Handlebars are a great way to add personality to a motorcycle, but for day-to-day use, riders have to choose a style that’s comfortable. Here’s how to decide which handlebars are the best fit.
Handlebars and Body Position
Handlebars might seem like they only impact the look of a motorcycle, but they have a significant impact on how a rider positions their body on the bike. That’s why it’s important to try out handlebars in person before buying them. Riders should pay attention to how their wrists, shoulders, neck, and elbows feel to make sure that the handlebars they like are comfortable enough to use on long rides.
Ape hangers are among the most common styles of aftermarket handlebars for classic and new Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Apes are lengthy handlebars with a gradual upward bend, which lets riders keep their arms fully extended at shoulder height. Some riders opt for a drop-seat to add to the effect. Ape hangers also come in mini or “baby ape” versions, which have a similar style but are a bit shorter.
Drag Bars and T-Bars
Drag bars are another popular style that’s virtually the opposite of an ape hanger. These handlebars have pullback but no rise height, unlike ape hangers. T-bars are somewhat similar, as they have minimal height, but they can vary in shape and size. What sets T-bars apart is that they have built-in risers that are welded perpendicular to the main bar, which gives them their distinctive look.
Beach bars have an iconic pulled-back style that’s associated with cruiser bikes. These handlebars have a long, curved bend that makes them somewhat U-shaped. They offer a more relaxed riding position and are generally popular with people who go on long rides.
Last but not least, buckhorn handlebars have short rises similar to those on a mini ape. But unlike varieties of ape hangers, the bars on a buckhorn are angled toward the rider and have a slight dip. Though they take some time to get used to, many riders find them to be comfortable in the long run.
Although style is always a big factor when choosing handlebars, safety and comfort are just as important. That’s why you should use handlebars before buying them. At Town & Country Sports Center in Cement City, MI, we carry a wide selection of parts and accessories for Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and off-road vehicles. If you’re interested in buying new handlebars or other parts, call us or put in a request online.