How to Make the Most Out of Motorbike Handlebars

If you’re looking to improve the overall riding performance of your motorbike, new handlebars could certainly be worth exploring.

Handlebars are used to control and steer the bike and consequently play an integral role in how a bike feels when on the road. They all tend to be round tubing (made from steel/aluminium) but with varying shapes. 

In this article, we delve into the different types of handlebars and tips for making the most out of them. For help with all sorts of motorbike equipment, browse our online shop here at Venhill. From handlebars and grips to cables and hoses, we have a wide range of products to suit your needs.

Popular Types of Motorbike Handlebars

Motorbike handlebars come in all shapes and sizes. 3 key terms worth remembering when buying new handlebars are: “rise” “pullback” and “width”.

“Rise” describes the height of the bars from the mount. A low rise would naturally create a low riding position, whilst a high rise would encourage a straighter back. If you sit on your motorbike with your arms in front, you can start to image how it would feel to have a higher or lower rise on the bar and whether this is something you would prefer or not.

“Pullback” describes the difference between where the bar is mounted to the tip of the grip. For example, a relatively straight bar would have very little pullback. Again, the amount of pullback a bar has is going to have a big impact on the riding position. A big pullback will encourage a much more laid-back position.

“Width” describes the total width of the bar, from grip to grip. Particularly if you’re customising your bike, you’ll want to make sure the width of the bar fits your requirements.

Some popular types of handlebars include:

Ape Hangers

Ape hangers are perhaps the most iconic motorbike handlebar. Commonly found on choppers, this type of handlebar is set high, which means the bar can be around shoulder height, encouraging that more laid back and relaxed riding position so strongly associated with brands like Harley Davidson.

Many riders find this comfortable and a set up ideal for cruising on long journeys.

Beach Bars

Beach bars are similar to ape hangers in style. They are characterised by a long pullback, creating a laid back, comfortable riding position.

Drag Bars

Drag bars are almost straight and create a very different riding experience to that of ape hangers and beach bars. The straight bar encourages riders to lean forward, adopting more of a racing position.

Leaning forward is better for aerodynamics and also gives the rider better control for sharp turns or sudden changes of speed.

Z Bars

Z bars can vary quite a lot in terms of shapes but tend to all have quite sharp angles. Z bars are a versatile option and can be used for all sorts of bikes and preferences.  

Cables, Hoses and Motorbike Handlebars

Something worth noting is that the varying shapes of handlebars may mean that if you choose to replace or customise your bars, you may well require new cables or hoses.

Brake and clutch controls are mounted onto the bars so depending on the positioning of the cables, the respective cables or hoses may need to be longer than your existing ones. Luckily, custom cables and hoses are easy to find and will ensure you can customise any handlebar settings with confidence. Here at Venhill, you can use our custom line builder to buy motorbike cables exactly the right length. You can also select the hose fitting and various options to ensure any cables you buy have everything you need to make installation a breeze.

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Body Shape and Handlebars

When researching bars, something you’ll notice is the difference in recommendations and reviews. For some, ape hangers are the most comfortable, but for others, they simply wouldn’t be a consideration.

Body shape and size could have an impact on which bars are likely to be best suited to your individual needs. Some people naturally have longer arms, or longer torsos. These things will impact how you sit and hold the bars.

You want to make sure any handlebars enhance your usability of the bike and that things like control are improved, not compromised, with any new handlebars. Whatever bar you choose, make sure you can still put your feet on the ground and that your back, shoulders and arms feel comfortable holding the riding position.

Similarly, what you use your bike for may also be a factor in what style handlebars are best suited. Do you tend to go on long journeys or use a bike to nip through a busy city centre?

Handlebar Grips

As well as the bar itself, the grip is something all riders should consider when customising or changing their handlebars.

The chosen grip will directly impact the overall comfort of the ride, so you want to invest in something that works for you.

We have a wide selection of grips, that come in a range of materials, shapes and features. This will ensure you find one that best suits what you need. From added cushioning to durability, our online shop is a great place to start.

We also have a variety of performance twist grips.

Learn More About Venhill

Here at Venhill, we offer a wide range of motorbike equipment, including handlebars, controls and grips.

We also sell other vital equipment, such as braided brake lines, custom cables (perfect for anyone changing their handlebars), components and tools. All our products are made to the highest standards and designed to improve the performance of your bike.

Browse our online shop today or get in touch with our expert team for help finding the right products for your requirements.