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Discussion Starter #1
...aka Minority Report:

I bought my 2018 CTX700ND in April of this year. All of my previous street bikes had been “standard” models, so I wasn’t keen on the forward pegs and high, pull-back bars; however, I now require a low seat height, and no clutch lever to tax my arthritic hand. Once I figured I could actually ride thru curves with my feet out front, I decided to look for a handlebar that would place my hands a little lower and more forward. There are tapered aluminum bars available from a few brands, but I decided on the NC700XD bar for a couple of reasons: it will accept the Honda weight system and it is pre-drilled with locating holes. It was also something I could actually put my hands on and measure at the Honda dealer. The downside is that it is a non-tapered 7/8” bar. So I found some very nice, and very expensive, 1-1/8” to 7/8” spacers at Billet Racing Products in Colorado. (There are cheaper options.)

I did the swap quite easily in an afternoon. (I will write a step-by-step in another post.) For now I will skip to the results: I really couldn’t be happier with the change. The overall bar width is the same as stock and about an inch less at the thumbs due to the reduced pullback. My hands rest about 2” lower and 2” farther forward, not a radical change but, for me, it transforms the bike. Physically and psychologically. My hands feel like they are where they are supposed to be, especially at highway speed and in the curves. So does my head. (Those forward pegs seem not quite so far away.) I find it easier to grip the tank with my knees. Some weight is shifted from my butt to my thighs, which my back also appreciates.

Cost overall was about $200, including new grips. Well worth it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Brake line obscures “empty” mark on fuel gauge.

NC700XD handlebar is “mat black” while surrounding metal is “mat axis gray metallic”.

Biggest downside: No bling! Only another CTX owner will notice you changed anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I suppose a red alloy handlebar wouldn’t be enough lipstick...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Parts list

53100-MKA-D50ZB Handlebar (DCT) (1) Extra locator hole for parking brake.

53100-MKA-D80ZB Handlebar (non-DCT) (1)

53108-KR3-770 Ring, handle weight snap (2)

91501-MKA-D80 Clip, handlebar (2)

53105-MK4-620 Weight, handlebar (2) Optional. Vibration difference is minimal but later made installation of GIVI HP1111 handguards a cinch.

Keeping in mind Partizilla’s $149 free shipping threshold (should you decide to use them) this might be a good time to get a CTX1300 (adjustable) brake lever if you don’t already have one:

53170-MJN-305 Lever Assy., R. Handle

BMI-9231 1-1/8” to 7/8” Handlebar Adapters from Billet Racing Products (shopbrp.com)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Play-by-play

Replacing a handlebar is pretty straightforward, but I did learn a couple of things, specific to the Honda, that might help someone else.

First, I covered the front half of the bike with towels. Then off came the mirrors, of course. I happened to have a short piece of PVC pipe, about 3/4” outside diameter, so I laid it in front of the handlebar and zip tied it to the turn signals as a convenient place to off load controls. Next, I removed the bar end weights by gripping them and removing the screws. I cut and removed the Honda grips. Then I used a moto-tool to sand off the sharp “grip grabbers” at the end of the throttle tube. The throttle and parking brake cables have L-shaped ends. I loosened the nuts that hold them to the controls just enough to let them pivot freely, making it easier to off-load those controls. I moved the parking brake lever to the pipe (this would have been the ideal time to free the cable from its guide hook.) Next were the brake reservoir and lever. Then I loosened the screws holding the throttle assembly, but left it in place, not wanting to mess with disengaging the cables.

I unbolted the handlebar holders and set them aside. Then I removed the handlebar and moved it to the left while I slid the the throttle tube assembly off. Taking the handlebar to the work bench, I proceeded to remove the inner weights. The tabs on the handle weight snap rings are tougher than they look. I used a nail set and hammer to pound them into submission. I replaced the end weights and used them as handles to twist and pull the inner weights out. I found that the handlebar had some sort of lubricant on the inside. On an older bike you might have to spray some silicone thru one of the nearby “extra” holes. Next, I removed the end weights once again, replaced the now-damaged snap rings with new ones, and - weight for it - installed the end weights. Now I sprayed a bit of silicone inside the new handlebar, on the rubber washers and on the snap rings. Pushing and twisting, I got the snap ring tabs close to and lined up with the holes, then tapped them home with a plastic headed hammer. I removed the end weights.

Installing the new handlebar, I first placed two of the BRP spacers on the fork top bridge. (The lips don’t quite come all the way up to the holes due to the tapered shape of the bridge.) I slid the end of the new handlebar into the throttle tube, then placed it on the spacers. Next came the other two spacers, holders (dot side up) and bolts, tightened just enough to hold them in place. I reinstalled the other controls, moved the cables around until everything worked freely, then tightened the nuts on the cable ends. (This is when I had to free the parking brake cable from its guide hook.) I mounted the bike, rotated the handlebar until it felt about right, then torqued it to spec. I installed the new grips and, once again, the end weights. Almost forgot the mirrors!
 
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