When it comes to customizing bikes, I like to give special consideration to the motorcycle handlebars. The handlebar dimensions can really dictate how you ride, with narrower ones offering a lot more control. But if you’re looking to cruise along, then you want to get yourself some wider handles.
But regardless of what you prefer, you need to get the right measurements so you can have a good time riding on the open road. And in this piece here, I’m going to go over how you can measure motorcycle handlebars and some tips that you should keep in mind when adjusting. So, here is how to measure center width on motorcycle handlebars.
Motorcycle handlebars center width: what is it?
Simply put, the center width refers to the distance between the handgrips of your motorcycle. Its important that you measure this distance accurately, since it can affect how effectively you can control your bike. If the center width is too wide, then turning the bike with new handlebars gets a lot harder. But if you decide to get handlebars that are too narrow, it’ll be hard trying to ride your bike in a straight line.
Luckily, measuring your motorcycle handlebars center width is a lot easier when you use a tape measure. You can start by measuring from your left grip’s center to the proper grip’s center, and then add 1 inch. This new total width is the center width of your handlebar.
If you’re looking for something that specifically caters to your personal needs, you should also consult with a professional or go through the handbook that came with your bike.
How you can measure center width on motorcycle handlebars
The width of your motorcycle handlebars plays an integral role in allowing you to control your bike. If the handlebars are too wide or not wide enough, you’ll have a hard time controlling your bike. One of the easiest ways that you can measure handlebars is by using a tape measure.
Start by placing the tape measure in the middle of the handlebar and extend it out to one of the ends. make sure your tape measure is straight, and then read off how long it is. You can do the same for the other end to get the total width of your handlebar. If you don’t have a tape measure on you, you could instead use ruler. Place the ruler in the middle of your handlebar and extend it out to the end of the handle. Make sure you keep the ruler straight to avoid getting any inaccurate measurements.
Tips and tricks to adjust the center width of your motorcycle handlebars
The first thing that you should know about motorcycle handlebars is that there’s no such thing as the perfect handlebars center width. The handlebars you choose will always come down to personal preference, so you should really experiment with different types of handlebar measurements to really get the best one for you. But even if there’s no such thing as a perfect handlebar measurement, there are a few tips that can help you choose the right one for you.
The first thing that you should consider when adjusting the width of your motorcycle handlebars is the type of riding that you usually do. For instance, if you’re going off-road, you might need the wider handles to help you keep better control of your ride. Wider handlebars also offer better stability than their narrower counterparts. But if you’re often riding through tight traffic or narrow alleyways, then those wide motorcycle handlebars can put you at a disadvantage.
In these tighter spaces, having narrower handles can offer you a lot more control, even if it does make the bike a little more difficult to balance. Narrow handlebars take away a lot of the stability that you get with its wider counterparts, which is why riders need to be more careful.
Motorcycle seat height
The next factor that you should consider is the height of your motorcycle’s seat. More specifically, taller riders will usually find narrow handlebars too uncomfortable to ride with.
In contrast, they would prefer to use a motorcycle with wider handlebars, since it fits their longer arms. On the other hand, shorter riders would prefer something narrower to stock bars.
It is easy to adjust the overall width of a motorcycle handlebar when you actually start modifying it, so you should be able to find the right one for you.
Remember, all the measurements come down to how much control you want with you bike, which you can determine with the right width of your handlebars.
If you have made the adjustments according to your height and riding style but still have issues riding, you might want to look at the riser spacing too. I’ll talk about risers and bars clamp installation in a different blog.
Types of motorcycle and their unique handlebar widths (drag bars)
You can find plenty of motorcycles in the market, each with its unique perks. And one of the major factor that differentiates each motorcycle is the handlebar width. You have the z bars with pointy corners and beach bars with no pointy corners at all.
All these bikes will usually have different curves to their handles too, which affects its overall width. Handlebars on a cruiser motorcycle, for instance, are a lot wider than its sports counterpart. The overall width of a motorcycle handlebar of a cruiser is wider since its designed for a comfortable ride. On the other hand, sports bikes will have narrower handlebars since they focus more on agility and speed.
So if you have a cruiser, you need to consider the basic measurements from the center of the handlebar along with the distance between the rider’s legs. As for the sports bike, for these motorcycles, you will have to measure the distance between the drag bars and the footpegs. Most motorcycle riders struggle with getting these measurements, so you don’t have to worry too much with your handlebar and its width.
How do you measure center width on a motorcycle handlebar?
The easiest way to measure the bar diameter for your motorcycle is by using a measuring tape. start from the center of your handlebars and extend it out to one of the ends. For an accurate measurement, make sure you keep your handlebars straight along with your measuring tape.