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Wider is Better..?!
good point. lower body steering is much better especially at your lean angles ...50-55 degrees!! don't want to be yanking on the bar when tipped over that far. i guess there is a reason that honda rs125s have bars that are less than 24 inches across! keith code , spencer, roberts all point out that the handlebar is a steering mechanism not a grab handle. if bar is too wide for the use or needs of the bike/rider ..unwanted/unintended inputs could result. in 83 spencer used cb1100r bars on the interceptor race bike to dominate at daytona. when fred merkel took over the bike ; he used a lot longer superbike type of bar. was this preference ? or was it a reflection of priorities. daytona ..aerodynamics. midohio,loudan,sears.... direction changing? it could be the difference between mr smooth(spencer) and the wrestler(merkel).
personal story: early race career. i was at roebling on my sr500. there was a guy for oakridge cycle in tenn. he also had an sr500. he was fast. he had clip ons and rearsets. his name was jay richardson (don't know if it is the same j richardson of ahrma fame..don't think so) any way, i followed him briefly. his style was strange.....he would make at least 5 steering changes per corner! he was very fast. i guess he was trying to keep the tire close to the threshold.maybe it was a series of slip-recover. maybe it was a tactic to prevent easy passes. he was small in stature. i think that he was having trouble turning the bike quickly enough. eventually i found him picking himself up on the outside of turn one. later that season , i saw him again. bike was completely changed. he had the biggest set of bars i have ever seen........and stock pegs! he rode beautifully and even faster! his approach to corners were now smooth and controlled and very fast! he won the gnf that year at road atlanta. i used to wonder about the changes.......his bike no longer looked like a road racer....more like a dirt tracker. for me part of the experiance was about "walter mitty" .......i had to have clubman look . raced once with a superbike bar and hated it........now 18 years on. i still find myself in conflict over function/form. wayne rainey finished third in the F1 race at loudan on his kaw superbike in 81. even in 83, his kaw gpz750 sported some outlandish bars!? what gives and how do i figure out which is better? the one advantage of smaller bars.....more/safer passing opprotuinities. and safer riding in close proximity. also better crashworthiness.
From: Back Roads Racing
RAINEY OPTED FOR SOME STRANGE WIDE BARS.THEY BOTH SAID THAT "LEVERAGE IS
CONTROL" KEITH CODE AND TONY FAOLE BOTH AGREE THAT THE FASTER YOU CAN TURN
IT.....THE LESS LEAN ANGLE YOU WILL NEED FOR A GIVEN SPEED ON A GIVEN
CORNER. WHAT DO YOU THINK? LET ME HEAR SOME INPUT.
I want just enough leverage to turn the bike quickly on it's side. I get in
trouble with wide bars because I tend to use them to move around on the bike
which puts unwanted steering inputs into the chassis. This usually happens
as my leg muscles get tired. I dropped the clip-ons below the top triple
because it gives me less leverage. I do better trying to ride a road racer
with my lower body not my upper. Of course you have to be able to quick
flick the bike. Like you said it's all a comprise at some point.
(bruce brown is a multi time daytona winner in ahrma sound of singles class on an MZ skorpion sport cup.
today all of my bikes feature monster wide bars (32-35 inches). this is especially helpful with my advancing age and my expanding waistline and my inherent "laziness".When untangling a back country mountain road or the walmart sumoto ....circuit; the extra dominance is useful tactically and expands safety margins...
of course it does not hurt that my yamaha sr500 has so many past and current ties to flat track racing.. nor that when kenny roberts wanted a street bike to mess around on in 1978..he CHOSE an sr500 'cause of its "directness"!
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