Best Riding Hack For Perfect Handling - Learn How To Increase Height Of Bike Handlebars

Riding enthusiasts know that the perfect motorcycle isn’t just about horsepower, torque, suspension and speed—if there is no feel-good factor when it comes to handling and comfort, it’s difficult to find that sweet spot for some serious mile munching. There are several modifications to improve ergonomics and riding pleasure besides engine customisations, such as wider seats, aftermarket footpegs or LED headlights, but there’s one component that riders always have their eyes on, or rather hands on – the handlebars. When cruising down a twisty road section, having the perfect grip can make all the difference.  Let’s take a close look at the art of how to increase height of bike handlebars, an advanced customisation technique that will give you a smoother ride and cat-like reflexes for superior control.

Understanding How To Increase Height Of Bike Handlebars

Handlebar height needs to be perfect for rider intuition while going into a corner, without blinking an eye or any hint of hesitation. Too much height and it’s a bother at high speeds, too low and you won’t get the right feedback to push your bike to its limit. There’s also the rumble of the engine vibrations beneath you that finds its way through the handlebars and tells you just when the rev limit is hitting, without looking down at the rpm metre. As you lean into that next curve, a handlebar at an awkward height will immediately tell you that something feels slightly off. Perhaps your arms are straining, or you would have to strain your back, clutch feel is not adequate or you find it hard to roll on and off the throttle through the gears. The bottom line is, the wrong handlebar height won’t make you feel as connected to the road as you should be.

Handlebar height can make the difference between a performance machine and a boring commuter. Aesthetics or technical specs are not a big deal here— there are Harley Davidson choppers and even some Royal Enfield custom builds with quite exaggerated handlebar heights mostly for style, sporting frills on the grips that fly in the wind at speed. Getting the right handlebar adjustment in terms of height and position is about forging a deeper connection between rider and his or her machine. While some may say it’s merely a personal preference, they obviously haven’t ridden 100’s of kilometres to reach their destination with an aching wrist and a bruised ego.  Finding the right handlebar height for your bike is a crucial element in the delicate dance of rider ergonomics, comfort and the all-important bike handling.

At the end of the day, you need a motorcycle that can keep up with your moves, because you will always be faster than the bike can react. As long as the machine can anticipate your next step, and complement your style in the process, you will always have a smile on your face. Your handlebars should be positioned in such a way that allows you to maintain a relaxed, natural posture when you are taking it easy and immediately respond when you need to guide your bike through twists and turns.

Another thing to keep in mind here is that handlebar height isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Every rider is built differently (think about bike seat and handlebar height, road conditions, rider height, arm length and seating position). So yes, it is a personal journey, and is highly influenced by various factors including rider height, bike type & riding style. For example, a higher handlebar would suit a tall rider on an adventure bike, but may not be ideal for a sports model. Some of the fastest bikes in the world can be equipped with handlebar risers for better speed and control. At the same time, a shorter rider may prefer a low handle bar on a street cruiser while a tall handlebar might offer better leverage and control on a dirt bike. You also have to take into account the width of the handle bar. Sometimes a wide handle bar will not benefit from a taller height because it takes away some of the precision and aggression to tackling hairpin bends at full throttle. The same handlebar height that works amazing at high speeds will feel cumbersome and heavy in city traffic. Handlebar risers are the perfect accessory to raise handlebar height to the desired setting and can be bought online for as little as Rs.1000. So, decide judicially and take your time to find the perfect adjustment with a shakedown (this refers to a test ride to make sure the settings of your bike are just right before final adjustment)

Remember, before you set off on your next road trip, take a moment to consider the bike handlebar height. Think of it more than just a piece of metal – it’s about the only line of communication you’ll have with the road. And by finding the perfect bike fit handlebar height that suits your personal riding style, body dimensions, preferences and bike model, you’ll unlock a whole new level of comfort, handling, ride control and of course some serious satisfaction with your power cruising skills.

What’s The Connection Between Bike Handlebar To Seat Height?

When customising your motorcycle, you can never take any one part in isolation and upgrade without considering the effect it will have on your bike’s overall performance. When it comes to achieving that holy grail of balance vs comfort vs control, grip on the bars in not everything. Ask any stunt rider how handlebar height allows them to wheelie without any effort (considering they need to stand on the foot pegs to get the necessary control), or talk to a road racer on a sports tourer about how they need to be hunched forward on lower handlebar height to get as much speed with the best possible handling. Road bike handlebar height relative to seat height is a factor you need to consider for everything to flow just right.

When the handlebar height and seat height are not integrating well, you will immediately notice something is off. Either your arms are reaching too far, or your back is hunched and you will just stop riding and park your bike in frustration. The wrong seat height can make or break a good bike.

That’s where the magic of bike seat handlebar height harmony comes into play. The relationship between handlebar height & seat position will help achieve the perfect alignment of man and machine. At that point, rides feel free and fluid. At the same time, you will maintain complete control over your bike’s every move.

The question is, how do you know if your handlebar height and seat position are in sync? In the end it comes down to fine balance. Ideally, your seat height should accommodate the riders’ hands on the handlebar and legs on the footpeg for a natural, relaxed posture, with no strain on your arms, shoulders & back. Again, if your seat height is adjustable (you can even purchase aftermarket seats or have them customised for proper seat height) then take a test run and see how the handlebar is functioning with the seat height. Start from a lower seat height and increase to find the right balance. It is true that stock bikes come with a researched and developed seat height to handlebar height ratio, however, this design has a universal appeal and is meant to accommodate a wide range of riders and riding styles. So, try the hands-on approach to get it right. Think of riding a bike like sitting on a really fast chair. If you are too laid back you won’t react fast enough and if you are sloping forward, you tire easily. But a level chair with your feet on the ground and hands in a comfortable position gives you the best of both worlds. That’s why most commuter bikes in India come with this neutral riding position.  

How To Install Handlebar Risers For The Perfect Handlebar Height?

Take a good look at your current handlebar height and size up the situation. Ask yourself if it is hitting the mark and if not, is there room for improvement? Use a measuring tape & gauge the distance between your handlebars and the motorcycle seat. Take the bike off the stand and position yourself on the seat. When the handlebar risers have been installed, it will add a few inches to the handle bar height for improved control, handling, comfort and ideal ergonomics.

Loosen Handlebar Clamps:  This step will require a standard tool set with wrenches, screwdrivers and spanners. Use the appropriate size tool to loosen the clamps and take off the handle bars. Now, secure your handlebars to the clamp with the help of the handlebar risers. Tighten the bolt and fastener to the right torque settings to make sure it is going to hold your handlebars in place. Avoid over tightening as this may strip the threads and damage the handlebar risers.

The handlebars are now sitting at the desired height, around 1-2 inches above stock. This will give you good comfort and excellent ergonomics on your rides. Balance will also improve. At this point, the handlebar position should align with the front wheel. Take care of throttle and clutch cables, brake lines and wiring. Double-check the alignment and stability of your handlebars before you take a test drive as it could lead to a safety issue if the handlebars are not secured properly.

It’s time to take a test ride and fine-tune the adjustments. The moment of truth —time to put your adjustments to a real-world test. Take your bike out for a spin and pay close attention to how it handles with the newly adjusted handlebar height using handlebar risers. You should feel at ease as you ride without any tightness in handling. If you do encounter discomfort or handling issues, it’s not a big deal at this point – there is room for fine tuning as handlebar risers are adjustable. Make any necessary adjustments to find the right handlebar height relative to your seat height. Once you find that perfect balance of comfort & control, you’ll surely be grinning ear to ear as you ride. The difference that handlebar risers make is apparent when you get up to speed and realise that your steering inputs are instant and responsive.

Some of the game-changing features of handlebar risers include construction with top-quality materials that are elegant, attractive and also durable. Obviously, they’ve been designed with rider comfort in mind, and provide improvements in manoeuvrability, stability and balance. Handlebar risers offer a simple yet effective solution for achieving the right handlebar height to manage all types of riding at all speeds.

Conclusion

After reading this, you should have unlocked the secrets to riding nirvana with the perfect handlebar height – finding the right balance between form and function. Although all bikes will benefit from an increased handlebar height, decide if it is best for you before you invest in this upgrade. The good part with handlebar risers is that you can always go to the stock setting at a later date if you wish, as it is not a permanent modification, rather a plug-n-play accessory.

We hope you learned a thing or two about handle bar height adjustments in this post. Check out the Carorbis blog for more informative articles, how-to’s, car and bike comparisons and the latest in automotive news. 

If you like road tripping on your trusty steed, you might like to read about the best way to increase your bike mileage. They are easy to follow and go a long way in saving you money at the petrol pump. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I adjust handlebar height on my road bike?

Ans. The best way to increase handlebar height is to use handlebar risers. They are a clamp on accessory that replaces the stock handlebar clamps, adding around 2 inches of height for better comfort, handling and balance.

Q2. What is the correct height for bike seat and handlebars?

Ans. It depends on the bike model. A cruiser or street bike has its seat much lower than the handle bar height for a relaxed position. A sports bike has a sloping riding posture where the handlebars are slightly lower than the seat height. In both cases, handlebar height can be adjusted to find the sweet spot for comfortable riding.

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