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Motorcycle Handlebar Whips (AKA Get Back Whips)


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Motorcycle handlebar whips, or “get back” whips,  are an accessory designed to give your bike a distinct look.

They are long, flexible strips of fabric that attach to the handlebars and flow in the wind as you ride.

These whips were once primarily used as self-defense tools when motorcycle gang violence was much more prominent than it is now.

These days, motorcycle handle whips are used more for style and self-expression.

Keep reading to learn more about handlebar whips, what they are used for, and whether or not they are legal to use. 

Why Do Some Motorcycles Have Whips?

Back around the 1970s, motorcycles had whips for self-defense purposes.

The “get back” whips had quick-release functioning that allowed the rider to separate the whip from the handlebars with one hand in case of an altercation. 

Nowadays, handlebar whips are used mostly for aesthetic purposes and to give the bike a more aggressive look.

They do serve some practical purposes as well.

For example, handlebar whips can be used to help the motorcycle and rider be more visible to drivers on the road.

Types of “Get Back” Whips

There are various kinds of “get back” whips. Some of the most popular styles include:

  • Lace or cord-style whips, which are made from a mix of tinsel and fabric 
  • Plastic or rubber whips, which feature a pliable material that can be shaped into different configurations 
  • Chain whips, which are made from multiple steel links 

Are Motorcycle Whips Legal?

Because of the violent history related to handlebar whips, many states have laws about their use.

However, these motorcycle laws vary from state to state, and some states do not regulate the use of motorcycle whips at all. 

In some states, they are legal to use.

Other states have regulations that limit the color and length of the whip.

In California, for example, “get back” whips cannot have a quick-release function. 

Some states don’t allow any type of “get back”  whip.

It’s best to check with local laws first before installing a motorcycle handlebar whip on your bike.

Motorcycle handlebar whips are an interesting accessory that offers both style and practicality.

Whether you’re looking to give your ride a unique look or increase visibility, motorcycle handlebar whips may be just what you need.

Be sure to look into the local laws before purchasing and installing one of these whips. 

With that done, you’re sure to be riding in style!