Ape hangers, given their name because of the amplified height of the handlebars that riders have to overextend to hold (just as apes hang from a tree), help riders with a more upright posture since they don’t have to hunch over normal handlebars.
The correct-sized ape hangers are even more comfortable for riders while adding another element of style to your bike. So, it’s no surprise that they are a frequent addition for a biker, and, like everything with motorcycles, there are some things to consider when looking to purchase. Plus, it can be difficult to find the perfect one for you and your bike, especially with all of the different sizes, varying prices, and unique styles. Gear Sustain has researched and outlined the four best ape hangers for the Harley-Davidson Road Glide. All of these products are also proudly made in the USA.
Conditions To Consider
Quality. Great ape hangers will use quality material that will last for plenty of time while enduring all the normal wear that a bike encounters, including rust or corrosion. Check what kind of material the brand you’re considering is using. If it isn’t an excellent metal like iron or steel, then it may not be as effective as you’d like.
Price. The average price of ape hangers sits at about $250. But there’s quite the range of price between some of the best brands, anywhere from $120 to over $400. Consider what kind of quality and brand you want when determining an affordable and appropriate price for you.
Size. This is a big factor to consider, because ape hangers are supposed to make your ride more comfortable. Common heights vary between 11 to 18 inches; these provide a smooth ride with more control, whereas larger than 20 inches can make it a little more difficult to traverse.
Install. If you’re looking to install your ape hangers yourself, be warned it can lead to frustration if the handlebars aren’t properly wired or drilled from the start. Double check what tools are required for assembly and that the instructions will outline exactly the best process. You’ll notice that even the best ape hangers can still have some difficult installation. So, this aspect of ape hangers can be properly solved by having an experienced friend or mechanic offer advice or even some brief help.
1. 13” 2015-2021 Road Glide Road 6 Customs Standard
This product is great, because I think it has the best ROI (return on investment). Unlike many of the other ape hangers that are overly expensive, the Road 6’s have a great price and some even better qualities to it.
Road 6 Customs even offers tutorials on how to install their handlebars to the Road Glide. And they say that the 11 and 13 inch bars can be installed in under two hours and have no additional parts needed. The stock brake line, clutch cable, and all the wires are long enough for the 13” ape hangers.
The handlebar looks good while providing a comfortable ride. Anything greater than this height could be a little more awkward, and it would require additional wiring and effort to assemble. This is also a fan favorite since it is compatible with Road Glides since 2015 and has a clean-looking finish with quality materials that are sure to last.
The reviews also rave about the Road 6’s, giving them 4.8 out of 5 stars. Users complimented this brand for its comfort, value for the price (as mentioned), and ease of installation.
2. XKMT- Harley H-D Ape Hanger Bars
Another ape hanger for a great price, the XKMT’s enhance the bike’s attractive look with its steel construction and common 16” size. Yet, XKMT offers different sizes, so you can customize your motorcycle a little more with something you love. The slotted pinhole allows you to adjust the handlebar a little more forward or backward, providing you with the most optimal ride.
As a warning, these ape hangers can be a little more difficult to install, considering its length which makes it tough to pull cables out of the bars.
This ape hanger is easy to operate and made from high-class materials, so you won’t have to worry about its performance.
3. Dominator Industries 12” Meathook Ape Hangers
A unique handlebar, you’ll notice meathooks quickly by their U-shape. And Dominator prides itself on its quality. That’s why Dominator brands themselves as “a name you can trust.” The meathook is laser cut, fully TIG welded, and polished to show quality finish.
The ape hanger can fit easily onto glides from 1996, but unfortunately stops in 2018, in case you have a new bike. With natural grip angles, the meathooks slide into your hands and provide an unbeatable comfortability to your ride.
Users love their meathooks, giving them a 4.3 out of 5 with the biggest downside being the east of installation. Certain steps can be difficult, such as feeding the wires. This requires patience and precision to navigate.
4. Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation 14” Ape Hangers
With other brands at a more affordable cost, I can find it hard to justify overspending. But the Paul Yaffe’s sure have quality and comfort to them. These handlebars are hand-crafted to fit touring models, including your Road Glide, and have pre-drilled diameter bars for painless internal wiring.
Plus, you can have some elements of customization to your ride. You can choose either a black or chrome finish and sizes between 10 to 16 inches. This ape hanger is made with quality, so it’s durable and resistant to whatever comes in its way.
When you’re looking to make your motorcycle more comfortable and attractive, you can’t go wrong by adding ape hangers. But just make sure you don’t go wrong by choosing the wrong one for your bike and style. It could cost you money, frustration in installation, and regret from a better-looking brand.