Installing Woodcraft lowered risers
Woodcraft lowered risers will give you about a one inch lower riding position over the stock bars and risers, without the clearance problems that traditional clipons cause. Here is a comparison of the Woodcraft risers (left) with stock ones.
Here are bars and risers together. Woodcraft is on the top.
Before starting, cover the tank and front fender with a thick soft cloth, so they won't get damaged or scratched.The first thing you have to do to get the Woodcraft risers on is take off the old bars and risers. So, remove the bar ends. Our bike model suffered from a drop. Here you can see the bent left handle bar to be replaced. Its owner assured it that he was also ordering a replacement clutch lever.
At this point, obsessively taking a bunch of pictures of the controls and cables is a good idea, so you can have plenty of reference for how everything is put together before you take it apart. Here are the bars with the grips removed.
To show the dedication of our crack FAQ staff, we will point out that all of these pictures were taken at night. This project was started at about 11:30 in our man's apartment parking lot, with the temperature hovering around freezing.
One place to be careful is when you are taking apart the throttle controls. Watch the routing of the cable carefully, and be sure you can put it back together correctly. It can be done; this is just an area where some people have had re-assembly problems in the past. Here is a series of photos of the throttle dis-assembly.
There is a pin that is attached to the throttle assembly. It goes into the bar to keep the throttle from spinning around the bar. Here is shown the location of the anti-rotation pin hole for the throttle in the stock bars. There are several holes in the bar, so you should measure and mark the correct one for the anti-rotation pin, and any of the other holes that are being used. You will have to drill these holes in your new bars.
On our model the center of that hole was 62mm from the end of the bar. Don't include the lip at the end of the bar in the measurement, since that part is normally in the bar end. The Woodcraft bars don't have bar ends.
When measuring for the hole on the Woodcraft bar, again, only measure the metal part.
A center punch is indispensable for drilling holes in metal and not having the drill bit wander all over the place.
A nice, neat hole. The drill bit that produced the hole closest in size to the stock bars was 7/32" (5.5mm).
The choke assembly also has an anti-rotation pin. This one measured 50mm from the end of the bar to the center of the hole. A 7/32" bit worked for that one, too. Here are the bars just after being put on the bike, before mounting any controls.
Mounting the controls isn't too difficult, but if you have a friendly helper, keeping something in place long enough to tighten it down would be made less challenging.
Probably the most logical procedure is to first mount the throttle and choke assemblies, since their location on the bar is fixed. Then rotate each bar so that those assemblies are at the right level, and slide the bar in the mounts to a length that seems reasonable and can be matched on the other side. Then place the clutch and brake levers where they feel the most natural and tighten them down. All that is left after that is to get the angle of the bars right, which mostly involves just turning from stop to stop several times and finding the best compromise of space, with the windshield at one end and the tank at the other.
After everything is mounted up, check the routing of the cables and brake lines. Be sure they don't bind or rub on anything. Run the engine and make sure the throttle doesn't change when you turn the bars to full lock in both directions. If it does, adjust the throttle cable route until it doesn't.
Our road tester says: "I really like the new position. Definitely feels more sporty now. Not too much, though." And about the vibration: "The amount that the vibration in the bars increased surprised me a little. It didn't bother me, though; in fact, I felt like I had a better feel for what the engine was doing. Sort of a "haptic tachometer", if you will. That's only with a couple 20-25 minute commutes. I'm sure I could still grow to hate it on longer rides."
The looks with the Woodcraft risers on are not extremely noticeable, unless you're parked next to another 250 without the mods. As soon as it's pointed out, however, you can't miss it. It definitely looks natural on this bike, and it gives it more of the 600 racerbike feel, so don't buy these unless that's what you're looking for.