How to measure handlebars on motorbikes

Written by mary lougee
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How to measure handlebars on motorbikes
Motorbike handlebars are available in different styles to suit riders. (motorcycle image by Bionic Media from

Motorbike enthusiasts customise their bikes with different types of handlebars, either for a different appearance from the stock handlebars or for comfort. Ape hangers are the tallest handlebars and require riders to reach up to grasp them. Another chopper-style handlebar is the Z-bar, which angles upward sharply from the mounting area. Cruiser and beach bars have a low rise and a long pullback so the rider does not need to lean forward. Ordering new handlebars requires measuring the rise, pullback, centre width and total width to order new handlebars.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Metre rule

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  1. 1

    Place and hold a metre rule across the bottom centre of the handlebars. Place the tip of a measuring tape on the handlebar at it highest point and stretch it down past the rule. The intersection of the rule and measuring tape is the rise, or height measurement.

  2. 2

    Place a metre rule tip at the base of one handlebar and hold it level, pointing toward the seat. Place a measuring tape on the end of the same handlebar on the grip. Stretch the measuring tape down to intersect with therule. This measurement at the intersection is the total pullback.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance between the left handlebar to the right handlebar with a tape measure placed in the centre and straight. The measurement is the centre-width measurement.

  4. 4

    Slide the grips off the handlebars with a pulling and twisting motion. Stretch a measuring tape from the outermost point on the left handlebar to the outermost point on the right handlebar, which is the total-width measurement. Replace the grips on the handlebars by pushing and twisting them on.

Tips and warnings

  • When replacing handlebars on a motorbike with a lower rise model, ensure there is enough clearance to enable opening and closing the fuel tank.

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