IF YOU HAVE been an avid reader of Ozbike over the years, well this means two things: you have extremely good taste in motorcycle magazines and you have heard of Burleigh Bars. The blokes at Burleigh Bars are responsible for some of the classiest hangers on the planet and their unique handy work has adorned the head sets of many custom machines that have been featured in Ozbike.
Kurtzo, the proud owner of Burleigh Bars, pulls no punches when he speaks of his business, his products and his employees.
“We are selling between 30 to 40 sets of handlebars a week on average lately, to dealers and builders all over the country. We are proudly, a totally Australian owned business and offer a full guarantee on all of our products. Our bars aren’t cheap but they are of the highest quality, and my seven employees are the best at what they do! Therefore, I don’t pay them with rice! If you want an inferior product, that’s what the third world boys are pumping out. The price reflects the quality and our product is second to none!”
Karen, Kurtzo’s lovely wife, is also part of the team and handles all the secretarial duties.
It just so turns out that Danny 666 Marsh, one of Kurtzo’s long time mates, had just purchased a near new Night Rod Special. The bike was more than adequate for Danny’s needs since the sale of his beloved Ultra Classic Electra Glide, but it still needed a bit of work as far as the seating position was concerned. The stock riding position has the rider leaning forward to grasp the bars, and with the combination of the stretched out forward controls, this can find any Night Rod owner almost doubled over whilst in the saddle. This seating position may look pretty cool as far as short distance rides are concerned, but if you take your riding as serious a Danny does, you want to be set up properly when it comes time to do some big miles.
A glorious Saturday morning found us both riding down the M1, Burleigh bound, for the eagerly awaited set of new bars for Danny’s bike. The replacement bars are named Muscle Bars and were originally crafted especially to suit the Harley-Davidson Muscle, but with a few minor adjustments to the base plate of the bars, they are now suited to the Night Rod Special as well.
We arrived at the shop, and after a few hellos, it was a case of wheel the bike in and the boys ripped into the job. Before we go any further, Kurtzo stressed that the fitting of his bars is left entirely to the owner of the motorcycle! This fitting was done specifically for his mate Danny 666 and for the benefit of the Ozbike readers as a bit of a step-by-step guide to highlight the simplicity and practicality of how these bars can make a huge difference to a stock bike.
The majority of the work was carried out by Holga from Zap Electrical (0419-759-056). Holga told us that he refuses to fit any other make of handlebar except Burleigh Bars. This is because they are easy to work with as far as running the internal wiring is concerned, and when it comes time for the reassembly, he knows that everything that was bolted onto the old bars will be a hassle-free fit on the new units.
1: The left-hand side-cover is removed and the existing wiring looms from the switch blocks are severed in readiness to be fed through the internals of the new bars.
2: The mini-fairing and headlight part company easily from the front-end, as does the mounting bracket, instruments, switch blocks, indicators, factory clamp, one-piece riser, and of course, the handlebars.
3: The front brake line is removed and a 75 mm extension is grafted to the line to replace the stock fitting thanks to Jason from Mobile Auto Hoses (0488-793-304).
4: Holga feeds the switch block and indicator wires through the new bars and it’s time for the reassembly.
5: The throttle cables had to be rerouted to make it hassle free acceleration.
6: Holga does some tidy soldering work to reunite the wiring for the switches. The stock switch blocks are refitted as are the mirrors, indicators, grips, headlight, fairing, instrument panel, and side-cover.
7: The front brakes are bled as the bike takes on its new, no bullshit appearance with the tough new bars.
8: All the lights and switches are checked to make sure they are operational, and a few adjustments are made.
A job well done! It was a pleasure to watch these guys work. We had a few laughs during the course of the morning but a high level of professionalism was always there throughout the seemingly effortless change-over.
So how does the bike feel now that she’s sporting the new Muscle Bars? Danny 666 says, “Wow, just sitting on my V-Rod feels so much better; so great to have my back straight and my neck not bent. Having my new Muscle Bars sits me up and back in the seat and my legs move closer onto the highway pegs, NO FUCKIN stretching out! Riding home to Ipswich felt so much more comfortable than it was when we rode down this morning. When I arrived home, my neck wasn’t sore so there were no neck exercises. Not only do the Muscle Bars feel and work great, it makes you and your bike look so fuckin’ cool! (Trust Me)
“I would totally recommend Burleigh Bars to anyone who wants the best for their bike as an affordable upgrade and I have been riding for 42 years, so I have ridden a few bikes.”
Kurtzo and his staff are always improving and expanding their huge range of bars to suit Harleys and Metric cruisers. Wanna find out more about Burleigh Bars and where their distributors are Australia wide? Visit their website at www.burleighbars.com.au and you’re bound to find the perfect set of bars to give your stocker an individual look and feel or to finish off a custom project in fine style.
words & pics by Danny 666 & Chuck U Farley; ride pics by Rose Marsh.