Should You Put Apes On Your Harley?On January 11, 2022 by Holly Eubanks
Now is an ideal time to replace your factory handlebars if you’ve been thinking about it. What kind of handlebars should you purchase, though? Should you put apes on your Harley®, or will it make you feel differently about it?
Types of handlebar
Let’s take a look at all the different sorts of handlebars before we get into ape handlebars. Our offer is valid on new handlebars in any of the following options:
- Café racer bars are another name for drag bars. They’re small and flat, forcing the rider to have a more aggressive riding position by leaning forwards. There is reduced resistance and somewhat increased acceleration since the rider’s body is tilted into the wind. They come in three different versions: zero drag, low drag, and high drag. We can set them up with straight or curved risers to fit the needs of different bike owners.
- If you ride to relax and your arms are longer, you’ll enjoy the sensation of these low, swooping bars that enable your hands to rest just outside shoulder width.
- Mustache handlebars — They’re formed like a handlebar mustache, as the name indicates. You won’t need to replace your bike’s standard cabling or wiring if you pick this sort of installation since they have a sophisticated aesthetic and sit lower than factory handlebars.
- Z-bars — Even if you’ve never seen them, their name gives you a good idea of what they look like. They look a little like a lightning bolt. Z-bars are sharp and edgy and are designed for narrow bikes like Sportsters or custom bikes.
- Chiseled handlebars — These are rather innovative, combining a Z-bar with a mini-ape.
- Ape Hangers — This classic design goes with almost any bike. They receive their name from the fact that the rider must reach up and grip them, much like an ape hanging from a tree. Others are more moderate, while others are more radical. It’s all about the style with ape hangers.
Hangers for apes and comfort
Some individuals claim that ape hangers are the most comfortable handlebars, while others disagree. For the most part, it is determined by the bars.
You’ll receive the pinnacle of in-your-face attitude if you pick the highest, most extreme option available, but your arms will grow numb on road trips. It’s only plain sense: your heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your fingers when your arms are much above your head. Vibration might lead your fingers to fall asleep, causing your hands to become colder faster.
Ape hangers are likely to be the most comfortable option for tall riders. Anything that helps you to stretch out is a benefit, and your arms are longer. Where they might be too high for an average height rider’s shoulders and heart, they’re exactly ideal for you.
Ape hangers are sometimes preferred by those with back problems over handlebars that produce a lower riding profile. Ape hangers provide a more upright stance rather than forcing you to slouch down. Apehangers that match your body type reduce pressure on the wrists, elbows, and shoulders during lengthy rides.
Hangers and handling for apes
Here, too, the same idea applies. Most riders benefit from apes that are somewhat high and broad. You may have difficulty managing the bike at moderate speeds if you go too wide. When cornering or making tight bends, you’ll probably realize that it requires more work or time. You’re also a bit of an upright sail, so while you’re riding fast, you’ll produce extra wind resistance for yourself.
When you purchase handlebars from us, we will guide you through the rider’s triangle, which is formed by your feet on the pegs, hands on the handlebar grips, and back on the seat. We can walk you through the options for weight distribution that will provide you with the best comfort, safety, and handling.
Sit on your present bike, close your eyes, and reach up to a natural posture with your elbows slightly bent and hands outside shoulder width to get a sense of what ape hanger handlebar height could be optimal for you. Play around with it, but most individuals will find a sweet spot between too high and too low.
Are ape hanger handlebars dangerous?
The safety of ape hanger handlebars is once again in the spotlight, with one American state possibly repealing a three-decade prohibition and others keeping a careful eye on the outcome.
In the 1960s, 30 American states outlawed high-set ape hanger bars. The American was adopted under the guise of safety, but it was more likely so that authorities would have a cause to stop and search motorcyclists suspected of being members of illicit motorcycle gangs.
Remember, this was after the 1966 release of Hunter S. Thompson’s book Hell’s Angels and the 1969 cult picture Easy Rider when there was a lot of media hype and popular concern about bikies/bikers.
The ape hanger restrictions have a striking resemblance to contemporary Australian profiling laws, which allow police to search for tattoos and other “outlaw” club symbols.
(By the way, the requirements in Australia vary by state, but the lowest section of the handgrip must not be higher than 380mm above the rider’s seat or bar connection point, and/or the bars must extend not less than 250mm nor more than 450mm on each side of the bike’s centreline.)
How to know if ape hangers are right for you
The choice of the handlebar is a very personal one. What works for one rider might not be suitable for another.
Ape hangers are the finest conceivable aesthetic on a bike for certain people, as well as the attitude and riding stance they desire. You’re already sold if you’re in that group. If you choose ape hangers that are too severe, you may have to shop around and make some tweaks, but you may also modify your seat and other sections of your bike to compensate for some of that.
On ape hangers, mirrors are typically more convenient. Your arms may get in the way of your eyes and mirrors if you have a lot of handlebars. Your body bulk may hide what’s behind you if you’re on the larger side. Mirrors are taller than barriers with ape hangers.
Motoczysz found because you have strong hand-eye coordination, they are surprisingly good for urban slow-speed navigating.
Ape hangers are also commonly connected with forks that have been raked out to offer high-speed stability by making them “slower” to turn. It can, however, increase fork and handlebar flex, which isn’t ideal for precision steering.
Overextended distances, anything exceeding your pulse rate will cause weariness in your hands, and riders will frequently lower their hands to re-establish blood flow to their fingers.
Perhaps the legislation should be more flexible, but there should still be certain top restrictions to avoid absurd handlebar heights that could endanger the rider and other road users.