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Ride Report - GPR Stabilizer

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Because of my shattered elbow experience back in early May, I decided to get a steering stabilizer for Big Red and I thought I'd share my story.

First up - installation - I ordered my kit directly from GPR. I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else, but if you ride GNCC races, you can get a discount directly from GPR. The discount alone was well worth my crappy first start and my second race crash after another guy hitting me on the start at Steel Creek, but that's another story.

I opted for the version 2 GPR because I liked the mounting option for it and the fact that it raises the bars about an inch. An adapter was also part of the kit for the odometer. The post mount fits around the neck of the frame with the post itself sticking out to the front. Basically, it has a very tight collar that you have to tap down and then you install a allen bolt through it as well to keep it tight. I think this is an excellent post to have. I was a little weary of the weld on from Scott nor did I like the way the bolt on from Scott covered the oil filler.

The version 2 stabilizer sits atop an Applied top clamp that came with the kit. The stabilizer itself has the bar mounts and it's for the oversized handlebards such as Renthal fat bars. This was the only thing I was a little weary of considering that I had no experience with oversized bars. GPR made my decision easier though by throwing in a free handlebar from Applied.

Once the post is installed, you have to do a little work to match up the height of the post pin with the height of the stabilizer on the top clamp. The pin that comes with the setup has an adustable collar that you can tap up or down to get the right height within the mounting post. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the pin low enough to match the correct height with the stabilizer as it was on the bike. I believe part of this was due to the welding on the frame that prevent the collar from going down a little more. Not a problem though, I simply pulled the collar, put it to the grinder and lowered the height that way. I still had plenty of room for the pin to fit in the collar.

Once this was done, I wanted to mount my Trailtech computer. Unfortunately, the odometer mount that came with the kit was going to come close to mounting my Trailtech so I had to come up with another method. The Trailtech mount won't mount to the top of the bar clamps because the mounting screws are recessed within the top clamps. I noticed however, that even with the bars mounted that the clamps had a lot of room left over after tightening them down. The Trailtech mount was a little too thick though even with the room space left over. Solution - go to the grinder again. I used the grinder to thin out the Trailtech clamp so that it would fit under the bar clamps and presto, the Trailtech mount fits directly over the front mounting post of the GPR.

Time to put everything back on the bars. I didn't shorten the width of the bars. I thought that I'd try them out like they were even though my Renthals were about a 1/2 inch shorter on each side. The compression release and the kill button fit fine. Everything else though is a problem. The right side of the Applied bars don't seem to taper down to the required 7/8 inch diameter very well at all. I couldn't get my throttle assembly on at all and the front brake assembly wasn't even close to being able to mount. Solution - The hand grinder. Using the hand grinder I was able to wittle away the diameter of the bars to get everything back on the right side. What a pain that was, but it all went back on. But, I'm almost done and ready to ride. STOP - Did I mention my Acerbis bark busters? Oh yeah, they wouldn't fit any more because they require a different mounting bracket for oversized bars AND the fact that I couldn't get the bar ends installed. The bar end mounts are just a wee bit too large in diameter. I made a quick call to Applied and they said that most bark busters fit, but the Acerbis' were just a little too big. The recommended honing out the ends of the bars. I'm still working on this issue as I wait for my new adapters, but I believe a 9/16 drill bit is going to do the job.

Finally it's time to ride. I take my bike up to the Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in NC (my favorite place to ride) where the hills are good and the rocks aren't terrible. Because I didn't have any handguards I had to take it a little easy through the tight stuff to avoid smashing my hands.

I started out on setting one as the instructions recommend. No problems turning the bars on my own, but I really didn't feel much difference as far as having a more stable ride. The rocks that are at Brushy range from big to lots of smaller loose rocks covering some of the hills. I turned it up to one and a half and I started feeling a little difference as the bike tended to stay more true climbing hills and generally banging around only a little. After about an hour I cranked it up to a little over two and that seemed to be just the right place for the ride. I didn't have to wrestle the bars at all. The bike tended to stay more upright because the bars just didn't jerk around near as much.

Overall I'm very happy with the GPR stabilizer. I'm not very happy with the Applied bars though. It was entirely too much work to get everything on and the vibration going to my hands was a lot more than I ever got with my Renthals. I definitely will have to shorten them up as well because the ride felt way too wide with them as they are. I'll probably hold off though and just some Renthal fatbars and then shorten them. No use in taking all that stuff off, regluing the grips and re-grinding again on the right side in order to push everything up another 1/2 inch.

Overall Score - GPR 5 out of 5 stars, Applied bars - 1 out of 5 stars.

Johnny

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Great report. You touched on a lot of things that I will be going through soon in order to install a stabilizer. I too have a Traitech and thought that maybe grinding material off of the the underside of the forward end of the two handlebar clamps as opposed to off of the Trailtech mounting tabs might be a good idea.

Do you have any problems with clearance between your GPR, the Trailtech, and your headlight?

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Biggest problem I had was the throttle cables hanging up on the mount when turning the bars. I really like my gpr.

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Customer service at GPR is top notch, if you have any problems with your unit they are right on it. Good product and good people.

Barney

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