APPLICATION: All bikes (Tested here on the ’06 Honda CRF450R)
WHAT IT IS: Here at TransWorld Motocross we are big fans of Pro Taper handlebars. They’re light, strong, and flex just enough to help absorb hard hits and big jumps. And after all, with the way we ride, we need all the absorbing we can get—and then some. Thankfully, for us, our friends over at Pro Taper also make a top triple clamp designed with a lot of the same “absorbing” technology behind it as the bars. Made with rubber-mounted handlebar clamps that can be tuned with bushings of different durometers; the clamp is made specifically to smooth out a bumpy ride, and there is never anything wrong with that idea.
Recently, we took delivery of the CNC-machined clamp, and have been riding with it paired up to some Pro Taper bars ever since, and we must say it’s a match made in heaven.
HITS: Like we said, the clamp is put together with a lot of the same thinking as the bars are, with the main focus being towards dampening vibration. Part of the reason why the clamp does this, is the rubber insert that goes between the bar mounts and the actual clamp itself. The insert comes in three different durometers—firm, medium and soft—so you can customize the clamp to suit your style. We know what you’re thinking though, “Won’t a rubber-mounted clamp spin in the event of a crash?” Even though the clamp is rubber-mounted, don’t worry. The bar mounts are connected into one piece, and the notched out mounting area keeps them from spinning due to a hard get-off. The notched mounting area also allows the bar mounts to be moved forward or back, so you can tune the ergonomics to a rider’s size and personal taste.
Out on the track, the clamp gives you an in-control feel, and combined with the Pro Taper bars, helps to smooth the ride out. The durability of the clamp is also excellent, and we haven’t had any problems with the pinch bolts coming loose or anything of that nature. One of our testers even had a nasty trip over the bars that landed him in bed for a few days of recovery, and both the bars and clamps came away unscathed. Overall, we are really pleased with the entire package.
MISSES: Honestly, it’s hard to find a flaw in this package. It’s affordable, works great and looks good, but we guess if we must find something wrong, we would have to say the clamp is a little on the heavy side.
THE VERDICT: Needless to say, we are very happy with our Pro Taper clamp. It has held up to our abuse and more; can smooth out harsh bumps, and looks good while doing all of this. If we were in the market for an affordable way to make our bike look and feel better, we wouldn’t hesitate to plunk down some dough on this great product.
CONTACT: 800/840-3040 www.protaper.com