How to Measure Motorcycle Handlebars? – [Explained!]

How to Measure Motorcycle Handlebars

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Measuring your motorcycle handlebars is arguably one of the most problematic and intimidating tasks as a motorcycle owner. But if you want to change or adjust or do anything related to the handlebar, which more often than not you have to do, there is no way to avoid learning how to measure motorcycle handlebars.

Handlebars provide a unique character to your bike. So it is totally understandable if the built-in handlebars are not your cup of tea.  But before you think about changing or adjusting them to your liking, you must know about some technical issues regarding this process.

The process of measuring handlebars would have been easy, only if there wasn’t a vast collection of designs and variations. So let us begin with some must-know technical terms that will help you out with learning how to measure your handlebars.

Technical terms you must know

  • Center width: In every handlebar, you can notice a straight width In the middle. This is measured from the point that takes off with an angle to the same point on the other side. This is the base measurement you have to work with.
  • Rise of the handlebar: The rise of the handlebar is the measure of the height of the bars. It can very often fluctuate depending on the design.
  • Diameter: Diameter is the thickness of the handlebar you are working with. It usually varies from 22 mm up to 44 mm.
  • Pullback: It is the measure of distance from the grip to the location of mounting.

How to Measure Motorcycle Handlebars? – Step by Step Guide:

Categorization of handlebars

Handlebars are divided into various categories depending on their measurements and type of use. Knowing the types is a crucial part if you want to measure them. The most popular ones are,

  • Beach bars: Beach bars have a longer pullback length that provides a very relaxing control to the rider.
  • Clip-on handlebars: Clip-on handlebars at the most popular handlebars for sportbikes. It consists of two individual bars which are relatively short. Most of the clip-on handlebars are adjustable.
  • The Ape hanger: The ape hanger design is usually used on the chopper. They have a huge rise and the rider has to reach upwards to get a hold of the grips. As designers are designing extreme ape hanger handlebars with a very high rise for uniqueness, they are getting more and more dangerous. They can cause serious numbness if they are above the shoulder height of the rider, which can often cause accidents. So laws are created to set a maximum rise height.
  • Z bars: You can easily recognize z bars with their very unique 90° bend.

Determining the dimension of the handlebars

Now that you know about the type of handlebars, firstly take a piece of paper and pen. Then write down the name of the handlebar type you are using.

After that get some measuring tape, a marker, a strong flexible string, and a wooden scale or stick.

There are mainly three types of measurement you will have to take.

  1. Center Width.
  2. Pull back.

Measuring the rise

To measure the rise, put the stick on top of the handlebar. Tie the string to the middle of the stick and let it fall down. Make a mark with the marker with the point of the string where it touches the handlebar center. Make a mark on the other side of the string where it is tied to the stick.

Once the marking is done, untie the string and measure the distance between the marked points with a measuring stick. This measurement value will be the rise of your handlebar. Carefully write it down on the paper and move on to the next measurement.

Measuring the center width

Measuring the center width is the easiest task of the bunch. All you need to measure is the measuring tape. The center width part of the handlebar is the straight part in the middle of the bar.

Just take your measuring tape and start from the point where the curvature begins on one side. Then take it to the opposite side and end the measurement where the opposite handle curvature begins.

The measurement you get between these two points is the center width of your handlebar.

Measuring the pullback

This is the most complicated part of the measurement, so make sure to follow the steps precisely. First of all tie the stick to the end part of the grips on both sides. Depending on the design you are using, you will be able to see a gap between the center of the bar and stick if you look from above.

This value of this gap is the pullback value of your handlebar. You can now take the measuring tape and measure from the center handlebar point to the midpoint of the stick while maintaining a 90° angle.

The measurement you get from the tape is the pullback value of your handlebar.


Now that you know how to measure motorcycle handlebars, you can easily take the measurements yourself like a veteran bike rider and shop or adjust accordingly.

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