Fabricate your own highway bars for 25 bucks

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Written by Contributed by Dave Helscel (davehrn)   
Saturday, 03 December 2005
Square stock highway bars on Road Star

I like to rest my feet on top of the highway bars; however, if you like to hook your heel on the highway bars be VERY careful as the right hand side puts your heel very close to the brake and you can apply the brake from this position. You may want to raise the bar 1 more inch - see the end of the article how I'd suggest how to make this change.

Items needed:

  • Yamaha passenger pegs left over from putting on passenger floor boards. Take them apart and save all the pieces.
  • A three foot piece of 1 inch square steel (available at Lowes for 10 bucks).
  • A three foot piece 1 1/4 inch angle steel (available at Lowes for 9 bucks).
  • Two 1/4 inch bolts, 1 1/2 inches in length, with washers and nuts  (1 dollar).
  • One can of Rust-Oleum black textured spray paint (5 bucks) or any other paint of your choice.

Tools needed:

  • Electric drill with drill bits.
  • Jig saw with metal cutting blade (you can also use a Dremmel or Sawsall, or even a hack saw if you're strong enough!)
  • Something to sand down burs. I used a Dremmel.
  • Basic tools such as: screw driver, 14mm wrench or socket, 7/16 wrench.
  • Thread locking compound, such as Loctite, Permatex

How to do it:

Cut two 8 inch pieces from the angle steel (top two pieces in the figure below).  I used both ends so that I could take advantage of the machine cut ends as the top.

Cut a 25 inch piece from the box steel (bottom piece in the figure below).

Square stock used for highway bars on Road Star

Here's a picture of the frame bolts to which the highway bars are attached. I didn't take out all 4 bolts at once, but would work on one side and then the other. I don't know if the engine will shift if you take out all 4, but I didn't want to find out.

Where the bars mount on Road Star

In the 8 inch angle steel, I drilled a hole with a 7/16 inch drill bit about 1/8 inch from the cut end.  This end will be the bottom when mounted; the machine cut end will be the top.  The hole is very close to the outside corner. Also pay attention to which side of the angle you drill as you want the angle to cover the front of the frame and be on the inside of the frame. The second hole will be 2 inches up from the first. I'd strongly suggest you measure your own frame bolts just to be sure.

Short square stock piece

5. On the other end of the angle (the machine cut end, the top) and the other side where the first holes are - drill a hole with a 5/16 drill bit (big enough for the 1/4 inch bolts to fit through). I centered the holes in the angle leg and came down about 1/2 inch so that the box steel would be flat with the top of the angle steel.

Angle iron piece

6. This is how the angle steel pieces mount to the frame.

Angle iron mounted on Road Star

4. The box steel mounts to the angle steel at the two top holes.  Measure the distance between two tops holes and transfer this distance making sure the holes are evenly space from the center.  Drill two 5/16th holes.

Box steel drilled

5.  Using the foot pegs, mark where you want to drill holes in the end of the box steel.  Drill the holes with a 1/4 inch drill bit - keep in mind, that my holes were not centered in the box but actually down a little bit here's a picture of the orientation of the foot peg and the hole.  Test fit the hole with the pins from the original pegs.

installing the foot pegs into end of box steel

6. Dry fit everything make sure nothing is rubbing.

7. Remove everything, clean, sand and paint.  I like the textured paint because it hides some of the imperfections in the steel.  Here's the painted product reassembled loosely.

Finished highway bars before mounting

7. Put the highway bars on bike being careful not to scratch anything.  Tighten the bolts. Test drive and show off to your friends how really cheap you are.

Finished highway bars mounted on Road Star

Finished highway bars mounted on Road Star

How to raise it one more inch:

Using the angle steel left over, cut a piece that will span between the 2 angle steel on the bike.  Attach this piece to the angle steel on the bike with the flat piece of the steel on the top.  Attach the box steel to the top of the angle steel you just attached.  Keep in mind you must drill another set of holes in the box steel on the other side (the bottom) than you did for the original.



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DISCLAIMER: This information and procedure is provided as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.  Neither the publishers nor the authors accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or suitability of this procedure.  You assume all risks associated with the use of this information.  NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.  Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, this procedure may endanger the safety of you and others on your motorcycle and possibly invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.


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  Comments (7)
I'm cheaper than you 2
Written by Shep, on 07-26-2006 12:39
Add to the above: 
 
You need to space the water pipe out from the frames tubes about 1/2". You need a small piece of pipe cut to fit the curve of the frame tube and the pipe. I made them from 3/4" heavy PVC water pipe cut with ordinary woodworking hole saws. 
 
Just got back from 4,000 miles on the road - St Louis, Grand Canyon, Utah, Rockies, Denver, Kansas, St Louis. Love my highway bars, love my Roadie! 
 
Shep
I'm cheaper than you!
Written by Shep, on 06-29-2006 13:14
I made my own highway bars. 
 
Igredients: 
 
22" piece of 3/4" steel water pipe ($4 if you don't have some lying around) 
 
Two 1-3/8" x 5/16" U-bolts, cut down into J-bolts (about $4) 
 
5/16" all-thread (about $4) 
 
Two pieces of steel bar 1/4" x 1-1/4", 3" long (lying around), holes drilled near each end. 
 
Footpegs ($30 from the dealer, $15 on the web) 
 
Matt black Killrust spray paint (about $3) 
 
4 nylok bolts, 4 washers (about $3) 
 
Method to the madness: 
 
The J-bolts hook around the frame tubes just above the rectifier, go thru holes drilled in the pipe. Wrap the J-bolts in electrical tape where they contact the frame. 
 
Threaded rod goes all the way thru the pipe, bolt one end of the 3" bars to each end of the pipe, bolt the footpegs to the other end of the bars. 
 
Paint everything matt black, looks fabulous! Like matt black scrap bolted to a $13,000 bike! (I like it.) 
 
Refinements: cut the ends of the pipe angled slightly outwards. Angle the bars to the natural wight of your feet and they won't move. The 3" bars could be any length to suit. 
 
Good: higher than your pegs, davehrn, no worries of accidentally hitting the brake. Easier to install without undoing motor mount bolts. 
 
Bad: OK, you're cheaper than me, mine cost about $45 with the expensive pegs. 
 
Shep
foot angle... hmmm
Written by davehrn, on 03-02-2006 09:11
It might be how tall I am, but I like to set my heel ontop of the peg, occasionally I will hook my heel but like you said, there is no toe support so your foot wants to flatten out. I also lowered my brake pedal, so that I can put my heel on the floor board, and my toes on the peg and not touch my brake, this is nice to stretch my calf, but not a long riding position. I suppose you could go with a more expensive type peg that is more of a platform than a peg, this may give the toe support but I'd think that it would have to be adjustable so that you could rotate it to get the perfect angle... I'll consider that... I'm sure any passenger peg designed to fit Yamaha's stock brackets would fit the square pipe... I'll look around, might be a mod I'll do for the trip to colorado this summer ~D
Still having a problem with the wiggle i
Written by clifdog, on 02-21-2006 13:41
Got any suggestions on how to take out the wiggling? When I put my feet on them they shift toward the front wheel making it a slightly awkward angle on my feet.  
 
Thanks, 
Clifdog 
 
8)
Great Idea, Great On The Bike
Written by clifdog, on 01-16-2006 20:24
I just made my $25 highway bars and I am stoked. They turned out great. What a difference when getting on a straight section of road. It completely changes your riding posture and provides for much greater comfort on those long rides. This was a great idea and is way better than those over priced bars. 8)
rectifier
Written by davehrn, on 12-16-2005 07:50
they sell chrome rectifier covers... I can't imagine that this will block the air any more than the chrome covers. ~D
Wreck the recitfier
Written by Shep, on 12-14-2005 13:53
That finned gizmo behind the bar is the rectifier, finned for cooling. Does anyone here think the tube will stop it cooling properly? 
 
Otherwise, great work! I'm gonna do it!

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