How to Choose the Perfect Motorcycle Handlebars

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As a motorcycle rider, the handlebars are one of the most critical components. If you don’t have handlebars or need to replace them, it’s critical to select the perfect pair of handlebars so you can get on the road as soon as possible. How can you choose the ideal motorcycle handlebars for your bike?

Read on to learn more about selecting the perfect motorcycle handlebars for your bike. The more familiar you are with items to look for, the more satisfied you will be with your purchase. In no time, you’ll be on the road, speeding towards an exciting destination. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

Diameter

Motorcycle grips

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The diameter is a critical part of the motorcycle handlebars. This number represents the width of the circular bar. On average, most motorcycle handlebars are about one inch across. Older ones might be a little bit smaller.

Diameter permits:

  • Easy steering
  • Compatibility with grips

It’s a vital component of the motorcycle handlebars.

You can ask an expert for one-inch handlebars or test them to see which feels right in your hand. Ensure you know the diameter before you invest in them for your bike.

Comfort or Appearance

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When choosing motorcycle handlebars, it’s critical to consider what you prioritize. Do you want a pair that will provide the ultimate comfort, or do you value how they look more? This decision is up to you.

Here’s what each offers to a driver:

  • Comfort: You can drive longer distances without worrying that your hands will get tired. Comfortable handlebars can keep your back and muscles in good shape for longer.
  • Appearance: You can ensure your motorcycle will look good. The handlebars will match the rest of the bike in the way they look.

There are good and bad aspects to either option.

If you choose comfort, you can go longer distances with the confidence that you will feel in control the entire time. If you value appearance, you can ensure every person who passes your vehicle will take a second look. Your aesthetic will be apparent in the look of the handlebars.

Style

Black motorcycle handlebar with helmet hanging
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For first-time riders, it might be confusing to see that there are multiple types of handlebars. They’re not the same! It’s critical to examine the various motorcycle handlebar styles to see which feels best in your hands and which matches your personal taste best.

Here are the most common styles of motorcycle handlebars:

  • Ape hangers: These are the most common style, often seen on Harley-Davidsons. They have lengthy bars that curve upward at the end.
  • Drag bars and t-bars: Drag bars are the opposite of the ape hangers.
  • Beach bars: These have a pullback style with bars that curve into a u-shape for a closer grip.
  • Buckhorns: These have a short rise and angle up, towards the rider for a different riding position on the road.

Each serves a different purpose to a rider.

If you are a rider, it’s critical to determine the style that will work best for your life. There is sure to be one that will match your personality as a rider and the appearance of your motorcycle.

Riser Spacing Width

Dirty motorcycle handlebars
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Another item to consider is the riser spacing width. This spot is where the handlebars clamp on the motorcycle. There are standards for the riser spacing width that come with every set of motorcycle handlebars.

Here are a few of the standards for various motorcycles:

  • Harley Davidson: These work with a 3 ½ inch spacing.
  • Springer front ends: These work with a 4 ½ inch spacing.
  • Other models: Others typically have a 3 ½ spacing.

These provide the most adequate handlebar experience. 

You can measure the riser spacing width to see what various handlebars offer. Consider the motorcycle you have to ensure you select a pair of handlebars that will function well with your bike.

Width

Width is a critical aspect to consider. Everyone has different shoulders, and it’s critical to find a width that will be most comfortable for every ride. You need a set of handlebars that will match your shoulder width as perfectly as possible.

Here’s how you can measure the handlebars:

  • Locate tools: You will need a quality tape measure to measure the handlebars.
  • Lay out the bars: Pick a set of handlebars and set them on a flat surface for measuring.
  • Measure: Measure the width of the handlebars from grip to grip.

You can work with this width to determine if it’s the ideal pair.

Next, measure your shoulders from one end to the other. If it comes close to the width of the handlebars, the pair will serve you well. Avoid back and shoulder pain by taking this measurement precaution.

Rise

Motorcycle risers

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The rise helps determine many things on a motorcycle. You will need to decide if you want to look cool, or if you prefer to have more control over your steering ability. 

Here’s what you can anticipate with each level of rise:

  • High: This level allows a cooler appearance for the driver.
  • Low: This level permits more control, as the arms have more control over the metal.

There are benefits to both.

If you want to stay safer on the road, take on a handlebar with a lower rise. If you want to look cool cruising down the street, invest in a set that rises as high as possible.

Pullback

The pullback is how far the curve goes at the end of the handlebars. This item is critical to consider, especially if you are a shorter rider with tiny arms. You will need more pullback on your handlebars than a taller rider.

Measure the pullback on several handlebars to determine the number you should stick with for your bike. Once you know the ideal pullback, you can explore the options the motorcycle world offers. Not all riders are tall – and they deserve handlebars they can steer with on the road.

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