BMW K bikes (Bricks)

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boostd4

boostd4
Silver member
Silver member
Finally making headway on my cafe/streetfighter project and am about to purchase some clip-ons.  I got the headlight sorted out so I know how much room on the forks I have to mount the bars.

I think I'm going to go with one of Woodcrafts 3-piece sets with a riser.  This bike will get used mainly for short commutes and around town fun, however I want to make it usable if I decide to go for a long distance ride.

I was thinking I could buy the Woodcraft clip ons that have the 3" riser and mount the clip-on about 3" lower on the fork tube so that the handlebars are nice and low for around town performance/short trips and aesthetics.  Since the bars are hinged, if I wanted to move them up 3" to save my wrists/elbows/back on longer trips, it would be simple.

My question is one of inexperience/knowledge on the geometries of the bike.  Will it change how the bike handles where the clip ons are actually secured to the forks, or does it only matter what level the handle bars are at?

For instance, a set of 3" riser clip ons, mounted 3" down on the forks would put the handlebars at the same position as a set of clip-ons with no riser mounted at the top of the fork.  Does the mounting spot's leverage change significantly enough to negatively affect the way the bike feels?

TIA

    

indian036

indian036
Life time member
Life time member
The leverage is simply a function of the distance of the grips from the steering pivot line. Whether the bars go from the forks/yokes to the grips in a straight line or through several bends or kinks makes no difference.

The rest is down to where is comfortable for the rider, and whether all necessary and desired movement of the steering is available as required.
That is also dependent on the type of riding. Most people travelling long distances aren't comfortable with a low crouch for that long, but most people with cafe racers don't do long distances. The risers and moving them up or down as desired seems a reasonable plan.

Bill


__________________________________________________
1985 K100RT  VIN 0028991  My original Very Happy   (Historic rego)
1985 K100RT  VIN 0029036  BOB the Blue Old Bike  (Historic rego)
1990 K100LT  VIN 0190452  Work in progress
1984 K100RT  VIN 0023022  Work needing lots of progress

1986 K100RT  VIN 0090542  Work needing lots and lots of progress
1993 K1100LT  VIN 0183046  Work in progress
1993 K75S  VIN 0213045  Newest toy, slightly non-original
    

Dai

Dai
Life time member
Life time member
You could consider fitting a set of swan necks instead. They're fully adjustable in all three planes but they'll come up a lot further than a lot of the 3-way 'clipons' do.


__________________________________________________
1983 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec, 1987 K100RT
Others...
1978 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, 1979 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,1993 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California
2020 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
    

Holister

Holister
Life time member
Life time member
@boostd4 wrote:.......
I was thinking I could buy the Woodcraft clip ons that have the 3" riser and mount the clip-on about 3" lower on the fork tube so that the handlebars are nice and low for around town performance/short trips and aesthetics.  Since the bars are hinged, if I wanted to move them up 3" to save my wrists/elbows/back on longer trips, it would be simple.

My question is one of inexperience/knowledge on the geometries of the bike.  Will it change how the bike handles where the clip ons are actually secured to the forks, or does it only matter what level the handle bars are at?

For instance, a set of 3" riser clip ons, mounted 3" down on the forks would put the handlebars at the same position as a set of clip-ons with no riser mounted at the top of the fork.  Does the mounting spot's leverage change significantly enough to negatively affect the way the bike feels?

TIA
Changing the position of the grips either up or down, forward or back, in or out.... will affect the way the bike handles. The lower and more forward the grips are, the more your body weight is distributed to the front wheel. This will positively affect the responsiveness in high speed cornering. The further out the grips are, the more leverage you'll have for steering in difficult situations like dirt, off-road etc.
Low-speed maneuvering around town for example will be more difficult with clip-ons compared to say 'flat bars' that are a little higher and slightly wider which will give more control.

As for raising the bars 3" for longer trips? I'd be considering that the other way round. It would make sense to raise the bars for around town where maneuvering/steering is more difficult at the slower speeds and maneuvering in traffic, and lowering the bars for longer trips where you'll be traveling and especially cornering at higher speeds where more responsiveness is needed. This is assuming you want to be 'sport riding'

If relieving stress on your hands and arms is a concern then I would consider adopting a better riding style or changing to a more suitable riding position completely. Your hands and arms should be in as much of a relaxed state as possible with arms bent. With lower and more forward bars, this requires the rider to use legs to grip the tank and greater 'core' body strength to hold the torso up rather than resting on your hands and arms which will also stress your neck and back. You see so many café riders these days (obviously noobs) who ride with stiff arms.... ya gotta laugh.


__________________________________________________

1989 K100RT     VIN  0097367 (naked)  
1996 K1100RS   VIN  0451808
  Fork/Handling gurus - how does handlebar placement affect handling? Austra12    Fuel:  95 Octane
Engine Oil: Nulon Full Synthetic 15W50
Gear Box Oil:  Nulon Synthetic 75W90
    

boostd4

boostd4
Silver member
Silver member
All of that makes sense, thank you.

What I was really going after, was if the mounting point of the clip-on on the fork tube (without changing the actual position of the handle bar itself) changes the way the bike feels.

For instance, a no-riser clip-on mounted just under the triple clamp vs. a 3" riser clip-on mounted 3" down on the fork tube (so the grips/hand placement is in the identical position in both cases).  Does the point at which the clip on is mounted on the tube change the leverage/feel on the forks when turning, even if the bars are at the exact same height/position in both setups?

The point was to raise the bars up 3" so on longer trips when I don't want to be leaned over the tank, I can be more comfortable (not race position riding).

    

duck

duck
Life time member
Life time member
The fork geometry remains the same.  Any differences in handling will be due to where the handlebars/grips are positioned.


__________________________________________________
Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S (K1 front end)
14 Yamaha WR250R
98 Taxi Cab K1200RS
14 K1600GT
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

KJustin

KJustin
Silver member
Silver member
FWIW, I have those woodcraft clip-ons with the two inch risers.  I also have K1100 forks (and all other K1100 front end components).  I've mounted them both under the top tree with the fork tubes in their standard location and have also slid the fork tubes up in the trees and mounted the clip-ons above the trees.  I did the latter when I realized that the lower position was too hard on my wrists and arms.  This was true both around town and at highway speeds.  However at highway speeds it is less of an issue as the air deflecting off your body helps hold you up.

Anyway, I didn't notice a marked difference in handling in the two different bar positions, though I would say that the steering was maybe a little more responsive in the lower position.  It's hard for me to say, I think, because I made these changes at the same time as adding K1100 wheels, forks, brakes, radial tires, etc., all of which did make a significant improvement in handling.


__________________________________________________
1985 K100 Cafe Racer (formerly an RT), VIN 0051736
    

boostd4

boostd4
Silver member
Silver member
Thank you so much for responding!  I hope you don't mind a few more questions...

1) Did the 41mm fork clamps fit without modification?
2) How much did you have to modify the 7/8 bars to fit the hand controls?  Did you shave the bars or the controls?

Thanks again.  I'll probably go with 2" risers like you did.  So you moved them above the clamp but moveD the clamp downward?  Doesn't that cancel out mounting the bars higher (besides the thickness of the clamp)?

    

Point-Seven-five

Point-Seven-five
Life time member
Life time member
@boostd4 wrote:The point was to raise the bars up 3" so on longer trips when I don't want to be leaned over the tank, I can be more comfortable (not race position riding).

How long is a long trip?  Is this a cafe racer you're talking about?  If so, I seriously doubt that raising clip-ons 3" will make any significant impact on the discomfort you will experience.


__________________________________________________
Present:
1994 K75RT
1991 K100RS
1988 K100RS SE

Past:
1994 BMW K75S
1992 BMW K100RS
1982 Honda FT500
1979 Honda XR185
1977 Honda XL125
1974 Honda XL125
1972 OSSA Pioneer 250
1968 Kawasaki 175
    

KJustin

KJustin
Silver member
Silver member
@boostd4 wrote:Thank you so much for responding!  I hope you don't mind a few more questions...

1) Did the 41mm fork clamps fit without modification?
2) How much did you have to modify the 7/8 bars to fit the hand controls?  Did you shave the bars or the controls?

Thanks again.  I'll probably go with 2" risers like you did.  So you moved them above the clamp but moveD the clamp downward?  Doesn't that cancel out mounting the bars higher (besides the thickness of the clamp)?
I had Woodcraft open the clamp to 41.5.  This way they fit both the standard K100 forks at 41.3 and the K1100 forks at 41.7.  There was an extra charge for the custom machining on this, but I don't recall the amount.  It might have been $25, but don't quote me on it.  I do recall telling them that they should offer it as a standard size because I thought the could do a good business for the K bike.  Sounds like they didn't take my advice.  

I used aftermarket controls ultimately (this was necessary due to the need for a different master cylinder for the 1100 front brakes; once I made that change it was easier to change everything).  But my stock controls fit right on to the Woodcraft bars.  I was a bit surprised by this because I know that many others have had trouble getting the K controls to fit on 7/8 inch bars; I rode it like this with the OEM K100 forks while waiting for my 1100 forks to come. Whatever you do, don't force the controls on if they don't fit.  I've seen a lot of reports of broken controls due to forcing it.  

In terms of putting the clips above the top tree, it seems like it did result in sitting a bit more upright, though sliding the fork tubes in the clamps brings the front of the bike closer to the ground.  I haven't thought through the geometry or measured, but I think it's a more upright position this way.  If I had it to do over again, I would have probably gone with the 3 inch risers from Woodcraft.  Or, realistically, I might have gone with standard handlebars and risers mounting where the OEM ones mount.  It would have been way cheaper and the position would have been the same or better.  But, of course, the clip-ons (IMO) do have a cooler look.


__________________________________________________
1985 K100 Cafe Racer (formerly an RT), VIN 0051736
    

Chuckinator

Chuckinator
Silver member
Silver member
thank you boostd4 and everyone on this thread. It helped me in making a decision about what I want to do with bars.

So I'm looking at getting the woodcraft 3 piece clipons with the 1.5 rise. It sounds from the descriptions I am hearing that the rise on the clamps will fit around the outside of the triple clamp if I mount the bars on the fork tube just below the clamp. (I hope that makes sense).

This is the only question that is keeping me from clicking "add to cart"

    

Two Wheels Better

Two Wheels Better
Moderator
Moderator
Spin a wheel cylinder hone through the inside of the stock control perches - they're soft metal - and they'll eventually widen to 22.25mm to fit a 7/8" 'bar, no dramas.


__________________________________________________

1970 R60/5, OZ '77 R75/7-R100, '85 K100'87 K75C, OZ '87 K100RS, '93 K11-K12 Big Block, '93 K1100RS, '95 R100-Mystic, '96 K1100RS, '98 K1200RS, '00 K1200RS, '02 K1200RS, '03 K1200GT, '04 R1150R'04 R1150RT, '05 K1200S, '06 K1200R, '07 K1200R, '09 K1300GT & 2013 R1200RT-P  - Beemers owned still or sold.

~We all believe what we want to believe in - Rob Dickinson
    

KJustin

KJustin
Silver member
Silver member
Yes, you can mount those clip-ons below the top triple clamp and with the riser it will come up behind the front of the clamp.  However, depending on the angle that you want the bars to sit they might hit the protrusions where the triple clamp pinch bolts go into the triple clamp.  I know this was a small issue on the K1100 forks that I am using and it limited the angle that the bars could be pulled back towards the rider. I might have wanted a few more degrees pull back than I got, but it was minimal (I later slid the forks up in the clamps and put the clip ons on top of the triple clamp to get a more upright riding position).  I don't recall if this was a problem with the OEM K100 forks.  

Also double check the clamp size on the woodcraft clip-ons.  I think the standard size was 41mm.  I had them make a custom opening at 41.5mm.  That worked on both the K100 41.3mm forks and the K1100 41.7mm forks.  Guessing, but I would think that 41mm would work on the 41.3 version, but I'm not sure about the 41.7, if you have them.


__________________________________________________
1985 K100 Cafe Racer (formerly an RT), VIN 0051736
    

Chuckinator

Chuckinator
Silver member
Silver member
@KJustin wrote: Also double check the clamp size on the woodcraft clip-ons.  I think the standard size was 41mm.  I had them make a custom opening at 41.5mm.  That worked on both the K100 41.3mm forks and the K1100 41.7mm forks.  Guessing, but I would think that 41mm would work on the 41.3 version, but I'm not sure about the 41.7, if you have them.

I looked on the woodcraft website and couldn't find any option to do that. I figure if it is really necessary to do so I can get a honing tool and bore it up to 41.3, but I'm not going to swap out my forks so based on what everyone is saying, I should be fine with it at 41.

    

KJustin

KJustin
Silver member
Silver member
I think I called them to place a special order to get the clamp opened up (i.e., it wasn't on the website).  Seems likely that 41 will work on the stock 41.3 forks.  I only had the custom work done because I knew that I was going to ultimately go with the 41.7 K1100 forks and was not sure if it would work to use the 41.


__________________________________________________
1985 K100 Cafe Racer (formerly an RT), VIN 0051736
    

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