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Thread: Handlebars and Pillion Seats

  1. #1
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    Handlebars and Pillion Seats

    I recently bought a '57 R60 and I'm just pleased as punch with the whole experience. If you see a grin riding down the street with a motorcycle beneath it, that'll be me. It is in very good condition and since is is two projects away, later in the year I plan to fix the few things that need attention and troubleshoot the few things that need attention immediately to get it "on the road":

    I hope to use it for a rider, not a garage Queen or a restoration project. I'll try the US bars for a while and try to adapt to that seating/handling style but would maybe like to try the (shorter) bars that the designers intended and Germans boys used. I wonder if there are many "European Style" bars in this country or even a close match as to what was stock before the Americans (maybe Flanders ?) changed the US spec units.

    I also have a square pillion pad and but have always liked the looks of the pillion seats that resembled the front solo seat but had a handle at the front. Anyone have some information on those.

    Thanks for your knowledge, input or advice.

    Charlie

  2. #2
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    handlebars and seats

    The euro bars are readily available from a number of sources. If you want to switch them out you will need new cables and might have a hard time spreading the old risers to get past the US cross brace bar without cracking the chrome.
    Should just plan on new risers with the low bars. Rear pillion seats also easily available both here and in Europe. You can still get most anything you need from your friendly dealer or Vech. Unless you are planning on carrying a pillion, IMHO the bike looks a lot better with just a solo seat.

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    As for pillion seat, consider a rear rack onto which a pillion pad could be added easily. That way you have the sleek look most of the time and the pad can be added when a passenger goes along. IMO, I prefer the rack rather than running with a naked rear fender...just seems like the fender needs something!
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
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    I agree that the rear of those models do look a little bare like it does need something. And I can understand why one would say that that bike style looks better with a single solo seat.

    I do carry a passenger frequently so something permanent most times are in order. The little rectangular pad with a strap that came loose with the bike purchase seems like an after thought or like something I would make after I found out how much a "real pillion seat" was. And I would loose the small luggage rack on the top of the rear fender.

    Thanks for the tip on cables with "Euro" bars. I figured as much, and it will save the time of trial and error(s).

    I'm not sure I understand the part about spreading the risers and cracking the chrome. The short bars don't have a cross bar also, do they ? And if they do, why would you spread the risers ? For me, the U.S. bars are too far rearward and may be more comfortable for some (me included) further forward, as in front of the Steering Dampener Knob.

    Were there several types of luggage racks available in the 50's and 60's ?

    Thanks,
    Charlie

  5. #5
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    handlebars and pillion seats

    Quote Originally Posted by 72r60/7 View Post
    I agree that the rear of those models do look a little bare like it does need something. And I can understand why one would say that that bike style looks better with a single solo seat.

    I do carry a passenger frequently so something permanent most times are in order. The little rectangular pad with a strap that came loose with the bike purchase seems like an after thought or like something I would make after I found out how much a "real pillion seat" was. And I would loose the small luggage rack on the top of the rear fender.

    Thanks for the tip on cables with "Euro" bars. I figured as much, and it will save the time of trial and error(s).

    I'm not sure I understand the part about spreading the risers and cracking the chrome. The short bars don't have a cross bar also, do they ? And if they do, why would you spread the risers ? For me, the U.S. bars are too far rearward and may be more comfortable for some (me included) further forward, as in front of the Steering Dampener Knob.

    Were there several types of luggage racks available in the 50's and 60's ?

    Thanks,
    Charlie
    You will be surprised at the cost of a "real pillion seat. I never really liked the breadloaf on the luggage rack setup for passenger comfort and security. You previously mentioned a model with a grab ring in front of the seat. There were two models available, one with a flat base to be mounted on the luggage rack and another with a curved base that can be mounted directly to the fender. There were also seats with both bases without the grab handle in addition to a narrow and wide full length saddle. Lots of choices.

    Take a look at your current handlebars and you will see the risers that locate the bars to the top yolk. See how those risers are trapped by the crossbar of the US handlebars? If you want to reuse them then you will need to spread them about 10 mm to clear the crossbar unless you cut up the bars to free the old risers. No matter how carefully you try to spread them the chrome will probably crack. On the Euro bars you don't have to worry about clearing a crossbar when installing the new bars. As you might expect, there are a number of risers available to choose from depending on how you want to mount the bars. You can also mount the long risers backward to move the bars forward or use the short vertical risers option. Same with luggage racks, you want a fender mounted unit or one that set behind the fender? A fixed rack, or one that folds up? Lots of choices. None of which are cheap.

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  6. #6
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    As I recall, you can use one of the risers from the singles, like maybe the R25 or R26 to alter the ergonomics a little bit too. Vech would know.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    As I recall, you can use one of the risers from the singles, like maybe the R25 or R26 to alter the ergonomics a little bit too. Vech would know.
    Those would be the vertical risers I mentioned above. Also used on the R68, IIRC.

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  8. #8
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    The Denfeld (sp?) that came loose with the bike purchase is looking better all the while. Its the one with a strap and fits directly to the fender. It does look a bit low for a passenger though.

    I see what the bar/riser dilemma is. Seems like the German Engineering of the /5s and forward were maybe the result of Nepotism from the 50's. I think that a little R&D is in order by just purchasing 3 Cables and making some risers and using some low bars to see if it worth investing in other era parts. I don't think I'll ever succumb to needing $160 (new) "Euro" bars for a rider a couple of times a week.

    Some of my 20 yr /5, /6 and /7 Knowledge/Experience is coming back and useful but I can tell that its going to be another learning experience, but its gonna be fun.

    As for a luggage rack, the search is on.

    Thanks for you help and I don't think I'll be away long. I'm itching to bump this project up. But I need an engine swap on a 90's K75 (1 receded exhaust valve and a spare engine I already had) and a '78 Garelli Moped after that and it too may be fun. The (Italian) Moped parts seem to be Way, Way and Way cheaper than (German) motorcycle parts.

    All two wheel FUN !

    Charlie

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