Pro Taper Contour Handlebars
We’ve been working hard on prepping the new KTM EXC 300 Six Days ready for competition. First on the list was to sort the cockpit for Ross, at 6ft 2″ the standard KTM is a little on the small side so first up were a set of Pro Taper Contour handlebars (KX High Bend).
The high bars offer Ross a little more room to move around and help improve body position but enough about him, what about the bars?
There are so many handlebars on the market these days varying from traditional cross braced designs to full on suspended units offered by the likes of Flex choosing the right bar and right bend can can be difficult. Ross prefers a tapered bar and with all things the rider touches personal preference is almost the most important factor you can take into account.
With the Pro Taper units used by such FMX riders as Nate Adams and Levi Sherwood quality of the Pro Taper Contour units was never likely to be an issue and in terms of quality the contour bars don’t dissapoint. The bars arrived in a sealed plastic bag with included fat style bar pad finished in a Matt and slightly textured black finish. Pro Taper make a big deal out of their chemically applied graphics, in my view a positive and negative, sure they shouldn’t come off, but neither could I remove them without getting drastic. Luckily for me that’s not something I needed to do!
The pro taper contour handlebars are designed for a 1 and 1/8th (around 28mm in proper money) fitment which happens to be stock on the 2015 KTM EXC meaning we didn’t require a set of the Pro Taper risers. The bars have clearly marked position angles which helps save time setting the bars up consistently after rebuilds.
Each end of the handlebars is fitted with a plastic bung which helps create a larger surface area for the grips when the bike is dropped, leant against a wall or impaled by a flailing rider! it’s a small touch but something that could save a few pounds on grips. For riders who prefer a full wrap around hand guard there seems to be plenty of mounting room on the bars and the bungs are easily removed to accept a bar end insert.
The KTM EXC six days came with good bars already fitted made by Nekken, however the Pro Tapers feel very slightly lighter whilst being just as sturdy.
Cost in the UK the pro taper contour handlebars retail at £70 which isn’t cheap but feels about right for the product. the included bar bad is a nice touch but doesn’t fit on enduro bikes, I’d of rather had the bars available cheaper without it.
Ross’ comments on riding were the pro taper contour handlebars flex slightly more on big impacts but it’s not really noticeable like a braced Renthal style bar and the bars feel focused and tough in the rough stuff. Ross has had a couple of substantial crashes on this set and they have held up without bending (that’s cursed it!).
Swapping handle bars is a pretty simple task, in most cases you’ll need to budget for some grips, grip glue and some safety wire. Swapping bars should take less than 30 mins, it’s important to observe manufacturers torque specifications when fitting. It’s far easier to cut the old grip off the throttle tube than try to wrestle of a well glued grip.