Will new bar ends affect handling?

Published: 31 January 2011

Q. I have a Kawasaki ZX-7R and I’ve just fitted new bar ends. They weigh a lot less than original ones and I’m wondering whether this will affect the handing of my bike?

They look better, but are they OK to leave on?
ninjadaz84, MCN forums
 
A. As the bars are part of the sprung weight of the bike, losing a couple of hundred grams is going to make an imperceptible difference to the bike’s performance.

But the reason the manufacturers fit them in the first place is that they dampen down any engine vibration that comes through the bars. If you are sensitive to those vibes you could end up with numb hands after a while, so don’t throw the originals away.

If they do give you the shakes but you love the look, you could try packing the hollow parts of the bars with those polystyrene ‘worms’ that are used for packing delicate goods in cardboard shipping boxes, as they can dampen out those effects. Or get hold of some lead roof flashing that can be rolled up to go into the bars.