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What are the Pros & Cons of Riser Handlebars for Motorcycles

What are the Pros & Cons of Riser Handlebars for Motorcycles

1. What are Riser Handlebars?

What are Riser Handlebars?

Motorcycle handlebars are the only means of steering a two-wheeler, helping riders keep their balance, and improving posture and comfort when traveling. Though most motorcyclists prefer sticking with the pre-installed stock handlebars, they may not be suited to handle certain road and weather conditions. Depending on the types of handlebars you choose, your vehicle’s performance, features, and capabilities may change. A popular set of motorcycle handlebars you may want to consider getting are riser handlebars.

Riser handlebars are built from nearly perfect straight steel rods with slight bends at the base of the grips. Riser handlebars share a similar design as flat handlebars, except their handles, are bent upward and have a higher rise height from the center clamp to the top. This higher handlebar position makes this equipment best suited for average and taller riders. Riser handlebars can also be mounted on most Harley Davidson, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Victory, Indian, and Triumph models. Depending on how you look at riser handlebars, they may have more advantages or disadvantages.

2. Pros of Riser Handlebars

Riser handlebars offer a comfortable neutral riding position that helps reduce the weight exerted on your back. It is possible to adjust the height of these handlebars to bring the grips closer to you. Lowering your riser handlebars will make them better suited to handle off-road terrain. This will also make it easier to reach the handles, putting less stress on your hands, and wrists.

Due to the wide center width between the bends, riser handlebars provide more leverage and control, thus making it easier to turn corners with only slight prompting. You can also reposition your hands and wrists along the length of the handles to prevent cramping. Riser handlebars also have versatility as they ensure smooth handling on paved and uneven roads.

Comfortable neutral riding position 
Reduces weight & stress on the back, hands, & wrists
Better leverage & control
Can quickly turn with only slight prompting
Multiple hand & wrist positions
Can handle on- & off-roading

3. Cons of Riser Handlebars

Due to their long width, riser handlebars weigh much more than standard flat handlebars, making them difficult to mount and turn completely towards either direction. Also, while the neutral riding position ensures better back posture, this means that your body creates a larger surface area that increases air drag and poorer aerodynamics. Also, less weight is placed on the motorcycle’s front end, which increases the risk of the front wheel slipping or lifting off the ground when traveling uphill.

Heavier overall weight
Uneven weight distribution 
Poor aerodynamics
Difficulty traveling uphill

4. Ways to Modify Riser Handlebars

If you wish to improve your riser handlebars’ features and capabilities, you can dismantle and refit parts of the handlebars to increase their rise, pullback, and other dimensions. Keep in mind that almost all riser handlebars come as a single piece of equipment, requiring you to cut, bend, and weld the steel bars back into shape. This form of customization is recommended only for individuals experienced with power tools, electrical equipment, and welders/blow torches.

If you do not want to take your handlebars apart, you can mount aftermarket parts and accessories onto the steel rods, including handlebar bags, a phone mount, a GPS, etc. If they are compatible with riser handlebars, you can also install wiring, controls, levers, and other equipment that connect to the motorcycle’s primary functions.

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