Blue Collar Bobber Motorcycle Build – Part 4

Drag It Out
By Steve Lita

We’re nearing the home stretch, folks. Next month, we’ll show the final steps of our Honda Shadow’s transformation from blah to bobbed. April RoadBike will showcase installing exhaust heat wrap, painted bodywork, drilling some lightening holes, and a full-color feature story on the finished product. But first we need to get a grip on the situation. What better way than to install a Blue Collar Bobber, prefabricated 36″-wide drag bar, a pair of Avon Custom Contour grips (available from Blue Collar Bobbers), and some Küryakyn Maltese cross mirrors?

The Blue Collar Honda Shadow 600 drag bar comes predrilled for switch pods and hand controls and is powdercoated gloss black. BCB actually offers it in two lengths: 36″ long with 4″ pullback or 32-3/4″ long with 2-1/2″ pullback. Either way, your stock cables, brake hose, and wiring will not need to be changed. Once again, Lance at Blue Collar Bobbers produced a step-by-step video, with the help of his grandkids, to show how to get the job done. It’s child’s play.

Blue Collar Bobbers also offers the super sanitary Avon Custom Contour grips, and I highly recommend them. They’re not just your average slip-on rubber bicycle grips. They’re made in the US and are contoured to fit your hands perfectly. The serrated-texture finish makes for a comfortable, nonslip grip, and the center material is bookended by black anodized 6061 aluminum end caps and collars. These grips are top-quality, easy to install, and affordable. They’re worth the little bit extra. Also, the Avon grips feature a new throttle tube inside the right-hand grip. You’ll probably need a new one anyway, and now that you don’t have to make a trip to the dealer, you’ve saved that much more money in the long run. They come with several interchangeable throttle cable cams, just pick the correct one for your bike (the instruction sheet will tell you which one), glue it in place (only fits in one spot, it’s keyed), and you’re ready to install. An adhesive strip is included, and the grips are held in place with set- screws for added security.

Finally, we topped off the new bars with some Küryakyn Maltese cross design mirrors. They match the design embossed on the seat we installed a few months ago. The flat glass is surrounded by a heavy, protruding bezel and accented by a knurled edge. The bezel is easily removed to access and adjust the tension mechanism if necessary. While hardware is included for a variety of mounting applications, some bikes will require mirror adapters, also available from Küryakyn. Check the catalog.

I love the bada$$, fists-forward feel these bars and grips instilled in the RoadBike Blue Collar Bobber, and the wide stance of the bar keeps my arms stretched out, not all bunched up. With the predrilled holes, everything lined up just right, and it was yet another testament to the quality of Blue Collar parts. Be sure to check back next month and see Tyler’s Shadow like you’ve never seen it before — finished.

1. The new Drag bar is ready to install, predrilled for accessories, and the throttle drum area is clean. The ring (lower right) is the correct one for use on a Honda.

2. I can’t wait to lose these old bicycle bars. They point down, are uncomfortable, and produce a plain posture.

3. I first disconnect the throttle cables for some added slack. This will allow the throttle cables to be easily removed from the throttle drum.

4. Remove two screws from the right switchgear, disconnect the cables, and the throttle drum slides right off.

5. After removing the left-side clutch perch and switch, the handlebars are removed and sent to the metal scrap bin.

6. Measurements are taken from each end of the bar, and the exact center is marked on a piece of masking tape.

7. Once I loosely install the new bar, I use a ruler to center the bar between the risers. Don’t tighten the clamps just yet.

8. Now it’s time to adjust bars in the horizontal plane. With my arms coming down from my shoulder as I sit on the bike, the bars have a slightly upward cant. Now the riser caps can be fully tightened.

9. The clutch cable needs to be rerouted around the outside of the speedometer cable. Check for binding.

10. Tighten the left control into place. It’ll fit perfect given the predrilled holes in the underside of the bar.

11. Apply the adhesive sticker to the left bar. It’s double sided and extremely sticky! Get it right the first time.

12. Hairspray makes an excellent grip adhesive. It’s slippery when first applied, and then it tacks up like glue after a few minutes.

13. Slide grip on in one swift motion. Don’t stop. Spray and slide, smooth and swift.

14. Just to be sure the Avon grips have setscrews on inner collar, tighten them now.

15. Once the proper cable end is selected for the throttle grip, glue it on. It’s keyed for correct alignment, but be sure not to glue it on facing the wrong way. Just compare it to the old grip cable holes, and you’ll see the proper orientation.

16. These new Küryakyn mirrors have a Maltese cross embossed on the backside that matches the one on our bobber’s seat.

17. First, I install the proper mirror adapters for a metric application.

18. Then tighten the setscrew on the stem to keep the adapter from spinning.

19. The mirrors are then installed onto the bike’s hand controls.

20. After popping the throttle cable ends into the right-side grip, the switchpod is installed, and throttle cables are adjusted at the carburetor.

21. The finished look is super bad. This bobber is almost ready to ride.

Hard Data:
Blue Collar Bobbers
36″ Drag Bar Kit, $65
Avon Custom Contour Grips, $60

Maltese Cross Mirrors, $104
Mirror Adapters, $11


Originally published in RoadBike Motorcycle Magazine, March 2011


  1. Beau bicknese says:

    Will the 600 shadow drag bars on this article work on my ace 1100? I’m having trouble with my 28 inch no clearance and throttle won’t work?? If so I want em

  2. Thaddeus Sopel says:

    any kits for 1999 shadow 1100 ?