Hill Country Handlebar Swap Part 2 of 3

New bars for our Harley Ultra Classic

how to swap harley handlebars

The Hill Country bar kit comes with extended brake lines for the longer bar. Reroute the brake lines back to the ABS brake unit located under the side cover.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

Having removed the stock handlebars in the first part of the Hill Country Handlebar swap, we're getting down to business on mounting the new ones.

With the necessary removal of the front fairing and brake and cable swap that came with our Hill Country Kit, it still required almost a full day from start to finish with the meticulous and extremely skilled mechanic Kazoo from Freedom Performance behind the wrench. Gaining access to the bolts is an extensive process, and a good portion of the bike must be disassembled to reach that point. Don’t be surprised if your local shop quotes you with a large labor cost. This job could be done at home with basic tools if you have the patience and time to carefully disassemble everything and put it back without missing any steps along the way. For that reason also, this is a quick overview of the process, and a proper shop manual is necessary to accomplish each portion.

For our 2012 Ultra Classic, we wanted to improve the look and style of the bars with a small increase in height. The owner, John DiMassa, is a tall guy and wanted the extra height, so he chose 12-inch Hill Country apes to better fit his size with chrome accessories. He didn’t want to go overly tall because that defeats the purpose of the protection of the fairing if your knuckles are up and sticking out.

how to swap harley handlebars

Replace the front brake line on the ABS with the new line supplied in the kit.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Use the pre-existing line mounts to run the cable back to the fairing

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Remove the chrome exhaust cover to access the transmission cover bolts more easily.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Drain the oil from the transmission and take off the cover. Loosen all the clutch cable play from the cable. Remove the clutch cable from the ball and ramp assembly.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

We have reached the halfway point on the swap process. This picture illustrates to what extent the bike must be disassembled to do a bar swap.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Replace the old clutch cable with the new cable, and reassemble the ball and ramp assembly.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Route the new cable to the front of the fairing, and leave for attachment to the new clutch master.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Refill the transmission with oil and fill to factory specifications.

Words and Photos: John Zamora

how to swap harley handlebars

Grab a buddy and have him hold the new bars while you clamp the new bars in place. Don’t tighten just yet.

Words and Photos: John Zamora