Choosing which handlebars you install on your bike can be challenging but fun. Handlebars affect your comfort and the look and handling of your bike, and understanding each type of handlebar will help you make an informed decision you’ll be happy with.

Image to the left of Ape Hangers taken from Hill Country Customs.

Ape Hangers are used on choppers, and they stand tall over the bike. Your arms reach up to grab them, and then rest wide and above your chest or head, which is why they’re called ape hangers. Ape hangers up to 20 inches are available, but some states have height restrictions. South Carolina does not regulate handlebar height.

Clip-ons are two short handles that attach to the fork tube with a clip, unlike one-piece handlebars that attach with a bar to the triple tree. They are adjustable and popular on sport bikes.

Clubman handlebars slant down and toward you, keeping your hands and arms close to your body. Riders choose these handlebars when they’re looking for an old-school look.

Image to the right of Drag Bars taken from Hills Country Customs.

Drag bars connect to the triple tree and are straight across or have a slight backward slope toward the rider for a forward, aerodynamic riding position.

Standard cruisers slant toward the rider, and are the stock handlebars on many Japanese and Harley-Davidson bikes. Designed for comfort, these long handlebars allow you to sit upright and are height adjustable.

Z-bars angle sharply and appear to be backward Zs meeting. The rise varies in height, and some Z-bars are also ape hangers.

If you’re not sure which type suits you, try sitting on your bike in the most comfortable position for your back. Position your arms in their most comfortable position, and have someone measure the height and width of your hands relative to the bike. Then take the measurements into a bike dealer and test handlebars until you find the ones you like.

Whether you have the handlebars installed or do them yourself, double check the installation to make sure it’s secure. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on handlebar and motorcycle manufacturer recalls. One of the biggest issues Ladson and Ravenel motorcycle accident attorneys deal with is incorrectly installed handlebars.

If you’ve customized your handlebars, which did you choose and why?

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