I've put 5K on my XCT2012 with the stock handlebars. I'm about 5'8 and during each one of those miles I wished the handlebars were a little closer to me.
I finally bit the bullet the other day and bought a pair of Victory 2" pullback bars from Amazon. I was pleasantly surprised that the box included new handlebar end caps and two new wire tires to attach the cables to the bars. The bars shipped quickly and were packed very well.
I installed the bars today and my only regret is not this doing 5K miles ago! All of the stock cables fit and the installation went pretty well. But most importantly, that two inches makes a hell of difference! Without the 2" pullbacks, my arms were nearly fully extended. Now my elbows bend comfortably. I've noticed no downside at low speeds (like in parking lots). For shorties like me, this is a highly recommended upgrade!
The steps I took to install them are outlined below and in the part 2 post. Before you start, PROTECT your tank, front fender, and hard lowers well! I dropped a socket extension once and was quite grateful to have the protection available.
Take your time and carefully label where all of the fasteners go as you remove them. There are lots of 'em! Also, be sure to have a full complement of Torx screwdrivers and allen sockets available.
In addition to my instructions below, there is also a good video on YouTube by Drino1969. If it wasn't for that video, I would have never tackled this. Thank you Drino1969!
On with the install...
Remove the headlight ring.
I used a 2" plastic putty knife. Worked perfectly (also works great for popping out the speaker grills on the inner fairing). The headlight ring should have a clip on each of its four contact points. If it doesn't, the clip is in its slot in the fairing. Don't lose any clips!
Remove the headlight.
Remove the four allen bolts shown in the red circles. Carefully unplug it and pull it out of the outer
Remove the wind wings
on the left and right sides of the inner fairing. The wind wings are attached with 4mm Allen screws. These screws also part of the outer fairing's attachment to the bike.
Remove the other other fasteners holding the outer fairing on.
Pop the speaker grills (the plastic putty knife again!) and remove the 4mm allen screen shown under it. Also remove the other 4mm allen screw below the speaker grill. With these two fasteners removed and the two wind fasteners removed, the outer fairing is ready to pull off.
Correction: I had originally said the wind wing screws were Torx screws. They are NOT.
Remove the outer fairing.
Carefully left it up from the headlight open. Wiggle it a little watching the area around the windshield. It pops off pretty easily.
Remove the inner fairing's four bolts.
With the outer fairing removed, locate the four bolts that hold the inner fairing on. Remove these bolts. The wire harness keeps the inner fairing from going anywhere--but in the next step you're going to further loosen the inner fairing. I loosely attached the inner fairing with some wire ties to keep the fairing falling or dropping too much in the next step.
Loosen wire harness from the front of the bike.
There are two main harnesses that run along the left and right side of the bike. These come through the inner fairing and are attached to it with P-clips. Remove P-clips on both sides. You'll probably have to clip a couple of wire ties to get everything loose. Clip carefully! To replace the handlebars, the inner fairing DOES NOT need to be fully removed form the bike. Once you get enough play in the wire harness, you'll be able to lift the inner fairing up off of the handlebar bolts.
Note that when you're buttoning things back up, take good care to check the wiring harness clearances by turning the handlebars full lock both ways before fully snugging down the P-clips.
Remove the handlebar endcaps.
Using a strap wrench, carefully remove the handlebar caps. Wiggle them as little as possible and you'll be able to resuse them.
Remove the left grip and the other stuff on the left side of the handlebars.
I expected this to be a tough part of the job. Hardly! By pulling the shoulder of the grip out of the way, find the two Torx set screws holding the grip to the handlebar and remove them. The left grip slides right off.
Go find the part 2 post for the rest of the install.