XR650R handlebar uprgrade help

Hi Guys,

     I'm looking for advice on how to set up my bikes ergonomics to fit me well. I don't have a lot of time on it yet, but wondering what you guys who are 6' are using for a handlebar and riser block set up? From what I've read a lot of taller guys think the bar and footpeg heights are a little off from the factory, with the bar low and pegs high.  I want to switch to a Keihin FCR  MX carb soon, which I think will take a different set of throttle cables, and would like to get the bar height dialed in so I can order the correct length cables. I've a 33" inseam, and 35" sleeve length. Is there anyone with a similar build who's found a good riding position on the bike and can share their mods? I'm planning on 50/50 road and trail riding, and standing on the pegs will be done. Lastly I want to add Cycra pro handguards and they come in 7/8" and 1 1/8" sizes for different bar thicknesses - when do you go to a thicker bar? Thanks. John.

The only rider who knows what fits you well is you. My guess would be to buy some ROX risers 7/8 x 1 1/8 x 2 rise (maybe not sure about the height) along with a 1 1/8" bar and try that out.

I use a applied racing top clamp (moves bars over the forks)with the tall bar clamp option along with the tallest Renthal fat bars.

I just put on a set of renthal 'jimmy button' bend, extra tall at 5.5 inches high. I haven't ridden it yet, but I will let you know..

Iv got some pro taper fat bar risers u can have coz iv got billet tripples now and im 6.1 ill find out what pro tapper bars i have when i get home.i can send the risers to you if you pay postage im in western australia but

Ps 41mm mx is f@#in awesome! I got motion pro throttle and cables to suit

X2 on the applied clamp. Made a huge difference in ergonomics on the 650r's I used to own. I am 6'2 and liked the cr hi bend fat bar with it.... IMS wide pegs too....

Here is a third person chiming in for the Applied (or BRP) upper clamp.  The biggest difference for me was not necessarily the extra height (I am 6'4", so height always helps) but the biggest improvement IMO is getting the handlebars out of your lap and forward.


FWIW I am currently using BRP clamps with a 1/2" rise over stock and Renthal Twinwall 997 bend bars.


I am using a complete CR450R throttle assembly and cables with my FCR and have no length/fitment issues with the stock Honda cables on the XR.

Hi Guys,

     Thanks for the awesome info. I'll be looking at all of the clamps and bars mentioned. Getting the bar higher and more foreward will be an improvement.

     Rockroosta, I'll take you up on your offer, thank you. I'll PM you my address, it will give me an option for bars. Looking forward to the Keihin too. My bike is completely unmodded right now, I managed to find a garage queen for not too much money, and it starts on first kick and runs smooth. But it definitely can use more power.  

     Best regards. John

If your bike is bone stock, do the uncorking mods. You will be blown away. That and the ergonomics of the bar will make it an amazing machine..... You could save your money on the carb and be very happy for a long time....

Hi Fourstrokin650,

     Yeah, that makes sense to do that. Thanks. I was going to go for the kill shot right away, but maybe I'll let the money tree come back to life and do the uncorking mods first, then step up to a pumper carb. I really got excited with the bike, but also needed to spend bucks to get it ready for the street and plus some new riding gear, so I will un-cork it and turn off the money tap for a bit.

     Must be great riding in Montana. Gotta ride a ways here to get to some good trails, too much building has gone on. But, that just means more time on the bike.

     Best regards.



Awesome riding up here. Used to drive two hours to the desert in LA to ride my 650r. Awesome riding but 4 hours of driving was a pain. Here it's almost down the street :)


I promise you will be pleased with the "power up" mods on that beautiful beast!

You are about the same size as me, and what I did was go to the Scotts S.U.B. mount which raised the bars, and I used Pastrana FMX bars becase they were the tallest bend that I could find.  Huge improvement!  I am about to change over to an FCR carb, but haven't done it yet.

Thanks XRRWRR,

     I'll be going that direction when the time comes. I like the Scott stabilizer/sub clamp combo, and will be adding some tall bars too. Those Pastranas look good. I'll see where I'm at for my riding later this summer, but like the sound of what an FCR carb can add to the bike's performance. Best regards. John

Gonna keep am eye on this one. I'm in same predicament. I'm 6'4" and can't stand up due to having to bend over to still hold the bars. Gotta find something.

Biggest issue with all the XRs is the bar position of the stock clamp is soooooo far back (pretty sure that was mentioned in a previous post). Anything you can do to get the bar forward over the fork tubes is a huge difference. I am 6'2" and ran the Applied clamp on my 650Rs but have great success with this mod on my 400 and 600 and it would be the same for the 650R. If you are interested in a cheaper option and have access to some basic machining equipment, you could go this route....



Edited by fourstrokin650

What I see missing here is the physical stance of the rider when riding off road.


There are a lot of internet post with people who have what looks like mini apes on dirt bikes because they don't really ride off road and think they should not have to bend their knees when standing on the bike, so they lock their knees then complain they have to bend over to reach the bars.


Now, there is no doubt that adjustments should be made for a riders height, but I've seen some ridiculously high riser and bar setups that are obviously for riding on the highway within relative comfort for unfit senior citizens or riders with very little leg strength and endurance.


There is no standing up per se when riding off road, it is a crouched position, with the upper body leaning forward and bend in the elbows. Locked knees cause a huge loss in the ability to control the bike because the rider is no longer as mobile as they should be and being able to quickly move positions on the bike is what it takes to have control over quickly changing terrain.


Standing up is for taking a break during a long dual sport ride and letting the rear have a break for a few minutes, not for riding off road.


My suggestion for the OP is to put the bike on a stand, take the bars off and get on the bike, possibly with the help of someone with a camera to take side and front profile pictures, maybe even take measurements.  Stand on the bike with knees bent, which puts the rear back and causes the upper body to lean forward to balance out. Do that while reaching forward with elbows bent and find a position that mimics standing like that while riding (holding onto imaginary handlebars) the bike that you can hold for several minutes without tiring. Have the assistant take pictures and whatever else they can do to record the height and reach of your hands. You are not supposed to support your weight with the handlebars, which is why it is important to be able to find a position you can hold for a few minutes. If you can't hold any position without tiring unless you lock your knees, then your fitness level is poor and if you cater to that, you'll never progress. If you aren't moving forward then you're backing up.


I'm no professional racer, or even a racer, but there has been a terrible trend of late to put overly tall handlebars and risers on dual purpose and dirt bikes by recreational riders. A 6' rider is not out of the size range that the proper set of bars won't accommodate them without the need for risers or any other handlebar accessory. The above is my experience and observations and there are people who wouldn't totally agree, but my point is to look at physical fitness and riding technique before trying to fit a bike to continue something that may not be conducive to becoming a better rider. Becoming a better rider makes riding more enjoyable and ultimately, that is what recreational riding is about.

I have found that forward is way more critical than height as well. If you have longish arms and are too far back (like with stock clamps), you use a lot of energy trying hold yourself up. The position that Onederer mentions is getting that balanced feeling when you are in the attack position. If you are not in that postion, you will be tired and probably will have a sore back.....

Fitment for performance is not unique to motorcycles. A lot of bicycle shops offer various levels of bicycle fitment, which for road bicycles is about performance so a lot of the less flexible people will complain about not being comfortable and will want the bike adjusted to their current level of flexibility instead of becoming more flexible. I'm not talking about people with injuries that limit flexibility; they should question why they are on a road bike anyway.


The thing about a road bicycle is there are at least 4-5 distinctly different hand positions on the handlebars. They sit and stand too, but mostly only stand for short hills and sprints, so the different hand positions make a big difference when grinding out a 100 miles. Flat bar bicycles, like mountain bikes, can use bar extensions to give the rider a more forward position for climbing hills and just generally stretching out farther.


The thing to remember about most mountain bikes and even road bikes is that their hands are busy too. They have a at least two brake levers and shifters. Some of the positions that a road cyclist can use puts the controls out of their reach, so they have to reposition before they can use them (except cyclocross and some tri bikes). Mountain bike riders always need to cover a brake and they use their thumbs and index fingers to shift (Except SRAM thumb/thumb).


The point to all the above is that a lot of cyclists spend time and money getting professionally fit to their bike. Motorcycles are not exempt from the same fitment attempts but because a lot of people view them as less physically demanding, there isn't a much emphasis on a proper fit. Riding a motorcycle off road is very physically demanding and if everything fits right, it's easier, but it has to be fit for performance and not just so an out of shape rider can feel comfortable; they are going to be sucking a lot of air anyway.


Some bicycle shops even rent seats (saddles) because it can take using several before the rider knows what works for them and it would get expensive buying them to try. The bicycle shops then put the rental price toward a new seat if the rider finds what they like and buys a new one. There is a huge but miniscule difference in bicycle seats and most people make the rookie mistake of getting one that is too wide, thinking that it will be comfortable, which is wrong for anything but a ride to the corner store. People continue to buy those wide seats and padded covers which are completely a terrible in idea and execution. Another rookie bicycle mistake is too low of a saddle so they can touch the ground with both feet. Those people are huffing and puffing in no time because they are working twice as hard than if the seat was at the proper height, which usually means only the tip of one foot being able to touch the ground when sitting on the seat. There are similar rookie mistakes in the motorcycle world too and are perpetuated by people who have never learned the correct way but because they've been doing it that way for years, they think they're right. 


I would say if someone is a racer and they are winning races with an unconventional technique, more power too them because it is winning races, but for recreational riders, poor technique is simply poor technique and just reflects laziness and unwillingness to learn.


So put in the effort, realize the dynamics of a proper fit and research different riding techniques, then after some time you'll instinctively know what works for you but not before.

I have the Applied upper triple clamp, but Rox risers are a cheaper way of moving them forward.  I also run ATV tall bars, but I am 6'6".

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