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✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

Types of Motorcycle Handlebars

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Handlebars come in all sorts of different shapes and bends.

Some types are more common on certain types of motorcycles and some may be depended on whether you ride a metric or standard bike.

Handlebars can have a big effect on your riding position and the overall appearance of your motorcycle.

The most common types of handlebars you’ll find include:

  • Ape hangers.
  • Beach bars.
  • Buckhorns.
  • Clip-ons.
  • Clubmans.
  • Cruiser handlebars.
  • Drag bars.
  • Motorcross bars.
  • Rabbit ears.
  • T-bars.
  • Z-bars.

If you’re getting new handlebars or grips, be sure to measure your handlebars first to confirm what size you need.

Ape Hanger Handlebars

Ape Hangers describe handlebars with a high ride and swept back profile.

These are common on choppers and cruisers, and feature a relaxed riding position with your arms at or above shoulder level.

Note that some states have limits on how high the handlebars can be.

Beach Bars

Beach bars are like the handlebars you’d see on a beach cruiser bicycle. They feature little to no rise with a big pullpack.

This facilitates a very relaxed riding position.

Clip-on Handlebars

Clip-in handlebars attach directly to your motorcycle’s fork tubes in two pieces rather than a standard connected handlebar on risers.

These are a popular modification for cafe racers.

They allow for a lower, more areo-dynamic riding position.


Clubmans are a single, riser mounted handlebar that feature a low and forward riding position like that of a clip-on set.

Drag Bars

Drag bars are simple, low profile handlebars that are typically straight across with little to no bends.

Motocross Handlebars

Motocross handlebars are often lightweight and feature a crossbar between each side’s rise.

They facilitate a more upright seating position.

Rabbit Ear Motorcycle Handlebars

Rabbit Ear handlebars come straight up and straight back in a narrow position.

Popular on styles like Frisco choppers.


T-Bars mount directly to the triple tree rather than a riser.

These can feature a variety of different bends, and are common on metric cruisers.


Z Bars feature sharp 90 degree angles.

These typically feature a lower profile and facilitate a neutral riding position.

Another popular choice for choppers.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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