The Ideal Motorcycle Handlebars for a Better Ride

Motorcycles aren’t like shoes (there’s a sentence you probably thought you’d never hear) in that you can’t just go into a shop and pick out the size and shape that best suits you. They are made in a “one size fits all” manner that is designed to be ideal for the largest number of people possible, but unfortunately that sometimes means that there will be people that don’t fit into that group. If you are among the ranks of the people whose height or reach makes a comfortable ride impossible, then your best option is to look into adjusting or switching out your handlebars with ones that are a better fit for your frame.

While there are many different shapes of handlebars, in terms of use, there are really only two types – sport and cruiser. The sport types of motorcycle handlebars like the clip-ons or the clubman bars are designed to put the driver’s body in a lower riding position and make him basically lie on top of his gas tank in order to reduce the air resistance and let him reach speed that is a bit higher than normal. The cruiser models of motorcycle handlebars, on the other hand, are usually meant to do the opposite in allowing the rider to sit as upright as possible and giving him a bit more flexibility while steering. What I mean by flexibility is that while the sports bars are more responsive, they usually have the problem of limiting your turning circle since they can only go so far before hitting the gas tank.

Motorcycle Handlebar

What you need to consider when choosing between the two is what kind of riding style you are likely to adopt more often. If you prefer speed over comfort, then go for the sports style, but if you prefer the opposite, then the cruiser is the better option. What you need to personally keep an eye on is whether or not the style of riding is putting stress on your body or causing you discomfort or pain. This doesn’t necessarily manifest as only back pain as motorcycle riders are usually faced with problems with their shoulders, elbows and wrists as well. The amount of time you can spend on your bike is a good way to tell if you need to change your style, seeing as how you won’t even be able to spend 15 minutes driving improperly without wanting to run your bike off of a cliff.

Ultimately, which handlebars you go for will be up to you, but there are a few things you should keep in mind while driving your bike. Make sure that you don’t twist your wrists too much and try to keep them as straight as possible. Your elbows shouldn’t be held up but should hang when driving. And finally, but most importantly, your shoulders need to be relaxed since keeping them flexed for extended durations is the biggest cause of fatigue in bikers.