Stihl FS130R Handlebar Transformation
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Stihl FS130R Handlebar Transformation

    I bought a Stihl FS130R string trimmer and while it's a good machine, I really could not stand to use it. It's one of the most unwieldy and unbalanced contraptions that I've ever paid a bunch of money for. A buddy of my bought a FS130 and thought the same thing. The only difference between the machines is that the "R" comes with the hoop handle and the "non R" comes with the bicycle handlebars. We decided to swap some parts around.

    Here's my stock R and his handlebars

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	T-R5fTY1tITNOtLxIdWI1IokF77WjT5B95HUqvuVqTEVfdwENx1r4NyCWyskQTuL3pPs6Y0kldTKhGfLQYHc2hF12mAzqTw3.jpg
Views:	11
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ID:	376186

    Here it is after I used it for 2 hours today

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	v0gxsluFNPyKN95FzqvPPZn4WfiWykPYEwGyeUEXIXGiqD3Cv-qqcHnuMhUs7q2AiLcfI1vWi1N_i1aJdcxJ5ySsNVB2Nc-e.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	763.8 KB
ID:	376202

    It's a whole new machine. It's balanced, it's not awkward and the only reason that I stopped is that the single shoulder strap leaves a lot to be desired support wise. I was seriously considering selling it and getting something else. It's a keeper now and I'm shopping online for a full harness and brush blades.

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    Jim Timber's Avatar
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    My FIL has an old Stihl straight shaft weed whip, using that with a brush blade literally sends my hands into spasms from the gripping and vibration in 20 minutes (remember, I have nerve damage and this is a side effect). I could hardly operate my phone to take video to show my docs it was so bad.

    I needed a brush cutter to speed up land clearing for my orchard and invested in the 42cc Echo version with handlebars - I can run that thing as much as I want. The harness it comes with is pretty awkward, but usable (main issue is their quick release clip design). I went with a heavy padded utility belt and suspenders rig from Menards for a whopping $25 all in and it's been great, although a bit warm on the hot days since it traps heat in the padding.

    Handlebars make all the difference in control and ease of use. Before getting rid of the FS81 my BIL gave me (which is what I sold to buy the cs-355t), I asked the Mrs. if she wanted it for weed whacking and she didn't see why. Ok, gone! :D I still have my Echo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    I bought a Stihl FS130R string trimmer and while it's a good machine, I really could not stand to use it. It's one of the most unwieldy and unbalanced contraptions that I've ever paid a bunch of money for. A buddy of my bought a FS130 and thought the same thing. The only difference between the machines is that the "R" comes with the hoop handle and the "non R" comes with the bicycle handlebars. We decided to swap some parts around.

    Here's my stock R and his handlebars

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	T-R5fTY1tITNOtLxIdWI1IokF77WjT5B95HUqvuVqTEVfdwENx1r4NyCWyskQTuL3pPs6Y0kldTKhGfLQYHc2hF12mAzqTw3.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	599.5 KB
ID:	376186

    Here it is after I used it for 2 hours today

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	v0gxsluFNPyKN95FzqvPPZn4WfiWykPYEwGyeUEXIXGiqD3Cv-qqcHnuMhUs7q2AiLcfI1vWi1N_i1aJdcxJ5ySsNVB2Nc-e.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	763.8 KB
ID:	376202

    It's a whole new machine. It's balanced, it's not awkward and the only reason that I stopped is that the single shoulder strap leaves a lot to be desired support wise. I was seriously considering selling it and getting something else. It's a keeper now and I'm shopping online for a full harness and brush blades.
    The full harnesses are not much better. I have a husquavarna cutter with a full harness, and all the weight still hangs on the left shoulder.
    Bubber, rtgt and BigJim55 like this.
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    Jim Timber's Avatar
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    The weight hangs on my belt the way I have it set up. Probably could do without the suspenders for that matter.
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    I have a Stihl harness for mine. For string work I use my rechargeable Stihl which is awesomely balanced and a work of art. When I get the big boy out I typically either have a blade on it from brush blade to saw blade depending on what I am into. I also have a 16 inch sickle bar for it. I trim the branches along the trail back with the bar, cut high grass, and trim bushes. You can change the sickle angle from folded up to 120 degrees down which is great for working slopes below you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    I bought a Stihl FS130R string trimmer and while it's a good machine, I really could not stand to use it. It's one of the most unwieldy and unbalanced contraptions that I've ever paid a bunch of money for. A buddy of my bought a FS130 and thought the same thing. The only difference between the machines is that the "R" comes with the hoop handle and the "non R" comes with the bicycle handlebars. We decided to swap some parts around.

    Here's my stock R and his handlebars

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	T-R5fTY1tITNOtLxIdWI1IokF77WjT5B95HUqvuVqTEVfdwENx1r4NyCWyskQTuL3pPs6Y0kldTKhGfLQYHc2hF12mAzqTw3.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	599.5 KB
ID:	376186

    Here it is after I used it for 2 hours today

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	v0gxsluFNPyKN95FzqvPPZn4WfiWykPYEwGyeUEXIXGiqD3Cv-qqcHnuMhUs7q2AiLcfI1vWi1N_i1aJdcxJ5ySsNVB2Nc-e.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	763.8 KB
ID:	376202

    It's a whole new machine. It's balanced, it's not awkward and the only reason that I stopped is that the single shoulder strap leaves a lot to be desired support wise. I was seriously considering selling it and getting something else. It's a keeper now and I'm shopping online for a full harness and brush blades.
    What is your buddy now using on his trimmer?

    I got a V style harness from Stihl for my KM110. The 2 tips of this V connect in front of your chest to form like a diamond shape. Your head sits in the middle of the Diamond as it lays on your shoulders. The red/orange straps are are about 3"" wide and padded. It doesn't have a waist strap. Also the plastic pad with the hanging hook has a padded piece behind it.
    The only downside is it's hot and I think it's discontinued.

    Also I'd recommend getting the larger deflector. I stupidly bought the string and metal blade attachments. Other then the head the only difference is the deflector. I put the string head on the big deflector. Then put the metal blade on the one with the high vis/small deflector. With that 4 stroke engine and that quick feed head throw green like crazy. The metal blades not so much. I may cut the high visibility deflector down. Kind a like a limit stop on a brush cutter

    The tool gives me more vibrations with the string head.
    Last edited by H-D dealer dude; 05-27-2017 at 08:25 PM.
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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    I bought a Stihl FS130R string trimmer and while it's a good machine, I really could not stand to use it. It's one of the most unwieldy and unbalanced contraptions that I've ever paid a bunch of money for. A buddy of my bought a FS130 and thought the same thing. The only difference between the machines is that the "R" comes with the hoop handle and the "non R" comes with the bicycle handlebars. We decided to swap some parts around.

    Here's my stock R and his handlebars

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	T-R5fTY1tITNOtLxIdWI1IokF77WjT5B95HUqvuVqTEVfdwENx1r4NyCWyskQTuL3pPs6Y0kldTKhGfLQYHc2hF12mAzqTw3.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	599.5 KB
ID:	376186

    Here it is after I used it for 2 hours today

    Click image for larger version.

Name:	v0gxsluFNPyKN95FzqvPPZn4WfiWykPYEwGyeUEXIXGiqD3Cv-qqcHnuMhUs7q2AiLcfI1vWi1N_i1aJdcxJ5ySsNVB2Nc-e.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	763.8 KB
ID:	376202

    It's a whole new machine. It's balanced, it's not awkward and the only reason that I stopped is that the single shoulder strap leaves a lot to be desired support wise. I was seriously considering selling it and getting something else. It's a keeper now and I'm shopping online for a full harness and brush blades.
    I have a FS110 with handlebars and a full harness.
    Bubber, rtgt and BigJim55 like this.
    Gene

    Have fun and be safe !!!
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    We have a Red Honda Pioneer 700-4 (4 seater) w/soft top , doors, and winch.

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    Jim Timber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    Those look neat and all, but also quite warm to me. I'm not a Husky fanboy, I just happen to like a lot of their offerings; others, not so much.
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-D dealer dude View Post
    What is your buddy now using on his trimmer?

    I got a V style harness from Stihl for my KM110. Front and back look like a V or a diamond if you would lay it out on the floor. The red/orange straps are are about 3"" wide and padded. It doesn't have a waist strap. Also the plastic pad with the hanging hook has a padded piece behind it.
    The only downside is it's hot and I think it's discontinued.

    Also I'd recommend getting the larger deflector. I stupidly bought the string and metal blade attachments. Other then the head the only difference is the deflector. I put the string head on the big deflector. Then put the metal blade on the one with the high vis/small deflector.

    The tool gives me more vibrations with the string head.
    My buddy is running my loop controls, we just swapped. He's modified his engine, that's why we didn't just swap whole machines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Timber View Post
    Those look neat and all, but also quite warm to me. I'm not a Husky fanboy, I just happen to like a lot of their offerings; others, not so much.
    I didn't order that. I don't need quite that level of support at this point. Oh, and I'm a Husky fanboy, btw...

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