How To Measure Motorcycle Handlebars? Diameter & Width

black motorcycle

Customizing a motorcycle is one of the most important aspects of riding a bike.  You can do a few things to make your bike reflect your personality. This includes changing the bike’s color, adding accessories, and changing the look of the bike. While this is a long list, one of the most important is replacing the handlebars for a perfect fit, great experience, and comfortable ride. 

Measuring the handlebar

If you’re thinking about replacing your motorcycle handlebars, you need to learn how to measure them.

It’s pretty simple, actually. Motorcycle riders are familiar with the diameter, where most handlebars are either 1 inch or 7/8 inches. Bikes like the Harley-Davidson typically have one-inch bars. At the same time, brands like Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki feature thinner 7/8″ bars. 

Then, you need to consider the measurement of the riser spacing. Riser spacing is the area between the handlebar clamps. You will find this easy because they are the textured areas on the bars. 

Other handlebar measures will include the following:

  • Total width: the distance from end to end. 
  • Pullback: the distance from the mount of the grip end. 
  • Total Rise: the pinnacle of the handlebars
  • End Rise: the height of the grip
  • Center Width: the distance where the bar starts to bend

When choosing the right handlebar for your motorcycle, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. 

What is the correct diameter? 

Most motorcycles use a diameter of 7/8 inches. This became the standard after 1990. However, you will find motorcycles with thicker handlebars, such as the 1 1/4 inch. Remember that these handlebar types have a 1″ clamping area, which allows them to be accommodated by 1″ risers. The extra 1/4 thickness extends outside the clamping area up to the grip. 

Measuring the diameter of a handlebar can be done visually. If you put them on top of each other or side by side, you can tell which one is the 1 inch or the 1 1/4 inches. However, if you want to be accurate, you can use a tape measure or a caliper. 

What is the correct width? 

The guideline here is simple: match your shoulders to ensure that the ride will be comfortable. Also, the handlebar width varies for each motorcycle model. For example, a vintage motorcycle or cruiser will have a wider handlebar than a slender chopper designed for lane splitting. 

Measuring the width is pretty easy. Measure the handlebar end to end by using a tape measure. The standard is 34 1/2 inches. 

Measuring The Rise

Here you will have two options: do you want to look cool, or do you enjoy an easy-to-handle ride? You can determine how high your handlebars rise by looking at how far they are from where your hands rest. The best way to measure the Rise is to put it on a flat surface against the wall and measure it from the bottom up. The standard is 6 1/4 inches. 

Measuring the Center width

The center width is the measurement at the bottom of the bar where it clamps into the riser, right before the bend starts. This measurement is critical because some bike models wrapped in fairings can only accommodate a center bar width. 

Measuring the Pullback

Finally, when measuring the pullback, think about a straight line across the front of the handlebars, then measure from that line to the tip of the handlebar; you have the pullback. If you are short in stature, this measurement is critical if you want a comfortable ride. 

Similar to the handlebar rise, measuring the pullback is also easy. Place the handlebar on a flat surface against the wall and measure it from end to end. 

Handlebar terms you need to know

  • Throttle-by-wire: this refers to the throttle operation on certain Harley-Davidson motorcycles. There are holes cut into the side of the handlebar that holds the sleeve so that the wires can go through. If your bike has throttle by wire, you have to find a similar handlebar to accommodate this tech. 
  • Knurled Bars: This refers to creating handlebars on a lathe by rolling a pattern of straight, angled, or crossed lines into the material. This makes the handlebars not slip when they are clamped.
  • Dimpled Handlebars: This is a process where a dimple is pressed into the handlebar near the grip area. The dimple helps route the control wiring under the clamp for the brake caliper or clamp for the clutch lever. 
  • Drilled Handlebars: As the term suggests, they have drilled holes on them so you can install wiring inside the handlebar, making it look clean and neat. 

Excellent Handlebars for Maintaining Control

The dirt bike is one of the coolest vehicles ever invented. It allows its rider to go really fast, fly through obstacles, and jump around in the air. The rider must make sure the bike does not flip over.

A drag bar is a particular handlebar designed specifically for off-road racing or riding. This handlebar style gives riders more control and stability over the bike in challenging terrain.

Tracker bars are highly similar to the handlebars you would find on a dirt bike. They’re designed to give you a more comfortable grip and control when using your brakes or other steering components.

A Dragbar (or Tracker Bar) is a smart choice if you want the ultimate motorcycle control. They offer excellent control over your motorcycle in every situation.

Tracker-style bars are ideal for racing. They give you a tight grip on the handlebars for optimal control.

Handlebars for a Badass Appearance

The most popular handlebar design for bikes is the Ape Hanger. These handlebars offer a relaxed look but less control. Some people will argue about this, but I’ve never seen a dirt bike race winner running ape hangers.

A bike’s handlebars are adjustable. The most critical consideration is how high they are relative to the seat and stem.

The most popular style of handlebars for a road bike is the Ape Hangers. These handlebars offer a low center of gravity for better handling. Ape Hanger handlebars are available in a wide range of widths. A 28″ to 30″ wide Ape Hanger handlebar is typical. The Ape Hanger handlebars are trendy for both road and dirt bikes, and they offer a more aggressive look and a comfortable feel.

Mini Ape 9″ Mini Apes are also quite similar to the form known as “Buck Horn” by Lowbrow Customs. This new model of Lowbrow Customs is an excellent pullback with a classic look.


Handlebars are a vital part of your motorcycle. You need to make sure that the handlebars you choose are right for you and your bike.

There are several different styles of handlebars, and there are a lot of factors to consider when selecting your handlebars.

Naturally, you want to choose the style of handlebars that best suits your style and your riding style.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you found this article useful.