This is why this Forum is so cool. My friend @metalchewy
, MC for short, is an adept mtb rider who has ridden many of his 'klunker off-road' style builds to the extreme! He noticed that by flipping my stem upside down that I might get enough change in bar height that it would still work to use the 1978 Yamaha moto-x bars.
At first I didn't think it would, but it doesn't hurt to try. Also, I had a 10 mm spacer underneath the stem before, so that's another about 3/8" I would gain. I flipped it all and put the spacer on top, and dropped down somewhere near 1 1/2" in height of the bars! The other factor is, by lowering the bar height, I also lengthened the .... pit ( center of saddle to center of bar clamp) , which gave me a skosh more room as well.
mentioned that the difference I was looking for might be 'negligible' (I'm paraphrasing now) with a different bar / stem combo. I always tell my bike customers when we are fitting them, that, "An inch is like a mile" on a bicycle; huge differences in fit by altering things just by a few millimeters.
Already, this feels like a better fit. I will need to get it on actual dirt before I can judge, and probably try my alternative bar / stem combo to compare. But it was definitely worth the try~! Thanks guys!
Before the changes:
After the changes and raising the seat 1/2". :