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I bought a new set of handlebars for my xr250 to replace the stock ones that I felt were too low for my taste.  After installing the new bars, grips and controls – I realized that they are not as wide as the previous (maybe 4.5” shorter).  Haven’t taken my bike for a ride as of yet but will these narrower bars change the handling of the bike?  I am 5-10 and do mostly trail ride in the AZ desert.    

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Yes. Narrower bars mean a feel of quicker turning and you don't have as much leverage over them. Trail trash that usually deflect your wheel, like roots, rocks and ruts will jerk the bars in your hands more because you have less leverage over them.

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4.5" is a LOT shorter, can't be good.

 

Try a CR High bend if you are a smaller rider, or a KX High bend if you are a larger rider and have broad shoulders.

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I bought a set of the Easton EXP bars (Mcgrath/Stewart bend) from Motosport a couple months back and have to say that I like them a lot.  I got them on special for $30 and have not regretted it since.  You have to make sure to get the clamps due to the fact that they are 1.375" bars, but with the clamps comes an extra .5" of rise due to the design.  I'm 6'2" and have always had a problem feeling crunched up on my bike, but with these bars they give me that added inch or so and make me a lot more comfortable while standing.  The one downside is that they are a little wider than the bars that I had before, and along with bark busters they total up to about 2" wider.  It's not terrible, and along with what TR42 said it gives a little more stable feel while sacrificing the ability to scoot through trees as easy.  I've gotten used to them and really don't notice them anymore so I don't really count it as a downfall. 

 

You can get these bars cheap and they are extremely durable from what I can tell. Mine are still straight even after some pretty serious get-offs.  I would give them a shot.

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My protapers are one inch shorter than stock and that is my limit, I can't imagine 4.5in shorter! That is like a cafe racer width!

Edited by KevinsXR

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I wouldn't bother with the Easton, I'd just get a set of 7/8" bars, rockymountainatv has a bunch of bars for $23, pick the bend and color you want.

Normal bars are 7/8", fat bars are 1 1/8", and the Easton bars are 1 3/8",so you will just waste money buying the conversion clamps which are only compatible with Easton bars.

Also, I noticed that the Easton bars have been on closeout forever, I doubt they will continue making them in the future.

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Don't buy bars that you have no idea what the dimensions are. Learn how to measure your old bars, width, height, sweep and center to know what aspects of it you want to change, then look at bars that have the new dimensions you want.

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I wouldn't bother with the Easton, I'd just get a set of 7/8" bars, rockymountainatv has a bunch of bars for $23, pick the bend and color you want.

Normal bars are 7/8", fat bars are 1 1/8", and the Easton bars are 1 3/8",so you will just waste money buying the conversion clamps which are only compatible with Easton bars.

Also, I noticed that the Easton bars have been on closeout forever, I doubt they will continue making them in the future.

 

The Easton bars I got came with the mounts.  Whole package for 30 bucks.  Yes they were on closeout, but the good thing is that the mounts that accept the 1.375" bars are simply a bolt on. To go back to a 7/8" setup would involve removing 4 bolts.  If they do discontinue them and I do break/bend them it's a simple switch back to the stockers or an 1.125" setup.  Either way's a winner. 

 

I've also bought a set of the 7/8" steel cheapo's and they are junk and damn near not worth the money.   You go down once and you might as well get another set on order.  The Easton's are pretty solid and the huge mounting surface gives the front end a much more solid feel. 

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I bought a set of the Easton EXP bars (Mcgrath/Stewart bend) from Motosport a couple months back and have to say that I like them a lot.  I got them on special for $30 and have not regretted it since.  You have to make sure to get the clamps due to the fact that they are 1.375" bars, but with the clamps comes an extra .5" of rise due to the design.  I'm 6'2" and have always had a problem feeling crunched up on my bike, but with these bars they give me that added inch or so and make me a lot more comfortable while standing.  The one downside is that they are a little wider than the bars that I had before, and along with bark busters they total up to about 2" wider.  It's not terrible, and along with what TR42 said it gives a little more stable feel while sacrificing the ability to scoot through trees as easy.  I've gotten used to them and really don't notice them anymore so I don't really count it as a downfall. 

 

You can get these bars cheap and they are extremely durable from what I can tell. Mine are still straight even after some pretty serious get-offs.  I would give them a shot.

 

 I got them too on that close out deal. Not available any longer that I can find.  Very nice  improvement in cockpit.  I tried to go back and buy more but all gone. 

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Thanks for all the replies.  I will be replacing the new bars and will look into the Easton EXP's.

 

 They are discontinued and not available any longer unless someone has a few pairs stashed.

 Most bars are the same width and you cut them down to narrow for tight woods and such.

Wondering if your old bars are extra wide for high speed desert running??? Would make sense, but i"ve not seen anything like that. 

Edited by MindBlower

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I wouldn't bother with the Easton, I'd just get a set of 7/8" bars, rockymountainatv has a bunch of bars for $23, pick the bend and color you want.

Normal bars are 7/8", fat bars are 1 1/8", and the Easton bars are 1 3/8",so you will just waste money buying the conversion clamps which are only compatible with Easton bars.

Also, I noticed that the Easton bars have been on closeout forever, I doubt they will continue making them in the future.

 

 The Eason's are MUCH nicer than the cheapo bars. These are comparable to Renthals. 

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 They are discontinued and not available any longer unless someone has a few pairs stashed.

 Most bars are the same width and you cut them down to narrow for tight woods and such.

Wondering if your old bars are extra wide for high speed desert running??? Would make sense, but i"ve not seen anything like that. 

 

You are right, they are discontinued from the manufacturer, but there are a few small sites that you can find them on the internet.  The problem with these now is that they are in high demand so the price is up comparable with Renthal or Pro Taper.  Which in that case I would switch back to one of them.   Any way you look at it, I have a super inexpensive set of bars that have stood up well and it won't hurt my feelings or pocket book if I need to replace them.  

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Update - went on a long trail ride and hated the short bars. I have now replaced them.....thanks for all the comments.

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I have Eastons on my Husky.  Very comfortable and very sturdy.  I went with some Pro Taper EVOs for my XR though.  Haven't got them in yet.  Think they are the same bend, maybe a little taller than my Easton bar.  The Easton on the Husky seems really low, but the ergos of that bike are some of the most comfortable I've experienced  for a modern dirt bike.  They are mounted on a Scotts sub mount clamp though, so they're higher than stock.

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I remember the stock bars on my old '73 Elsinore CR 125 had bars that felt 4' wide. Great control, but a handful in the woods without bark busters.

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