Ape hanger handlebars have always and continue to elicit mixed reactions. Some riders detest them and others love them. If you fall in the latter group of riders, here is a list of 7 of the best ape hangers for your Road King.
I have been debating about whether or not I should swap my regular motorcycle handlebars for ape hangers. Now that I have decided to go ahead and do it, I am looking for a suitable set which matches my body frame and will last at least a couple of years.
Taking my bike to the shop for the installation will be quite expensive and time consuming. I am looking for a set which I can install myself without professional help.
I recommend the Dominator Industries product because it comes pre-wired.
7 Best Ape Hangers for Road King – A Comparison Table
|Ape Hanger Brand||Height / Rise ( inches)||Width (inches)||Diameter ( inches)||Check on Amazon
|HTTMT HB02 Chrome Ape Hangers||12||34 ½||1 ¼ tapers to 1||Check Price|
|XMFT Custom Ape Hangers||14||34 ½||1 ¼ tapers to 1||
|Khrome Werks Ape Hangers||12||34||1||Check Price|
|TCMT Chrome Ape Hangers||12||37||1 ¼ tapers to 1||Check Price|
|Emgo Street Ape Hangers||12||32||1||Check Price|
|Mototeks Ape Hangers||12||35||1 ½||Check Price|
|Paul Yaffe Original Ape Hangers||10||35||1||Check Price|
HTTMT HB02 Chrome Ape Hangers
The HTTMT HB02 are aftermarket ape hangers made from iron, therefore making them a strong yet lightweight option for your Harley. This set is made with pre-drilled wiring holes so you can install it yourself without the need for much technical expertise.
With 12 inches rise and 34½ inch width, you can enjoy your rides comfortably while the chrome color adds a sleek look to the entire bike. Diameter of the handlebars starts at 1¼ inches and then tapers to 1 inch at the tips of the bars.
This is a US made model so you are assured it has undergone rigorous checks for quality and safety by the time you get your hands on it. It weighs only 5.25 pounds. With this weight it is easy to transport it if you have to go to a store to buy it. If you buy online, shipping weight is not much of a challenge.
In terms of compatibility, you can fit these ape hangers on the Harley-Davidson FXST, FLST, Sportster XL as well as any custom application.
- Easy to install
- Strong, durable
- Quality not as god as steel
XFMT Custom Ape Hangers
These are strong but light ape hangers because they are made from iron. They are an aftermarket option which comes 100% brand new. Installation is easy because they come drilled with holes for the required cabling.
You can get XFMT ape hangers in a variety of heights ranging from 12 inches to 18 inches. This set, with a 14 inch rise is considered best for riders of average height. Its width measures 34½ inches from tip to tip and the bars’ diameter tapers from 1¼ inch at the center to 1 inch at the tips. This allows standard handlebar controls to fit without any alterations.
Assuming that your Harley is black, these handlebars will blend in well with the rest of the bike’s body, thus making them ideal for users who prefer a low profile overall look.
- Easy to install
- Tapering handlebar diameter
- Dark low profile color
Khrome Werks Ape Hangers
These ape hanger handlebars from Khrome Werks are made using 14 gauge steel tubing. You can get them as an OEM or as a custom bend. They weigh a little over 3.5 pounds so carrying them before installation is easy. Installation is made easy by pre-drilled holes for internal wiring although you will likely need extended control cables.
Rise on these handlebars measures 12 inches while total width from tip to tip measures 34 inches. The tubing’s diameter measures 1 inch.
You don’t have to deal with pinching wires as the bars are dimpled and also have diamond knurling for increased friction to prevent slipping.
This set can be used on Harley-Davidson models released between 1982 and 2012 with the exception of those with electronic throttle control.
- Strong steel tubing
- Drilled for wiring
- Knurled to prevent slipping
- Requires extended control cabling
- Not for electronic throttle control models
TCMT Chrome Ape Hangers
These ape hanger handlebars have a shiny chrome finish which makes them stand out more than black ones would. They are made from iron which is a strong, durable metal but doesn’t quite match up to steel.
You can get them as an aftermarket option with a height of 12 inches and an 11-inch backward sweep. They are 37 inches wide with on-center knurling. This 3½ inches of knurling help to increase friction when you grip the handlebars especially when mounting.
Clamping width starts at 1¼ inches near the center then tapers to 1 inch to allow you fit standard handlebar controls.
These ape hangers can be used on Harley-Davidson touring models, baggers, Dressers, FLHT and FLHTC from 1982 to present models.
- Wide compatibility
- Knurled handlebars
- Shiny chrome finishing
- Chrome finish prone to scratches
Emgo Street Ape Hangers
These handlebars from Emgo are available with a shiny chrome finish or a smooth black one. They are made from high-strength carbon steel and have thick wall tubing. You would have to try hard to damage these. Considering their strength and durability, you will probably find their 3.7 pound weight a small weight to carry before installation and a negligible addition to the overall weight of your bike.
Rise measures 12 inches and width from one tip to another measures 32 inches. Handlebar tubing on either side has a diameter of 1 inch making it compatible with standard handlebar controls.
Two downsides to keep in mind with these ape hangers is that they are not pre-drilled for cabling. Secondly, there is no knurling on the riser clamping area. You need to take additional measures to prevent slipping, such as riding gloves.
- Strong and durable material
- Tubing compatible with standard controls
- No knurling
Mototeks Ape Hangers
Mototeks Ape hangers are the kind of fat handlebars which give your Road King a tough, beefy look. They are 1½ inches thick in diameter and have a smooth shiny exterior which is available in either a black powder coating or triple chrome plating.
You can get these ape hangers in varying heights starting from 12 inches. Other options are 14 inches, 16 inches and 18 inches.
Installation is relatively easy. If you have a basic understanding of motorcycle mechanics, you can install your new Mototeks ape hangers yourself. However, if your cabling is not long enough, you will need professional assistance to extend the cables to the height of the bars. On-center knurling allows for firm mounting of controls
Mototeks ape hangers give you the advantage of relatively wide compatibility. You can use them on Road Kings, Road Glides, Strat Glides and other models. Notched ends are useful if you choose throttle-by-wire applications.
There are more than a few complaints about scratches on the handlebars’ body which raises questions of durability of these ape hangers.
- Notches on ends for throttle-by-wire applications
- Thick diameter for aggressive custom look
- Varying height and color options
- Easy to install
- Durability questions
Paul Yaffe Original Ape Hangers
Paul Yaffe original ape hangers are made by bending a single steel tubing thus eliminating weak points created by joints.
Once the tubing is shaped as desired, it is then treated in a chrome bath or gloss black powder coat. These are the color options you get on the finished product.
Installation can be done without professional expertise. Dimples and on-center knurling makes mounting controls easier and its lightweight means anyone can lift it into place. Pre-drilling is done at the point of manufacture so you can do the cabling yourself.
Like many other ape hanger models, these are available in different heights. You can get these in 10, 12, 14 and 15 inch rise options. The bars are 35 inches wide which makes them wider than average and suitable for tall riders.
You can use these handlebars on Road King, Electra Glide, Street Glide and other Harley Davidson models.
- Available in multiple heights and colors
- Comes pre-drilled for easy installation
- Strong and durable -single steel tube
- Too wide for short riders
What to Consider When Buying the Best Ape Hangers for Road King
Motorcycle handlebars are made of tubing made from a variety of metals. Typical metals are aluminum alloys and chrome plated steel. Higher end ones are made from carbon fiber or titanium.
These all come with merits and demerits such as durability, weight, aesthetic appearance and of course cost. Go through a set’s construction and build specifications before settling on a set.
The height of you ape hangers directly impacts on comfort which is essential especially for long rides.
How should the height for an ape hanger be determined?
Consider these 3 important points: the handlebars, your body’s point of contact with the seat and the foot pegs. This is referred to as the rider’s triangle.
Your foot peg and seat position are constant. Now you need to practically sit on your bike and hold your arms in a riding position at a height you feel is comfortable. Then measure the distance between one hand and the riser. With this measurement, you can determine the ape hanger height you need.
Assume you are watching a football game at an outdoor field surrounded by a chain-link fence. How high do you place your hands on the fence? Probably at shoulder height. That is likely the most comfortable height for your ape hangers.
Finding the appropriate height for your riding is essential. If it is too high, your heart struggles to pump blood upwards to your arms so they are likely to get cold and numb. That is in addition to back, shoulder and neck pains.
This is the length between one grip and the other. Riders generally feel more comfortable with their hands spread wider than their shoulder width.
There is no industry standard so different manufacturers offer different widths. The point is to find moderately wide ape hangers. If they are too wide, cornering and maneuvering at low speeds may be a challenge.
Length of Free Cable
Handlebars are the mounting point for controls such as the brake, clutch, throttle and horn. Light switches are also placed here. When you decide to swap your stock handlebars for ape hangers, make a point to measure the length of free cable. Without sufficient cable length, your controls cannot access the requisite power to work.
If you settle for high ape hanger handlebars, you will need cable extensions. This may not be too complicated if you are having your ape hangers installed at the shop by an expert. If you are planning on installing them yourself and lack the professional expertise to do the extra cabling, this may be a challenge.
Individual rider needs
Even with all these details in mind, there is always a place for consideration of the individual rider, especially in terms of height.
Ape hangers are generally a favorite for tall riders. If you are of above average height you will likely agree that ape hangers are more comfortable than regular motorcycle handlebars. A tall rider has longer arms. Any position which allows them to stretch them out is preferred.
Riders with back problems often prefer ape hangers. These encourage an upright back position. Where one would not mind or notice a forward and downward arch on lower handlebars, people with a history of back injury for instance will notice it and make an effort to avoid it.
If you are looking to add that tough, bobber aggressive look to your motorcycle, ape hangers are the way to go. The important detail to remember is that you have to go out of your way to ensure you buy the right size. Sizing mostly depends on the individual rider and their preferences.
As convenient as online purchases can be, this is one product for which you want to make your way to the store where you can try different ones and settle on a perfect fit.
Is it harder to ride with ape hangers than regular motorcycle handlebars?
If you don’t get a right fit, it will be harder to ride with ape hangers. If your hands are too close together it is difficult to control the bike.
How tall are mini ape hangers?
A set of ape hanger handlebars are considered mini if their height is 10 inches or less. These create a near upright position for the rider.