What To Consider When Choosing Ape Hangers For A Sportster

Sportsters are a very popular bike, and as with most Harley Davidsons bikes, the first thing that most owners do is start to customize. One of the first stock parts to go is usually the handlebars, with new ape hangers for a Sportster an essential purchase that many owners will make.

While there are a lot of reasons to choose ape hangers for a Sportster, it is really the comfort and control that these handlebars offer that makes them ideal. Many people see ape hangers as the extreme heights of 18 plus inches, but there are mini apes and heights that run from eight to eighteen inches that will be comfortable for any rider.

There are several considerations when choosing any style of handlebar. Know what you want before you start looking and stay with a manufacture of the custom bars with a good reputation for quality components.

Diameter and Height

Most ape hangers for a Sportster are going to be an inch and a half in diameter. This is a look that balances with the bike and provides a solid looking handlebar.

The height will really depend on your comfort level. It is a good idea to try different heights if you can to see which ones feel comfortable. Some people experience numbness or pain in the arms and shoulders with the higher bars, so if you haven’t used them before, try to get a feel for how your body reacts to the arms being elevated.


Different types of ape hangers will have different looks and styles. Some will have more of a pullback on the handle while others will arch outward more or less. All of these different factors contribute to how the bars “feel” based on your height, riding style, and comfort level.

Talk to any company you are considering and understand the customer order process. This is not the same as buying a kit off the shelf so know what you want before you finalize your order.

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