How-to: Flipped Mirrors on a Harley-Davidson Sportster
Although the following information can be applied to other HD models as well, I will be focusing specifically on sportster models. So, since the introduction of the Black Line of Dark Custom, many sportster owners did this modification which completely changes the style of the bike making it more aggressive and bobber-like.
This was so successful that even Harley-Davidson now ships its 2011 Forty-Eight model with this design. Here is a photograph of the 2011 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight.
Here we will be using my 2011 Harley-Davidson XL883N Iron. To begin with, here is how this motorcycle looks with the stock mirrors…
A closer look reveals that the mirror is bolted underneath the handlebar using a single 13mm nut close to the turn signal. Here is a close-up of this nut.
Starting with the left mirror (from riding position), I used a small ratchet with a 2″ extension and a 13mm socket you see here:
After removing the left mirror (as seen from the riding position), we can see that apart from the 13mm nut, there is also a washer of the same size. Pay attention not to lose it because it is used to securely lock the nut.
I have intentionally started from the left one because the right one is more tricky to remove. The right one is harder because of the brake and throttle lines as well as the turn signal which is very close to the mirror’s bolt. To avoid scratching your paint or having difficulties removing the nut, I suggest using a 13mm open-end wrench.
Now that you have both mirrors out, start by installing the left (from riding position). To do this, take the mirror you removed from in the previous step from the right side and flip it over. Yes, it is as simple as that!
Moving to the right side, it is more tricky due to the previously mentioned lines and turn signal. Because of the position of the right turn signal it is impossible to insert the mirror underneath the handlebar. To do this, you simply remove the turn signal temporarily which is a very straightforward task.
Locate the small hole shown in the following picture.
In this hole, there is a 4mm Allen (hex bit) bolt. Use an equivalent wrench head to unscrew it.
You don’t have to completely remove the bolt. Just loosen it up enough to release the signal light.
With all the required free space, just install the right mirror and adjust it to the vision field you’re comfortable with. Then re-install the signal light.
If you happen to have a torque wrench which I highly recommend to get one if you don’t have, you must tighten the mirrors’ nuts to 16 Nm. Hopefully, the end result should be something like this:
Apart from the aesthetics improvement, this modification also assists on a better vision field. The stock mirrors are short and most riders (including myself) do not have clear view due to the arm’s (more specifically elbow) position.
Remember to check that there is enough clearance space between the gas tank and the mirrors when flipped. This modification cannot be applied to some bikes with large gas tanks. Just turn the handlebar left/right to make sure it doesn’t hit the gas tank.
Anyway, I hope you find it useful. :)