Multistrada 1200 ProTaper Contour Raptor ATV Bars Install

See also: Multistrada 1200 / MTS1200 - Removal / Refitting Handlebars
...for Multistrada 1200, Fitting After Market Handlebars (Bars) general advice and specific info on fitting ProTaper Evo bars (the CR High 'bend')

Changing the handlebars on a Multistrada 1200
By forum member 'coman' (aka Peter) - original discussion here

After riding my MTS1200 for 2000 miles I came to the conclusion that the OE bars are too wide and not swept back enough to suit my 5'9" frame, length of arm and therefore wrist angle. Not unbearably uncomfortable but could better.

Multistrada 1200 - standard / OE handlebars / bars

So I started looking around for information. As far as could see on the Forum no one had changed the bars on a Multistrada 1200 before, so I couldn't get any recommendations. On my old 1100 I'd changed to Renthal Road High bars which were very comfortable, so I used those as a reference. I emailed Renthal but they had nothing that covered the the specs I required for my MTS1200:

  • tapered bars
  • 140mm of 28mm clamp area
  • 230mm of 22mm for control mounting
  • and more sweep than the OE bars (which was awkward to measure in situ but seemed to be 60mm)

I looked at all manner of manufacturers and eventually the nearest to spec I found were a set of Contour Raptor ATV bars (I guess that's a quad bike to me) made by Protaper in the USA. At 813mm they are 50mm narrower than stock, they rise more sharply and flatten out more but are about the same height overall. Importantly, they have 220 mm of control mounting and about 90mm sweep.

Protaper Contour ATV Raptor bend

Raptor 813 143 115 236 87

For the sake of comparison, the Protaper EVO () as fiited by AndyW (link at head of page;-)

Protaper EVO A B    C D E
CR High 800 95    71 204 60

Width 'A' modified wiith bar extensions to 850mm (Erik's Protaper Multistrada 1200 bar mod)

On Ebay, Honda East Toledo were selling the Contour Raptors for £55, with £35 shipping. So I bought one and they turned up in UK customs about three weeks later. I had to pay an extra £17 for customs and 'handling' to get them released. So the total was £107 - amazing how it all adds up to double the price!!

Stock / standard Multistrada 1200 handlebars compared to Protaper Contour (Raptor 'bend') bars:

Multistrada 1200 standard bars compared to after market Protaper Contours

Multistrada 1200 standard bars compared to after market Protaper Contours

Multistrada 1200 standard bars compared to after market Protaper Contours

Thanks to advice received on the forum I had no trouble locating and removing the two self-tappers holding the heated grip on the clutch side bars. To remove the Ducati heated grips - the clutch side is easy, peel away the rubber grip that flanks the plastic sheath and discover the Phillips screws at the top and bottom dead center. Unscrew these 2 and pull the sheath + heat harness + grip (as one assembly) off. To remove the right-hand side the throttle twist mech has to be disassembled. Everything came off easily, though I did drop one of the throttle clamp bolts down near the headstock and it got lost in the bowls of the bike. I replaced it and a few others with stainless cap screws I had left over from another job.

Mounting the left hand heated grip onto the new bars needed a bit of twisting and effort, and some light taps with a wooded mallet, as the bars there had been knurled to be grippy. The plastic locating pins on the indicator switch block and the starter switch block were cut off with a sharp Stanley knife. The metal locating pin on the throttle clamp had to be ground off with a Dremel. When remounting those parts I needed to add a wrap of rubbery electrical tape to the bars as otherwise they were a loose fit.
[AndyW] It took some doing to get the positions accurate but on fitting Protaper Evo bars on my Multistrada 1200 (see link at head of the page;-) I drilled and tapped holes for the fixing screws for the Ducati heated grips and the locating lug for the throttle twist grip mech. You could always get this done at a local motorcycle workshop if you don't have the tools/ability;-)

Multistrada 1200 handlebar fitting
Poor picture of the ground off throttle mounting pin. But you get the idea and
Ducati is in perfect focus!

That apart everything went back together easily. There was enough room to mount all the controls, though the throttle sleeve extends about 5mm past the end of the bars. No problem, I will buy a set of 14mm R&G bar-end protectors and either make a spacer or get one bar-end turned down on a lathe to suit on that side. The R&G's I had fitted to the OE bars are too big as the bore of the alloy Raptors is 14mm as opposed to the 18mm of the steel originals.

You can see in the pictures that the Raptors have about 20mm more sweep than the original bars. According to my measurements the OEs have 83mm sweep and the Raptors have 103mm. So that was a relief!

I have only managed to get a 30 minute test ride so far, but that was long enough to notice a real increase in comfort from the new bars. I am very pleased with the outcome. [Update below;-]

The bars are mounted as far forward as they can be to just miss the screen
mount on full lock.

Plenty of room on the clutch side for the controls. The Ducati heated grips were an interference fit on the knurling and didn't need to be secured by the self-tappers as they were originally. I had to use a wrap of electrical tape where the switch mounts as it was a loose fit without its locating pin. I did the same for the throttle side switch housing and throttle mount too.

Throttle side was a bit tighter. The hand-guard/mirror mount was put as far on as possible before the bend interfered. The bars have 220mm of 22mm (7/8") diameter as opposed to 230mm on the OE bars.

The throttle sleeve overhangs by about 5mm (1/4"). No problem and I will install some R&G bar ends which will cover that. Note that the bars (alloy) have a 14mm bore as opposed to the 18mm OE (steel), so the R&G's I had on them no longer fit inside.

All finished. I don't like the stickers on the bars but they are printed on and can't be removed. Not a deal breaker though.

Update 01Mar2012
Ah, very nice.I didn't see the article on your site Andy and couldn't find any info on, so I did my own research but came up with the same manufacturer. However, my needs were the opposite to yours - I wanted more sweep, not less, as the stock bars 'straightened' my wrists and forced my elbows out slightly in an unnatural position, and I wanted about the same height as I am not tall with long arms.

Since I did my write up I've had a another good blast, and I must say I am even happier now. I seem to be much more at one with the bike with everything in its right place. I also found some aluminium washers on ebay, 22mm with a 14mm hole and 2mm thick. When I get them two or three will fill the overhang of the throttle tube nicely. I have already fitted another set of R&G bar ends and it all looks good.

A small admission about the aluminium washers - they are actually Rover/Honda sump plug washers, but don't tell anyone! ;-)

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