Motorcycle Handlebar Risers Buying Guide

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Motorcycle Handlebar Risers Buying Guide

Motorcycle riders would be lost without comfortable handlebars on their favourite bikes. They are both a primary control and an integral part of the riding experience. The clutch, accelerator, and brake are all located on the handlebars. Finding the right handlebar position can be the difference between a long, comfortable ride and one where the rider has to stop frequently to stretch his or her arms. Unfortunately for riders, while a car is designed to adjust to fit the driver, a motorcycle is not. Both the controls and the seat are fixed in place, and there is no way to adjust them. This may not be a problem for a person of average size, but the handlebars are not placed perfectly for all people.

Luckily, consumers can purchase and install handlebar risers, which allow the handlebars to be positioned for the comfort of the rider, rather than the vision of the designer. Rather than put up with discomfort on rides that should be exhilarating, a rider may want to try a set of handlebar risers. They can be purchased online on sites like eBay or in motorcycle parts and accessory shops.

Basics of Handlebar Risers

The purpose of handlebar risers is to adjust the position of the handgrips on a motorcycle to better fit the motorcycle to the rider. Essentially, they add a new base that fits between the front forks and the stock handlebars, allowing the handlebars to be remounted in a different position. Most risers come in pairs, one for each side, and can be easily mounted by the owner.

Benefits of Handlebar Risers

The biggest benefit of handlebar risers is ergonomic comfort. By enabling riders to place their arms and hands in more natural positions, they reduce the stress on riders' bodies, and this allows them to ride for longer periods without stopping. Risers can also reduce or eliminate the pain felt by riders who are otherwise forced to ride hunched over. This improved posture not only helps with the rider's comfort, it also helps with road safety, as the improved posture and ergonomics translate directly to more control on the road. The more control a rider has, the less likely he or she is to have an accident, and everyone is much safer.

Risers also provide a way to personalise a ride to make the owner's motorcycle subtly different from all the other motorcycles out there. It may not be the most important factor for riders, but it is a benefit for many.

Concerns with Handlebar Risers

There are two major concerns related to handlebar risers. The first is rigidity. Handlebars only work if they are firmly mounted to motorcycles. If the handlebars are loose, they wobble, and the rider loses all the control benefits that would otherwise occur from the improved positioning.

The second concern has to do with control cabling. While the risers themselves may allow almost unlimited repositioning of the handlebars, the fact that the clutch, accelerator, and front brake are mounted on the handlebars does enforce a practical limit. There is no point installing risers that put the grips of the handlebars at a level the control cables cannot reach. That defeats the purpose of repositioning the handlebars. It is possible to replace the cables and lines, but this does add to the cost and the difficulty of the job.

Measure Before Searching for Handlebar Risers

The importance of accurate measurements cannot be understated. Specifications tell the rider what a measurement should be, not what it actually is, and when those two measurements differ, reality beats out specifications. Because riser installation has a direct impact on road safety, it is vital that it be based on accurate measurements rather than specifications that may not apply completely to any given motorcycle.

The first thing that any rider should do before going out to buy a new set of handlebar risers is determine the requirements. That means they start by measuring the current position of the handlebars when the motorcycle is at rest and then determine the desired position when the rider is sitting comfortably. Both positions are measured because what really matters in the new placement is not the absolute position of the handlebars, but the relative position, in terms of how far upwards and backwards the new position is from the original.

The next thing that should be measured is the thickness of the forks where the risers are mounted. Most companies design their risers to fit certain standard fork thicknesses, which may not be applicable for all motorcycles. Also, most forks are not perfect cylinders, and so the nominal diameter listed in the specifications and manuals may not match the actual diameter at the point where the riser is mounted.

Installing Motorcycle Handlebar Risers

Installation starts with teardown. First, the grips have to come off to gain access to the controls, and then the controls have to come off in order to remove the bars. Once the bars are removed, the owner has access to the triple clamp and then the clip-ons that actually hold the handlebars in place. Owners need to be very careful when removing the old mounts in order to be sure they do not damage the control cabling or the wiring harness. At this point, the owner has the choice of either keeping the existing control cables or replacing them with longer ones to fit the new position of the handlebars. The former is quicker and easier, but the latter allows for more flexibility.

Once that step is completed, the next step is to mount the risers on the forks. Sometimes, it is impossible to find risers that exactly match the diameter of the forks at the place where they are to be attached. In those cases, the thing to do is buy slightly larger risers and use shim stock to line the risers so that they match the required thickness. This ensures a solid connection between the risers and the forks.

With the risers in place, the next thing to do is loose-fit the controls to the handlebars and then mount the handlebars on the risers. Once everything is in its final position, everything can be tightened to avoid vibration. Before riding, it is very important that the owner double-check both the position and the range of motion of the handlebars with the risers installed. This prevents unwanted and dangerous surprises when on the road.

Motorcycle Handlebar Riser Checklist

The following checklist should help a buyer remember the keys to finding the right motorcycle handlebar risers for their needs:




Decide why risers are needed

Helps determine placement


Determines both absolute and relative placement


Cable length places absolute limits on handlebar placement

Can be replaced with longer cables, as needed


Handlebars should be mounted tightly to optimise control

Range of Motion

Test for full range of motion of handlebars

While many people buy motorcycle handlebar risers for other reasons, the single most important factor is road safety. Properly installed motorcycle handlebar risers give the rider more control through improved ergonomics, and that directly affects safety.

How to Buy Motorcycle Handlebar Risers on eBay

One of the best places to buy motorcycle handlebar risers is on eBay. The site combines a wide variety of choices with the tools necessary to make finding the right risers quick and easy. All you need to do is type your requirements into the search box that is conveniently located on every page. Once you have your results, you can use the filters to narrow the results down to just the handlebar risers that fit your particular motorcycle and your requirements for ergonomic and safe riding. With the list limited to just the risers that you can use, you can then sort the results by price and various other factors.

After you have found the right risers, the next step is to find the right seller. The best way to do that is by checking out the profile pages, where you can see everything from sellers ' feedback to their locations. You can also see if some sellers bundle risers with new grips or other accessories or allow local purchasers to save shipping costs by picking the risers up in person.


Motorcycle handlebar risers are more than just a fashion statement. They are a health and safety benefit for many riders. Nothing takes the joy out of riding a motorcycle like enduring physical pain when riding, and this often happens when a rider's physical characteristics vary significantly from the characteristics of the body type designed to ride the bike. Motorcycle handlebar risers eliminate this problem by enabling proper ergonomic placement of the handlebars for any rider.

Before buying new handlebar risers, it is important to measure the original and desired placement so that the offset can be determined. Riders should also be aware of the limitations imposed by the lengths of their motorcycles' control cables. They may have to buy replacement cables in some cases in order to increase the range of possible positions. Once everything is installed, the next step is to make sure the risers are securely mounted and provide the full range of motion. For those who need them, motorcycle handlebar risers are a quick and easy way to improve the riding experience.

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