Go to any gathering of stunt bikers, and you’re likely to see products from Minnesota-based Convertibars being utilized. The same can be said for long-haul events, where riders do what they can to attain maximum comfort.
What are Convertibars? Basically, they are billet aluminum risers that allow you to raise your bike’s handlebar grip location. Convertibars’ real benefit, though – they also allow an incredible range of adjustability; up or down, forward or back, they allow you to choose your own best riding position.
The application’s important parts include a proprietary clamp called the Cyclops, a riser, and a collet that mates the riser to the actual handlebar. The clamp can be adjusted, the riser can be adjusted, and the handlebars can be adjusted, all together offering a wide ergonomic range.
Convertibars offers it riser kits for motorcycles from Aprilia, BMW, Buell, Ducati, Honda, Hyosung, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha, as well as universal fit kits for bikes with fork stanchions from 35mm to 54mm in size. Available in black or silver, kits contain all the hardware needed to complete most installations, however longer lines and other components may be required on some motorcycles.
Luckily, Convertibars serves as a one-stop shop, with related products including billet aluminum replacement handlebars and clamps, stunt accessories, bar-end and anti-vibration parts, and brake, clutch and throttle lines.
But there’s more. A second popular Convertibars product comes in the form of The Rhino adjustable clip-ons, a product often sought out by racers. Available in silver, these clip-ons allow 16 degrees of down angle adjustability.
“We sell a lot of product to stunters, but I think our primary user is a middle-aged guy who wants to keep riding a sport bike but seeks a bit more comfort,” Steve Majer, president of Convertibars, told MMM from his office in St. Paul. “Sport touring enthusiasts really seem to like the product.”
So how’d the product become a reality?
“Convertibars were originally conceived in the late 90s by a gentleman named Tim Tamscin,” Majer explained. “He was avid motorcyclists and high energy entrepreneur, and he happened to be friends with an engineer who primarily worked in medical device prototyping. So the two of them collaborated, with the design engineer taking Tim’s idea into the real world.”
Convertibars sold its first set of bars in 2002, and things were going well in the following years – a major national distributor took on the product and business was growing. Then, in 2010, Tamscin died of colon cancer rather suddenly.
The operation floundered for a year until, with the blessing of Tamscins’ heirs, Majer purchased the assets of Convertibars in May 2011.
“The design engineer happens to be married to my wife’s cousin,” Majer said. “So, as I was at a point in my life where I was ready for something else, I jumped in.
“Tim developed several great products and I intend to honor his creativity, hard work and the strong desire of his family to see the Convertibars brand live on.”
While Convertibars previously worked with distributor Tucker Rocky, Majer ended the relationship after learning more about the margins he was (or was not) receiving. “It was hard to step away from that, because they sold a lot of product for us,” he said. “That relationship, more than anything, really helped publicize the product.
Today, 75% of Convertibars’ sales come through its website and the company continues to seek partner retailers throughout the world. Sales are brisk not only in the U.S., but also in Canada, Europe, South America and Australia, Majer said.
All Convertibars product is manufactured here in Minnesota, where engineers utilize a machine shop that also produces high-grade medical equipment.
Learn more at Convertibars.com, check out the product’s five-star rating at Motorcycle-Superstore.com, or stop in at the company’s Facebook page that has 1,186 “Likes”.