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  1. #1
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    Default Ape Hangers - why?

    I'm in need of some schooling. I cannot fathom how it could be comfortable, let alone feel like I'd be in control of the bike, to ride with my hands stretched out so far above my head! Seriously, I'm curious! What's the appeal of ape hangers?? Is it the visual appeal or is there some physical advantage?


  2. #2
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    Some people like it. No, there is no physical advantage, just everyones personal opinon on what looks good or comfortable on their bike

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    98% of the time apes ruin the nice lines of a great looking bike.....

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    Not to mention, the blood flows out of your hands and arms and they go numb.

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    Pic was chosen for being extra retarded and the owner is obviously attention-whoring, but apes properly chosen don't drain the riders arms and can be quite comfortable. Choppers are folk art and most mods are ANTI-functional in order to demonstrate "artistic disdain" for function in passionate pursuit of an ideal artistic form which is then rationalized to pretend mods don't really affect comfort or handling. That's perfectly fine but nothing different should be pretended because doing so is self-deception.

    I find them better for my back and have run 14"/2" risers since the 1980s (I'm 6'2"). I taught hundreds of Airmen in USAF MSF courses and apes (unlike pullbacks) do not interfere with even the most aggressive countersteering demonstrations including slamming my FXR from peg mount to peg mount on the concrete training area.

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    it is really comfortable I'm 6' 250lbs it allows me to keeps my back straight and my bars don't go over my head so my arms don't get tired, i have rode stock bikes with stock bar and drag bars and buck horns and rabbit ears and either they are too small and hurt my back after ten mins. or the are too close together and hurt my shoulders and hands. and some smaller width ape hanger will do the same thing. yeah some go too far but I tell people if you keep the height of the bars below your head and above you shoulders they feel great.

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    Won't ride without em's, all my bikes have them (even the ol T glide). Personal choice, and it's about comfort and ergo alone

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by markwade74; 3 Weeks Ago at 9:55 AM.

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    Some folks ask "why"..

    Some folks say "why not!"..

    There has neve been a shortage of people describing the various reasons that choppers are not practical, or safe, or logical..

    Custom bike - individual choice - build it - ride it..

    If you have to ask I can't explain..

    If you understand no need to ask..

    ..

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    Okay - got it. Could be one or both - artistic expression and/or comfort. Tanks. School's out.

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    Alsooooo, for me when properly set up with the right seat it makes me feel more "in" the bike instead of on top of it (sportsters) which gives me more confidence (Not cockiness).

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    Apes are pretty darn comfy at the right height for particular rider. It's not just the height, but the right pullback too. I used to be into cafe racers. That was uncomfortable. I've done the rabbit ear pullback which can be fun with a pack strapped to a sissy Bar to lean into, without a backrest it's an abdominal workout. I like a set of apes that keep your hands about shoulder level or a bit higher. One thing i can't stand seeing is forward controls and low drag bars. Looks like the rider is a folded up lawn chair heading down the road!

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    The photo in the original post is a joke, probably made by somebody like me to mock others.

    While there are plenty of extreme hangers that are pretty tarded, most folks run reasonable ones that work out great. As long as your arms are at a natural bend, they can be pretty relaxing.

    Like anything, there's a point of excess

  13. #13
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    Comfort. Keeping my arms at shoulder height and back straight is the most comfortable riding position for me.

    All my bikes get 14" apes with 2" risers.

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    A trick I used on my FXR so I can push or pick up the bike with the handlebars is to use stainless bars (chrome pits, fuck chrome) with stainless Biltwell risers and tack weld the inside bottom riser to the bars after setting the angle where I like them. It's worked great for years but is reasonably likely to yield in a crash and if I ever bend the bars I can unbolt the top clamps and twist off the tacks, hit the tack zone with a flap disc and re-tack.
    Welded risers are great if the angle works out of the box or they're custom.
    Stock clamps always loosened and pinning them can be a stress raiser and weaken the bar or the clamp as the holes wallow.
    Another way is to clamp the bars at the correct angle, unbolt the risers, then weld a small tab fore and aft on the bar in the center between the risers so the cap prevents rotation. Works great with chromed steel bars but I quit those and everything I redo gets stainless.

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    Its situational. Depends on how its done and many other factors covered in other replies. When mocking up a bike thats a custom it might or might not have the right look as well as does it work for the rider? I have seen bikes that the owner loved the layout but was unrideable for me.

    A few tangents since the basics were covered. (Anyone reading this might or might not know these or find interesting)

    In interviews with bike pioneers, back in the 50s-60s they lamented there was no such aftermarket support for chopper, bobber or customs like what we have today. There was very limited custom stuff, and funny that the JC Whitney of the day like Bates, Buco, Wassell & others that people trashed or threw away today can fetch premium beer slips ($$$$) Period bling and accys or styling bits are hot commodities now. I read that early custom bars were built from period art-deco furniture such as chromed kitchen chairs and tables. People got creative to make some of this stuff.

    Here in Oregon and many other states, laws were passed on custom stuff, In Europe same deal, for example in Germany everything has to pass or certify TÜV Rheinland . https://blog.1000bulbs.com/home/what...-certification
    A TUV certification means a sampling of the product has been tested for safety and found to meet the minimum requirements of the German Equipment and Product Safety Act. If you’ve ever looked for outdoor lighting, you’ve probably looked for a UL wet location safety rating. Similar to the UL acronym for Underwriters Laboratories, TUV stands for Technischer Überwachungsverein (or Technical Inspection Association in English). GS is an acronym for Geprüfte Sicherheit (meaning “tested for safety” or “certified for safety”). Also like UL testing, TUV/GS is a voluntary certification.

    In other words, Not a lot of chopper or custom parts bother or can afford to be certified as TÜV, (it started in early 1900s when a Boiler blew up) But TÜV is frequently used on cars and motorcycles to prevent modification. When I lived in Europe my 1963 Nova SS was NOT legal in Germany or many other countries. Some of the most restrictive rules around. But in the US chopper laws, some were about safety, some just used as discrimination. Slugs are an example, lengthening your forks with a threaded insert (Slug) is stupid and dangerous. (Nanny state protecting you from yourself)

    However, some repeated the same myths here, but Apehangers were largely banned in many states to discriminate based on an attempt to prevent choppers altogether. Here in Oregon we had a great Bikers rights/Civil rights lawyer Spencer "Spike" Neal, a
    actually little guy with a huge impact on civil rights here in Oregon who kicked the crap out of the govt for many years.

    He sued various govt agencies many times for discrimination (* In Washington state it is a civil rights violation to discriminate based on mode of transportation and manner of dress, IE: Refusing to serve biker scum at a restaurant or hotel is against the law)

    So Spike got several laws overturned. For example Police cant issue tickets based on Beanie helmets as they lack the engineering expertise to determine safety, Nor can they determine as a bike rides past at 55 mph if it conforms to SNELL safety ratings. Should Oregon law enforcement wish to commission as scientific study on safety of such helmets, THEN they could in fact based on that pursue helmet law infractions, But they have chosen not to, so therefore all tickets and show cause/Probable cause to initiate a traffic stop based on such is now illegal.

    So Ape Hangers? Again with safety and engineering. No such studies exist or have been shown to be valid and scientifically acceptable so therefore any traffic stop or tickets based on heights of handlebars are null & void. (Taken to the Oregon supreme court, thank you Spike, BikePac, & ABATE)

    So a funny story told to me by Scotty. Scotty rented to a patch club local nicknamed "Slow Jim" Which in my view is a genius nickname, a play on being slow and Sloe Gin.

    So Scotty and Slow Jim are out for a putt on their scoots one day and get pulled over by a young man from the Portland Police. Basis of the stop was SJs apehangers which at the time were above the height allowed. At that time nothing over shoulder height was permissible.
    SJs apehangers were way above!
    So SJ does a innocent "Whats da problem Ossifer?" Routine being as non threatening as possible.
    When informed that the basis of the stop was the Apes, He says... (I love this part)
    "Honest Ossifer! When I built this bike the bars were legal, I used to be a lot taller!"

    Deputy Do-Right is not impressed and not buying the story until SJ says "let me show you!" and then leans over and pulls up his pant leg on his bum leg. As the pants material comes up it clearly shows he has a prosthetic leg (Amputee).
    He says "I used to be over 6ft!"

    The officer is so flummoxed and dumbfounded his mouth hangs open and finally tells them "You can go!" (No tickets).
    Scotty told me it was hard not to fall off his bike trying to stop laughing and crying.

  16. #16
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    @Dougtheinternetannoyance123 ROFL!

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    That was an epic post Doug, thanks for sharing

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  19. #19
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    "You can go"

    LOL!!

  20. #20

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    New here, but an old timer told me apes were made By city riders so hands were above car mirrors and door handles. Better when going between cars and you got to keep your hands. No idea how true but, was cool story.

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