WHAT IS IT? Never heard of Neken? Sure you have.
They make KTM’s production triple clamps and are the
designers of the innovative NK SFS air triple clamp that
is used by Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen. They also
make a complete line of aftermarket handlebars, replete
with graphics and a creative bar pad.
WHAT’S IT COST? $99.00 (plain), $110.00 (graphics).
CONTACT? (951) 245-2660 or visit
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that
stand out with Neken oversize handlebars.
(1) Construction. Made out of aerospace-quality 7010
T6 aluminum alloy, the Neken oversize handlebar is a
three-piece composite design. Think of it as a Renthal
Twin Wall handlebar, only without the cross-brace. At
1-1/2 pounds, it weighs slightly more than a Renthal
FatBar but less than a Twin Wall.
( 2) Options. Neken handlebars come in four height
and sweep combinations, with eight color choices and
multiple bar-pad designs. We tested the R0101 Pichon
( 3) Graphics. The most noticeable difference
compared to anything else on the market is the graphics
wrapped around the bars. The graphics are made out of
thick shrink-wrapped plastic. Unfortunately, our graphics
became dinged and disfigured in short order. Tie-down
hooks wreak havoc on them, so be sure to use soft
tie-down straps on these bars.
( 4) Mounting. Neken’s laser-etched marks made lining up
the bars a breeze. The knurled clutch-side bar end kept the
grip from slipping. The included plastic handlebar end plugs
were a nice touch, though we removed the throttle-side plug
for fear that it would bind up the throttle assembly while
( 5) Bar pad. Neken has the most creative bar pad we’ve
ever seen. Instead of a foam block Velcroed to the bars, the
Neken bar pad has a molded plastic base that secures to
the bars with zip-ties. The bar pad fits securely in the plastic
base and is covered with a rubberized cover that does not
crack over time. It’s a great design, with one caveat—the
zip-ties must be cut to access the handlebar mounts. Carry
extra zip-ties with you to the track.
( 6) Performance. MXA test riders liked the feel of the
Pichon bend on our test KTM. The taller bar bend suited the
KTM’s low bar mounts, while the sweep was relatively
neutral. The Neken bars were more forgiving than a
cross-brace-equipped oversize handlebar.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have several complaints. (1)
The graphics, although attractive, deteriorated over time. ( 2)
Deciphering Neken’s names, sweeps and bends can be confusing. ( 3) The bar pad is creative but addicted to zip-ties.
Creative handlebars are few and far between. A
good bar with a new look is always welcome.
NEKEN OVERSIZE HANDLEBARS
MXA TEAM TESTED