What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?
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Thread: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

  1. #1

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    What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    I am 5'7". I love this bike, but my back has been hurting way too much to continue riding how she is currently set up. I've gone through here and seen what other folks have done, but; there are a lot of different options and routes to take. What is currently installed doesn't quite work for me and I am looking for advice before I plunk down my $$$.

    I am on a "reasonable" budget.

    My wife and I are building me a custom seat (out of the stock one) using very high quality seat foam. $100 in supplies so far. I was riding up on the tank with the stock seat. Anyone else here build or modify their seat before?
    Has old Helibars with a 1 inch lift. It puts me in an awkward hunched position to reach the bars.
    Stock windshield

    Do I put on 4inch riser clip ons? JAWS straight bar? Who sells the highest and farthest back that do not require new lines? Where would I get new lines if I needed them?
    Who makes a good touring windshield for our bike?
    If I can't make my custom seat work well, who should I go with?

    I am looking to sit up as straight as possible and just be comfortable. My fast ride days ended when I sold my RC-51.

    Any advice and examples are welcomed.

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  3. #2
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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    My requirements were a bit different from yours, I need to lean forwards a fair bit because sitting upright is a 'no no' due to no discs remain in my lower back.
    I love my gilles vario bars, I've lifted the bar position to my preference and pulled them back a bit (still don't hit the tank) which lifts me a fair bit. I have found this really comfortable since I can keep my arms really loose on my long trips across Europe. With almost all bar conversions that make a big difference longer lines will be needed, I had mine made up at a local bike shop.
    Don't underestimate the effects of peg lowering blocks to making a change. I milled my own but they can be picked up from JAWS.

    As for screens I loved riding with the std low screen, the air blast kept weight off my damaged wrists. However when I lifted the bars I developed a helmet wobble at 'reasonable' speeds so the std screen had to go. I replaced it with a MRA vario screen and the wobble went instantly. Not the most pretty but the 'lip' has proved very useful since I can change the air effect to take into account if I am riding in really hot conditions or a British winter.

    My Melboy seat has now covered the best part of 90K miles, still all day comfortable.
    Warlord and Jetfire like this.
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  4. #3
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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Im currently installing a set of apex multi adjustable 4" risers. All fairings off. Nose cone as well. Needed to so to find the extra length of wiring for switchblocks. Longer hoses are fitted. Not tightened yet. I used a local supplier of hoses but would go with helperformance if i did it again. May even swap to their brake hose depending on results from emails im having with them. Longer throttle cables from venhill. Nice quality. So far the apex bars look fit for purpose. With bikes nowadays you just cant whack on a set of higher bars as we used to do in 70s and 80s. Everything is so closely toleranced and minimal length that it has become a drawn out exercise costing more than just the price of the bars and in time, effort and disassembly of stuff. Hopefully i will end up with something more suited ergonomically for me. If i do, then rear and front shocks get major work. If not, I may move on. Oh, and when i get the screen back on, that will need cutting to clear the clutch and brake fluid resovoirs. Love the bike, just need more comfort.
    Lowered pegs did help. I have the jaws ones. You will drop about an inch. I had to massage the brake pedal into submission with a bit of heat to lower it, as well as fiddling with its connection into the rear brake cylinder.
    Hope this helps
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  6. #4
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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    +1 on a MRA Vario for a touring screen. I ride with the lip down unless it gets rainy, cold and nasty.

    Seats- the big names that I know do seats for an XX are Laam and Russell day long. Both in Redding CA. Laam is less expensive and nothing but good reviews. Russell is very good but at 5'7" what is your inseam? Russell usually raises the seat height. Both are good.

    Lines- either local supplier or name brand like Galfer. Many out there. Google is your friend!

    Bars- very user specific. I like Convertibars but PBZ has those APEX bars and they look very interesting! Many have gone to JAW's flat bar and loved it. Depends on your reach really.

    Something that you might have not thought about is putting electronic cruise control on it for long distance touring. Beestoy on this forum makes a kit and it is wonderful for being able to switch hands for a while or just relax the right arm while riding. One of the best mods I did.

    If touring look to change your suspension. I went with Jamie Daugherty 's suspension. Made a huge difference in comfort as the front end is NOT beating me to death on these rough Illinois roads.

    All this being said... I love this bike and I am 6'3" 32 or 33 inch inseam and will not sell it. Maybe you might think of another bike for your long distance touring. Obviously it sounds like you don't want a Goldwing. Have you ever thought about a ST1300?
    I have owned and still own a Goldwing. With the right suspension they are very comfortable and can handle very well. I also own a 2007 ST1300 with ABS. With a good set of tires with a profile that you like this thing performs quite well. I don't understand how it got its reputation as being more touring than sport. It keeps up with my CBR 1100XX quite well in corners. I put Heli Horizon bars on it so I sit completely upright and that makes the difference between the two bikes as this doesn't let me hang off the tank like I used to but it still rolls into a turn effortlessly and has plenty of power for coming out of a turn or two up touring. Has a 7.7 gallon tank and makes 40 mpg at 70 mph. Bags are smaller than the GIVI bags I put on the BB though. The power isn't the same delivery as an inline 4 but plenty of torque. Jamie has a kit to improve handling too. I like it a lot but the stock seat is awful and a custom seat is a must. The good thing is that the seat height is adjustable! 3 heights and the lowest one would be very good for someone of your height. Past 2003 they have an electric adjustable windshield too. Just some thoughts. The Bird is wonderful but if it isn't within your comfort needs you can spend a lot of money and still have an uncomfortable time reaching over the tank. It is shaft driven and has a reputation of going well over 100,000 miles. They can be had very reasonably priced too. I am just giving options that I have experienced. Whatever you do have fun!

    Guy

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by XXGUY; 04-13-2019 at 1:19 PM.
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    Helibars, Corbin Seat, MRA Vario Screen, Cortech Tank Bag, Adaptiv mount & Escort Max detector, Amsoil Oil&Filter, Fender Ext, DanMoto Slip Ons, GIVI E41 panniers & Maxia V56 Trunk, Daugherty Adjustable Forks and Shock, Silent Sprockets-Ognibene/Gold DID Chain, Cameleon Plus Chain Oiler, Beestoy CC, Voltmeter.

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Ades was the man who got me interested in the apex bars. Quite adjustable. It will take months of little tweaks before final positioning. Glad i got the 4" risers as you can drop them down through the fork mount part IF you dont have them spun on the fork mount to a position where the riser would hit the triple clamp below.
    Warlord likes this.
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  8. #6

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    My reach is.... not great. My goal is to sit as straight backed as possible without reaching. I really need to bring the bar up and back farther to be more comfortable.

    I'm between the Apex 4inchers and the JAWS straight bar. Does anyone here have some better pictures of either JAWS straight bar or Apex on our bikes?

    I think I may also purchase the peg lowering kit right now.

  9. #7
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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    My reach is.... not great. My goal is to sit as straight backed as possible without reaching. I really need to bring the bar up and back farther to be more comfortable.

    I'm between the Apex 4inchers and the JAWS straight bar. Does anyone here have some better pictures of either JAWS straight bar or Apex on our bikes?

    I think I may also purchase the peg lowering kit right now.
    Have you ever seen pictures of Deadman's homemade risers? They are 12" I think.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    Helibars, Corbin Seat, MRA Vario Screen, Cortech Tank Bag, Adaptiv mount & Escort Max detector, Amsoil Oil&Filter, Fender Ext, DanMoto Slip Ons, GIVI E41 panniers & Maxia V56 Trunk, Daugherty Adjustable Forks and Shock, Silent Sprockets-Ognibene/Gold DID Chain, Cameleon Plus Chain Oiler, Beestoy CC, Voltmeter.

  10. #8

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Lol yeah, I saw them. I'm not quite ready to go that route though. I just found some better photos of the JAWS straight bar conversion. It looks like it brings the bars back a couple inches. Can anyone with those installed tell me how many inches up and back they are over stock clip ons?

    Also, thank you everyone for your responses so far!

  11. #9

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    I also have a set of professionally moded heli's that the previous owner had installed. They are 2 1/2 inches tall or 1 inch higher than the regular heli's. They are what was on there before my Busa conversion. What I foud worked even better was to flip them to the opposite sides. It put them in a much more natural position to my hands and also allowed me to pull them back farther without contacting the tank.

    blackbird (1).jpg IMG_2622.JPG
    Warlord likes this.
    Route 191 formerly Route 666 Some say that this section of the
    road has 1100 curves in 95 miles.

  12. #10

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    I believe convertibars allows you to raise the bars the most and sounds like that is what you are looking for. I have mine up about 6" and could go higher. They also allow you to bring bars closer to you and are highly adjustable for any position. You would need to replace brake lines and cables. I live in Lynnwood, you are welcome to come check them out if you want.
    Warlord and XXGUY like this.

  13. #11

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    I'm in Bothell!

    What does the convertibars kit come with? I'm probably going to buy something tonight as I want to have everything back together for when the rain slows down. Currently, I am also rebuilding my seat, so my bird is down at the moment.

  14. #12

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    I just bought the JAWS lowering pegs. Going to install those first and see if I can get away with keeping the 1.5inch rise on my current Helibars. Pretty much anything else is going to require new lines and having my mechanic do it ($$).

  15. #13

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Warlord
    The Heli's I have used stock lines
    Route 191 formerly Route 666 Some say that this section of the
    road has 1100 curves in 95 miles.

  16. #14

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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    I'm in Bothell!

    What does the convertibars kit come with? I'm probably going to buy something tonight as I want to have everything back together for when the rain slows down. Currently, I am also rebuilding my seat, so my bird is down at the moment.
    Some kits come with longer cables/lines mine didn't and did not want the ones included as they would not have filled my needs. I ordered mine from Motion Pro and H E L. I included a link from an earlier post that gives you an idea of what's involved. A lot more work and expense than the route you've chosen. Hope it works out for you but if not you have other options.
    https://www.cbrxx.com/suspension-tir...tml#post368763
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    Re: What do I need to convert my Bird to a tourer for 5'7 me?

    Duplicate post....tried to delete
    Last edited by Bigfoot57; 04-14-2019 at 3:33 PM. Reason: duplicate


 
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