Greetings. As I hinted earlier, a little work has been done since the last (server deleted) post. This time, I tackled two problems: Ugly mirrors and bar ends. The stock mirrors look like this:
They stick out and up a bit too high for a bike that was meant to be tight and low. Safety-wise, they are very good with visibility. I do not need to move my head or body to see what is around me. That said, I needed a better asthetic solution. My first choice were these black mirrors that I got when I was still living in Nagoya. They were $20 a side and I liked the rectangle look since they mimicked the tank. One problem, they stuck up too high. I tried to heat them and bend the arms down lower so they would be sleeker but that just caused the mirrors to be too close to my hands. They became a safety issue. I also still couldn’t see very well with them If these mirrors were just 2 cm longer, I would be a happy camper.
While at the Tokyo Motor Show last month, I saw a bike that had bar end mirrors. I’m sure I must have seen them before the show but they were new to me. I did a little research via Yahoo Japan Auctions, and a few days later, I had a pair of mirrors for $20 shipped (nice deal!). To install, I needed to get the stock bar ends and weights out of the handle bars and install the new bar ends. Easier said than done.
The first issue was that Honda uses a Phillips head screw on these bar ends.
By nature, the bar ends are meant to be very tight and secure. Other bikes sometimes use hex head screws that can be easily taken care of. I tried a screwdriver, a socket with a bit in it to get more torque on the Phillips head: nothing. I had to be careful not to strip out the screw head, thus, screwing myself. It was a delicate game of brute force and carefully applied pressure. I looked online and one guy suggested using a torch to head up the thread lock (locktite) that was prop. there. I didn’t have a torch but I did have a heatgun I used to fix xbox360s. A little heat, a little movement. More heat, more movement.
After doing that dance, I got the end off. It took a flathead screwdriver and a hammer to get the bar weights out. Seen here:
Note the blue thread lock dust:
One side took about 20 minutes. The other took 25 minutes because of a stubborn clip on the bar weight. Since the new bar end was longer than the stock, it means I cannot re-use the stock weights anymore. I don’t have a replacement weight as of now. The whole point of the weights in the bars is to reduce vibrations felt at high speed. Since my bike doesn’t have the power of a Kawasaki Ninja, I will test the bike out without weights. If I feel I need them, I can go for some new ones online.
The new bar ends use a “pinch and cinch” style of tightening. I will do my best to explain. There is a screw that runs through the center of the bar end. It is attached to a small metal cylinder with a bevelled “nut” at the end. Around the cylinder are a few more metal sleeves with slits cut down their sides. The more you tighten the screw in the center of the bar end, the more the “nut” moves, causing the inner cylinder to push against the outer metal sleeves. The sleeves expand from the slits cut on them and eventually touch and grab onto the iside walls of the handle bar. All the screws on the new bar ends were hex nut so I had to be creative on how I could reach the hex nut and get enough torque to make metal expand. Another 20 minutes and both bar ends were on!
Here is the new bar end:
The mirrors are a bit creative. The mirror and the arm it is attached to have no pivot movement. Instead, there are two mounting points: On the side or on the end (end hole can be seen in above picture). Since the arm is bent, you adjust the mirror by rotating the bar end and mirror arm until you find the desired position.
In my case, I didn’t want to have the mirrors mounted to the end as they would stick out too far. I went for the side mount position and currently on top. It was getting dark so I didn’t have time to adjust for visibility, just asthetics. Since I get home when it is dark after work, I will have to figure out the best position over the weekend. That might meen mounting from under the handle bars or even using the end of the bar mounting position. I will update again.
I got the gold color because it is a perfect match with the rear sprocket. Currently, the bike doesn’t have enough gold and looks a little out of place. I plan on doing more gold parts where it, hopefully, will look more coherent.