by Chris Lewis.
Modifying bike handlebars have increasingly become very popular and for good reason. With the right handlebar on your bike, you can enjoy increased comfort which in turn makes going on longer rides very enjoyable. A motorcycle or bike with a good handlebar also helps improve your posture in the long run.
As a result, it is not so surprising that handlebars come in different shapes, sizes, and whatnot. All of these different features ensure you get to choose one that fits your riding style and taste the best. One popular type of handlebar is the ape hanger handlebar.
Ape hanger handlebars generally improve your posture, thereby making long rides comfortable. These handlebars also offer an aesthetic appeal to your bike. But, as with every product that comes with different specifications, choosing the right ape hanger for your motorcycle/bike can be a bit of a hassle. To make your decision-making process faster, we have compiled a review list of some of the best ape handers for road glides on the market in 2021. We also prepared a buying guide in case you reach a crossroad choosing from our review list.
Right off the bat, we have these highly customizable ape hangers by Road 6. Available only in gloss black, they offer an aesthetically pleasing addition to your bike. These ape hangers have a 13-inch rise and come with a 1.25-inch width.
One of the things we love about the Road 6 Customs standard ape hanger is that it supports the use of stock clamps and cables. This makes it easy to install the handlebar, either by yourself or by hiring an expert.
These ape hangers come with a 6.5-inch pull back and are made in the USA. The glossy black finish on the handlebars means it does not look out of place on your bike. And to cap it all, these handlebars are considerably cheaper than their closest competition. Hence, it is one of the highest-rated handlebar models on the market.
This powder-coated 16 inches Menacing Bar by FMB is suitable for use in 2014 and earlier models of Harley Road glide. It also fits Harley Sportster and Softail.
Made in the United States, these custom ape hangers come with 3.5 inch center to center dimensions, 1-inch tubing for hand controls. The tubes are notched so you can throttle them. This handlebar is predrilled and the bars come with 120 wall thickness. It is 100% TIG welded and comes with a powdered glossy black finish. By buying this product, the brand offers you the option to modify the rise or pullback of the handlebar without paying any additional charges.
Available in black and chrome coating styles, this 12-inch ape hanger handlebar by DASEN is suitable for most Harley Sportster and Road glides (1998 to 2013). It also fits Road King modes from 1994 to 2021.
Made from steel pipes, this handlebar offers a much stronger addition to your bike. This guarantees superior durability and rust resistance compared to other handlebars in its price category.
The handle is easy to install and there is no drilling required while installing. It comes with an overall width of 35.5 inches and a pullback of 8 inches. It has a knurling inside width of 2.5 inches and an outside width of 4.5 inches. It ensures a comfortable driving experience while also improving the appearance of your bike.
These 16 inches rise black ape hanger motorcycle handlebar by Demon's Cycle is one of our favorites for several reasons.
The first one that comes to mind is that this ape handlebar is available in multiple sizes. The benefit of this is that you can always get another size that fits your arm length instead of having to strain to use this 16 inch one.
The Demon's Cycle 16-inch black bedlam road glide ape hanger is compatible with Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It comes with a 1.25-inch diameter steel tube construction. It is 35.5 inches wide from tip to tip. This handlebar comes pre-drilled for internal wiring so you can easily install the handlebar yourself. There are also pre-drilled wiring holes to make the installation process extremely easy.
This handlebar supports the use of optional switches although they are sold separately. It also has 3.5-inch on-center knurling that ensures firm mounting of the bars. There is also a 1-inch hand grip area for proper handling during rides.
Built with one-piece technology, the Demon's Cycle 16-inch black bedlam road glide ape hanger offers maximum durability and safety for users.
There aren't many brands in the handlebars and component market that offer multiple editions of the same product so that every user can get their money's worth. Mostly, users have to look for alternatives to such products from other brands in other to enjoy the same features without having to deal with some drawbacks.
That said, this 1 1/4 inch road glide meathook ape hanger handlebar from Dominator Industries is available in different models. There are some Dominator industries 1 ¼ inch road glide ape hangers with over 13-inch rise. However, for this review, we will only consider the brand's Gloss black 13-inch rise ape hanger.
This ape hanger is compatible with all road glides from 2015 to 2019.
NOTE: In case you are wondering, Dominator industries also has a model if you have a 2020 to 2021 road glide. And it comes with all the same specifications on the 2015 to 2019 model.
This handlebar is ready to go thanks to its pre-drilled bars for internal wiring. It is also notched to allow TBW applications. The result is you get to easily install this handlebar without having to drill or carry out extensive modifications.
Made in the USA, this ape hanger is laser cut and fully TIG Welded. It is also de-burred and beveled so you don't have to worry about chaffing your wires while running wires through it. it also comes with a polished black glossy finish which is aesthetically pleasing.
The bars come with stock width. With this, you can expect natural and relaxed angles for your arms for maximum comfort and enhanced handling. There is no slag in the bar tubes and the tubes support direct bolt-on replacements.
To cap it all, the brand offers a lifetime warranty on this product. You also get access to the company's efficient customer service.
The Pre-Wired Dominator Industries 14-inch rise meathook monkey Ape hanger handlebar is available in a number of models. For this review, we considered the chrome version that is compatible with the 2015 to 2021 models of the Harley Road Glides. This model also has a glossy black version with the same specifications. There are also other models of this product that have varying rise heights (size).
Like all handlebars from Dominator industries, this model is compatible with all stock cables and controls. It has an incredibly short installation process thanks to its notched tubes and properly plumbed bars. This also means you can easily wire the handlebar without worrying about damaging the wire lines.
This pre-drilled Dominator Industries 14-inch handlebar does not have slags and is engineered to support direct bolt-on replacements if you have stock equipment.
The handlebar comes with the usually limited lifetime warranty all products from Dominator Industries have. This warranty also gives you access to the company's five-star customer service in case of inquiries, complaints, etc.
This greatly increases the installation time.
Buying the right ape hanger handlebar for you goes beyond reading about the best ones on the market. Yes, the product you want to buy needs to meet your budget. However, there are certain important things you need to consider before buying your ape hanger.
The durability of any ape hanger model you buy depends on the quality of materials used in making it. This makes it one of the most important things to consider before buying an ape hanger handlebar.
When it comes to durability, handlebars are made from steel, an alloy of steel or iron is very recommended. Such handlebars tend to last for extended periods. They are also very sturdy which makes them safe to use for road or street glides.
Hence, before buying a handlebar, find out the material the bar is made from. That way, you get your money's worth, at least in terms of durability.
The next thing you need to consider is the price of the handlebar and your budget. For the most part, you want to buy a handlebar that offers enough quality without you exceeding your budget for it.
One good way is to make a shortlist of handlebars that meet your specifications and compare their prices. Another way is to look for flash sales or discounts on the model you are trying to buy. Of course, these are often far and in between. So, your best bet would be to get one that meets your needs and that you can afford.
The ease of installing a handlebar is something easily overlooked when buying a handlebar. Being able to DIY the ape hanger handlebar on your bike is a fun experience. The DIY installation also means you get to save money that you would otherwise pay to a professional or expert to install the handlebar for you.
NOTE: Installing the unit yourself goes more than simply reading the manual or guide to get you through. You also need to have an installation kit. Without a kit, there is no other alternative other than paying an expert.
If fixing things is something you love doing, this is one to consider.
Size is important because it can be the difference between having a comfortable ride or one that leaves your arms and back sore and stiff. The size of an ape hanger more often than not influences the shape or style it is made in.
Due to the importance of size in an ape hanger handlebar, you need to decide how long or wide, or tall you want it. Ape hangers with wide handlers give you more control and leverage while riding your bike. Tall ape hangers on the other hand mostly only determine how your hands are positioned while riding.
NOTE: A tall ape hanger handlebar is not recommended if you have to strain to reach it since this would give you less control of your bike.
Lastly, you should consider whether the product you want to buy has a warranty or not. This is not very important since it does not necessarily affect the durability and performance of the handlebar. However, if you are someone who loves having a warranty on any product you buy, then it can be a great deciding factor.
When a product is for its warranty, there are only a few things to look out for. For instance, how long the warranty lasts can give you an idea of how great the product is.
Having a warranty means you get to refund or repair a product without paying any extra expenses. Most of the ape hangers that have warranties have lifetime warranties.
As earlier stated, there are different types of handlebars. The two most commonly used are Drag Bars and Ape Hangers. Although they are quite different in their function, they do come with certain similarities.
For one, they both offer better control of your bike while gliding. They both are adjustable so you can find the best positions and angles that best suits you.
That said, there are some significant differences between the two types of handlebars. Below is a comparison of a Drag bar vs an Ape hanger handlebar.
|Drag Bars||Ape Hangers|
|1. They run across the glide when installed||When installed, an ape hanger handlebar runs high over your shoulders|
|2. Drag bars give you more speed since you have to lean forward while riding||Ape hanger handlebars provide more resistance while gliding depending on their height.|
|3. They are mostly installed on motorcycles and bikes for racing||They are installed for lazy and casual bike/motorcycle cruises.|
|4. They provide more comfort||They are not ideal for people with short hands since your arms have to be up to properly control the motorcycle.|
The general rule to keep in mind when deciding the right size of ape hanger for you is that your hands need to be spread a little bit wider than your shoulder width.
One good way will be to run a tape from the handlebar of your bike to the height that you find comfortable.
How hard or easy it is to ride with an ape hanger depends on its size and style among other things. Essentially, using ape hangers means your hands are placed higher than they would be while riding. How great or awful the handling of the bike thus depends on how much comfort and control you have over the handlebar.
Yes, ape hangers are great to have especially if you are tall. They allow you to stretch your arms to the proper length while also improving your overall posture.
As great as it is, ape hangers that are too tall for you can greatly reduce your overall experience while riding. This is because straining to control the bike through hard turn leads to less control and unbalanced weight distribution.
And there you have it. Ape Hangers are one of the most popular modifications people add to their bikes or motorcycle. This, more often than not, improves the riding experience and makes your bike stand out where ever you go. It can also greatly improve your posture and comfort especially if you are quite tall.
As a result of the effect these handlebars have on your bike, it is important to choose one that has the right style and size. This guide provides you with important features to look for before buying one. Our review also gives you a list of the best ape hangers for road glides to get you started!
About Chris Lewis.