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Effects of cutting bars

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I cut my bars down, maybe to much. What got me thinking about this was the stance I see on Trials riders. Their bars seem wider, not narrower. I'm thinking that having wide shoulders and narrow bars is not a great combination. Discussion?

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Wider bars give you more leverage. You see it in MTB too, downhillers have wide bars and xc riders have narrow. When I get on a mtb with narrow bars I feel cramped and just uncomfortable. Have you ridden yet? If you can't notice the difference then it's fine but if it feels cramped and bad then... it's bad lol. But obviously the upside to shorter bars is it fits through trees easier

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I cut my bars down at least a full inch on both sides. The only downside I see is that it makes bark-busters (the metal bar type) a little more difficult to install because the clamp end gets into the bar bend. Other than that, I notice ZERO difference between my cut bars, and non-cut bars. I did let someone ride my bike the other day and he noticed right away that my bars were much more narrow than his KTM. I told him that I cut them down and he thought they were too narrow. They work perfectly for me. I have many "scars" on the ends of the metal bars from scraping trees so if anything, they are not narrow enough...

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29 minutes ago, 1gr8bldr said:

I cut my bars down, maybe to much. What got me thinking about this was the stance I see on Trials riders. Their bars seem wider, not narrower. I'm thinking that having wide shoulders and narrow bars is not a great combination. Discussion?

I started cutting down bars after installing my first set of bark buster which resulted in too many tree contacts at the next Enduro competition.  Cutting no more than 1" off each side will compensate for the added width from bark busters.  But that steals 1" of bar space for controls, a problem on my X because of the headlite switch and LHRB.

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15 minutes ago, Kawabuggy said:

I cut my bars down at least a full inch on both sides. The only downside I see is that it makes bark-busters (the metal bar type) a little more difficult to install because the clamp end gets into the bar bend. Other than that, I notice ZERO difference between my cut bars, and non-cut bars. I did let someone ride my bike the other day and he noticed right away that my bars were much more narrow than his KTM. I told him that I cut them down and he thought they were too narrow. They work perfectly for me. I have many "scars" on the ends of the metal bars from scraping trees so if anything, they are not narrow enough...

I cut mine 3/4 of an inch off each side myself.  Full length bars just dont feel right. With the shorter bars i clip less trees, my wrists don't hurt and i feel better in control. Your hand guard comment spot on and is the only drawback. I've been cutting my bars for 30 plus years and its the first thing i do with a new bike or bars.

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I'd think that having "wider" bars has a more sensitive effect .  By wider meaning less sweep . the sweep degree lessens when you cut the bars . That's the direction of my thinking for now .
My rmz is over sensitive with stock bars for me . little pressure leaning one side or the other and it's in action  .  Very responsive Probably great for trail riding and known to be awesome for sharp turns . I ride high speed desert terrain with occasional sandy mix trail   and I noticed having CR high rise bars with more sweep its less twitchy and more stable to my reactions .IF I were to ride singletrack hardpack trails in 2nd -3rd gear most the time ,The stock bars would be awesome for that .
  
 

Edited by xxcody2gunsxx

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Depends on bar bend, seating etc,  if the rake of the bike is twitchy wide bars can be a poor mans stabilizer. Before cutting just shift your grips and controls inboard and try it. If you blister your grip doughnut part of your hand, might think about narrowing up also. Bars were wider back in the day so it was common to cut them down for the woods, most bars now around 32" are pretty neutral in comparison.  Cockpit layout now is flatter and you sit "on" the bike and easy to get up over the bars. Older bike's you sat "in" the bike and reached for the bars, why the old popular bends like cr high may not be best for todays bike.

Edited by highmarker
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Pretty sure I read (years ago.) Bob Hannah used to run 29" (I think, pretty narrow anyway...years ago remember) wide bars back in the day. So, so did I. They worked well for Me back then (MX), though I will admit I haven't done it on the Husky yet....

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A wider bar gives the feeling of slower steering.  Your hands sweep thru a wider circle, have to travel further for the wheel to turn.  They also give more leverage so your arms might not fatigue as quickly in sand or WOT riding.  Also they can make your front end feel like it's turning in slow motion, think Trials riding over and thru obsticles.  Narrower bars are quicker to turn, more responsive, great in tight stuff for tree clearance as well as quicker wiggling.  But your leverage is reduced so they can tire out your arms and shoulders.  

Some guys are really sensitive about their bar width.  My friends that ride orange tend to be more fussy about little details.  I can tell the difference but it's not a big deal when I jump on a friends bike and his bars are a different width than I normally run.  Just one more thing that's different about the bike... 

You've already cut yours, so it's time to ride them and see what you think.  Give them a good trial period before spending money on another pair that are wider again.  It's not as simple as wide shoulders need wide bars, it's totally personal preference.  Getting your bike set up exactly how you love it can take a couple of tries; hits and misses.  It's only money, so keep spending it.   

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I should clarify that I cut my bars a year ago.... but recently started thinking that it may be good in certain circumstances but not so good in others. I think that my elbows are bent either way

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I cut mine down a half inch everytime. Any stock bars feel super wide too me now. I do run Scotts to slow the steering down a bit as the bikes steering does feel more active... But man do I feel like I can squeeze better the tightest of trees... 

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I absolutely don't notice any difference with a half inch off. Anymore and I don't even really want to ride the bike.

High and low speed technical. Lots of hills, ravines, logs, rocks and roots.

Edited by indy rider

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43 minutes ago, wielywilly-g said:

Do you do any slow speed stunts?  I find I get more control over big logs with a wide bar.

This is where I see the biggest issue. I feel like my hands are in front of me rather than where my body can move within the plane of my shoulders. Less shock absorption.

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I never cut bars and prefer bars that are on the wider side. IMO it has everything to do with shoulder width and arm length. I have wide shoulders and long arms, so I prefer bars that are wide and low. Cut-down bars are actually uncomfortable for me to ride with...I have enough problems with nerves causing hand-numbness than to exacerbate it with narrower bars. I do graze trees on singletrack, but my full-wrap handguards make it a non-issue for me.

Edited by Sierra_rider

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