How to Change Out the Handlebars on the Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom

Written by chris gilliland Google
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A Yamaha's V-Star 650 Custom is a stunning motorcycle in its stock form, but nothing screams custom more than the addition of aftermarket handlebars. Handlebar choices run the gamut from low, aggressive drag-style bars to sky-high ape hangers, allowing a V-Star owner to tailor the machine to her personality. Although changing the handlebars out for new bars would appear seemingly simple, there is quite a bit involved. Most new handlebars are universal, meaning that some modifications must be made to accommodate the V-Star's switch gear. This project can be completed within two to three hours by most V-Star owners.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 10mm socket
  • Socket wrench
  • Razor
  • 5mm Allen wrench
  • Modelling clay
  • Electric with a 1/8 inch drill bit

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  1. 1

    Remove the plastic cable ties from the handlebars to free the switch assemblies' wiring. Unscrew the bolts from the bottom of the left switch assembly with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the switch assembly apart and remove it from the handlebar. Drape the left switch assembly over the headlight.

  2. 2

    Loosen the round locknut on the clutch cable's adjuster, positioned behind the clutch lever on the left handlebar. Turn the cable adjuster clockwise to loosen the cable completely. Pull the clutch cable out of the lever and drape it over the headlight.

  3. 3

    Cut the left hand grip lengthwise with a razor, then peel the grip off the handlebar.

    Loosen the clutch lever perch's mounting bolt with a 10mm socket and a socket wrench. Pull the clutch lever perch off of the handlebar.

  4. 4

    Unscrew the front brake master cylinder's mounting bolts from the right handlebar. Pull the master cylinder away from the handlebar and unplug the wiring from brake light switch.

  5. 5

    Turn the cable adjusters on both throttle cables, positioned just below the right switch assembly, clockwise to loosen the cables completely. Pull the top of the switch assembly off the handlebar to access the throttle grip and cables. Pull the throttle cables out of throttle grip, then slide the grip off of the handlebar. Pull the switch assembly and the throttle cables off the handlebar.

  6. 6

    Pull the plastic bolt covers off the handlebar risers on the front fork. Unscrew the risers' bolts with a 5mm Allen wrench and remove the handlebar. Place the new handlebar onto the risers and tighten the rider bolts with a 5mm Allen wrench. Push the bolt covers into place to hide the riser bolts.

  7. 7

    Place a small amount of modelling clay onto the handlebars. Loosely mount the switch assemblies onto the handlebars and press the pins on the bottom half of the switch assemblies into the modelling clay. Remove the switch assemblies and drill a 1/8 inch hole into the handlebar with an electric drill, using the mark left in the modelling clay as a guide.

  8. 8

    Reinstall both switch assemblies, the front brake master cylinder, clutch lever perch and throttle tube, following the reverse method of removal. Slide a new hand grip onto the left handlebar.

Tips and warnings

  • You will need to extended brake lines and cables if you are installing a set of taller-than-stock handlebars. Refer to a Yamaha service manual for specific removal and installation instructions.

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