Control Tech: Function and Looks
Installing Jaybrake hand and foot controls and brake calipers
Right out of the factory, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob is an aggressively styled bike. Its fat front tire and low stance give it a pretty tough look. Outside of the initial wheel and exhaust upgrade, my next step was to enhance the functionality and look of the hand and foot controls and brake calipers on my bike. The stock forward controls operate with some “play,” and the fit and finish does not appeal to me. I also wanted to clean up the hand controls and add stopping power to my ride. Jaybrake controls are well known and manufactured in the USA, so I contacted the company to get the project underway.
Ray and Gina recommended their Radial Forward Controls, J-Six Extreme Calipers, and STK Hand Controls. Radial mirrors and full rubber grips were included.
Growing up in a General Motors family out of Detroit, I cannot avoid the gearhead label, and turning some wrenches is just a way of life. My experience is not as heavy on the motorcycle end of things, but I felt I had the know-how to do this project without giving away hundreds of dollars in labor to a shop. Of course I did not have all the proper tools, but I was determined to pull it off on my own. Come on, you’ve never used a pair of long-nose pliers to take off a C-clip? Yes, it flew across the garage. I am going to let you know right off the bat that this isn’t going to be an article with numerous pages of text on white pages going over every single step I took to install these parts. Jaybrake provides you with all the detailed directions you need. The point is to show you the basics along with any hurdles I encountered so you can learn from my mistakes. I am your test mule. And by the end you will know the answer to these two questions: Can you do it all on your own? How did the investment of these parts improve the performance, safety, and overall look of my ride?
I have been going with the contrast cut black anodized theme from the start. I looked to Rick at Badlands for some risers and David over at Burly Brand for the bars. I started with these and the hand controls as my first area to conquer.