Have you ever wondered about the differences between 14 and 16 ape hangers for Harley-Davidson motorcycles? Well, you’re in luck, because we’re about to dive deep into this topic and give you all the information you need. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, understanding the pros and cons of these handlebars can help you make an informed decision that suits your riding style. So, let’s get started!
When it comes to choosing between 14 and 16 ape hangers for your Harley-Davidson, one of the main factors to consider is comfort. Both sizes offer a higher riding position, allowing for a more relaxed and comfortable posture while cruising. However, the 16-inch handlebars provide even more of an upright riding position, which some riders may find more comfortable, especially during long rides.
Another important aspect to consider is the style and appearance. Ape hangers are known for their timeless and classic look, adding a touch of nostalgia to any Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The difference between the 14 and 16-inch handlebars is mainly in the height. The 16-inch ape hangers offer a taller and more eye-catching profile, making a bold statement on the road. So, if you’re looking to make a visual impact with your Harley, the 16-inch ape hangers might be the right choice for you.
In conclusion, whether you choose 14 or 16 ape hangers for your Harley-Davidson, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both sizes offer their own advantages in terms of comfort and style. If you prefer a slightly higher riding position and a more pronounced visual impact, the 16-inch handlebars might be the way to go. But if you’re looking for a more balanced and versatile option, the 14-inch ape hangers could be a better fit. Remember to take into account your riding style and preferences when making your decision. Safe riding!
What are Ape Hangers?
Definition of Ape Hangers
Ape hangers are high-rise handlebars commonly used on motorcycles, particularly Harley-Davidson models. These handlebars are designed to bring the rider’s hands above shoulder level, creating a distinctive look resembling a monkey’s arms hanging from a tree branch. Ape hangers are a popular aftermarket customization option for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, providing both aesthetic appeal and potential ergonomic benefits.
Origin of Ape Hangers
The origin of ape hangers can be traced back to the history of chopper motorcycles and the rebellious biker culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, these high-rise handlebars were favored by motorcycle enthusiasts looking to create a unique and eye-catching look for their bikes. Over time, manufacturers like Harley-Davidson started offering ape hangers as a factory option due to high demand.
Importance of Ape Hangers for Harley-Davidson
Ape hangers have become synonymous with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, playing a significant role in defining the brand’s style and image. These handlebars have been embraced by riders looking to personalize their bikes and make a bold statement on the road. Ape hangers have become an integral part of the Harley-Davidson experience, enhancing both the look and ride of these iconic motorcycles.
Different Sizes of Ape Hangers
Overview of Ape Hanger Sizes
Ape hangers come in various sizes, ranging from 8 inches all the way up to 20 inches or more. The size refers to the height of the handlebars from the top of the risers to the lowest point of the grips. The most common sizes for Harley-Davidson motorcycles are 14-inch and 16-inch ape hangers, each offering unique advantages and considerations for riders.
Focus on 14-inch Ape Hangers
The 14-inch ape hangers strike a balance between style and comfort. These handlebars provide a moderate rise, allowing riders to achieve a relaxed riding position while still maintaining adequate control and maneuverability. They are often preferred by riders who want a classic chopper look without sacrificing functionality.
Pros of 14-inch Ape Hangers
- Enhanced Riding Experience: The 14-inch rise offers a natural arm extension, reducing strain and providing a more comfortable riding experience.
- Improved Control and Stability: While still high, the 14-inch height keeps the rider’s hands within reach of the controls, allowing for greater control and stability while riding.
- Aesthetic Appeal: 14-inch ape hangers lend a timeless, old-school look to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, adding a touch of nostalgia and style.
- Relaxed Riding Position: The moderate rise of the 14-inch handlebars promotes a more laid-back riding position, reducing fatigue during long rides.
Cons of 14-inch Ape Hangers
- Limited Customization Options: With a lower height than larger ape hangers, 14-inch models may not offer as many customization opportunities for riders looking for an extreme or unique look.
- Restricted Maneuverability: The taller the handlebars, the more challenging it becomes to navigate tight spaces and perform quick maneuvers. While 14-inch ape hangers strike a balance, they are still higher than stock handlebars and can potentially restrict maneuverability in some situations.
- Possible Discomfort for Some Riders: While generally comfortable for most riders, some individuals may find the 14-inch rise too high for their riding style or body proportions, leading to discomfort or strain during rides.
Focus on 16-inch Ape Hangers
The 16-inch ape hangers offer a more extreme, eye-catching look while still aiming to provide comfort and functionality. These handlebars elevate the rider’s hands to a higher position, delivering a truly unique riding experience and allowing for additional customization options.
Pros of 16-inch Ape Hangers
- Increased Comfort and Customization: The extra height of the 16-inch ape hangers allows for increased customization options and offers taller riders a more natural arm extension.
- Better Handling and Maneuverability: Despite the additional height, 16-inch ape hangers still maintain a good balance between style and function, providing adequate control and maneuverability.
- Unique Look and Style: Opting for 16-inch ape hangers ensures that your Harley-Davidson motorcycle will stand out from the crowd, attracting attention and admiration for its bold and distinctive appearance.
- Suitable for Taller Riders: Taller riders often prefer 16-inch ape hangers as they provide a more comfortable riding position, allowing for better control and reduced strain on the arms and shoulders.
Cons of 16-inch Ape Hangers
- Legality and Regulations: Depending on your location, there may be legal restrictions on the height of handlebars you can use on public roads. It is essential to check local regulations before installing 16-inch ape hangers.
- Challenges for Shorter Riders: The increased height of 16-inch ape hangers can pose challenges for shorter riders, requiring them to stretch further or adjust their seating position to reach the controls comfortably.
- Less Stable at Higher Speeds: The higher the handlebars, the more wind resistance they create, potentially reducing stability and control at higher speeds. It is crucial to consider your riding style and the type of roads you frequent before opting for 16-inch ape hangers.
- Aesthetically Overwhelming for Some: The dramatic rise of 16-inch ape hangers might not appeal to everyone’s aesthetic sensibilities. Some riders may find them visually overwhelming or incompatible with the overall look of their Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Ape Hangers
When selecting between 14-inch or 16-inch ape hangers for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, several factors need to be considered to ensure a suitable fit for your needs and preferences.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Prioritize your comfort and ergonomic requirements when choosing ape hangers. Consider your height, arm length, and riding style to determine which size handlebars will provide the most comfortable experience.
Riding Style and Preference
Think about your riding style and the type of motorcycle customization you want to achieve. If you value functionality and maneuverability, 14-inch ape hangers may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for an extreme and attention-grabbing style, 16-inch ape hangers might be a better fit.
Legal Regulations and Restrictions
Before making a decision, research the legal regulations and restrictions regarding handlebar height in your area. Ensure that the size you choose adheres to local laws and won’t result in any legal issues.
Consider how ape hangers will complement the overall look and customization of your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Evaluate the potential combinations and styles available with each size to find the option that aligns with your aesthetic preferences.
Benefits of 14-inch Ape Hangers
Enhanced Riding Experience
The moderate rise of 14-inch ape hangers ensures a natural arm extension, reducing strain and discomfort during long rides. This can greatly enhance the overall riding experience, allowing you to enjoy the open road without unnecessary fatigue.
Improved Control and Stability
With 14-inch ape hangers, your hands remain within reach of the controls, maintaining a good level of control and stability while handling your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
14-inch ape hangers offer a classic chopper look, adding an element of nostalgia and style to your motorcycle. These handlebars evoke the rebellious spirit of the biker culture, enhancing the visual appeal of your ride.
Relaxed Riding Position
The moderate rise of 14-inch ape hangers promotes a relaxed riding position, reducing strain on your arms, shoulders, and back. This can be particularly beneficial during long rides, minimizing discomfort and fatigue.
Benefits of 16-inch Ape Hangers
Increased Comfort and Customization
16-inch ape hangers provide taller riders with a more natural arm extension, contributing to a more comfortable riding position. Additionally, the extra height opens up a wide range of customization options, allowing you to create a unique look for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Better Handling and Maneuverability
Despite the increased height, 16-inch ape hangers still offer adequate control and maneuverability, striking a balance between style and functionality. They can provide a smooth and responsive riding experience, ensuring you can navigate various road conditions with ease.
Unique Look and Style
If you want your Harley-Davidson motorcycle to stand out from the crowd, 16-inch ape hangers are an excellent choice. They create a dramatic and eye-catching look, ensuring your bike attracts attention and becomes a distinctive reflection of your personal style.
Suitable for Taller Riders
Taller riders often find 16-inch ape hangers more comfortable, as they provide a more natural arm extension and reduce strain on the upper body. If you are on the taller side, these handlebars can greatly enhance your riding experience.
Potential Drawbacks of 14-inch Ape Hangers
Limited Customization Options
Compared to larger ape hangers, the 14-inch size may restrict your customization options if you are looking for an extreme or unique look. The moderate size limits the range of styles and combinations you can achieve with your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
While 14-inch ape hangers strike a balance between style and function, they are still taller than stock handlebars. This extra height can potentially restrict maneuverability in tight spaces or require more effort to navigate sharp turns.
Possible Discomfort for Some Riders
While generally comfortable for most riders, some individuals may find the 14-inch rise too high for their riding style or body proportions. This can lead to discomfort or strain on the arms and shoulders during extended rides.
Potential Drawbacks of 16-inch Ape Hangers
Legality and Regulations
Before choosing 16-inch ape hangers, it is important to verify whether they comply with local regulations. Some areas have restrictions on handlebar height for safety reasons, and using taller handlebars may result in legal consequences.
Challenges for Shorter Riders
The increased height of 16-inch ape hangers can pose challenges for shorter riders. They may need to stretch further or adjust their seating position to reach and operate the controls comfortably.
Less Stable at Higher Speeds
The taller the handlebars, the more wind resistance they create. This can result in reduced stability and control, particularly at higher speeds. It is crucial to consider your riding style and the type of roads you frequent before choosing 16-inch ape hangers.
Aesthetically Overwhelming for Some
The bold and dramatic rise of 16-inch ape hangers may not appeal to everyone’s aesthetic preferences or complement the overall style of their Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It is essential to consider how these handlebars will harmonize with your bike’s design and personal taste.
Tips for Installing Ape Hangers
Choosing the Right Height
Consider your body proportions, riding style, and local regulations to select the appropriate handlebar height. Measure and visualize how different heights will affect your riding position and overall look of your motorcycle before making a final decision.
Proper Cable and Wire Lengths
When installing ape hangers, ensure that the cables and wires on your Harley-Davidson motorcycle are long enough to accommodate the increased height. Consult with a professional or refer to your bike’s manual for guidance on cables and wire length requirements.
Adjusting Controls and Grips
When installing new handlebars, carefully adjust the positioning of the controls and grips to ensure they are within comfortable reach while riding. Aim for a relaxed position that minimizes strain on your wrists, arms, and shoulders.
Considering Professional Installation
If you are uncertain about the installation process or lack the necessary tools and expertise, it is recommended to seek professional assistance. Improper installation can compromise safety and negatively impact your riding experience.
Rider Reviews and Experiences
14-inch Ape Hangers: Feedback and Testimonials
Many riders who have chosen 14-inch ape hangers for their Harley-Davidson motorcycles express satisfaction with the overall balance between style and functionality. They appreciate the enhanced comfort, improved control, and timeless appeal that these handlebars provide.
16-inch Ape Hangers: Feedback and Testimonials
Riders who opt for 16-inch ape hangers often praise the unique look and customization options they offer. Taller riders particularly appreciate the added comfort and natural arm extension, while others enjoy the attention-grabbing nature of these handlebars.
When choosing between 14-inch and 16-inch ape hangers for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, it is crucial to evaluate your personal needs, preferences, and riding style. Consider factors such as comfort, ergonomics, customization opportunities, legal regulations, and the overall look you want to achieve.
Keep in mind that the different sizes of ape hangers have their advantages and considerations. The 14-inch height strikes a balance between style and function, providing enhanced control and stability while maintaining a relaxed riding position. On the other hand, the 16-inch size offers a more extreme look, increased customization options, and heightened comfort for taller riders.
Ultimately, it is important to make an informed decision that aligns with your individual preferences and ensures a safe and enjoyable riding experience. Choose the ape hanger size that best suits your needs, allowing you to fully embrace the freedom and exhilaration that come with owning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.