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Custom Motorcycle Handlebars and Controls

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


Custom Motorcycle Handlebars and Controls

Tyler Powers
August 17, 2009

Tyler Powers

Handlebars for your motorcycle serve two purposes. First, and most importantly, the handlebars provide a means to steer the motorcycle by controlling the swivel of the front wheel enabling the rider to ride in a straight line or turn. Secondly, the handlebars provide a place to locate important controls and accessories which allow the rider to operate the motorcycle safely.

Handlebars are available in many designs ranging from straight bars to high rise "ape hangers" and everything in between. The particular handlebars you chose for your motorcycle should be based on what is most comfortable and safe for you, the rider, as well as what will look best with the overall design of your cycle.

Mounted on the handlebars are the hand grips which should be comfortable in your hands since you will spend a great deal of time holding onto these grips. You can find them in foam "titty grip" composite, hard rubber, smooth or grooved. Your throttle is also operated through the right hand grip on the handlebars. Because you must hold the throttle open during times you are moving, hand grips that are comfy as crucial for making road trips comfortable. Choose the style that feels best in your hand and looks good on your motorcycle.

Your turn signal controls will be mounted on the handlebars. Choose chrome or black controls, depending on your personal taste. The clutch and front brake are, in most cases, controlled by levers mounted on the handlebars. These levers are available in a wide range of styles from plain, straight chrome to decorative levels with skulls on the end or other embellishment.

An important set of accessories that will be mounted on your handlebars are the rear view mirrors. You can really add pizzazz to your sled by choosing custom mirrors that reflect the theme of your cycle. Maltese cross designs, mirrors with LED turn indicators include on the side facing oncoming traffic, and other unique designs can add a special look for this safety accessory.

If your motorcycle has an electric start switch, it will also be mounted on the handlebars. This simple button switch makes life much easier than having to kick start a big engine.

You may choose to strap a bag onto your handlebars which will be attached by two straps and may be placed in front of the handlebars and above your head light. This can provide a nice place for all those little items you need to stash. Other bags may be designed to sit on the gas tank without obstructing your view of any indicator displays in your console if your motorcycle includes an on-tank console.

As you can easily see, handlebars are for more than just driving controls. They serve many purposes. Chose stylish handlebars that fit the overall look of your custom cycle. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of designs from which to choose.

Tyler Powers is a contributing author and webmaster for http://www.custom-choppers-guide.com . You can get a special free mini course on motorcycle building mistakes at http://www.custom-choppers-guide.com/how-to-build-a-chopper.html .

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