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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a kit that includes clip-ons and risers on eBay:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/122266633961?ViewItem=&item=122266633961

This looks like the ONLY such clip-on with risers kit, so I ordered one. Hope the quality is decent . . .

The price is certainly "right".

And you have a choice of colours - I went with all black, which keeps the look conservative and fits with my overall plans. The basic clip-on mounting point height looks to be ABOUT 1.5 to 2" lower than the OEM bar.

Delivery time is measured in weeks, but if they work out, they'll be a nice mod that will allow me to put the bars within a wide range of 3D space.

One of my objectives is to lower the bars just a bit, and to narrow the bar width, so that I present less of a "sail" for the wind to grab.

Jim G
 

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Hmmm, very interesting. Also for those using the bike for track and looking for a more forward position, I would imagine flipping them around big tubes around to forward might be an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Have to see them once you get them mounted, you might need to do a lot of fiddling around to get any decent amount of turn on the bars. See this thread to see where I'm coming from https://www.z125owners.com/forum/what-did-you-do-your-kawasaki-z125-today/15379-clip-mounts.html
Yes, I know from having done this on my Yamaha R3. On any specific bike, there is usually a somewhat limited range of positions in which you can avoid:

- Hitting the fuel tank cover
- Pinning your hand between the grip and the fuel tank cover if you fall and the handlebar turns completely to the left or right steering "stop"
- Having the brake line bend too far or become too short
- Having 1 or more cables end up at an unacceptable location or angle, or simply too short
- Ending up with mirrors that only show you yourself

On the Yamaha, I had to juggle and move things to prevent the master brake cylinder from hitting the edge of the front fairing, to prevent both grips from hitting the fuel tank cover at full lock, to prevent the throttle cable elbow from hitting the top of the side fairing, and to prevent the clutch lever from hitting the front fairing, etc.

The kit I ordered, plus the adjustable control levers I ordered, will give me a LOT of flexibility relatively, as the clip-on/riser setup allows at a minimum the following types of adjustment:

- width between the bases of the 2 separate clip-ons (by sliding each clip-on's "tower" in or out along the short central bar

- Angle of each tower around the axis of the central tube (i.e. forward or rearward along the axis of the bike)

- angle of each bar horizontally relative to the axis of its tower base

- length of each bar, by sliding it in or out of its tower, and even by cutting each bar if necessary

- Angle of each control module on its clip-on, by rotating the module around the axis of the clip-on bar

It's a trial and error process that is impossible to picture accurately in 3D beforehand, but I am hoping I will end up with something better than the stock setup! If it works, it will give me better ergonomics, slightly higher top speed (because I'll be narrow and lower), and it will look much better than the OEM handlebar and its cheapo control levers (I also ordered adjustable CNCed levers that look really elegant).

Jim G
 

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Mine is just welded in position so no width adjustment, should make it lighter by a small amount.

For what I did, 15cm between the inside edges of the larger tube was about right, you could go 16cm and clear everything at full lock but 15cm is already kind of wide. I used 35mm (actually 1 3/8 inch) tube for my clipons and with 3 inch tall large tubes, I have about an inch of elevation that I can adjust. More elevation give more clearance and may adjust mine up a little when I build the aluminum version.

If you also welded the large tubes farther forward it would help clear, but I'm concerned about strength going much farther forward. The aluminum one I'm going to start building soon is going to be the 3rd version now, and probably the last version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow! They're here already! But . . .

Wow! I ordered them Tuesday (9-18) and the Post Office delivered them to me the following Monday (9-24)! From China!

And, they look great. And extremely adjustable - the photo does not clearly show all the adjustments available because I chose black as the colour. The design is very clever. 2 of the bolts that hold the central base to the Z125 triple are hidden by a piece that covers them. The other 2 bolts need to show because of the raerward taper of the base to put the clip-ons where they need to be.

But . . .

The entire collection of pieces weighs an astonishing 3.97 lb !!

I don't know what the sum total weight of the OEM bar and its mounts is, but I suspect it is a LOT less than 3.97 lb. I wanted to REDUCE weight, not increase it. Especially weight that is placed HIGH on the bike.


Advantages of these clip-ons:

- With all the adjustability, including the ability to cut (shorten) the (easily and inexpensively replaceable) 22mm bars, you can basically put your bars wherever you want in 3D space, for optimal ergonomics, and can CHANGE the positions for different uses (e.g. street riding, touring, gymkhana, or racing)

- This ability to move the bars means you also can make your frontal wind cross-section much narrower than OEM if top speed and/or fuel mileage are important to you

- Visually, they add a LOT versus the OEM bar, which simply looks cheap. The workmanship, detailing, and finish are excellent. They look like an assembly that you "custom made" for the bike

- The price, at $100 US, SHIPPED, is GREAT for what you get, and at least for Canada, no duties.


DISadvantages of these clip-ons:

- They almost surely add weight to the bike (Even without yet having the weight of the OEM bar and mounts, I know it HAS to weigh less than this!)

- They add the weight in a position high up on the bike (more adverse effects on handling than a part that is positioned low on the bike)

- In theory at least, if you choose to narrow your wind profile, you also give yourself less "leverage" and make the bike a bit more "twitchy"

I'm really torn. I love the price, the look, the features, the easy and broad adjustability, and the ability to create a narrower wind cross-section. But the weight bothers me, especially since one of my big objectives on this bike is to get its weight under 200 lb before gas. This INcrease in weight makes it harder, and more expensive, to hit my target.

The ad for the clip-ons, like most eBay ads, never mentions the weight. And the seller has delivered (fast!) exactly what his ad described. So, I cannot just return it if the weight bothers me enough to do so. But $100 is not the expensive lesson that a set of domestically sourced clip-ons would be.

I can't even know beforehand what the weight penalty would actually be compared to the OEM setup, since no one appears to have published anywhere the weight of the OEM bar and its mounting setup, so I'd have to completely disassemble my bike's handlebar assembly to isolate the bar and its mounts, and at that point, I may as well at least TRY the clip-on setup to see if all the advantages I listed are beneficial enough to keep the clip-ons on the bike.

ANYONE out there happen to have the OEM bar and mounts off their bike for any reason, and be able to weigh the setup?

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well the weight is not as bad as it first seems - because of the OEM handlebar setup's width, shape, and materials. It turns out that this 3.97 lb clip-on & riser assembly might actually be LIGHTER than the OEM setup!

First, the OEM handlebar is quite wide - about 27.5" even excluding the extension of the vibration dampers.

Secondly, the OEM handlebar has a LOT of rise - about 5", which makes its actual "length" about 34" of tubing.

Thirdly, the OEM handlebar is STEEL, and so is the mounting assembly! You can see this by simply bringing a magnet in close proximity - it will stick like glue.

Now the aluminum clip-on tubes that come with the clip-on & riser kit weigh almost exactly 0.5 lb per foot of tube. But, they are 6061 Aluminum, which weighs 0.346 of what steel weighs!

So, the OEM handlebar must weigh about (0.5 lb x 34/12)/0.346 = 4.09 lb!

Then, there is also the mounting assembly that holds the bar to the bike. A LIGHTWEIGHT aluminum fat bar riser kit from Pro Taper, which is physically larger than the OEM kit (because it has to include a lot of extra material to grab a 1-1/8" "fat" bar, weighs 0.22 lb. So, the OEM STEEL mount has to weigh at least 0.5 lb (This includes hardware).

So, in total, the OEM handlebar setup has to weigh somewhere north of 4.5 lb, assuming the bar THICKNESS is the same as for aluminum bars (which I think it is because of the need to prevent tube kinking).

So, this Chinese clip=on & riser setup probably is about 0.5 lb lighter than the OEM setup.

However, I found a "fat" carbon fiber bar that weighs 0.66 lb, that if combined with the 0.22 lb Pro Taper fat bar kit, comes in at a total of just 0.88 lb, which creates a weight saving of over 3.5 lb versus OEM. That's pretty compelling, so I think I will go that direction.

Important note: Carbon Fiber is very strong BUT it it bends very little. Once it gets hit hard enough, like when the bike falls while moving, it may well simply break, unlike an aluminum or steel bar that will bend quite a bit before breaking. So, if you plan to go dirt riding or racing with your Z125, stick with aluminum, which is still very much lighter than the OEM steel bar, and only maybe about 0.75 lb heavier than the Carbon Fiber bar.

Jim G
 

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Well the weight is not as bad as it first seems - because of the OEM handlebar setup's width, shape, and materials. It turns out that this 3.97 lb clip-on & riser assembly might actually be LIGHTER than the OEM setup!

Then, there is also the mounting assembly that holds the bar to the bike. A LIGHTWEIGHT aluminum fat bar riser kit from Pro Taper, which is physically larger than the OEM kit (because it has to include a lot of extra material to grab a 1-1/8" "fat" bar, weighs 0.22 lb. So, the OEM STEEL mount has to weigh at least 0.5 lb (This includes hardware).

So, in total, the OEM handlebar setup has to weigh somewhere north of 4.5 lb, assuming the bar THICKNESS is the same as for aluminum bars (which I think it is because of the need to prevent tube kinking).

Jim G
You may want to recheck your stock handlebar mount. Mine is aluminum instead of steel.
I don't know about your clip on bars, but I got Pro Taper aluminum bars a while back and they were thicker than the stock steel handlebars. Outer diameter is the same, but the ID of the aluminum is smaller. The easy way to check is to pull out one of the stock bar end plugs and see if it fits in the clip on.
If you are planning on using mirrors with a narrower bar setup on the clip ons your stock mirrors will probably be useless. You could save some weight and space the mirrors out far enough to get a rear view by going with bar end mirrors.
Either way, good luck with the mod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You may want to recheck your stock handlebar mount. Mine is aluminum instead of steel.
I don't know about your clip on bars, but I got Pro Taper aluminum bars a while back and they were thicker than the stock steel handlebars. Outer diameter is the same, but the ID of the aluminum is smaller. The easy way to check is to pull out one of the stock bar end plugs and see if it fits in the clip on.
If you are planning on using mirrors with a narrower bar setup on the clip ons your stock mirrors will probably be useless. You could save some weight and space the mirrors out far enough to get a rear view by going with bar end mirrors.
Either way, good luck with the mod.
Thanks for the good inputs. My OEM handlebar mount is definitely steel - a magnetic toothbrush head sticks and stands proudly on top or side of it! What year is your Z125? This may be another area (beyond the cheap drivechain) where Kawasaki cheapened the specs at some point to get cost out of the product.

The aluminum tube bars being thicker makes sense, since aluminum is so much lighter than steel, but not as strong, so a bar manufacturer can decide to make his aluminum bars thicker as a safety measure and STILL be far lighter. I don't want to pull the bar end plugs out in advance to check the ID, as past experience has taught me that the plugs get badly disfigured being extracted, and I'm a long ways from being ready to make an actual handlebar swap yet.

I have been wondering if the OEM mirrors will still work if the handlebar is 1.75" shorter on each side (3.5" shorter overall). The OEM design apparently doesn't allow any mirror STEM angle adjustment, just mirror angle adjustment. I have tried bar-end mirrors on other bikes and find tham not good enough given my body geometry and riding position and angle. I hate to give up the narrowing of the 27.5" bars (I run 24" on my Yamaha R3), but I MUST be able to use the mirrors, so I'll try a test fitting with the mirror bases placed where they would be on a 24" bar width, and "see if I can see behind me"!. If I can't I'll try to find longer stemmed mirrors or mirrors with adjustable stem angles. But if neither approach works I'll abandon the idea of narrowing the bars, because safety is No. 1 priority, and instead try for LOWER bar end positions by rotating the bars rearward, for a slightly lower wind cross-section for me.

The weight issue goes away entirely with a carbon fiber bar (real 100% carbon fiber, not carbon wrapped aluminum), so keeping the bars at OEM width becomes more palatable, and the CF bar can also be rotated rearward to get a lower wind cross-section for me. The fatigue and impact test results I've seen comapring CF to aluminum are very encouraging. CF beats aluminum on fatigue resistance, although both materials go way beyond the life that the bars will actually be used. On impact, aluminum is somewhat better, but both failure points are again way beyond anything likely to ever be experienced on the road, and even then, the failures are non-catastrophic for both materials.

Jim G
 

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It's strange that the handlebar mounts are different on our bikes. Mine is a 2018 model with a build date of 11/18 (according to the vehicle information sticker on the steering head). When I do the magnet test on mine, the magnet sticks to the OEM bars, but not to the mounts. I wonder if they changed the material between production runs (same model year but different build dates) or they just used different mounts on the bikes shipped to Canada vs the USA.
 

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When you say you are wondering if the stock mirrors will work after the swap, that implies the stock mirrors were any good in the first place. With my clipons they work slightly better because they "look" under my shoulder. But they still suck compared to the view I get from my Harley which has completely unobstructed views.

I'll have to check, but I think my mounts are also aluminum, and also an '18.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's strange that the handlebar mounts are different on our bikes. Mine is a 2018 model with a build date of 11/18 (according to the vehicle information sticker on the steering head). When I do the magnet test on mine, the magnet sticks to the OEM bars, but not to the mounts. I wonder if they changed the material between production runs (same model year but different build dates) or they just used different mounts on the bikes shipped to Canada vs the USA.
Build date of 11/18?? In the FUTURE? Maybe you can tell us what to expect for 2019 . . . :)

I assume you meant 11/17.

Yes, manufacturers make cost cutting changes when the accountants say the gross margins are too low.

Jim G
 

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Mine is a 2018 model with a build date of 11/18. When I do the magnet test on mine, the magnet sticks to the OEM bars, but not to the mounts. ... or they just used different mounts on the bikes shipped to Canada vs the USA.
FUTURE BIKE! *Edit: Dangit, Jim beat me to this joke.

I rode the Z to work today so I couldn't resist checking. My 2018 backs up Spaceteach, magnet sticks to bars, hardware, but not mounts. I'm guessing it's a regional difference, but what a weird thing to skimp on for two similar markets.

Jim be sure to test rotating the oem bars back towards you before you pull the trigger on a CF bar assuming you can do the same. I'm fairly short at 5'8" and I have to be mindful of ramming the bars into my knees at full lock with the bars in the normal position.

Also my OEM mirror stalks are adjustable, but only with tools.
 

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Yes, I meant a build date of 11/17.
Jim, I wish I had your patience. By now I'd have installed the clip ons even if it was just to use them as test mules to find out how much rise and bend I'd want in the carbon bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
FUTURE BIKE! *Edit: Dangit, Jim beat me to this joke.

I rode the Z to work today so I couldn't resist checking. My 2018 backs up Spaceteach, magnet sticks to bars, hardware, but not mounts. I'm guessing it's a regional difference, but what a weird thing to skimp on for two similar markets.

Jim be sure to test rotating the oem bars back towards you before you pull the trigger on a CF bar assuming you can do the same. I'm fairly short at 5'8" and I have to be mindful of ramming the bars into my knees at full lock with the bars in the normal position.

Also my OEM mirror stalks are adjustable, but only with tools.
Thanks for the alert on the full lock knees contact, as I too am 5'8"!

And thanks for the heads up on the mirror stalks being adjustable! I did not realize that they were if you use tools! THAT really helps, because can gain more "width" by adjusting the stalks downward, where they would still be a lot higher than bar-end mirrors.

Jim G
 

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^Agreed, they seem like a really nice tool to dial in your ergonomics even if they are too heavy for actual use.
 

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And thanks for the heads up on the mirror stalks being adjustable! I did not realize that they were if you use tools! THAT really helps, because can gain more "width" by adjusting the stalks downward, where they would still be a lot higher than bar-end mirrors.
Hmmm, I'm not sure I follow you. I simply meant that they screw into place and have a lock nut to hold them still. So you can adjust them around the axis of the vertical stalk. I don't think you can get any up/down adjustment out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, I meant a build date of 11/17.
Jim, I wish I had your patience. By now I'd have installed the clip ons even if it was just to use them as test mules to find out how much rise and bend I'd want in the carbon bars.
I don't want to experiment with the clip-ons for 2 reasons:

- I live in a condo building where working on a vehicle in the underground garage is strictly forbidden, so I have to do the work at a friend's garage, and the logistics of getting the heavy toolbox and parts there and back via our ONE car (which my wife needs for work 5 to 6 days per week) make any work session "an epic"

- I don't want to mark up or otherwise devalue the clip-ons, as Groms and Z125s have exactly the same mounts, so there is a good chance my friend who owns a Grom will want to buy them from me, as he is totally unconcerned about weight and hates the Grom bars

Also, there are no "choices" on the carbon fiber bar. There is only ONE product available to me. About all I can do to it is rotate its install angle and cut its width down to whatever works for me and still:

- leaves the mirrors usable (with the stalks lowered for more width), and

- leaves enough straight section of bar on both left and right ends to accommodate the switchboxes, levers, and mirrors mounts

This will give me FAR less adjustability than the clip-ons would, but my aggressive bike weight reduction objectives speak against giving up over THREE POUNDS of weight reduction! (The clip-ons with risers weigh 3.97 lb, whereas the carbon fiber bar with the Pro Taper fat bar adapter risers weighs a total of 0.88 lb.)

Right now, I'm pretty confident I can get the Z125 below 200 lb before gas, even withOUT the extra 4 lb reduction that the costly carbon fiber wheels would give. And that's being very careful to keep the bike street legal to the casual Police observer.

Jim G
 

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- I live in a condo building where working on a vehicle in the underground garage is strictly forbidden, so I have to do the work at a friend's garage, and the logistics of getting the heavy toolbox and parts there and back via our ONE car (which my wife needs for work 5 to 6 days per week) make any work session "an epic"
Gotcha, that all makes sense. Bummer about the condo. At my last apartment we did some minor bolt-on stuff with metal blaring the entire time, got a few interested looky-loos but nobody seemed to mind. It was nice to be able to work on a car in the middle of winter.

I suppose, if you don't draw a hard line you're going to have people doing engine swaps in their stall because "You let the guy with the mini bike work on his vehicle!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hmmm, I'm not sure I follow you. I simply meant that they screw into place and have a lock nut to hold them still. So you can adjust them around the axis of the vertical stalk. I don't think you can get any up/down adjustment out of them.
ooooh.:( Sounds like I need to replace them with something that is much more adjustable. Since they calmp onto the handlebar "generically", it might be possible for me to find a pair of mirrors with more adjustability or simply longer stems.

Jim G
 
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