Do I really need to remove the handlebars to pull the front forks?
No, Just loosen the fork pinch bolts, and the forks will drop down. I think there are 4 bolts on the upper triple clamp, and 4 bolts on the lower triple clamp. Of course it's easier to take the front wheel off first, so you can "manuever" the fork tubes.
Not to my knowlege. You should be able to just remove the clamping bolts from the triple clamps and slid the forks out the bottom.
You will have to take the brake caliper off, or take the perch off, which ever seems easier for you.
The only reason to move the bars is to loosen the fork caps before you drop the tubes so that you don't have to invent something to clamp the forks in without damaging them.
You should loosen the top clamp pinch bolts, loosen the fork cap, then loosen the bottom clamp and drop the tube. The bars are sometimes in the way of this process, as on the '06, where the bar mounts interfere with fitting the ring wrench on the cap. What I do it remove the entire bar clamp/bar assembly all at the same time by removing the two bar mount bolts from below the clamp. Then, you don't need to fiddle around resetting the bar angle and such when you go back together.
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