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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Coming from a world of sports and sports-touring bikes I have to ask... Why the taller bars? Show? One up manship? I'm confused and quite curious...
Thanks...
 

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99% is for comfort. Bars should be custom sized to fit you comfortably. Do you hold your cars steering wheel at the very bottom? No. You hold it somewhere near the top, which is at or slightly above shoulder height. That's the comfort zone. I have owned sport bikes in the past as well, the seating difference and position you ride in is non comparable. Most guys will never see close to 10,000 miles a year on a sport bike either, which is a pretty common annual goal for many (some here do 20k+ a year).

It is also nice to be able to personalize your bike too. Anybody can buy a stock bike and ride it. Many do. Nothing wrong with it. But many others enjoy making theirs different from anyone else's.
 

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Comfort for me. Harley's height demographic is 5'10". So they build the bikes for people in that average range. Being 6'7" the stock bars are like trying to ride a mini bike for me. I grew up riding get crotch rockets and my vrod i basically turned into a bar hopper so this one had to be set up for comfort. 16" Factory 47 bars for me
 

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Shucks, I'm 5'10 and I still looked like and felt like I was riding a kids bike with stock bars. I went with 12". They are OK. Next time though, I will be going with 14" or possibly 16".
 

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the seating position on a RG for me should be upright , with the rider backrest and hiway pegs , with bars that allow my arms to be strait out or nearly so , I can ride all day ..

KW 2+2 sweepers here

JtB
 

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I thought for years the taller bars were just about style. But after riding a softail for years with 12" mini apes, it became clear the taller bars are comfortable. I'm 5'10" and went with 12" bars on my RGU which didn't require longer cables. Next time I would go with 14s or maybe 16s. Changing bars also provides an opportunity to have internal wiring.
 

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Style and comfort. I am not one for apes, but many say that the right height will do away with biker's neck.

I went with Wild 1 518's. They are a couple of inches higher but move the grips back 5+ inches toward the rider. This is much more comfortable for me and allows me to sit back against the backrest. With the stock bars I felt like I was hunched over forward, and I am 6'-1" with long arms.

Check you state laws, some don't allow bars higher than you shoulders.
 

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Most people that criticize ape hangers have never ridden with them.

Personally I was tired of shoulder and neck pain when riding longer than 45 minutes. Enough that I put aside my skepticism and went with 14" bars a couple bikes ago.

The difference is nothing short of remarkable. So. Damn. Comfortable.

The other thing that drives me crazy is when people complain of pain, want to go with higher bars, and either 1) dont want their hands above the fairing (why? Thats why man invented gloves) and 2) "how tall can I go without having to get longer cables/wires?" How silly. Buy the bars that are most comfortable and equip them accordingly. Its just not worth the discomfort.
 

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I've been told,years and years ago,when motorcycles were a new thing,many ranchers didn't like them riding by and scaring their cattle,so they'd string up barbed wire across the roads.Guys were getting hurt and worse getting clothes-lined by them,so they began putting tall handlebars on to catch the strands of wire for them.

after that,they began being used for style and comfort.
 

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It's definitely about the comfort level for me. I was tired of the neck pain from the stock bars. My 14's are perfect for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow... Thanks for the answers without the flames!!! I guess that's another misconception that just went up in smoke. I had go out to the garage and sit in the M3 and then go sit on the bike. It's interesting that my driver's ergonomics is very close to my riding position on the RG. So far, with the limited amount of time in the saddle (recovering from back and shoulder surgeries) I'm finding the bike quite comfortable. But this will give me something to think on if I find that riding becomes uncomfortable.

Again, thanks for the responses. I guess you do learn something new every day!
 

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I did mine for alil of both. You need to be comfortable so why not have it look decent too. Your hand and arm position can basically make or break your back and shoulders which can seriously limit your riding distance
 

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It all depends on how tall you are on how high the handlebars should be for comfort but a good thing to remember that most states that have handlebar height laws usually have the handlebar height limit at 15 inches above the seat.
I found that having the handlebars just below shoulder height is best for comfort and blood circulation and I also believe that if you have a fairing on the bike to provide protection why put your hands and arms out of the protection zone of the fairing.
For me the HD Heritage style handlebars work great and they are around a 12 inch bar. Also the height doesn't matter as much for comfort, having the right wrist angle and pullback help more with comfort then height.
 

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It's all about the comfort, but it doesn't hurt that (in my opinion) they add to the look of the ride as well.

I've had three back surgeries, two shoulder surgeries, and one elbow surgery. Those are just the surgeries that are applicable to the ape hanger discussion. The apes take any discomfort out of the stock riding position and make for a more relaxed position that allows for comfortable longer riding.

I am 6'1". I had 16" Burly Gorillas on my 2013 Road King and I am currently awaiting the release of the back order on the 16" Carlini Gangsters for my new 2015 Road Glide Special. Outside of the wait time due to this back order mess, I refuse to be with a bike without apes ever again. The rep at Carlini says the back order should be released literally any day now. The back orders were released on every bar type they had on back order EXCEPT for the ones I need. Ahhhh well. Any day now.
 
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