Bent Bars & More Light


As I have been riding the bike I have taken notice of a few bent parts, especially on the left-hand side. One part is, of course, the handlebars.

Thankfully as a seasoned crasher of off-road bikes I can manage to ride most bikes with bent bars, I just take a few miles to adjust then I am fine. It was strange when I got off the BMW and took the KLR for a spin.

The search began for new bars and a visit to see JimJams down at Gossmotox in Yeovil had me testing handlebars. The closest being some Renthal Classic Desert Racer bars with the part number 666, but they would hit the tank etc. I went back onto the internet and asked about and Colt Self was nice enough to remind me about handlebar risers. So a bit of late-night searching got me a set of cheap 1″ & 2″ (25 & 50mm) to try and because I had already done a trip to Yeovil I ordered a set of bars, sorry Jeffers, I will bring cake down to apologise.

Eventually all the bits arrived and I started to get all the bits off. Which is a faff as there is just one screw that clamps the switch gear on then you need to slide it off. I swore a lot and even had to resort to a strop and a cup of tea. Because the bars I had tried only a week or two beforehand made it a very easy task to swap parts over, this time it was a complete nightmare which ended up with a bit of switch gear snapping.

I assembled the bars and went to start the bike only to find the indicator switch failed and now the light switch wasn’t working properly and was jammed. Some more tea later I decided to take apart the switches and thankfully I managed to rescue the very small ball bearing that had found itself where it shouldn’t be. Not many pictures sadly as I was now on a bit of a mission and I was worried I would lose bits if I stopped to take pictures.


After a late-night ride home from a friends place, I noticed the BMW lights are very similar to my similarly aged KLR. Totally and utterly useless, I felt the Matchless with it 6V electrics built by the king of darkness (Lucas) had better vision. This I think is partly due to a bent headlight unit. An attempt to make some adjustments didn’t go to plan as the threads are rusted into the plastic. But as a stop-gap, for now, I decided to swap out the sidelight bulb for a LED unit, brighter but also less draw so won’t kill the bike if I am trying to get it started. But that had to be modified as for some reason the contacts on the bulb wouldn’t always make a good contact in the holder, so I laced a few strands of copper wire though the circuit board holes and that solved the problem.

The headlight has a H4 LED conversion bulb that I bought ages ago for not a lot of money and I have yet to test it at night but it may fair better than the old H4 that was in there. Otherwise it will end up with a Osram Night Breaker which is my choice of bulb these days.