Am I in over my head? (pun intended)

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Adamal47, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Adamal47

    Adamal47 Active Member

    So I found an amazing deal on craigslist for a set of 20" ape hangers. I called the seller and had them in my posession later that day. I really like the look of tall apes but have never actually ridden with them. I was so excited about my aquisistion that I showed my brother and a few of my cruising buddies. The responses from them were pretty unanimious. Things like "Awesome, but I wouldn't do it." and "Don't get rid of your old bars just yet." and my favorite, "You're going to hate em." Yeah they are a real positive bunch of guys..NOT! As far as I know I don't think any of them have ridden with apes either. Anyways, I test fit them in the clamps (no wiring or cables yet) and sat on my bike just to see how they feel. I think they are 10x more comfortable than the stock bars. I used to slouch down with the old bars now I sit more erect and it takes alot of pressure off my lower back. With that said, the little voice in my head keep repeating my friends advice/negativity and I am considering just selling the bars (for a nice little profit) instead of using them. My question is, Is it really that big of a difference to ride with apes? I have no windshield so I'm already used to the sailboat effect. I figure some low speed maneuvers may take a little bit to get the hang of but I expect the cruising speed maneuvers to be the same or MORE comfortable. Am I correct to assume this? Any advice from those of you who have ape experience would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

    Go for it, sounds like you like them. Around here in Pocatello it's hard to find a bike with out apes, almost everyone love's them but check out your local laws first because some states are bad on bar laws if your hands are above your shouders. I would say try them, anything is better then stock,you can always take them off if you're not happy with them.
  3. Adamal47

    Adamal47 Active Member

    Pennsylvania law says the sky is the limit. I think they'll be ok with 20".
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    In regards to your friends I agree. But ultimately the choice is yours.

    As to Pa inspections:

    § 175.143. Steering.
    (a) Condition of steering components. The steering assembly and steering mechanism shall be in safe operating condition as described in § 175.160 (relating to inspection procedure).

    (b) Condition of steering. A motorcycle shall meet the following specifications in relation to front wheel geometry:

    (1) Maximum rake: 45°. Maximum trail: 14 inches positive.

    (2) Minimum rake: 20°. Minimum trail: 2 inches positive.

    (3) Minimum rake and minimum trail are not applicable to three-wheel motorcycles unless the third wheel is derived from a sidecar.

    (c) Steering head. A head shall be provided with a bearing or similar device allowing the steering shaft to turn freely in rotating fashion.

    (d) Handlebars. The handlebars or grips may not be higher than the operator’s shoulder level when the operator is properly seated upon the motorcycle.

    (1) The handlebars shall be of a sturdy construction adequate in size and length to provide proper leverage for steering and capable of withstanding a minimum force of 100 pounds applied to each handle grip in any direction.

    (2) The handlebars shall be designed so as not to restrict front fork movement and shall be capable of vertical adjustments.

    (3) The handlebar design shall provide a minimum of 18 inches between ends, after final assembly.

    (4) The handlebars shall be equipped with grips of nonslip design and materials.
  5. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    In my limited experience with apes I know that as long as your hands are below your shoulders you should be relatively comfortable. If the apes are so tall that your hands go over your shoulders you will have a hard time pumping blood to your hands. Long distance rides will not be much fun with apes that high.

    My advice would be whatever makes you happy...if you like the bars then who cares what your friends say. You already have them anyway you just need to put them on there so I say go for it. The worst that could happen is you decide you dont want them so you take them right off and resell them on ebay or craigslist. In that case you are only out a little bit of your time. I say give it a shot.
  6. Goose67

    Goose67 Member

    I put 20 inch apes on 2 years ago and love em. Put roughly 8000 miles with them on and don't think I could ever go back. You are limited on what states you can ride, just have to plan accordingly. As far as comfort, my hands might get a little numb, but a few shakes of the hands takes care of it for me. Long trips I adjust and lean back on tour pack on back of seat and find I could ride forever.
    07 Softail Custom
  7. ultradoc

    ultradoc Active Member

    Never had apes. They look cool and all but I see alot of dudes it looks like they are hanging on for dear life. All the wind hitting their chest,belly areas would push you back I would think. But as long as your happy I say go for it.
  8. mat 60

    mat 60 Senior Member

    Most of you are way more bike savoy than I but last year I installed 14,s and they are a bit above my sholders with a bare bones seat...I dont think I would want taller myself...Unless you pull them back toward s yourself witch in my opinion looks bad and you will may not like them being that tall when you turn sharp....To bad you couldnt try a bike with apes...I do love 14,s
  9. gusotto

    gusotto Junior Member

    Yup, you have to conform to the states laws when riding through them.
    No reason to give the cops a reason to pull you over.
  10. Adamal47

    Adamal47 Active Member

    The law weather the police or inspection is the least of my concerns. I'm really concerned if it will be more difficult to ride and is this added difficulty worth the effort or is it just like any thing else where I'll get used to it and never give it a second thought. Depending on final position they will be at most two or three niches above my shoulders. My hands often go numb from leaning forward on the stock bars so I'm used to "shaking it off".