- 1 What To Think About Before Buying New Handlebars
- 2 Types of
Motorcycle Handlebars and Grips
- 2.1 · Ape Hanger Handlebars
- 2.2 · Zero Drag Handlebars
- 2.3 · High Drag Handlebars
- 2.4 · Lower drag
- 2.5 · Drags bars
- 2.6 · Cruiser Bike Handlebars
- 2.7 · Motocross Handlebars
- 2.8 · Beach Handlebars
- 2.9 · Clip-on Handlebars
- 2.10 · Buckhorn Handlebars
- 2.11 · Moto handlebars
- 2.12 · Motorcycle Handlebar Risers
- 2.13 What to put in perspective when buying Motorcycle handlebars
- 2.14 How to install Handlebars?
- 2.15 Motorcycle Handlebars FAQ
Motorcycle handlebars are vital components of any bike because they help the rider steer the bike in the right direction. Handlebars that offer perfect grip characteristics are of great importance to the rider, as opposed to those that act as aesthetic components. Some manufacturers tend to design handlebars with aesthetic functionality in mind as opposed to safety. Great handlebars are designed with the intent to offer the rider impeccable motorcycle handlebar grip and allow effortless steering. Motorcycle grip can be enhanced by fitting the extreme end of the handlebars with motorcycle hand grips which come in different designs, size and texture.
Demons Cycle Mayhem Ape Hangers
Burly Brand Beach Bars Bikini Bar
HardDrive 31-0041S Buckhorn Handlebars
Heart Horse Clip-On Handlebars
Alpha Moto Clubman Handlebars
SUNLITE Steel Retro Cruiser Handlebar
Alpha Moto Drag Handlebar Bar
HardDrive 21-231BK Z-Bar Handlebar
HTTMT HB017 T-Bars Handlebar
Below we have listed the best handlebars for most occasions, styles and models.
1. DEMONS CYCLE Mayhem Black 16″ Rise Meathooks Ape Hangers 1-1/4″
- 16″ rise, 8″ backward sweep
- 36″ wide from tip to tip
- 7 pounds
These handlebars fit to most custom models and applications and of course to the Harley-Davidsson FLST, FXST. With a powder coated semigloss black style, they are simply just so cool and more importantly, they are high quality as well. Many manufacturers use so called pipe-in-pipe construction when designing their handlebars which tends to create uncertain structures and quality drops. Instead make them in one piece, making them reliable and sturdy.
2. Burly Brand Beach Bars Bikini Bar-Dimpled 4″ Handlebars
- 4 x 34.5 x 13.5 x 9 inches
- 6 pounds
- Tube Diameter: 1″
With a simple, clean design, these are one of the most popular beach bar handlebars on the market today. Thanks to their shape, they allow a wide rotation and great ergonomics and it won’t interfere with your Hydraulic clutch housing. They’re drilled and slotted to allow easy access for internal wiring.
3. HardDrive 31-0041S Chrome 1″ W/10 Rise Buckhorn Handlebar
- 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- 2.25 pounds
With a few exceptions, these buckhorns fit most bikes. It provides a very comfortable ride and a classical style, and they’re constructed of high-quality steel tubing. Designed to fit for external wiring and 3 1/2″ riser spacing. It’s one of Amazons bestsellers when it comes to buckhorn handlebars and it’s also one of their highest rated products of its kind.
4. Heart Horse 7/8″ 41mm Clip ons Handlebar
- 13.6 x 4.8 x 1.6 inches
- 1.2 pounds
These clip-ons are especially designed for Honda Rebel CMX250, CM400, CB400, CX500, Suzuki GS250, GS300, GS400, Kawasaki KZ400, Yamaha SRX250, XS400, XV250 and Universal Cafe Racer. Simply clamp these directly to the fork tubes, either above or below the triple tree and your bike will have a very sporty look.
5. ALPHA MOTO Cafe Racer Ace Clubman Handlebar
- 30 x 6 x 6 inches
- 14.7 ounces
Mount this one-piece clubman handlebar on the triple tree and reach a slightly backward angled shaped bar for a lower positioned ride. Also known as Thruxton drops or Thruxton bars, these handlebars will give your bike a rather intense look. Also one of Amazons bestsellers and they recommend it themselves.
6. Sunlite Steel Retro Cruiser Handlebar
- 27 x 13 x 3 inces
- 1.8 pounds
Quite a heavy construction, all in black and retro design. These cruiser handlebars may appear simple but will give your bike a classical look that will induce an awe in the observer. They reach quite far on the bike which allows the rider to sit upright which in many cases is to prefer when on long journeys or rides.
7. ALPHA MOTO Black 1″ Drag handlebar Bar
- 8 x 8 x 8 inches
- 2.25 pounds
The drag handlebars from Alpha Moto will fit most one-inch applications and are extremely resistant against scratches. They fit especially well with the Harley Davidson HD Chopper Sportster Softail Tour Glide Road King Electra. With the black design it will give your ride a clean design and a respected style wherever you go.
8. JRL Mid Handlebars
- 29 x 7 x 2.2 inches
- 15.5 ounces
These motocross bars will fit most off-road bikes, pit as well as dirt bikes. All you need to pick is the color and it comes in black, blue, green, gold and red. They are very easy to install, and they will get the job done. A very sturdy and at the same time light design, not to mention the style they will bring to your off-road bike.
9. HardDrive 21-231BK Black Z-Bar
- 8.3 x 5.3 x 29.9 inches
- 3.3 pounds
A classical Z-bar handlebar with sharp angles that will give your bike an attitude. It’s dimpled for application of 82 and up. They’re distinctively angled from the mounting and towards the control area and handgrip. They will fit with most application and particularly well with your Harley Davidson bike.
10. HTTMT HB017-III- Black Rise T-Bars
- 7.3 x 5.4 inches
- 2.3 pounds
These T-bar handlebars are highly durable and each of the components are actually manually de-burred and cleaned by hand. Each product is carefully checked for quality purposes and they come with guarantees. It will fit well with a Harley FLST FXST Sportster XL Dyna. It’s one of the most highly rated T-handlebars on the market today.
What To Think About Before Buying New Handlebars
When it comes to the motorcycle parts, there are several things to consider: style, safety and functionality. The handlebars are one of the motorcycle constituents that offer a lot of choice to the rider and you don’t want to get it wrong. If you’re not used to the ape-hangers for example, these can really cause problems for you while out on the road, as steering with these babies isn’t always easy. At the same time, the buckhorn handlebars would look quite silly on a Ducati Monster or a 50cc moped and we wouldn’t want to look silly, would we? So here we would like to write about what to think about and what your choices are.
Types of Motorcycle Handlebars and Grips
First, let’s go through what types of handlebars there are. Of course, we cannot include all types and brands, but these are the most popular and used ones.
· Ape Hanger Handlebars
Ape hangers are as high as you can get. They are normally obtainable in 12, 14, and 16 inches in terms of height. There are plenty of ape hangers available for sale, but the Harley ape hanger takes the biggest share of the market.
· Zero Drag Handlebars
The zero drag consists of tall risers that look cool on choppers. Despite the fact that it can fit across different bike styles, zero drag is specially customized for sportsters. Flat and neutral shapes look great on most motorbikes.
· High Drag Handlebars
When we talk about the high drag, Harley-Davidson Handlebars pop to mind. The high drag will virtually look good on any Harley Motorcycle model. It imparts character and substance and instantly boosts any average Harley Motorbike, making it a monster.
· Lower drag
Lower drag handlebars will not fit well with motorbikes with elongated forks because the zero upsweep and flat bend might render handling troublesome in certain situations.
· Drags bars
Drag bars assume an aerodynamic design, which means they offer less friction with the wind. It’s also a style of handlebar synonymous with Harley bikes. Said bars position the rider in a somehow forward and more aggressive riding position.
· Cruiser Bike Handlebars
This type of handlebar is quintessentially used on cruisers. It’s manufactured in sloping designs to enable riders to keep an upright riding position and to cruise with comfort on longer rides.
· Motocross Handlebars
These handlebars are prevalent on motocross bikes, off-road bikes, street fighter, dual sports motorbikes and supermoto bikes.
· Beach Handlebars
Beach handlebars are derived from cruiser handlebars. They are designed in a sloping backward manner to let the rider relax during rides.
· Clip-on Handlebars
This is popular with sports bikes. It was derived from the fork tube.
· Buckhorn Handlebars
Buckhorn handlebars are a variation of ape hanger handlebars. They have shorter, curved back sections.
· Moto handlebars
Moto handlebars are synonymous with dirt bikes but will also look good on other varieties. If you’re a dirt bike enthusiast, then you will notice that the handlebar used is straight, which is a key attribute of Moto handlebar. A few riders are comfortable with straight and flat bars. Others slant towards characteristics like curve and height. However, the main determining factor in any motorbike handlebar is height and reach.
· Motorcycle Handlebar Risers
Naturally, cars and trucks are built to enable the driver to adjust their seat backward and forwards, and steering wheel up and down. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, don’t have many options to achieve that milestone. The only way to gain that room is via aftermarket customization. Motorcycle handlebars customize any motorcycle to fit a rider’s height and curve. Motorcycle handlebar risers are brackets that conveniently attach underneath the fork just at the front of the motorcycle handlebars. They lift up the level of handlebars to make them a lot comfortable to the motorcyclist.
What to put in perspective when buying Motorcycle handlebars
1. The bike’s appearance
Most handlebars produced these days are generic, meaning that they can perfectly fit a huge array of motorbike styles and classes. However, the fact that they fit nicely doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll look awesome on your bike, so it’s prudent to closely compare the look of your bike and the handlebar before buying. Asking the seller also isn’t always a good idea, since they will often just recommend the most expensive alternative and say that it looks good. So, if you’re not an experienced biker, you should watch out. What helps against this though is to look at the similar models and especially within the same brand, as this can give you some guidelines. Also, if it looks weird or unnatural, it’s probably because it is. Just use common sense and your guts when it comes to appearance.
2. Comfort and fit aspects
Majority standard motorbike handlebars come in at 7/8 or 1-inch diameter. However, you can obtain oversized bars with larger diameters of up to 2 inches. Large diameter handlebars have the benefit of tapering towards the end, which is important for control fitment and standard grip. Nonetheless, this benefit does not apply to the center areas of the bars, as they tend to clamp to the motorbike over time.
If your preference is oversized handlebars, make sure they actually fit your bike either with the aftermarket or OEM options, which you can buy separately. The best way to know for sure is to use a tape measure and solicit a friend’s help to perform the actual measurements. This way you’ll get a firsthand idea of how well the bars will feel and fit. Trying out the handlebars in the shop for just a few seconds doesn’t always mean it you know how they fit though. After hours of riding you might experience sore arms or exhaustion because of unnecessary, constant adjustment because of the handlebars.
3. Consider controls
Handlebars come in wide range of sizes and shapes, meaning, not every bar will have adequate space for control assemblies. If your motorbike consists of large switch housings, you will have to ascertain that they’ll perfectly fit on the new bars.
Control also means safety, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t steer properly because you wanted a certain style of handlebars.
4. Cables and wirings
The handlebar width and height are vital aspects when contemplating buying aftermarket items. The cable and wiring might turn out to be too short or too long. Short is what most riders abide by unless you’re going back to stock a used motorcycle.
Cables and wires can be stretched or substituted with new ones at the correct length. Also, think of running wires over the bars. Keep in mind that cables commonly stay on the exterior of the bar.
Style is equally important as safety when it comes to handlebars, why you should choose with care.
How to install Handlebars?
So, you’ve bought your new handlebars and are ready to add them to your bike. Before you do so, please make sure you have the necessary tools: Flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers, Torx or Hex keys for the clamps, glass cleaner, degreaser, WD40, a razor blade or box cutter, hairspray and a socket set. You might want to have a compressor close by, but it’s not essential.
1. Remove mirrors, grips and bar ends
Obviously, if you wish to keep the mirrors, grips and bar ends and add them to the new handlebars, you first need to remove them from the old ones. This should be a fairly easy task but do it while the old handlebar is still on the bike – gives stability when pulling and twisting.
If you do have an air compressor, just use this and aim the airflow towards the inside end of the grips. Oftentimes, this is enough, and the grip will come off, otherwise, some wiggling along the air shooting should do it.
If you don’t have a compressor, you can use the glass cleaner. Simply use a screwdriver, preferably a flat-headed one, or something similar and wiggle up the edge of the grip. Then spray glass-cleaner inside and be generous, as this is acting as a lubricant. This only works while the glass cleaner is wet, so you need to swift. By now you should be able to twist the grips and pull them off.
Last solution-solution, WD40 is what should do the trick. This is a pure lubricant, so just do as instructed above, but make sure to remove it all afterwards, otherwise they might come off mid-ride, which could be all-out dangerous.
If all else fails, you can use the razorblade or a knife to remove the grips, but caution should be practiced here, as you might damage the handlebars otherwise.
2. Remove controls
This might differ, depending on what bike you have, but using a socket or a screwdriver, or both, carefully remove brake-housing clamps and throttle to the right of the handlebars and the clutch on the left side. If you’re simply replacing the handlebars and nothing else, then you can just loosen the screws on each side and slide the controls off. Sometimes, the order of how you remove everything matters, but rule of thumb here is that just take note of the order and remember it so you can do it in reverse putting them back on the new handlebar.
3. Loosen old bars and bar mounts
First off, wiggle the clamps that holds the handlebars where they are to remove them. Ideally, you don’t want to have to remove the cables for the controls, so what you should try and do is simply to turn the handlebars in one or the other direction to create enough slack in the cable to be able to take them off. Then move it in the other direction for the same procedure on the opposite side.
In case your new handlebars are higher, wider or just bigger, it might be pointless to try and keep the cables in, so just use common sense here.
4. Add new handlebars
Place the handlebars and try to find a central position for them. Now you can replace the clamps but wait a moment to tighten them. Best thing to do now is to sit yourself on the bike, grab the handlebars as if you were going for a ride. Twist and turn the handlebars until they’re in a comfortable position and tighten the screws. When they’re in stable, firm position, you can reinstall the control parts.
Now you can also reattach the grips and mirrors and this is the time for the hairspray. The great thing with hairspray is that it acts as a lubricant when wet but gets quite sticky once it dries. So, apply some on the edge of the handlebars and some inside the grips, then simply slide them on.
Lastly, tighten all screws and make sure everything is sturdy and stable. Again, these are handlebars, where you actually grab on to the bike, so it’s quite important that everything is where it should be and that it stays that way, so please be thorough.
Motorcycle Handlebars FAQ
What are high motorcycle handlebars called?
Mostly when people talk about high handlebars, they refer to the so called “Ape-hangers”. They are the classical handlebars you often see on true bikers’ bikes and often on Harley-Davidsons.
How do I know which handlebars to get for my motorcycle?
This very much depends on the type of motorcycle you have and what your own personal preferences are. Sometimes style and comfort are somewhat conflicting, but what’s most important is safety. You will want to be able to turn your bike properly for example.
What is the legal height of motorcycle handlebars?
This actually varies a lot from state to state. In some cases, the handlebars must be at the driver’s eye level. In other it mustn’t be higher than 30 inches above the seat level and sometimes the handlebars can’t be higher than 6 inches above the shoulders of the driver. Easiest way is to check with the state you’re living in.
What do handlebar risers do?
Handlebar risers are used to adjust the handlebars to get closer to the driver. This is to generate more comfort when riding the motorcycle. It’s a very practical way of improving the riding conditions without having to change control cables for example.