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Ape Hangers on a Vulcan 1600 Nomad - 11" Santee Dresser Apes

(11" Santee Dresser Bar. I am 5'9")
With the addition of a Hoppe fairing, taller risers were not an option, so I started looking for different handle bars that might provide a similar pull-back and rise as the Scootwork PhatII risers. I have always been a bit intrigued with the look of ape hangers, so this is the route I decided to go.
I decided to to go with the 11" Santee dresser apes. The dresser style would give me the additional pull back that I wanted for comfort while staying true to the look of apes. I also chose these bars so that I didn't have to replace all my cables and lines. So far I am very pleased.

How to run the wiring internally:
Drape a few towels over your tank, front fender, etc.

Open up the headlight assembly and follow the handlebar wiring for the switch housings to the 3 plugs. There is one plug for the right side and two on the left. Unplug them from the main wire harness and gently pull them out of the back of the headlight. Remove the switch housings from the bars and the wiring should be free.

Cut the shrink tubing off, exposing all the wires that need to be extended. The headlight circuit is a 10 amp fuse, so I used 18 ga.

Cut 16, 15" extension wires and mark them all differently (e.g. by putting different color/quantity sharpy marks on them). Each wire will be assigned to a specific wire in the harness that you will be cutting. It is extremely important that you write down ALL the colors of the wires and assign them to one of the 16 wires that you have marked (stock red and black wire with silver dots on the black=extension wire that I've marked with two black dots, for instance). Be very thorough or you will have a hard time knowing what connects to what.
Now with everything marked and written down, begin cutting the wires, staggering your cuts by about 1.5". The staggered cuts will keep the wires uniform and prevent there from being a big bump, which would make pulling them through the bar more difficult. The right side only has 5 wires, but the left side has 11, so it's super important to look at all the wires and space them evenly.
Making sure you match the marked extension wire with the correct stock wire, strip about 1/3" off the ends, overlap them and twist them together. Don't twist them upward/side by side and then fold over because this will make your joint larger than necessary. Now solder the ends together. If you don't know how to solder, don't be scared. It's a lot easier than you'd think. Don't attempt to do this with wire crimps. If they come apart inside your bars, you'll be hating life.

After the solder has cooled, give the wires a good tug to make sure they aren't ever going to come apart. If everything feels secure, slip a piece of 1/8" shrink tubing over the solder joint (don't use electrical tape!) and heat it with a heat gun or hair dryer. Repeat this on all 16 wires. Again, make sure that you are connecting the correct extension and that it is written down correctly.Now it's time to pull the wires through the bars. If your bars didn't come with a pull wire in them, tie a string to a bolt and drop it in at the top, shaking the bars until it falls out the bottom, giving you a pull string. Attach your pull wire/string to your new extended wires by wrapping a thin amount of tape around the end of the wires and connecting your pull pull wire/string to it. Then gently pull from the bottom, while pushing and feeding from the top until the wires come out. If you're installing Z-bars, this may be a bit tricky and you may need to lube your wires with baby powder or grease.Once both sides of wires have been pulled through, go drink a beverage of your choice. You're over half way done!

Remember that paper where you wrote down which extension goes with which wire? It's now time to make those connections. Before you forget, slide a piece of shrink tubing over each of the wires before you solder them. Strip the ends, twist and solder the same way as you did previously. Heat the shrink tubing and bundle up the wires with tape or zip ties to keep them organized.

Remove the master cylinder reservoirs, levers, grips, and anything else you may have on your bars (if you haven't already) then remove your old handlebars. Now mount your new handlebars and feed your new wires back into the headlight the same way they came out. You'll most likely have excess length, so just clean it up with zip ties, then plug the wires back in.

Remount your headlight, master cylinder reservoirs, levers, and grips. There is a good chance you will have to reroute your front brake line to the rear of your triple tree. I had to do this, but plan on buying a longer line to go from the splitter to the reservoir in the future, so I can move it back to the front of the triple tree.

Now, with everything put back together, start the bike and make sure everything is working. Check the blinkers, horn, brake light, high-beams, etc. If something is not working check your fuses and replace any that may have blown. If they keep blowing out, you may have an exposed wire that is shorting out. Good luck finding it! This was my worst fear with mine, but it all turned out ok and everything looks and feels great.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. This is very fine blog.keep it up

  3. Veruy Informative. I have plans on a similiar Mod to my 5 nomad 1600.And thanks for the rear fender rackidea as well.

  4. just look what an eye catching piece of machinery your bike

  5. Every development is made towards enhancing its performance and durability.

  6. The latest trend in the motorcycle engine is of four cylinders. The presence of four cylinders increases revolutions per minute and thus smoothening the ride. Here, the arrangements of the cylinders can vary.

  7. Very nice block / enjoy reading it / give me more and great idea to add on to my nomad / keep up the good work

  8. They have a whole range of genuine body parts consisting of motorcycle wheels, hangers, motorcycle frames, motorcycle engines, handlebars, seats and other accessories.

  9. Jared, very nice write up. Only thing I could add to it is, do not use grease or any petroleum based product as a wire pulling lube. Dish soap is a much better alternative second to actual wire pulling lube used by electricians.

  10. I just recently watched your youtube video on you bike. You have given me hope for mine. I was considering just buying a Harley but after watching your video I think I'm going to keep mine and tweak it. I have a 08 Nomad and loved it when I bought it but have been getting.... Well bored? I guess. Everyone I know has a Harley and I love the sound and just think my bike is not as nice but after watching your video and seeing what can be done.... I'm going to get to work on it.

  11. If you don't run ur wires inside do they still have to be lengthened. And where did u get ur bars

  12. 2005 Nomad - love the ride - awesome job on yours!