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Kawasaki Versys Handlebar Risers Review

Handlebar Riser and GPS Holder Combo for the Versys 650

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Review Summary
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This is a “Quick Look” at the Motowerx GPS Mount and Handlebar Riser Combo.

This one is for the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT Project Bike (Blog).

It’s part number V650LT KV650LT-UMNT-RSR-COMBO.

Motowerk also makes handlebar risers for the 650 cc and 1000 cc Versys (all years) in 1″ and 1.5″ sizes.

I had installed the Motowerk mirror extenders for the Kawasaki Versys in this review and they are very nicely made, very easy to install and fit perfectly.

So I turned to the company once again to try the handlebar riser set.

When I first got the Versys, I thought the handlebar was placed just a touch too low, although I became accustomed to it over time.

I had the Motowerk bar riser set sitting on the workbench since December of 2016 and just now I decided to do the installation.

These are the easiest handlebar risers I have ever installed, thanks in part to the easily removable top cap over the Versys 650 handlebar.

So the swap took only a couple of minutes…but, after the installation was completed and everything was buttoned down, I realized there is one big problem.

Let’s take a look in photos…

Stock Kawasaki Versys Handlebar Risers
The stock Versys 650 (2015+) handlebar has a cap on top with four 6 mm bolts torqued to 18 ft. lbs. Put a towel or something underneath first to protect the tank before removing the handlebar cap.
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Version 2.0 of the Versys 650 has a pretty good seating position, although I found the stock seat itself to be pretty bad and I replaced it with a Sargent seat for the Versys 650 (review) that’s expensive but well-built and better than the original saddle.

My legs do feel a bit cramped, however, even with a relatively short 31″ inseam.

Motowerk makes a foot peg lowering kit for the Versys 650, but I don’t know if that kit would cause interference with my radical knee-down turning style (not).

When I first started riding the Versys, I thought the handlebar was too far forward and down but it doesn’t seem to bother me as much any more; mostly I don’t think about it.

But I did have the Motowerk handlebar riser kit, the kit with the plate that screws to the back where you can apparently mount a GPS.

It raised the handlebar 1.5″ only; there is no 1″ riser kit with the GPS plate attachment.

I’m not sure why I bought this kit, because I almost never use a GPS and, in fact, I don’t even own a dedicated GPS of any type for a motorcycle or car.

I think at the time I might have figured I could use the plate to mount a camera or smartphone or clock and thermometer or something.

Anyway, Motowerk also makes standard (non-GPS mount) handlebar risers; the only difference with the GPS kit is the extra set of holes towards the rear (front actually) of the risers to attach the plate with the 3 mm hex screws provided.

The other two kits they offer are a 1″ and 1.5″ height standard risers without the GPS attachment. The non-GPS riser kit is a significant $50.00 cheaper for the 1″ or $45.00 less expensive for the 1.5″ kit.

They make other handlebar riser kits and more products for various Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha motorcycles.

Stock Kawasaki Versys Handlebar
Removing the cap is easy, just be sure to hang on to the handlebar so it doesn’t drop on to the fuel tank and scratch the paint.
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The Motowerk Kit

The Motowerk parts are very nicely made and anodized or coated in black. High-quality hardware is included.

The parts and hardware are individually wrapped and then put in plastic bags and then packed and shipped in a box.

No instructions were provided; Motowerk directs customers to their online support and installation page, which has all the instructions in .pdf form, with color photos.

I read over the instructions a couple of times and for the Versys 650, the riser installation is a snap. It literally took me maybe 5 minutes to complete the job.

There is no interference with the cables or hydraulic lines on the Versys 650, so Kawasaki added enough slack to accommodate a 1.5″ riser block apparently.

To be honest, I don’t notice all that much difference with the risers installed, probably because of the headstock angle that Kawasaki uses.

It feels like the handlebar is moved back a bit but not like it’s raised all that much higher, although I didn’t take any measurements.

Close-up of the Motowerk handlebar riser kit, sans hardware.
Motowerk Kawasaki Versys Handlebar Risers Close-up
Three views of the handlebar riser kit for the Versys 650. Note the extra hole for the GPS mounting plate.
GPS Holder for Handlebar Risers
Remove the.
Handlebar Risers Installed View Over Top
The GPS mounting plate is a simple aluminum piece.
Kawasaki Versys Handlebar Risers Installed
Here’s the plate mounted with the provided 3 mm hex head screws.
Kawasaki Versys Handlebar Risers Side View
Side view of the 1.5″ handlebar risers with the GPS attachment.
Kawasaki Versys Handlebar Risers Interference
Problem: I discovered that the raised handlebar interferes with the SW-Motech tank bag I have on the Versys!
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After installing the handlebar riser kit, everything seemed fine…until I re-mounted the SW-Motech Quick Lock EVO tank bag (review), which clips on to the Quick Lock EVO ring on the fuel tank.

The riser kit puts the handlebar too far to the rear, which interferes with the tank bag. In fact, I can’t even get the tank bag to clip on to the Quick Lock EVO tank ring.

It leaves just 2.25″ of clearance between the handlebar and the front of the EVO tank ring.

So…back to the drawing board. I’m not sure if the 1″ handlebar risers will work with the tank bag, but I kind of doubt it.

Also, I don’t know if this is a problem with other types of tank bags that maybe sit farther back on the tank?

But since the tank bag is more useful to me than the handlebar risers, I’ll keep the bag and restore the handlebar to its original position without the Motowerk riser kit.

An $89.00 lesson learned, all in the interest of science for our webBikeWorld readers!

More wBW2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT Blog  |  wBW Motorcycle Reviews

wBW Review: Motowerk Handlebar Risers With GPS Holder
Manufacturer: Motowerk
List Price (2017): $89.00
Made In: U.S.A.
Colors: Black
Sizes: Honda and Kawasaki motorcycles.
Review Date: June 2017
Note: For informational use only. All material and photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000. All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld® Site Info page. Product specifications, features and details may change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read the Terms and Conditions!
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