Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Upper Marlboro, MD
Handle bar isolator bushing tech tip
I always see a lot of people saying they have issues with the isolator bushings in the handlebars and how the bars will have play forwards and backwards in them. The bushings on my bike (2007 Hammer) had a crack and I thought I would replace them to make sure the play was within factory specs. This job can be a real pain as I found out, so maybe my experience will save someone some headache.
After searching on how to do this repair people will tell you to remove handlebars and slid them back and onto the tank then take a socket and using a sledge hammer to swing as hard as you can on this socket. The problem I had was the bars will want to slide around and you can swing at those things for a half hour and they won’t even move. Also you risk damaging your bike cosmetically. To fix this I first removed the handlebars and laid them back onto the tank while resting on a towel to protect the paint. Next I unscrewed the cover over the dash lights and set that aside. After that I removed the four 10mm bolts holding the speedo/tach on and let that hang to the side securing it with a bungee cord to keep pressure off of the wires. Next the head light can be unbolted from the lower triple clamp. There are 4 screws that hold the headlight together, these must be removed and the top plate of the headlight removed. Next you will need to locate the connectors for the dash lights, on my bike there were two connectors, one female and one male and both were black. Once they are disconnected you remove the dash lights up through the top triple clamp.
After that is done there are 4 pinch bolts that need to be removed on the top triple, two on each side. Next there is a 30mm nut that needs to be removed on the center of the top triple clamp, (this will need to be re-torqued to 75 ft/lbs later). Once that is removed you can take the top triple clamp off. I was able to give it a tap with a rubber mallet and pull it straight up. If it doesn't want to go try gently using a pry bar underneath where the 30mm nut was just removed. At this point your top triple clamp should be removed.
I do not own a press so I took it to a friend of mine who then pressed out the old bushings then pressed the new ones in. Everything seated in perfectly and looked brand new. I reassembled the bike gave it a test ride and the bushing still have a small amount of play but feels tighter than before. If anyone has any questions let me know.
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