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Motorcycle Sissy Bars 101 Guide

Motorcycle Sissy Bars 101 Guide

Table of Contents

1. What Is A Sissy Bar?

What Is A Sissy Bar?

A motorcycle sissy bar is a narrow-inverted V- or U-shaped metallic bar typically fixed behind the passenger seat towards the rear of a motorcycle. Its primary purpose is to provide additional means of carrying your motorcycle luggage so that you can increase your vehicle’s storage capacity. It is useful for carrying sissy bar bags, roll bags, and other baggage too large to be secured anywhere else on your vehicle. However, it can also serve as a backrest for a motorcycle passenger thanks to built-in padding or the attached motorcycle luggage providing a cushion. Aside from its practical functions, a motorcycle sissy bar can complement your motorcycle’s appearance by providing both a stylish and clean look.

While a motorcycle sissy bar is not required for your motorcycle to function at optimal capacity, its utility makes it a useful piece of equipment to have if you are carrying an additional person or going on a long motorcycle trip. If you are interested in purchasing a motorcycle sissy bar, this guide will give you a detailed overview of what Viking Bags has in stock.

2. Types Of Motorcycle Sissy Bars

Types Of Motorcycle Sissy Bars 1 Types Of Motorcycle Sissy Bars 2 Types Of Motorcycle Sissy Bars 3

Motorcycle sissy bars are designed to be mounted on Harley Davidson models such as the Sportster, Dyna, Softail, Touring, Street, and Cruiser.

All motorcycle sissy bars are made from durable weather-resistant steel which helps ensure that they are both rustproof and long-lasting.

Depending on the height of the motorcyclist, most can be sold either at short, medium, or tall size. At Viking Bags, all the motorcycle sissy bars are sold at a height of 25-inches tall from the base.

Every version is designed to be aerodynamic so as not to cause drag and affect the performance of your motorcycle when riding at high speeds. They are also tested for the maximum weight they can carry without straining your motorcycle’s suspension system.

While every motorcycle sissy bar uses high grade steel construction as a base, they differ in their design based on the type of finish applied. They can either come in stainless chrome or matte black paint. Both provide a protective surface that protects motorcycle sissy bars from debris, rainfall, etc.

Another difference in the design between motorcycle sissy bars is that they either possess a rounded or tipped tip. The rounded tip makes it easier to slip straps around the circumference of the bar while the tipped tip is bent at an angle to better keep motorcycle luggage secure.

3. Most Popular Motorcycle Sissy Bars

Whether standard or custom-made, there are motorcycle sissy bars that stand out from the others in the market. The unique examples have specific features that either increase their functionality or improve the riding experience.

The Traveler Handmade Sissy Bar intended for Harley Davidson Sportsters has a rack that loops close to the bottom that provides another ledge to attach additional motorcycle luggage. There are also rungs in between the length of the sissy bar to make it easier to hang motorcycle luggage.

The Passenger Sissy Bar Upright designed for Harley Davidson Dynas has a glossy black finish to help provide a protective coating. More on the short size being only 10.25 inches tall, it is possible to attach side plates and a backrest pad to provide comfortable seating for a passenger.

The Cobra Black Short Square Sissy Bar meant for Harley Davidson Softails is more free-standing and spread apart wider to provide better support when carrying motorcycle luggage or a passenger. It is secured with heavy-duty mounting brackets and comes with a Freedom pad to provide comfort.

The Iron Born Sissy Bar with Foldable Luggage Rack for Harley Sportster has a pointed yet bent tip to make it easier to slide on motorcycle luggage with straps and to catch your baggage from falling off should you ride over bumps on the road. The foldable luggage rack opens towards the back to provide another ledge to attach additional motorcycle luggage. When not in use, it can easily be folded so that it is symmetrical with the rest of the sissy bar.

The Iron Born Blade Sissy Bar for Harley Dyna Low Rider has a built-in cut-out for the blades which contour around the turn signals of your motorcycle which helps ease along the installation process. They are highly adjustable as there are additional holes along the length of the blades to help line up with the fender holes.

The Iron Born Blade Sissy Bar for Harley Softail Standard is built with cleaner yet sharper edges to give it a more intimidating look when fixed onto your motorcycle. Constructed out of high-quality metal and rust-proof fixing, this gives it an aesthetically pleasing appearance while also giving it reliable durability. You will be provided with the required bolts upon purchase so you can immediately install it on your motorcycle.

4. Types of Motorcycle Sissy Bar Mounts

Depending on how often you rely on using a motorcycle sissy bar, this may determine the means you will secure it to your vehicle. You are given mounting hardware that comes with your purchase of a motorcycle sissy bar. When mounting your motorcycle sissy bar, you either have the option of using a quick disconnect or hard mount system.

The quick disconnect system saves time by being easy to attach to your motorcycle. You are able to fasten or remove it from your vehicle within a few seconds. It is convenient if you do not use your motorcycle sissy bar every day.

The hard mount method offers a more permanent means of keeping your motorcycle sissy bar fixed to your ride. Though it takes longer to fasten or remove from your vehicle, the bolts remain sturdy when fastened tightly. Even in the face of the elements, the motorcycle sissy bar will remain in place and will not be easily loosened.

5. Tips On How to Select a Motorcycle Sissy Bar

As you continue to browse for a motorcycle sissy bar, you may have trouble narrowing down your choices. You may have difficulty deciding the criteria for what you are looking for in a motorcycle sissy bar and determining which ones satisfy your preferences. Here is a list of suggestions for how to go about selecting the best motorcycle sissy bar for you:

  • For height, a short motorcycle sissy bar will reach the small of a passenger’s back, a medium motorcycle sissy bar will go up to the center of a passenger’s back, and a tall motorcycle sissy bar will cover the passenger’s entire back
  • For size, you can pick between slender and wide depending on how much surface area you will need to support a passenger or your motorcycle luggage
  • Motorcycle sissy bars can have built-in padding to help improve comfort or removable padding to make it easier to carry motorcycle luggage
  • Confirm that the motorcycle sissy bar is capable of carrying an intended weight and storage capacity without affecting the performance of your vehicle
  • Choosing between an adjustable and stationary motorcycle sissy bar, pick the former if you transport many passengers with different views on comfort
  • Pick a motorcycle sissy bar that is within an acceptable price range and is designed to fit the model you own

6. How To Install Your Motorcycle Sissy Bar

At Viking Bags, you are provided an installation guide that you can download for free before or after purchasing your motorcycle sissy bar. The instructions are easy-to-follow so that the process of mounting your new equipment is quick and simple. Here are the step-by-step directions for how to install your motorcycle sissy bar:

  1. Clean your fender to prevent debris from getting stuck between the fender strut and sissy bar mounts
  2. Remove two fender strut bolts on each side, resulting in taking out a total of four
  3. Position the sissy bar so that the holes in the sissy bar mounts align with the fender holes on your motorcycle
  4. Keeping the holes aligned, insert the mounting bolts through the sissy bar mounting holes and then through the fender holes
  5. Tight all four fender strut bolts

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