Why Do Some Motorcycles Have High Handlebars?

Many motorcycle enthusiasts choose to customize their bikes to their tastes. While some people might prefer low handlebars, others could prefer high. 

Why do some motorcycles have high handlebars? There are a few reasons why some motorcycles have high handlebars. One reason is that it can give the rider a more upright riding position, which can be more comfortable for long rides.

Another reason is that it can make the motorcycle more maneuverable since the rider’s weight is more evenly distributed. Lastly, high handlebars can simply look cool and give the motorcycle a more aggressive appearance.

It is also important to note that the handlebar height might vary depending on the motorcycle. People also believe that having high handlebars can make cycling uncomfortable, however, riders vehemently deny this.

These riders can adjust the height to make the handlebars more comfortable, but they prefer having them at shoulder height. Additionally, people do not favor taking daily adventures when riding a bike with high handlebars.

Thus, the rider’s posture is improved, especially for those with back issues, and most significantly, it doesn’t affect handling. This type of cruising has also been reported to be capable of high speeds by those who are accustomed to it.

Most Common Motorcycle Handlebars Types

Cruiser Handle Bars:

As the name suggests, these handlebars are found on cruiser-style motorcycles with an upright position that is very comfortable for longer rides.

Clip on Handlebars:

These sports bike handlebars are adjusted with a clip onto the fork tubes, allowing the riders to lean forward and giving them a more aggressive riding position.

Drag Bars:

These handlebars, commonly found on chopper-style bikes, feature a low, broad posture for a more aggressive riding position.


T Bars have T type design and are mostly used on Harley Davidson motorcycles. They provide very comfortable riding positions.

Ape Hangers:

Ape hangers are a style of high-rise handlebars found on chopper motorcycles. They are named after the idea that the rider’s arms are extended upward, like an ape. Some riders find them comfortable and stylish, while others criticize them as unsafe and uncomfortable for long rides.

Tracker Handlebars:

Tracker handlebars are a type of motorcycle handlebar with a low profile and minimal design. They are typically narrow, with a straight or slightly curved design that places the rider’s hands at a lower position than a typical motorcycle handlebar. They can be made from various materials and customized with grips, controls, and other accessories.

Z Bars Handlebar:

Z-bars are a type of motorcycle handlebar with a distinctive “Z” shape. They are often used on a chopper or custom motorcycles for a unique look and style. They are made from steel or aluminum and can be chrome-plated or powder-coated for durability and aesthetics. They can also be customized with grips, controls, and accessories to suit the rider’s preferences.

Beach Bars:

Beach bars, also known as cruiser bars, are motorcycle handlebars that provide a relaxed and comfortable riding position. They typically have a gentle curve that rises up and away from the rider and can be customized with grips, controls, and accessories to suit the rider’s preferences.

Buckhorn handlebars:

Buckhorn handlebars are a motorcycle handlebar type with a distinct upward curve in the middle. They are typically found on cruiser-style motorcycles designed to provide a more comfortable and relaxed riding position. They have a narrow width with a slight rise and curve up and back towards the rider to create the “buckhorn” shape.

The legality of High handlebars

The height of the handlebars is an issue in many places. Because many motorcycle riders are stopped by authorities and questioned, it is important to select the correct height restriction. People were occasionally also issued a warning ticket.

Several highway safety organizations asserted that high handlebars could impair steering abilities and control mechanical functions such as the throttle body and braking systems, which is why this is a serious issue.

High Handlebars For Long Rides

Since many high handlebars are at head level and some are higher than that, riding with high handlebars like the Ape Hangers can bike is rather risky.

Some safety experts listed five alarming aspects of high handlebars that you should be aware of:

  • It can be particularly challenging for motorcyclists to control the motorcycle when the handlebars are high.
  • Because the wrists and arms are above shoulder level, the high handlebars can force the rider to adopt an uncomfortable position.
  • This might make the rider feel tired and numb, which can make steering rather risky. It can also reduce the blood supply to the arms and hands.
  • It can be challenging to maintain control in stressful conditions if a rider is steered with too high handlebars since the likelihood of losing control is considerable.
  • There is a potential for catastrophic injuries to result from this. It is also claimed that similar issues do not exist with conventional handlebar configurations.

How High Can Handlebars Be?

You must have this knowledge to comply with state legislation. The motorbike handlebars can be up to 30 inches long in two states, Wisconsin and Washington, but not more.

It may therefore be 30 inches taller than the seats on your motorcycle. However, some states, such as Alaska, Alabama, West Virginia, and Michigan, only allow 15 inches above the motorbike seat.

Other than that, just one state Nebraska allows handlebars to be longer than 15 inches, measured from the motorcycle’s buckle point.

In addition, you should be aware that the state of Oklahoma forbids handlebars from being too high or higher than the rider’s eye level.

In addition, California law mandates that when a rider is seated, their hands on the handlebars must not be higher than 6 inches from their shoulders.

In states like Arkansas, Kansas, Montana, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, etc., there are no restrictions on motorcycle handlebar height.

Things to Consider Before Going For High HandleBars

There are a few crucial factors to take into account when choosing a high-rise handlebar for a motorcycle because it’s not only about aesthetic improvements.

  • If the seat can be extended and the motorcycle’s weight and height restrictions allow it, the rider may be able to sit comfortably with the high handlebars.
  • Riding with high handlebars might be challenging for shorter riders since they must extend their arms further to reach the bars.
  • Since you would have to lean forward, this may also have an impact on your posture. Additionally, this may hinder blood flow and make the body hurt.
  • Examining important aspects such as ergonomics, comfort, aerodynamics, and practicality as well as handling control and safety considerations.
  • Before you can make this choice, you may need to conduct extensive research on these issues or test-drive a bike with high handlebars because for some people, controlling the bike can be challenging.
  • Verify your motorcycle’s size and weight: This is mostly for shorter riders because it can be challenging to cruise on, make turns, and handle larger bikes with high handlebars.
  • Additionally, it will force you into a tough sitting position, and you should undoubtedly ride in a more relaxed position.
  • Riding a motorcycle with high handlebars requires you to maintain a straight neck and back.
  • This will guarantee that after you hold the handlebars, your posture is accurate while riding the bike. Additionally, it will ensure that your free riding and handling are more drained.

High Handlebars For Long Rides

The main benefit of having high handlebars is that they improve your sitting posture, add comfort, and lessen pain in your back, neck, wrists, arms, and shoulders.

People are now suggesting that adding handlebar risers can improve the experience because they can be put to raise the height and move the handlebars closer to the riders, preventing excessive arm extension.

In addition to all of that, installing risers is the greatest option for long rides because you won’t put too much strain on your wrists, and they can protect your torso from strains on the muscles, joints, and ligaments in your hands, among other things, so you can ride comfortably.

What Size Should High Handlebars Be?

As you may be aware, handlebars are considered to be one of your motorcycle’s most crucial components. As handlebars are primarily used to manage to steer and improve bike handling, picking the proper size for high handlebars is particularly crucial.

In light of the foregoing, the following information will help you choose the appropriate size for high handlebars:

  • Selecting the Proper Width

It is very advised that people align their shoulders with the breadth of the handlebars. Wider handlebars are effective while off-roading since they offer stability and difficult terrain. Additionally, the Enve 46-centimeter G Series gravel bars are recommended as the best option for novice riders.

They are the ideal width, guarantee stability, and slow down steering so riders can handle and rely on them more. The bike can move faster if you choose smaller handlebars, according to several experts. Therefore, it is advised to choose bars with a width of 42 cm or 40 cm for a faster pace.

  • Selecting the Correct Shape

The primary consideration when choosing the handlebar form for your motorcycle should be how effectively it provides an aerodynamic stance for riding in deep drops.

The Omega and Ergonova handlebars are considered to be incredibly comfortable and allow riders to have better shoulder posture and handle better, making them the ideal choice for riders.

The deep drips are also considered to be placed in the ideal spot. In addition, compact handlebars are fantastic because they bring the hood and drop closer together, making it easier to control them and ensuring that your torso and arms are in a better position.



We sincerely hope that this article helped you uncover all the information you needed to understand why some motorcycles have high handlebars. It is undoubtedly a wise decision to purchase these ape hangers if you enjoy riding motorcycles. They ensure that the body posture is upright and improve performance on practically all types and models of motorcycles.

Get the correct handlebars that fit your body and motorcycle because they also have a big role in terms of size and height. Even so, you may need to familiarise yourself with the state’s laws to avoid being repeatedly pulled over by police and having to pay fines.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts on the matter, please feel free to leave a comment below. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible! Thanks for reading!

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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