HOW TO: Install Z Bars on Harley-Davidson Sportster

  • Published on Jan 15, 2018
  • How to install Z Bars, grips, and new brake line on the Harley Sportster!
    Ms. Blockhead didn't like the stock bars on the Harley 48, and loved the look and feel of Z Bars. So she decided on a height, I ordered everything we needed and surprised her with parts for Christmas! We installed the Z Bars soon after!
    - Z Bars 8”:
    - Arlen Ness Grips:
    - Burly Cable Kit:
    - Brake line only:
    - Brake Bleeder Pump (Stockton):
    - Brake Bleeder Pump (cheaper):
    - DOT 4 Brake Fluid (Motul):
    - WD-40:
    - Blue Thread locker:
    - Magnetic Bowl:
    - Torx Bits:
    - Hex Bit Sockets (SAE):
    - Shop Towels:
    The process should be nearly identical for most Sportsters. I know my 2013 Iron 883 was the exact same (except I installed drag bars so I didn't have to change the brake line.) The bike worked on in the video is a 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster 48. Based on your make and model year, your experience may vary. Please note the disclaimer below*
    As always, thanks for tuning in! Be sure to Like / Comment / Subscribe!
    Till next time, ride safe out there, & stay vigilant!

    ► BIKES:
    2017 Harley Low Rider S (FXDLS)
    2015 Honda CBR1000RR
    2010 Harley 48 Sportster
    1987 Honda Rebel 250

    ► LINKS:
    Behind the Scenes!
    My Gear @ Amazon:
    Blockhead Merch:
    Social Medias:
    • Instagram -
    • Facebook -
    • Twitter -

    ► MAIL:
    Blockhead Moto
    PO Box 18
    Windermere, FL 34786

    Tonez & Re-C - Kyoto:
    Creative Commons - Attribution 3.0 Unported - CC BY 3.0:
    Music provided by AL:

    This is only a guide, and not meant to be taken as the only means of completing this job. I assume no responsibility and am not responsible or liable, directly nor indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such Content, site or resource.
  • Autos & VehiclesAutos & Vehicles

Comments • 167

  • Jesse Kahler
    Jesse Kahler 9 days ago

    Beautiful! Getting them for my bike!

  • Paul O'Neal
    Paul O'Neal 26 days ago

    I wouldn't mind having a set on my Street Rod 750.

  • HarleyFirestorm
    HarleyFirestorm Month ago

    The Z bars with pull back are great, I have straight Z bars, look good but are not the most comfortable.

  • Donald West
    Donald West 2 months ago

    Crazy how changing the handlebars gives the bike an entire new look

  • XboobtubeX
    XboobtubeX 2 months ago

    great job. I liked the paper shop towel with hole in middle to fit around the brake reservoir when filling it with brake fluid.

  • Joe Troutt
    Joe Troutt 2 months ago

    If I did a video like this you would never understand a word I would say due to the censored bleeps from my frustrations of installing new parts.

  • Neezar ali naveed
    Neezar ali naveed 2 months ago

    it looks amaaaaaaazing 💯

  • J rod
    J rod 2 months ago

    So if I’m getting 8” bars I need to get harness extensions ???????

  • Brayden Taylor
    Brayden Taylor 3 months ago +1

    Hey man, I got a 2016 XL883N wandering if I bought these same bars do you think I could still use the stock cables?

  • Juan Hernandez
    Juan Hernandez 3 months ago

    Hello!! I have a question. Did you change the electronics cable? I mean, I'm installing 14'' Zbars, but I don't know why I think the electronics is not going to be enough. Also, you only change the brake line? Do you recommend buying only the brake line?

  • dino 1446
    dino 1446 3 months ago

    Thank you for your sharingg... Woohooooo

  • Jay Davies
    Jay Davies 3 months ago +1

    Hi mate
    do you have any videos on how to internally run wires into hollywood bars on a Iron 883? i'm swapping drags to hollywoods and needs help on how to run the cables through?

    • Jay Davies
      Jay Davies 2 months ago

      @Joe Troutt LOLOLOLLL to be fair it was quite easy in the end!! i must have been lucky! the hardest part was trying to fix the bars back on while holding them at the same time!! that's when i called the wife in for support lol!

    • Joe Troutt
      Joe Troutt 2 months ago +2

      I'm sure you're done by now but I'm sure you had a wonderful time getting the wires ran. Just did mine. I invented some new swear words.

  • SevenDragonBall
    SevenDragonBall 3 months ago

    I follow your steps and I success install it ,Thank you and your assistant!

  • nicolas Gillis
    nicolas Gillis 3 months ago

    explication sympa merci !!! nico de France

  • Bloodnuke67 _
    Bloodnuke67 _ 4 months ago

    Okay so i just bought my new 883 in new Smyrna and confused about the bars, it has 2 inch risers with drag bars, what do i need to buy to replace the risers and put the z bars on?

  • Oscar Madera
    Oscar Madera 5 months ago

    Have you dealt with bars that are internally wired

  • Cali Sali
    Cali Sali 6 months ago

    great can you do my sportster? lol i have a superlow and want that exACT SIZE LOOKS CLEAN

  • hooeetube
    hooeetube 6 months ago

    Nice job!

  • montechristo0214
    montechristo0214 6 months ago

    Hey,you know what is the highest rise i can use without change any cables?iron xl883n abs 2017?thanks. Nice vid.

  • MTBAjK 610
    MTBAjK 610 7 months ago

    The cable you linked for just a brake line, will it work on a 2017 883 iron? Listing says no but how different could it be? Can't find an individual longer cable without going to a HD dealer.

  • Leonardo Colon
    Leonardo Colon 7 months ago

    Cool Mrs Block is left handed like my Queen is. We also work very well together. It is refreshing to see couples do projects together. Awesome stuff, Awesome video. Thank you

  • Angel Hernandez
    Angel Hernandez 8 months ago

    With the 8 inch bars cant you just unbolt the stock brake line and reroute and should work, brake line would just be loose

  • Paul O'Neal
    Paul O'Neal 8 months ago

    Do you think these would fit my Street Rod?

  • Bud
    Bud 8 months ago

    Definitly looks better than drag bar. You did a good job. And thanks for advices.

  • Chris Cichy
    Chris Cichy 8 months ago

    Hey man got a question from ya or anyone with more knowledge then me lol. Currently have 16” bars wanting to switch to 12” guessing I would have to get new clutch and brake cables or could I use the same ones ?

  • mike whipple
    mike whipple 8 months ago

    You really should be asjusting your clutch cable and at the hub

  • andy somerville
    andy somerville 9 months ago

    hey guys thanks for the video , started watching your channel about a year ago and yesterday bought my very own nightster 1200
    my first Harley you guys had a hand in that, love the channel

  • Dennis Fillion
    Dennis Fillion 9 months ago +1

    Hey SIR Blockhead so all u did was change the brake line cool

  • Steven Line
    Steven Line 9 months ago

    Great video...Wished you were my neighbor, to help me with

  • Robert Slaughter
    Robert Slaughter 9 months ago +1

    I like the Revzilla beard scale reference

  • Brandon Walker
    Brandon Walker 9 months ago

    Did you have issues with the mirrors hitting the gas tank?

  • Alfred Paynita
    Alfred Paynita 9 months ago

    Does the handle bar need to be dimpled or not? I am upgrading my 2015 48 Sporster and shopping around bars. Thank you!

  • 1topfueldrag
    1topfueldrag 10 months ago

    Good job nice bike

  • Macdude Rider
    Macdude Rider 10 months ago

    Great video! Looks like you used the “10 inch cable kit. I can’t seem to find the “10 inch cables for Sportster 48.... the sites seem to all say they won’t fit. Which one did you order. Thanks

  • Andrew Marquez
    Andrew Marquez 10 months ago +1

    Hey man I was just wondering if this would be same for installing apes on my '10 iron 883 sportster? Thanks

    • Andrew Marquez
      Andrew Marquez 10 months ago

      BLOCKHEAD thank you! So you didn't have to heat shrink/sodder? Just making sure. Bars comin in tonight!

      BLOCKHEAD  10 months ago +1

      Yup! Should be just about the same 👍🏼

  • West Nile
    West Nile 11 months ago

    Would you have to change any fluids or lubricants if changing clutch cable??

  • Rorik Uthgard
    Rorik Uthgard 11 months ago +3

    Easier way to install the throttle side instead of taking it apart is
    1. Remove left side controls and grip (if keeping same grip)
    2. Loosen right controls (do not remove yet)
    3. Take off handlebar clamp (middle part)
    4. Take handlebars off and right side controls should slide off in one piece
    5. Then do reverse
    slide right side controls onto new bars
    Put bars on middle clamp tighten down then install your left side and adjust other screws and clamps as needed before standing bars completely upright

    • Joe Troutt
      Joe Troutt 2 months ago

      That's only if you're not running wires through the bars.

  • Dustin Gray
    Dustin Gray 11 months ago

    This is awesome, thank you! Definitely switching to these bars when I get a 48.

  • narco831envy
    narco831envy 11 months ago

    Never mind I know what handlebars now. Lol

  • arnold321ful
    arnold321ful 11 months ago +3

    This guy is like the motorcycle version of ChrisFix

  • Herique Souto
    Herique Souto Year ago


  • Jon Bonjovi
    Jon Bonjovi Year ago

    So the little brass piece. Does the solid part face towards you or away from you when you put everything back on?

  • Bubbyis12
    Bubbyis12 Year ago

    How long was the brake line?

  • Adrian Wong
    Adrian Wong Year ago

    Are they comfortable? I'm looking for a set of Z bars with some pullback aswell. Thanks

  • Tyler Hughes
    Tyler Hughes Year ago

    Your 'how to' videos and so fucking clean. 10/10

  • pim1234
    pim1234 Year ago

    WD40... tssss

  • Eric Delacruz
    Eric Delacruz Year ago

    how long was the new brake cable ?

  • Jason Vanderbilt
    Jason Vanderbilt Year ago

    wanted to know the diameter of the grips you installed

  • The Viking Biker
    The Viking Biker Year ago

    Looks great! how did you set the angle of the bars? was it just personal preference or did you try them out?

  • David S
    David S Year ago

    Loved the video..

  • lMrFresno559l
    lMrFresno559l Year ago

    How many miles did you put on that Iron before you sold her?

  • grave1er
    grave1er Year ago

    Ima pure blockhead fan

  • The Ryan8er
    The Ryan8er Year ago

    Blockhead do you think you can fit 10 inch z bars on with the stock cables just change the brake line

    • The Ryan8er
      The Ryan8er Year ago

      BLOCKHEAD ok thanks

      BLOCKHEAD  Year ago

      Eeeeeh you'd be really pushing it. I highly doubt it though, b/c the throttle cables were nearly at their max with this install.

  • madfzr
    madfzr Year ago

    Nice vid block. Question i want to get 6in Z bars on my '17 xl1200x. Pretty sure the stock brake cable will reach. What brand bars did you go with?

    • madfzr
      madfzr Year ago

      BLOCKHEAD thanks. Are u guys happy with the ryca brand? And the 8 in over the 6 inch z bars?

      BLOCKHEAD  Year ago +1

      Link in description

  • E Davila
    E Davila Year ago

    Thanks for the video! I just orderd a set of 8' z bars for my wifes 06 sportster 1200L i see that ill only have to change the front brake line what size do i need? And where can i get just a brake line? Thanks in advance for any info! Have a good day.

      BLOCKHEAD  Year ago +1

      Glad the vid helped! Check the description for links for everything, including the brake line only 👍🏼

  • The Ryan8er
    The Ryan8er Year ago

    Do you think the stock clutch line will fit 10 inch bars

  • Chris Cichy
    Chris Cichy Year ago

    Got a question for ya boss not the best or most knowledgeable guy with motorcycles as I am new to them. For the new break lines and such what would you prefer is a good time to get new ones ?

  • jeff hembury
    jeff hembury Year ago

    Should of routed that throttle cable back behind the fork. Looks like crab in front of the turn indicator. Just my 2 cents. Great video.

  • Oscar Madera
    Oscar Madera Year ago

    Hell yeah great vid!! I was just looking to replace my bars and was worried about the cables but this video just cleared it all up!! Great work!!!

  • Corey Reeb
    Corey Reeb Year ago

    Hey man, any info on your front headlight setup without using the classic sportster visor? Looks great, thanks!

  • Richard Delotta
    Richard Delotta Year ago

    I used this vid to help do the bars on my bike. Thanks for what you do

  • Yudhistira Baso
    Yudhistira Baso Year ago

    Can you make instruction video for z dragbars wiring installation.. i will very appreciate it..

  • Raw Tee
    Raw Tee Year ago

    I like the Z bars much better than the Drag bars
    Hey great video!


    Wish I could have seen this when I did my 48! Great bike.

  • zac shares
    zac shares Year ago

    hey blockhead, how was the quality of these bars? i was gonna order some for my 48 at 12'' and wasn't sure if i should save a lil and get these or drop more and get licks or other known brands. thanks

  • Chris Correll
    Chris Correll Year ago

    How is he liking those bars? I like the way they look but I always wonder how they effect the feel of the bike for a newer rider.

  • JT H
    JT H Year ago


  • The Ryan8er
    The Ryan8er Year ago

    Yooooooooooo can you answer my question

  • 883 Iron
    883 Iron Year ago

    So the only cable you had to change wa the brake line

  • salazarj1
    salazarj1 Year ago

    I just got a set of these bars from a friend that had them laying around and didn't need them. I have a '17 48. Do you think I would only need the brake line as well?

    • nasomaz
      nasomaz Year ago

      I also ordered the keystone xl which are 8.5 inch rise. I heard you can unmount the break line from its bracket and rerount the line behind the headlight. if you still have no room you can bend the metal part to make it straight. This should do it on the 17 48. Now I am far from an expert I got this by reading reviews, I hope my install will go smooth once I get to in end of spring.

  • The Ryan8er
    The Ryan8er Year ago

    Do you know what size the stock bars are ? I’m trying to figure out the height difference

  • The Royal Q
    The Royal Q Year ago

    What’s up Blockhead question I have 14 iron I want to instal 10” mini apes on it. What cables do I need?

  • The Ryan8er
    The Ryan8er Year ago

    Hey blockhead I was wondering how much taller than stock the 8 inch bars are ?

  • Clint Roberts
    Clint Roberts Year ago

    Hey, Blockhead. How do you like those Ryco Handlebars? Are they manufactured in the U.S.? Any warranty?

  • Hudimus Maximus
    Hudimus Maximus Year ago

    Nice, and I know how to bleed brakes now! lol

  • Franz Fremont
    Franz Fremont Year ago

    Good video! Z bars look great!!! I'm getting some for my Yamaha bolt.

  • The Real AG
    The Real AG Year ago

    To properly adjust the throttle cables you need to pull the air filter to see the butterfly valve in the carb or throttle body btw. There's probably videos on RU-clip to show you how.

  • Jacob James
    Jacob James Year ago

    Great work. Up next should be an exhaust system or a set of slip on mufflers.

  • Redwood Penguin Club

    Should have gotten the frisco bars...

  • Adam Stainer
    Adam Stainer Year ago

    Love how involved Miss Blockhead is, after my wedding and honeymoon March/April 2018 (in Davenport FL!) I’m hoping to get a 48 and an 883 for the Mrs and I. Not so easy finding an abundance of Harley’s over here in England without blowing huge bucks. We’re 26 and 23, I’ve only ever owned an R6 and the fiancé isn’t so keen on riding....Keep up the good work you two, every video of the two of you is ammunition for me to use on her:)

  • Dan O'Seaghdha
    Dan O'Seaghdha Year ago +1

    (Friendly ribbing / jealousy to ensue) ... So just so it's said again ... I hate you. :D LOL ... Firearms instructor ... Motorcycles ... and now wrenching on the bike with you. I honestly don't think it gets any better mate ... LOL .... T.U.

  • Tarrnation
    Tarrnation Year ago

    Nice Bars ! Awesome job well done.

  • Joe Coletta
    Joe Coletta Year ago

    So is the 48 for you or Ms. Blockhead?

  • Von 1971
    Von 1971 Year ago

    You need a light on your camera

  • Wilson Francisco
    Wilson Francisco Year ago

    Thanks! Loved the tutorial, great job. I thought you had merchandise for sale from blockhead...


    good job bro she have good taste now you need some lucky daves on yours lol

  • JustAnotherBasic
    JustAnotherBasic Year ago

    Threw a set of Biltwell Keystone Z bars on my 883 as well as my own exhaust and intake install. Still tuned in cause I'm seriously diggin y'all's videos together. Working on your own bike is soooooo much more satisfying than taking it in. All the leftover scratches and whatnot from my mistakes are just added character. Keep up the good work brother!

  • Scorp
    Scorp Year ago +1

    lol, the line is '' aired '' , de-bled ... not bled.
    a hooked or curved awl would have worked as well.
    awsome woman handling that grip! , i felt it bottom out from here! xD
    lol, dinner time!
    huge pause from the cold, i dont blame you.
    kool that Ms. Blockhead helped with mechanic skills.... HOT! , lol , that is a plus.
    super awsome vlog!!

    • Great Egret
      Great Egret Year ago

      Scorp No worries. Didn't think you meant disrespect. Ride safe, my friend.

    • Scorp
      Scorp Year ago

      yeah, to true, it happens to me as well. however i meant do disrespect
      to you or him when mentioning it.
      tk you for your response , it is appreciated.

    • Great Egret
      Great Egret Year ago

      Scorp Sorry, I should have said "mispoke" rather than verbal mistake. He probably knew what bleeding brakes lines means. He likely misspoke. Happens to the best of us.

    • Scorp
      Scorp Year ago

      verbal mistake?? on what part?

    • Great Egret
      Great Egret Year ago

      Scorp I was going to make the same comment. Easy mistake, though. The bleeding process can be tough if you've never done it. Add the distraction of vlogging, I'd make the same verbal mistake.

  • Chris Cohoe
    Chris Cohoe Year ago +1

    Wish I found a video to help me replace my bars instead I was an idiot and took it to the dealer because I wasn’t confident! FML! But I’m glad you put one out! When I get another Harley I’ll reference to your video!!

  • tccoup355
    tccoup355 Year ago +1

    Wow what a huge difference those made, for the better of course. Awesome!

  • Jon Test
    Jon Test Year ago +1

    I just ordered some 8" bars not two days ago. The gentleman claimed the bars should be good with stock cables, we shall see. Enjoyed watching this and getting to see the finished project

    • nasomaz
      nasomaz Year ago

      Glad to hear bars were fine. I hope you will resolve the mechanical issue with your cylinder !! Evos are bullet proof I am sure you will figure it out.

    • Jon Test
      Jon Test Year ago

      It went fine, the stock bars on my bike were a bit larger so the stock brake line ended up being ok. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to ride the thing because it came out of storage and is only firing on one cylinder. Ongoing cluster fk trying to resolve it.

    • nasomaz
      nasomaz Year ago

      I'm in the same boat; I ordered some keystone xl bar (8.5 rise). All the reviews say that only the break line is short but you can unmount it from the bracket and bend the metal part to make it straight and it will have room to fit so problem. Did yout install go well ?

    • Josh Outen
      Josh Outen Year ago

      Jon Test how did it go? I’m in the same boat, just ordered some 8” apes and would like to know if I have to get cables before hand

  • Grimgeist
    Grimgeist Year ago +1

    Btw. How's that ATV and Dirt bike rally going? That's hilarious! I've wanted to do the same thing on my 1987 Trx250r here in Wichita Ks. because they shut down a riding area everyone went to by the little Arkansas river in Hutchinson Ks,. It's bull crap! We never hurt a thing and it was a nice release to ride quads on the weekends!

  • Grimgeist
    Grimgeist Year ago

    Can't wait for a dual vlog on both HD's. Both bikes are awesome and they deserve a video! I had a Sportster Nightster 2010 and I traded up to a 103 Softail Slim 2015 last year. I miss my sporty but couldn't be happier about my Slim. Love the vids so keep em coming!

  • Luis Biascochea
    Luis Biascochea Year ago

    Hey, happy New Year to you Year to you and ms/Mrs blockhead just got home from work watched the video as always very informative and to the point....😎😎😎

  • Thomas Jones
    Thomas Jones Year ago

    Thank you for this video! I am actually looking to add some Z Bars to my 2015 Iron 883 and have been wondering what extensions I need to do. Much appreciated!

  • William Garcia
    William Garcia Year ago +10

    I love this video just for the fact that your girl supports your hobby. My gf asked me to come visit her yesterday and she specifically asked me if I could bring my Harley instead of my car. I gave her extra loving for that.. good job and nice video.

    • Joe Troutt
      Joe Troutt 2 months ago

      You rode over there and she rode you back.

    • Jacob James
      Jacob James Year ago

      William Garcia I hope you rode her better then the bike!

  • Dead SouL 73 Dan F

    Awesome this is so cool

  • Eric Pesman
    Eric Pesman Year ago +2

    Yup, the essential part for all jobs: WD40 😉

  • Blaze Keith
    Blaze Keith Year ago

    You guys do a great job going into detail! Love the wat it looks now im gonna put those on mine now thanks for the video!

  • Erick de viking
    Erick de viking Year ago

    First thing i'd mod on the 48 is that moronicly horrible small tank. I could not handle that. Also looks stupid imo