How do apehangers affect handling? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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How do apehangers affect handling?

I have been thinking about doing something different for my handlebars. The stock ones are ok, but they can get uncomfortable. There are obviously several different styles of handlebars, but I am interested in apehanger, or mini-apehangers. How do they affect handling, are they more for looks? Are they more dangerous?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 11:15 AM
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Definitely done for looks. I would expect low speed to suck.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 12:40 PM
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Go to a good motorcycle shop. Most of them have a catalog of thousands of handlebars. It's just a bent pipe (for the most part).

I like buckhorn style bars. But you can get a handlebar that you are comfortable with, look good, and handle well.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 01:14 PM
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Personally, I think A LOT!!! I have a friend who I helped put 12" mini-apes on her bike and IMHO I think it ruined the feel of the road. It was harder to maneuver the bike at low speeds. Also, the bars seem more flimsy than before...so higher speed turns were shaky at best.

Now, you will get people on here that will tell you differently. Just remember, this is just my opinion about the bars she put on her bike.

You have an older shadow...right? A VT700 or VT500? I believe the bars on the older shadows were 7/8" instead of the newer 1". Might cause an issue when looking for bars. I believe most Harleys are 1" also.

Joe
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 09:02 PM
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I have 16" Paughco ape hangers on my bike and love them!
I've noticed that I have to take sharper turns slightly slower than before but not that much slower. Height wise they are right at the top of my shoulders. I probably should have gone with the 14" ones since on stretches of slow moving traffic, like 30 or 40 min's of just more than stop and go, my right hand starts to get a little numb on a couple of my fingers, the lower height would probably help with better circulation.
But I've also noticed that I can last a little longer in the saddle with them. With my old handle bars I usually had my feet up on the highway bars and I had never realized how much that wore my legs and butt out keeping my feet on them. Now I ride most of the time with my feet on the regular pegs cause my arms are in a more upright position, and it doesn't wear me out as much.
If you can find somebody that has them that will let you try them out, that would be a plus.
I do notice more vibration in the handle bars too, but not much. Could just be the way mine our mounted.
I love riding with them and will probably add them to any future bikes that I get.
Some people say it's an unnatural riding position, but it's not really. Put your hands out like your driving a car, at the 10 and 2 position. Now rotate just your hands like your griping your bike grips. Now put your arms down at your side and then put your hands out like your on your bike. Your find that with ape hangers your arms are closer to the correct steering wheel angle than the motorcycle angle...

As for looks, yeah a big deciding factor for me was how cool I thought they looked. And it really changed the way my bike looked too. I got a bunch of coworks and neighbors ask if I bought a new bike when they saw them on the bike.

I haven't found them to be dangerous at all. I've had to take a few evasive moves since I've had them and do some hard breaking, everything worked just like it should and I never felt out of control.

2001 VLX Black w/blue flake, 16" apes, cobra drag pipes, Zombie pegs, clamp on bicycle mirror, black exhaust wrap, no front fender, swing arm rigid frame bag.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejerry
I have 16" Paughco ape hangers on my bike and love them!
I've noticed that I have to take sharper turns slightly slower than before but not that much slower. Height wise they are right at the top of my shoulders. I probably should have gone with the 14" ones since on stretches of slow moving traffic, like 30 or 40 min's of just more than stop and go, my right hand starts to get a little numb on a couple of my fingers, the lower height would probably help with better circulation.
But I've also noticed that I can last a little longer in the saddle with them. With my old handle bars I usually had my feet up on the highway bars and I had never realized how much that wore my legs and butt out keeping my feet on them. Now I ride most of the time with my feet on the regular pegs cause my arms are in a more upright position, and it doesn't wear me out as much.
If you can find somebody that has them that will let you try them out, that would be a plus.
I do notice more vibration in the handle bars too, but not much. Could just be the way mine our mounted.
I love riding with them and will probably add them to any future bikes that I get.
Some people say it's an unnatural riding position, but it's not really. Put your hands out like your driving a car, at the 10 and 2 position. Now rotate just your hands like your griping your bike grips. Now put your arms down at your side and then put your hands out like your on your bike. Your find that with ape hangers your arms are closer to the correct steering wheel angle than the motorcycle angle...

As for looks, yeah a big deciding factor for me was how cool I thought they looked. And it really changed the way my bike looked too. I got a bunch of coworks and neighbors ask if I bought a new bike when they saw them on the bike.

I haven't found them to be dangerous at all. I've had to take a few evasive moves since I've had them and do some hard breaking, everything worked just like it should and I never felt out of control.

Do you have any pics of your bike?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 03:48 PM
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edit - cant get pic to show

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 04:20 PM
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Re: How do apehangers affect handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gelsbern
The stock ones are ok, but they can get uncomfortable.
Ape-hangers are more for show than comfort.
Put your arms in front and above your head and see how long you can hold them there comfortably.
It makes you even MORE of a sail in the wind by sitting up in that posture.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 05:57 PM
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Whatever.

More for show than comfort? If you say so.

I found them more comfortable than my stock buckhorns, more comfy than pullbacks, drag bars, and sit-up-and-beg vintage Honda bars.

I rode with 12" apes on my shadow for years, it never "ruined" my feel for the road, nor made slow speed turns dangerous or scary. They weren't shaky, they weren't flimsy, they didn't block my vision or make my arms tired or sore. They were comfortable, they felt right, they were perfect.

If you can only speculate, then state that your opinion is speculation. Don't pass off your opinion as experience, unless you have the experience.

edit: spelling

Later, folks.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 06:03 PM
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Handlebars are a very personnal thing.

What works for one guy wont for another.

Get what feels comfortable and you will feel more comfortable on your bike.

2003 Harley Davidson 1200C Sportster (crashed)

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