member
Irish Swede  Offline
BritBike Forum member
I

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,810
Elburn, Ill. USA
"96 Thunderbolt?"

Anyway,

Higher bars were popular in the USA for the "sit-up-and-beg" street-cruiser appearance of the rider, so his friends
(and the girls) could see who was on the bike.

Lower bars are more practical for riders who intend to actually go somewhere on the bike.

I personally think that bikes also look better with the lower bars (and BIG tanks.)

Re: BSA Handlebars [Re: Tracey Spear] #727846
03/07/18 3:11 am
03/07/18 3:11 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,527
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Offline
BritBike Forum member
Mark Z  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,527
Owego, NY, USA
I put late-sixties Triumph US-market bars on my A65, and I find them to be a nice compromise between the BSA home market and US bars. The BSA "western style" bars have a seven or eight-inch rise, and they're very "swoopy", that is, with the grips angled downward. The BSA home market bars have a three-inch rise. The Triumph bars have a five-inch rise, and the grips are fairly level.

I had the BSA home market bars on for a while. Very positive handling, but I felt like I was reaching for the grips, and straining to hold my head up. They were also awkward on rough terrain (not that I ride off-road a lot, but now and then I find myself jockeying the bike around the yard, or in a field at a rally, or turning around in some farmer's driveway). The Triumph bars offer much better leverage in these situations. I did cut 1.5 inches off each end though, bringing them from 32" tip-to-tip down to 29".


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: BSA Handlebars [Re: Tracey Spear] #727854
03/07/18 3:50 am
03/07/18 3:50 am
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 205
Ohio
A
Andrew Dunham Offline
BritBike Forum member
Andrew Dunham  Offline
BritBike Forum member
A

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 205
Ohio
I feel like the Western bars get too much of a ape-hanger rap sometimes. They do have a rise and are swoopy as Mark Z says, but IMO they are very comfortable.

I do wish I had gotten the Triumph bars instead of the BSA market bars, as Mark Z's comment about them is not the first about them being slightly better.

As far as part numbers go, I think 65-4960 is the home market part number for the lower bars.

Last edited by Andrew Dunham; 03/07/18 3:52 am.

1961 BSA Super Rocket
1968 BSA A50
1969 BSA 441 VS
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
Re: BSA Handlebars [Re: Tracey Spear] #728111
03/09/18 4:34 pm
03/09/18 4:34 pm
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,956
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
Allan Gill Offline

BritBike Forum member
Allan Gill  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,956
Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
I like the proper shaped western bars (L.Harris, if you can get them) for the Pre-OIF bikes, very comfortable but gets a bit bufferting at higher speeds. The Norman hyde M bars are about the best low bar ive used.


beerchug
Re: BSA Handlebars [Re: Tracey Spear] #728149
03/09/18 9:46 pm
03/09/18 9:46 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,186
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
BritBike Forum member
Stuart  Offline
BritBike Forum member
S

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,186
Scotland
Hi Tracey,

A webpage you might find useful is British Cycle Supply's handlebars page; click on a highlighted part number and the link'll take you to another page showing the dimensions of the clicked 'bar; they're all measured the same way so you can make comparisons.

The standard '69 A65 US-market 'bars are 42-4968. The lower 'bars supplied in GB were 68-4971 - not listed by BCS, but 65-4960 will do at least for comparison.

The "Triumph US-market bars" mentioned by Mark are either 97-1511, 97-1870 or 97-4252, The only real difference is the two lower-numbered 'bars have two small holes in the left 'bar for mounting the dipswitch/horn button Triumph used pre-'71.

"The Norman Hyde M bars" mentioned by Allan could possibly do with clarification. The current type are https://normanhyde.co.uk/hinckley-triumph/7-8-m-bars-no-end-plugs.html; particularly if you click the middle picture of the three, you'll see they bend in two planes over the curves. The earlier ones only bent in one plane; if you wanted the ends lower or higher than the middle, you rotated the 'bars in the clamps.

If you would like 'bars similar to (but narrower than) original Hyde's, 97-1872.

If there's one thing to watch with low 'bars like Hyde's, it's how much they bend your body at the waist; most Britbike standard footrests are too far forward. I've got original Hyde 'bars and I love 'em, but they're fitted with footrests rearset to near the swinging arm spindle ... smile

Also, I like 'bars about 28"-29" between the ends; as Mark also posted, he had to cut some off the ends of his "Triumph US-market bars" to get them to that width, otherwise they're about 3"~4" wider, which is a pain when you're manoeuvering the bike at low speed and turning the 'bars towards full lock, one end of the 'bars becomes hard to keep hold of, at least for us vertically-challenged people ... grin The T160 I keep with standard footrests has (Triumph) TSX 'bars - 97-7205.

Hth.

Regards,


Moderated by  Allan Gill, Jon W. Whitley 


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