To raise or not to raise, that is the question

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by blackant, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. blackant

    blackant Member

    Hi All,

    I'm still new to HDT and HD so I have a silly question about how handle bar height will affect my ride and steering.

    I have been riding for about a year and probably started with a lot of bike for my first (a 2006 CVO Fat Boy). The first Harley I ever rode was a HD Heritage softtail, which I rented in Las Vegas for the weekend. I feel like that bike was a lot easier for me to control (i.e. take turns) compared to my Fat Boy. I am 6'1" and am wondering if raising the bars will make it easier to turn so I'm not reaching forward and down while I push (countersteer).

    Any suggestions? I was thinking of perhaps test riding some bikes and find one that feels comfortable for me and then have my FB modified to fit like that. Am I way off here?

  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Almost everyone modifies their bike. For some it's just appearance and for others it's for comfort and control. I'm not sure what type bars are on the CVO model, and your dealers parts people should be able to tell you if the bars your looking at will need additional (wiring or clutch) parts. I have a 94 FLSTC and I'm sure there have been some changes to geometry but I found the original bars to be a little to high and I went for a set of RoadKing bars. Test ride a few of the models with different bars and find ones that give you more confidence.
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Could it be that the Heritage had a windshield and was easier to hold onto???
    Stop at the local Harley dealer and see if they have the Fat Boy display on floor that will give you all the different handlebar and seat configuration available from Harley.
  4. blackant

    blackant Member

    thanks guys for the suggestions.

    I don't think it was the windshield that made the difference because even at slow speeds I think the heritage was easier to control. If I'm not mistaken, the FB and Heritage are very similar in set up, so mod'ing the FB to fit like the heritage shouldn't be too hard?

    Also, will raising the bars affect the way the bike steers? Maybe I'm just scared to really lean the bike since I'm new to riding but I feel like its a pain to turn the FB compared to the Heritage...
  5. harleykid1968

    harleykid1968 Member

    I have to agree with you. I do feel the softail is easier to ride than the fat boy...
    I remember I took my original test on a florida obstical course on a fat boy.
    Failed badly....Came back with softal...passed right away.
    As far as the handlebar config. I agree with the guys above. Just visit a dealership. Best way to check out the most comfortable for you
  6. mat 60

    mat 60 Senior Member

    A fatboy is a softale....If you pull the bars up to far you will be reaching more...I will be changing my bars next winter but for now I went with a 4 in pull back riser..It helped and I didnt half to change the cables..For now I would try moving the bars up a little at a time and try it.
  7. martillo

    martillo Active Member

    Not 100% positive but I think the cvo FB may have had a"beach type bar" and if so ,switching to heritage type bars will get them back and in a bit. My 04 RK custom had beach bars , I switched to heritage bars and it made a big difference in comfort and handling , especially at slow parking lot speeds.
  8. bcortani

    bcortani Active Member

    Ihave an 08 Heritage, the bars are different. The heritage raise up a few more inches and back and handles very well at slow speeds. I found the fatboy and RK's to be a little more clumsy at slow speed maneuvers.
  9. 98fat

    98fat Active Member

    Riding posture has everything to do with control in my opinion. I like apes, they make the ride more comfortable and the bike easier to control (to an extent). The dealers sometimes have a bike display with interchangeable handlebars, look for one and try different setups..
  10. cambridgehd

    cambridgehd Member

    the fat boy and heritage are both versions built on the same chassis/frame. you should be able achieve the same feel that you had / the heritage by just switching to the heritage bars. they do raise your arms up and back therefore moving you to a more comfortable riding position in my opinion. could the cvo bars be the street sweepers variety? they would feel low and lean forward if the risers are stock. beach bars would feel like your hands are just above your knees and back at you, to me beach bars would be awkward to use