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Hello - I'm new to this forum and also my 2003 Anniversary V-Rod. Bought it at an insurance auction. Previous owner dumped it on the left side, so I am in the process of fixing the problems. One of my biggest concerns it the handle bars - left side was pretzeled and also caused quite a dent in the left side of the air box cover. As long as I need to replace the bars... what is the best way to go, in order to end up with something that (1) improves handling (2) is a direct bolt-on replacement that works with the existing gauges and (3) looks good ??
I have seen some Z bars that look pretty nice, but don't seem to be a direct bolt-on replacement. What can you suggest for me to look at? Anyone out there replaced their 2003 bars, and if so, what has been your experience?
 

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Handle bars that improve handling? No such thing.
03 bars bolt directly to the Upper Tree. You need risers from a different VRSC model that can bolt on and use 1 inch bars. Bars are not a one size fits all. It's more of a personal comfort vs looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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Thanks for the recommendations - I'll have a look at them.
 

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My 2002 V-Rod feels like it handles much better with drag bars, maybe because of the balance and improved front end feeling.
However, I did put drag bars on my 2 previous Harleys as well for the same reason.
 

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That is good to know, regarding the handling. So, with the drag bars you used, how does that change the position of your hands?? Is your grip now narrower, have to reach forward more? How about the rise... about the same or not?
The other problem apparently with getting away with the stock bars is dealing with the instrument cluster... the "clam shell" What did you do on your 2002, as it is probably the same configuration as my 2003?
 

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That is good to know, regarding the handling. So, with the drag bars you used, how does that change the position of your hands?? Is your grip now narrower, have to reach forward more? How about the rise... about the same or not?
The other problem apparently with getting away with the stock bars is dealing with the instrument cluster... the "clam shell" What did you do on your 2002, as it is probably the same configuration as my 2003?
Simplest solution is use the riser and cluster mount from a VRSCB or Nightrod. Other solution is to change airbox cover for one with cluster mount.
 

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At the other end of the price scale:

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yikes! Zeel sure is proud of those bars... a mere $1200. Think I will have to pass on that....
 

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When there is a very limited disappearing aftermarket for anything V-Rod. Anything is gonna be very
costly
 

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That is good to know, regarding the handling. So, with the drag bars you used, how does that change the position of your hands?? Is your grip now narrower, have to reach forward more? How about the rise... about the same or not?
The other problem apparently with getting away with the stock bars is dealing with the instrument cluster... the "clam shell" What did you do on your 2002, as it is probably the same configuration as my 2003?
The vwidth is the same, rise and pull back are less, bringing the hands forward and lower. Steering felt vague to me with the stock bars, or is a long raked out front end, I felt I was leaning back with the stock bars. Plus, I think it looks better.
JimHog(1).jpg

20200425_163556.jpg
 

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I have drag bars on my 2013 DX.
I find it stretches the reach a bit putting a strain on the lower back during long rides. By the time I'm ready for gas...I'm ready for a stretch.
A very noticeable plus is on the highway. Puts me in a lower position avoiding "wind blast" fatigue. A FF helmet/ear plugs help too....but I digress.
 

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Handlebars are a very personal preference. I rode my V-Rod cross country with drag bars and no windshield. I much prefer them to the stock bars. But again the comfort will depend on your personal preference.
 
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