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Achieve Smooth Handling: Motorcycle Handlebars

Imagine being on a race between mountains and suddenly a deer appears out of nowhere, leaving you with two options. Either you ran him over or either you edge him off with Smooth Handling achieved by the right choice of your motorcycle handlebar.

Riding a motorcycle is not just a means of transportation; it’s an exhilarating experience that enthusiasts love. One important aspect that completely influences this experience is the motorcycle handlebars. Achieving smooth handling is much more important than anything for a rider’s safety, control, and overall enjoyment on the road.

Smooth handling is more than just a buzzword in the motorcycle community. It defines the rider’s ability to navigate the road with precision and confidence. Achieving this requires a deep understanding of motorcycle handlebars and their impact on the overall riding experience.

Importance of Motorcycle Handlebars

The handlebars play a pivotal role in determining how a motorcycle responds to the rider’s input. From turning to braking, the handlebars are the rider’s direct connection to the bike. Achieving smooth handling is contingent upon the rider’s ability to seamlessly control the motorcycle through these handlebars.

Types of Motorcycle Handlebars

To truly appreciate smooth handling, it’s essential to understand the diverse types of motorcycle handlebars available. Whether it’s the classic upright style, the sporty clip-ons, or the adventurous dirt bike bars, each type contributes differently to the riding experience.

But today we will be discussing our top 10 major picks that suit every rider for their adventure.

  • Stock

A stock handlebar is a handlebar that comes with a motorcycle when it’s purchased from a dealer or company. It can be any type of handlebar.

  • Window

Window handlebars are a type of tall, angular motorcycle handlebar. They are narrow enough to split lanes but have enough flat sections on the grip tubes to accept stock levers and hand controls. Window handlebars are designed for classic choppers and custom motorcycles.

  • Zed

Zed handlebars are a style of motorcycle handlebars that are narrow and slightly taller than stock handlebars. They are designed to give a bike a classic lane splitter look. 

Zed handlebars are available in two sizes: 7/8-inch and 1-inch O.D. They come in a variety of finishes, including chrome and black electroplated. They are available in both smooth and slotted options. The slotted option can accept OEM Harley-Davidson hand controls. 

Zed handlebars are a variation of the Z-bar style, which also includes the Maynard and Keystone styles. The Maynard is a low-profile style, while the Keystone is more aggressive and has a horn-like inner curve.

  • Frisco

Frisco handlebars are designed for a straight-armed riding position. They are narrow enough to split lanes but have enough flat sections on the grip tubes to accept stock levers and hand controls. They are also slightly taller than most stock handlebars. 

Frisco handlebars are a good look on smaller motorcycles like Harley Sportsters and late Triumph Bonneville models. They work and feel best on custom motorcycles with short or stock-length backbones, or frames with relaxed head tube angles.

  • Keystone

The Biltwell Keystone is a motorcycle handlebar that offers a classic chopper style and comfortable ergonomics. It’s a popular choice among both professional and home bike builders. 

The Keystone handlebar has a 13-degree back sweep that’s comfortable for bikes with shorter backbones. It’s available in two sizes: standard and XL.

  • 12” Apes

A 12-inch ape hanger handlebar is a tall handlebar that can be used on a motorcycle. Ape hangers are named for the way the rider has to reach up to them, or hang on to them like an ape. They are often used on choppers or cruiser motorcycles.

Ape hangers can: 

  • Improve posture: Encourage a more upright posture instead of hunching over
  • Reduce stress: Reduce stress on the rider’s hands, arms, shoulders, and back
  • Add style: Give your bike a custom style and make it stand out
  • Improve reach: Provide a comfortable reach to the handgrips and upper controls

  • Clubman

Clubman handlebars are a single-piece, non-adjustable alternative to clip-on. They have a low-pitched, aerodynamic design and a dropped bar position. 

Clubman handlebars can give your bike a retro and sporty look. They are suitable for motorcycles such as Norton, Triumph, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki.

  • Chumps

Biltwell Chumps handlebars are motorcycle handlebars made from seamless CNC mandrel bent 4130 chromoly tubes. They are available in smooth and dimpled versions. The dimpled version is designed to accept original equipment Harley-Davidson hand controls.

  • Breezer

Breezer handlebars are similar to Chumps in proportions but are more angular at the top of the inner rise. They are available in two styles: smooth for aftermarket hand controls or custom applications, and dimpled for stock Harley-Davidson switches and levers.

  • Mustache

A mustache handlebar for a motorcycle is a type of handlebar that looks like a twirled mustache when viewed from the front. The bend of the handlebar goes away from the clamp and curves back.

Mustache handlebars are lower and narrower than most stock handlebars. They can be a good choice for riders who want to reduce the lane-splitting profile of their motorcycle. They also have a trim profile that can make it easier to avoid cables and wires on the hand controls.

Ergonomics and Design

Smooth handling is not solely dependent on the type of handlebars but also on their ergonomic design. Factors such as height, width, and grip angle influence how comfortably a rider can maneuver the motorcycle. Achieving the perfect balance requires a handlebar design that complements the rider’s body and riding style.

Achieve Smooth Handling: Motorcycle Handlebars

The key to achieving smooth handling lies in making optimal adjustments. From finding the right height and width to adjusting the angle, riders must tailor their handlebars to suit their preferences. This personalized approach enhances control and ensures a smoother, more enjoyable ride.

Safety Measures

Smooth handling is not just about comfort; it’s also about safety. Riders must adhere to safety measures, including wearing appropriate gear, maintaining the motorcycle, and following traffic rules. These precautions contribute to an overall secure riding experience.

Best Practices for Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the key to prolonging the lifespan of both the motorcycle and its handlebars. Simple tasks like checking for loose bolts, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting grips can go a long way in ensuring smooth handling for years to come.

How to Choose the Right Handlebars?

Selecting the right handlebars involves considering factors such as riding style, bike type, and personal preferences. Whether it’s the classic feel of ape hangers or the aggressive stance of drag bars, riders must choose handlebars that align with their comfort and control needs.

Achieving Ideal Grip

Smooth handling begins with the rider’s grip. Achieving the ideal grip involves proper hand positioning, firmness, and responsiveness. Riders must learn the art of holding the handlebars to maintain control while minimizing fatigue during long rides.

Materials and Build Quality

The materials used in handlebar construction and their build quality directly impact handling. Lightweight yet durable materials enhance responsiveness, while robust build quality ensures longevity. Understanding these aspects aids riders in choosing handlebars that contribute to a smooth and reliable riding experience.

Customization Options

Personalizing handlebars goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about creating a setup that aligns with the rider’s unique preferences. From adjusting the handlebar height to adding accessories, customization options abound for those seeking the perfect balance between style and functionality.

Industry Trends

Staying informed about industry trends is crucial for riders who aim to achieve and maintain smooth handling. Innovations in handlebar technology, materials, and design continually shape the riding experience, offering new possibilities for enhanced control and comfort.

Riding Techniques

Smooth handling is a skill that riders can refine through specific techniques. From countersteering to proper weight distribution, mastering these techniques contributes to improved control and maneuverability on the road.

Expert Recommendations

Gaining insights from experienced riders and experts in the field is invaluable for those striving to achieve smooth handling. Expert recommendations, based on years of riding experience, can guide riders in making informed decisions about handlebar selection and adjustments.

Motorcycle Handlebars in Extreme Conditions

Handling a motorcycle in extreme conditions demands additional skills and awareness. From navigating challenging terrains to adjusting for adverse weather, riders must adapt their techniques to ensure smooth handling in all circumstances.

Impact of Weather on Handling

Weather conditions significantly influence motorcycle handling. From rain-slicked roads to gusty winds, riders must be prepared to adjust their riding style and handlebar settings to maintain control and stability.

Mastering the Art of Smooth Motorcycle Handling: A Comprehensive Guide to Handlebars

In the exciting world of motorcycle riding, achieving smooth handling is the key to a safe, controlled, and enjoyable experience. Understanding the importance of handlebars, exploring various types, and personalizing their selection are vital steps toward this goal. From classic stock to specialized options like Zed, Frisco, and Keystone, riders have a range of choices to suit their preferences. Ergonomics, design, and proper adjustments play a crucial role in enhancing control. Maintenance, safety measures, and staying informed about industry trends are equally essential. By focusing on the ideal grip, materials, customization, and expert recommendations, riders can refine their skills for smooth handling in diverse conditions. As riders venture into extreme situations, adapting techniques to weather conditions becomes much more important. In the end, achieving smooth handling is not just a skill but a commitment to safety, control, and the pure joy of the open road.

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