Are you looking to give your motorcycle a unique and stylish look? Installing ape hangers can not only make your ride stand out, but it can also offer a number of benefits. In this article, you will learn why ape hangers are becoming a popular choice among motorcycle enthusiasts and what advantages they can offer. So, if you’re curious to learn more, keep reading to find out why ape hangers could be a great addition to your ride!
Overview of Ape Hangers
Ape hangers are a popular style of handlebars commonly found on many Harley-Davidson bikes. They are distinguished by their tall and narrow shape, which rises and out from the rider’s position. Ape hangers have long been a hallmark of the chopper and custom motorcycle scene for decades and are seen as a symbol of rebellion and freedom.
Harley-Davidson ape hangers come with a unique functionality that sets them apart from other handlebars. The tall design of these bars raises the rider’s hands up and out, providing a much more comfortable riding position for some riders. Ape hangers can give riders a better sense of control over their bike, as the raised position will allow for better visibility and easier maneuverability.
Another benefit of ape hangers is that they’ll allow the riders to customize the look and feel of the bike. The tall and narrow shape of the handlebars is highly customizable and can be modified for suiting a rider’s specific preferences. Ape hangers come in a wide range of sizes and styles, which makes them a versatile option for riders who want to personalize their bike.
While ape hangers can offer a unique and comfortable riding experience, they also come with a few safety concerns. The tall design of the handlebars can cause the bikers to have a more difficult time controlling their bike in certain situations. Riders with shorter arms might find it challenging to reach the controls on the handlebars, whereas riders with longer arms might experience increased strain on their back and shoulders.
In addition to these safety concerns, some states also have laws regarding the height of motorcycle handlebars. Bikes with ape hangers that exceed the legal height limit might face fines or penalties, which makes it important for bikers to check their local laws before installing this style of handlebars.
History of ape hangers in Harley-Davidson bikes
Ape hangers are a popular type of handlebar that is synonymous with Harley-Davidson bikes. These tall and narrow handlebars give a unique look and functionality, which makes them a hallmark of the custom motorcycle scene. But where did ape hangers come, and how did they become so popular?
The ape hanger handlebars history dates all the way back to the 60s and 70s, during the heyday of the chopper and custom motorcycle scene. At the time, many bikers were looking for ways to personalize their motorcycles and stand out from the crowd. One of the ways it was done was by customizing their handlebars.
The original ape hangers were largely inspired by the tall and narrow handlebars found on bicycles. The handlebars were called “ape hangers” as they were so tall and narrow that they forced the biker to hunch over like an ape. Motorcycle riders started experimenting with this style of handlebars, raising them up and out from the rider’s position to create a more comfortable and personalized riding experience.
As the custom motorcycle scene grew in popularity, so did the popularity of ape hangers. Riders started pushing the limits of how tall and narrow the handlebars could be, which created increasingly outrageous and exaggerated designs. Ape hangers eventually became a symbol of rebellion and freedom, representing a break from the tradition and mainstream.
Harley-Davidson played a major role in the rise of ape hangers. The company recognized the popularity of this style of handlebars and started incorporating them into their motorcycle designs. Harley’s iconic Fat Boy model, which was introduced in 1990, featured ape hangers as a standard feature. Meanwhile, other Harley-Davidson models like the Softail and the Road King also became synonymous with ape hangers.
Today, ape hangers continue to be a popular style of handlebars for riders. While this trend might have peaked in the 60s and 70s, ape hangers still remain a hallmark of the custom motorcycle scene and a symbol of rebellion and individuality. Whether you like them or hate them, there is no denying the impact that ape hangers have had on the world of motorcycles.
Why ape hangers are a popular custom addition?
Ape hangers are a popular custom accessory for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The tall and narrow handlebars are a popular choice for riders who wish to add a touch of individuality and style to their bikes. While there are some bikers who may argue that ape hangers are impractical or even dangerous, there are numerous benefits to this unique style of handlebars.
One of the primary benefits of ape hangers is comfort. The handlebars are designed in a way that they are raised and out from the rider’s position, which can help in reducing strain on the arms and shoulders. This is very important for riders who intend to take longer rides. The more comfortable you’re on the ride, the longer you’ll be able to ride without feeling fatigued.
Another primary benefit of ape hangers is style and aesthetics. Ape hangers have a unique and eye-catching look, which can make your Harley-Davidson motorcycle stand out from the crowd. These handlebars are often seen as a symbol of individuality and rebellion and they’ll give your bike a custom and personalized feel.
Increased visibility is another major benefit of ape hangers. As the handlebars are raised up and out from the rider’s position, they’ll be able to provide a better view of the road ahead. This can be very helpful in traffic or when navigating through tight spaces, as it’ll allow you to see over and around the obstacles more easily.
Ape hangers are also highly beneficial for bikers who have disabilities or physical limitations. By raising the handlebars up and out, bikers with limited mobility in their arms or shoulders might find it much easier to control and maneuver the bike. This can make riding the bike much more accessible and enjoyable for a wider range of people.
Of course, it’ll be important to note that there are a few potential dangers to using ape hangers. Many Harley-Davidson bikers might find that the higher position of the handlebars makes it quite difficult to control the bike, especially at high speeds or in windy conditions. Moreover, some jurisdictions also have laws and regulations that limit the height of handlebars on bikes. It’ll be important to check your local laws before you install ape hangers.
Ultimately, the decision to use ape hangers on your Harley-Davidson bike will come down to personal preference. If you are looking for a way to add unique style, improved visibility, and improved comfort. Further, it also increases accessibility to your bike, which makes it such a good choice for bikers. You just need to be sure that you take the time to find the right height and position for your needs, and always practice safe riding habits when on the road.
Are there any drawbacks to installing ape hangers?
Ape hangers are the style of handlebars that extend high above the rider’s shoulders on a motorcycle. While they might look cool and give the rider a sense of rebellion, there are many drawbacks to using them, especially on Harley-Davidson bikes. Here are some of the potential drawbacks of installing ape hangers on a Harley-Davidson bike –
- One of the most significant drawbacks of ape hangers is the lack of stability they provide. As the rider’s hands are positioned high above their shoulders, it can be quite challenging to control the bike properly, especially at high speeds or in windy conditions. This lack of control and stability can be quite dangerous, especially for inexperienced bikers.
- Another major drawback with ape hangers is the strain they put on the biker’s shoulders, back, and arms. The high position of the handlebars forces the bikers to hold their arms in an elevated position, which can result in fatigue, pain, and long-term injury. This strain can be exacerbated on long rides, which might make the uncomfortable and painfully harmful to the biker’s health.
- Aside from physical strain, ape hangers can also affect the motorcycle’s maneuverability. The high position on the handlebars can make it quite difficult to street the bike smoothly, especially when making sharp turns on navigating through tight spaces. This can make the biker feel less confident and increase the risk of accidents.
- Lastly, ape hangers can be illegal in some states or jurisdictions. Many jurisdictions have laws that regulate the height of handlebars, and ape hangers might exceed the limits. It can result in fines or impounding of the bike, which can be quite costly and inconvenient for the biker.
Different types of ape hangers in the market
Ape hangers are a popular customization option among Harley-Davidson bikers, and it has been around for decades. These are handlebars that rise above the bike’s triple tree, creating a unique look and providing an unconventional riding experience. They’re characterized by their tall and wide design that resembles the handlebars of a chopper. However, there are different types of ape hangers available for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including standard, mini, fatty, and more. Here are some of the different types of ape hangers available so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs –
#1. Standard ape hangers
Standard ape hangers are the classic style of ape hangers, and they’re also the most popular type of ape hangers for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They feature a tall and narrow design that typically extends above the shoulders of the rider. They are often installed at a height of around 12 to 20 inches above the triple tree, but they can go higher if needed. These types of ape hangers are a popular option for chopper-style Harley-Davidson bikes and can give your motorcycle a retro look. Further, they are also used on custom choppers, touring bikes, and cruisers as they are also designed to offer a relaxed, upright riding position that helps reduce rider fatigue on long rides.
#2. Chopper ape Hangers
Chopper ape hangers are very similar to standard ape hangers, but they come with a more extreme design. They can easily rise as high as 30 inches above the triple tree, which makes them one of the most popular types of handlebars for chopper enthusiasts. Chopper ape hangers are often paired with a rigid frame and extended forks to create a classic chopper-style bike. They offer a unique look and feel, but can be more challenging to handle than other types of handlebars.
#3. Mini apes
Mini apes are a popular alternative to standard ape hangers for riders who prefer a less extreme riding position. They are typically 8 to 12 inches in height, offering a more comfortable riding position that is similar to stock handlebars. Mini apes are an excellent option for riders who want to add a custom look to their Harley-Davidson motorcycle without compromising on comfort or handling.
#4. Fatty ape hangers
Fatty ape hangers are quite similar to traditional ape hangers, but they come with a wider diameter, which makes them much more comfortable to grip. They are often installed at a height of about 14 to 16 inches above the triple tree and can be an amazing option for riders with large hands.
Z-bars are a variation of ape hangers that come with a Z-shaped design, with a low rise and forward-facing grip. They offer a more aggressive riding position compared to traditional ape hangers and can be a great option for bikers who want a sportier look for their Harley-Davidson bikes.
T-bars are another type of ape hanger that features a T-shaped design, with a wider grip and a low rise. They offer a more comfortable and relaxed riding position compared to standard ape hangers and can be an amazing option for bikers who want a more laid-back look for their Harley-Davidson bikes.
#7. Drag bars
Drag bars are a style of handlebars that are often used on drag bikes, but they can also be used on Harley-Davidson bikes. They feature a low and narrow design that is meant for reducing wind resistance and offer a more aggressive riding position. Drag bars can be a great option for bikers who want a sleek and minimalist look for their Harley-Davidson bikes.
When you’re choosing the type of ape hangers for your bike, it is important that you consider your personal preferences, riding style, and comfort level. You must keep in mind that the higher and wider the handlebars, the more difficult it might be to control the bike. This is why it will be important to choose a height and width that you feel comfortable with. Moreover, some jurisdictions have laws and regulations that limit the height of the handlebars on motorcycles, so you should be sure that you check your local laws before you install ape hangers.
How to install ape hangers in Harley-Davidson bikes
Installing ape hangers on your Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a popular customization option that offers an unparalleled riding experience. However, the installation process can be quite complex and time-consuming, especially if you don’t know the right instructions. Further, it will also require careful preparation and attention to detail. Here is how to install ape hangers on your Harley-Davidson bikes.
Prepare for the installation
Before you start the installation process, there are various things that you need to prepare. First off, you should ensure that you have all the tools and equipment on hand, including a torque wrench, pliers, screwdrivers, and hex wrenches. It is also essential that you make sure that your new handlebars are the correct style for your bike and that you’ve got the necessary adapters or extensions.
Next up, you should remove any accessories or components that may interfere with the installation process, such as a speedometer, gas tank, and wiring harness. You must also ensure that your bike is positioned securely on a stand or lift to offer easy access to the handlebars.
Installation the handlebars
The installation process for ape hangers can greatly vary depending on the style and size of the handlebars. Further, the type of Harley-Davidson motorcycle will be a factor too. Here is a general overview of the process –
- Start by loosening the bolts and clamps securing the current handlebars to the triple tree
- Carefully remove the handlebars and any associated components, such as the grips, throttle assembly, and brake lever
- Install the new handlebars, making sure to position them correctly and securely fasten them to the triple tree using the provided bolts or clamps
- Reinstall any components or accessories that were removed, such as the grips, throttle assembly, and brake lever
- Adjust the angle and position of the handlebars as needed to ensure a comfortable and safe riding position.
Finish the installation
Once you have installed the ape hangers, there are a few final steps that you will need to follow to finish the installation process.
- Test the function of your new handlebars by operating the throttle, brake, and clutch levers
- Check the alignment of the handlebars to ensure that they are level and straight
- Torque all bolts and clamps to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications using a torque wrench
- Test ride your motorcycle to ensure that the new handlebars provide a comfortable and safe riding experience
Conclusion: The Final Verdict
Ape hangers offer a wide variety of benefits for Harley-Davidson bikers, including improved style, aesthetics, enhanced comfort, better visibility, and more. These come in different styles and sizes, which makes it easy to find the right type of ape hanger for your bike and riding style. Of course, you should also consider that there are certain drawbacks to keep in mind when using ape hangers. Some bikers might find that the higher position of the handlebars can make it quite difficult to control the bike, especially at higher speeds or in windy conditions. Moreover, it isn’t legal everywhere, as some jurisdictions have laws or regulations that limit the height of handlebars on motorcycles.
The decision to use ape hangers on your Harley-Davidson bikes comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for a way to add unique style, improved visibility, comfort, and more, ape hangers might be a great choice. However, you should make sure that you take the time to find the right height and position for your needs, and always practice safe riding habits when you’re on the road.
What are ape hangers?
Ape hangers are a type of handlebar commonly used for motorcycles. They are characterized by their higher positioning, which allows for a more upright riding position. This position can provide a more comfortable ride, improved visibility, and a more relaxed style.
What are the benefits of using ape hangers?
Ape hangers offer a more comfortable riding position than traditional handlebars, as they create a more upright posture and reduce the strain on the rider’s arms and shoulders. They also provide improved visibility, as they allow the rider to look further ahead. Additionally, they can add a unique and stylish look to a motorcycle.
What should I consider when choosing ape hangers?
When choosing ape hangers, it’s important to consider the height, width, and material of the handlebars. It’s also important to make sure that the ape hangers are compatible with your motorcycle and that they are installed correctly. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the handlebars provide a comfortable riding position.