Motorcycle Handlebar Buying Guide

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Motorcycle Handlebar Buying Guide

The handlebar of a motorcycle serves a very important role because it is the part that the rider grasps while steering the bike. As such, a motorcycle handlebar that provides an excellent grip is a necessity, rather than just serving an aesthetic function. In some cases, motorcycle handlebars are manufactured with aesthetics, rather than safety in mind. Ideally, the best handlebars are produced with the intention of allowing the rider get a solid grip, steer the motorcycle smoothly, and are positioned at a level that allows for maximum comfort and easy reach of controls. In fact, handlebar specifications are so integral to motorcycle rider safety that they are included in the vehicle safety laws of most countries, including the US, UK, and Ireland. When shopping for motorcycle handlebars, buyers must consider safety first, as a matter of functionality, and style as a secondary consideration.

Whether shopping on eBay or in local second hand auto shops, learning about functional and fashionable handlebars can help in the overall decision process.

The Primary Purpose of a Motorcycle Handlebar

The motorcycle handlebar is a vital part of a motorcycle manufacture, mainly because it is the part that serves as a steering mechanism for the motorcycle, allowing the rider to maneuver and guide the motorcycle. Another function of the handlebar is to provide support for the weight of the rider, especially the upper body. Riders can often place their hands on the handlebar, allowing the bar to absorb some of the pressure from the weight of the rider. In this way, the rider is able to relax and enjoy a level of comfort while riding the bike. A handlebar that is either too high or too low will defeat this purpose because the biker will not be able to rest comfortably on it, and the rider's hands will be placed at an awkward position that will soon lead to tiring, and the danger of losing control of the motorcycle. The controls for the motorcycle are also mounted on the handlebars, within easy reach of the hands of the rider. Some of these essential controls include the clutch, brake, throttle, rear view mirrors, and horn.

Motorcycle Handlebar Construction

Motorcycle handlebars are designed with the particular purpose, type and function of the motorcycle as a chief consideration. For instance, motocross and supermoto bike designers favor the motocross bars, while sport bikes favor clip-ons. Formerly, handlebars were constructed with steel, but manufacturers have replaced steel with aluminum as the material of choice. The reason for this change in materials is because aluminum offers equal strength with the added advantage of flexibility, and a fraction of the weight of steel handlebars. Other materials for constructing handlebars include titanium, carbon fiber, and chrome plated steel. Buyers also have dozens of choices when it comes to color and design. For instance, handlebars may come in black, blue, or other colors and styles, such as chrome or chrome-plated . They may also come with designs like etchings in the handles. Heating elements may also be inserted in the handlebars to help increase the comfort of riders as they grip the metals during cold weather. Quite often, bar-end weights are added to the ends of the handlebar for the purpose of reducing vibration from the engine and movement of the motorcycle. It does this by shifting the frequency from the engines away from the bars. The clutch, brake and throttle are usually routed through the insertion of cables into holes drilled into the hollow metal tubing of the handlebar.

Types of Motorcycle Handlebars

The specific style of a motorcycle handlebar is usually based on the general purpose of the bike, and the preference of the buyer. The following table lists the different types of motorcycle handlebars, their major characteristics, and their general price range.

Type of Handlebar

Chief Characteristics


Cruiser Handlebars

Typically used on cruisers

Sloping design allows riders to maintain an upright position and to cruise comfortably on longer rides


Ape Hangers

Deep U-shape

Grips are up higher forcing the arm up and straight


Beach Bars

Derivative of cruiser bars

Slope backwards to allow the rider relax while riding


Drag bar

Aerodynamic design

Less wind friction due to straight line design


Clip-on Handlebars

Popular on sports bikes

Derivative of fork tube


Motocross Bars

Common on supermoto bikes, motocross bikes, streetfighter, off-road motorcycles, and dual-sport motorcycles


Buckhorn Handlebars

A variation of the ape hanger handlebar, with shorter, but curved back sections



Motorcycle handlebars may also be differentiated by certain size parameters, ranging from high handlebars, to the really low handlebars.

Steps to Take When Buying Motorcycle Handlebars

The reasons people have for buying motorcycle handlebars differ, for instance, some might want to replace damaged handlebars, other might simply want to improve the look and function of their motorcycle. Whatever the reason, there are certain steps that will ensure a buyer makes the best decisions. The first step is for the buyer to actually decide on the type of motorcycle handlebar most suitable for the purpose at hand. Handlebars come in different types and variations, and a little research beforehand narrows the search down to a specific type, and will enable the buyer understand the descriptions of handlebars on online stores, or even in physical stores that carry motorcycle parts. Buyers must familiarize themselves with the legal and safety guidelines associated with motorcycle handlebars in their counties and states.

The next step is to locate the item, something that can easily be done online. Study the specifications of the particular handlebar to ensure that it is the right one. In some cases, the buyer might be more interested in looks, leading to a search for a specific type of handlebar. For instance, a buyer might be interested in restoring a vintage motorcycle to its former glory. In this case, the price for the handlebar will be quite expensive since the handlebars to match the make and model of the motorcycle will definitely be high due to their rarity. Specific types of handlebars also cost more than others. One example of a relatively costly handlebar is the ape handlebar,, which is generally higher than the average handlebar. Custom-made handlebars will also set the buyer back more than a commercially available one. The advantage of looking for handlebars online is the great variety that is available in one place.

Where to Buy Motorcycle Handlebars

Buyers may purchase motorcycle handlebars from a variety of sources, including specialty retailers, individual sellers, stores that specialize in motorcycle parts, and motorcycle customization service providers. In some cases, buyers may locate motorcycle parts and accessories, including handlebars, through classified ads, auctions, or even through discarded motorcycles at salvage yards. Another method through which a buyer can locate the motorcycle handlebar of choice is through online marketplaces, such as eBay.

How to Buy Motorcycle Handlebars on eBay

eBay and eBay Motors offer hundreds of vehicular and motorbike options, and accessories for any automotive need. This website allows buyers to narrow down the field of search significantly, compare different prices, and select the one that is the best fit. The site is structured in such a way that buyers can conveniently search for the items they are interested in without any hassle. On any eBay web page, you can locate a search portal conveniently located there for easy navigation. You can either make a general search by typing in the name of the handlebar you are searching for, or you can locate the category that is closest to motorcycle handlebar.


Even though it may seem that choosing the best Motorcycle handlebar is a daunting task, it does not need to be so hard. A little preparation and research ahead of time will help ease the process. No matter how choosy or indecisive a buyer might be, making use of the Internet to look for great deals simplifies the entire process from searching to buying. Always keep in mind that regulation in different countries regarding acceptable motorcycle handlebars differ, meaning that buyers must only purchase handlebars that they can legally use in their geography. For instance, buyers interested in purchasing ape bars should bear in mind that there is a minimum height restriction in every state of the United States. Buyers should also test their handlebars after purchase and installation to ensure that it is a perfect fit for their motorcycles. Always remember to apply these steps when looking for motorcycle handlebars to get handlebars that offer maximum safety, comfort and great style.

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