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Modifying your Harley begins with an ape hanger. Installing an elongated ape hanger to your Harley Road king not only makes the bike look cool but also can improve the riding experience.
But choosing the right ape hanger for your Harley Road King can be trickier than you think.
While an optimal handlebar gives a smooth riding experience, choosing the wrong one will always make it harder.
With the experience of riding a Harley Road King for more than three years, I am here to introduce you to the top six ape hangers you might want to check to get look and comfort at the same time.
If that is why you are here, let’s get started-
What are the sizes of different Harley Davidson Ape hangers?
Well, a Harley Davidson Ape Hanger can be anywhere between 10 inches to 20 inches, depending on the model you have. Here is a little chart that will show you the sizes of different Harley Davidson ape hangers-
Ape hanger size
2015 street Glide
Dyna Wide Glide/Touring Batwing Model
2017 street Glide
2016 Softail Slim
2018 Softail /2015 Road Glide
2019 Street Glide
What size of ape hanger is the perfect choice according to your height?
Choosing the right-sized ape hanger for your specific Harley is a kind of complicated process. Although most experts will agree that it is about making yourself comfortable with your intention, there are actually some standards you may follow to choose the right kind of ape hanger for your Harley-
Recommended ape hanger
5.6 feet and below
Mini ape hanger/ up to 12-inch rise
5.7 to 5.10
12-inch rise to 16-inch rise
5.11 feet to above 6 feet
14-inch rise to 20-inch rise
There is actually no recommended height and size chart you may follow to choose the right kind of ape hanger. Anything between 10-inch to 16-inch should suffice when your height is below 6 feet. You can choose between 14-inch to 20-inch if you are 6-feet or more.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT APE HANGER FOR YOUR HARLEY?
These are the six basic questions that will help you to choose the right Handlebar or ape hangers for your Harley-
- Which style of ape hanger do you want?
- What is the size of the Handlebar that you want?
- Where do you ride?
- What is your height?
- Does the ape hanger come for your specific Harley Model?
- How to install the ape hanger?
- Cornered off
- Meat hooks
WHICH STYLE OF APE HANGER DO YOU WANT?
Choosing the right handlebar for your preferred application depends on various factors.
While a conventional handlebar is pretty common for most street and tour bikes, things completely change when you are talking about a Harley Davidson.
Within two to three years, almost every Harley users tend to replace the Handlebar. It obviously gives you a cool feeling when you ride with a long ape hanger installed on your bike.
But make sure that you are not sacrificing your comfort to look cool with your Handlebar.
Here are some of the types of handlebars you will notice while choosing one for you-
Once you figure out which type you want, you can go down the line for checking other options.
WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE HANDLEBAR THAT YOU WANT?
The catalyst that comes into play to choose the right Handlebar for your bike is the appropriate size, which matters more than anything. If the sizing is not correct, getting inconsistent vibration or feeling uncomfortable becomes a common issue.
Now you may prioritize your goal and preference while choosing the appropriate size of your Handlebar, but the proportionate size of the ape hanger should be near to your shoulder. This is proven to be the most comfortable place to get better control and handling from the bar.
WHERE DO YOU RIDE?
Not all riders are the same. Some prefer going on a long tour, whereas some others may roam around the neighborhood.
If you do a lot of riding like side-by-side or other vehicles, a wider ape hanger may not give you the comfort you expect from it. Choose something narrower because this is what has proven to be the best option for you.
On the other hand, if you are a big dude with more than 6.1 feet of height, probably a wider ape hanger will bring the most convenient and appropriate experience for you.
At the same time, it is also true that it is all about making yourself accustomed to the condition. As long as you have installed an after-market ape hanger, there is no going back. You just have to make yourself comfortable with the situation. This is the real fact you need to keep in mind before you go for the installation.
WHAT IS YOUR HEIGHT?
Your height should never be an obstacle to let you drive your favorite bike. It is also ideal to choose the ape hanger according to the height you have.
If you are somewhere between 5.6 feet to 5.11 feet, a 12-inch or 14-inch ape hanger seems to be a good option. You may also go away with a 16-inch ape hanger. But we will recommend you to be a little more considerate when it comes to choosing an 18-inch handlebar.
If you like to go on a long tour, an 18-inch handlebar can really give a numb feeling for those with a height of below six feet.
But if you are a big guy with more than 6 feet of height, both 18-inch and 20-inch can be your ideal choice even if you love going on a tour with your Harley.
DOES THE APE HANGER COME FOR YOUR SPECIFIC HARLEY MODEL?
Another ideal thing to keep in mind while choosing the right ape hanger for your Harley is choosing according to the compatibility.
Every handlebar manufacturer will specify whether their products will fit your specific Harley Model or not.
Ensure that you are choosing the ape hanger according to the compatibility list. Otherwise, you may need to do some sort of customization for sure.
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HOW TO INSTALL THE APE HANGER?
Once you have chosen the right kind of ape hanger for your Harley, it all comes down to the installation. Most recent ape hangers tend to come with pre-drilled wiring holes and specific wiring patterns. Therefore, all you require to do is a simple bolt-on installation.
At the same time, it is also true that some of the installation processes can be pretty tricky. Therefore, following the installation instruction or learning about the process seems pretty logical to get the most convenient experience possible.
Best Ape Hanger for Road King
We know that Harley brings a couple of motorcycle lineups on the market. But this article will focus on Road king particularly. My recommendation list comprises the six best ape hangers for your Road King.
We have included almost all sizes of ape hangers for your Road King so that you always get your most preferred item. If you are interested, here goes the specification for the first ape hanger on this list, which is the best for the category of 14-inch
1. Pre Wired Dominator Road King Special Ape Hanger Handlebars -14 Inch (best for 14-inch)
Meathook Monkey Bar
2017-2020 Harley Road King Special
Complies with internal wiring, precise construction, and relaxed grip handle
User experience (9.5/10)
If you are someone who feels comfortable with a 14-inch long handlebar, this ape hanger from Dominator Industries is here to be the most convenient and appropriate solution for your need.
With two different varieties and numerous wholesome features, this meaty monkey bar is surely here to make a good impression.
Features worth discussing
One of the essential features we love about this ape hanger is its aesthetic construction. Installing this particular ape hanger to your Road King will make the bike stand out from others easily.
If you are asking how comfortable this Handlebar would be for touring, we have to mention that this depends on your preference. If a 14-inch handlebar is your ideal size and you feel comfortable with a 14-inch handlebar, this one is always ready to give you the highest level of precision and comfort.
With the specific Road King construction, this one will comply with any 2017 to 2020 Road King Special.
Your touring is going to be more fun and exciting when you have this ape hanger installed on your Harley Davidson Road King Special.
- One essential benefit of having this ape hanger installed on your Harley is that this one will match the internal wiring diagram of your road king.
- This is a complete bolt-on replacement for the stock handlebar, allowing you to complete the installation in the shortest possible time.
- The relaxed grip handle will make the riding more comfortable at any time.
This ape hanger will only fit the Road King Special. Therefore, if you have a Road King Standard, you will require it to prewire.
2. FMB RKM16FMB 16" Reaper King Bars Custom Ape Hanger (best for 16-inch)
Customer Ape Hanger Handlebar
Notched for throttle by wire, powder-coated glossy black finish, pre-drilled
User experience (9.5/10)
Are you thinking about replacing the stock handlebar of your Road king with a 16-inch ape hanger? Consider grabbing this one from FMB.
The manufacturer has been satisfying the customers for a long time, and we believe you will have a great experience with this one as well.
Features worth discussing
Once you install this ape hanger to your Road King, there is no going back. You will simply love the experience with it.
People may call you that installing this larger Handlebar to your Harley will make you numb. In reality, this Handlebar is pretty comfortable to make your ride a little bit more exciting. If you are somewhere between 5.10 to above 6, you should not have any issues at all with this Handlebar.
And one thing is pretty sure; this Handlebar will look sleek on your bike. With a glossyblack powder-coated finishing, this Handlebar will always force people to look at your bike.
Another benefit you can expect to get from these tall handlebars is that you will get more handling capabilities to make your riding more suitable to your need.
The fact is that you get a little vibration with almost all Harley. It is all about making yourself comfortable with the riding. No matter what you love, if your preference is a 16-inch handlebar, this one is always a must-have item.
If your preference is between a 14-inch and 16-inch ape hanger, you may consider checking Carlini Gangster Apes 14 vs. 16 to find some more alternatives.
- The pre-drilled construction will make the wiring much easier.
- Once you install this Handlebar to your Harley, you will feel a dramatic difference in the feel and look.
- As long as this Handlebar is at your shoulder height, you should feel comfortable riding your Harley.
In terms of precision and construction, this one is dramatically okay. But some riders may feel a little uncomfortable with this Handlebar when going on a long tour (especially the shorter one).
3. XFMT Black 1 1/4" Fat 10" Rise Ape Hanger Handlebar (best for 10-inch)
Fat Ape Hanger
Drilled wiring holes, precision, and quality look
User experience (9/10)
XFMT offers handlebar solutions for almost all specific Harley. From 10 inches to 20 inches, you will get all possible sizes from the manufacturer.
If you prefer having a shorter handlebar for your Harley Road King or Softail model, you had better consider having this one installed on your bike.
Features worth discussing
If your height is anywhere between 5.6 feet to 5.11 feet, this 10-inch fat ape hanger from XFMT should be a good thing to install on your bike. There are actually a couple of reasons why you will love this ape hanger to a great degree.
First of all, the build quality of this ape hanger is dramatically correct. You just can’t deny the exquisite look of this Handlebar once you take it in your hand. The inclusion of rich and quality iron on this Handlebar makes it super comfortable and convenient for your ride.
This Handlebar is compatible with some of the specific Harley Tour/Softail/Dyna/Sportster models. Therefore, it is essential that you choose the bar according to the right compatibility.
As XFMT produces handlebars in almost all possible sizes, you will always have the chance to choose according to your preferred need.
Last but not least, choosing it for your specific model will surely give you no hassle with the installation. The Handlebar comes with a proper wiring diagram and pre-drilled wiring holes so that you can do the installation with ease.
- This is a great-looking bar with good built quality.
- This is a great bar for the budget as well.
- These handlebars appear to be very sturdy to last for a long time.
Although this one seems to come with a pretty decent construction, the crosshatching of the Handlebar could be a little deeper.
4. Hill Country Customs 1 1/4" Chrome Narrow 18" Ape Hanger Handlebar Kit (best for 18-inch)
Hill Country Custom Cycles
1996-2006 Harley Road Glide and Road King
Stainless braided cables, chrome ends, protective inner liners, and more
User experience (9/10)
Although this is the most basic kind of ape hanger from Hill Country, customization is always possible. You just have to let Hill Country know about your specification, and you will be provided everything you want.
That being said, this Hill Country 18-inch ape hanger is one of those popular handlebars that every big guy would prefer unarguably.
Features worth discussing
If you are asking how in this world could this 18-inch Handlebar bring comfort? Well, if you talk to people who use an 18-inch handlebar, you will notice that most of them agree to the fact having a larger handlebar actually gives them more controllability over the bike.
Therefore, it is still a mystery whether you should use a larger ape hanger or not. But if you are one of those eccentric people who prefer having a larger 18-inch ape hanger for your Harley Road King, this one is definitely worth being the most convenient option.
As soon as you will install this larger ape hanger to your Harley, we can assure you that you will notice an immediate improvement to the ergonomics and comfort of your Harley.
Simultaneously, it is essential that you choose the Handlebar according to the right specifications of compatibility. Otherwise, installation may turn into a matter of hassle.
One thing that is pretty much worth mentioning here is that the chrome finishing with a UV-resistant Armor coating is surely here to retain the impression for a long time.
If your height is 5.11 feet to above 6 feet, you can definitely try this one to have some new kind of experience.
- The Handlebar is pre-drilled for internal wiring. Therefore, it requires no additional drilling before installation.
- The ape hanger will prevent brake line expansion with the protective inner liners.
- The plastic armor coating will also come in handy to retain and protect the color of the bar for a better time.
This ape hanger will only fit those Road King models that do not have Cruise control and ABS brakes.
5. TC3 (14") APE Hanger Handlebar 14” Harley Touring Road King
Road King/ Softail/ Street Glide/ Sportster
Better controllability, easier installation, and a very specific construction
User experience (8.5/10)
This mid-size ape hanger is going to be a complete touring solution for your Harley Davidson road king or some other lineups as well.
One thing is pretty sure; this Handlebar is pretty well made, and you can expect to get the complete value out of it.
Therefore, 8.5 out of 10 is what this item will get from our side.
Features worth discussing
One common problem with your Road King stock handlebar is that the ends of the Handlebar tend to be a little bit straighter. Therefore, whenever you go on a tour, it kinds of make you a little bit uncomfortable while driving for a long time.
But there is a solution as well. Install this 14-inch ape hanger from USA-biker, and you will be all set to redeem the comfort instantaneously.
One thing is sure; installing this exquisite 14-inch ape hanger will dramatically improve the wrist situation. You will get more stability and balance with this item at any moment.
Like the previous one, this one also comes with a chromium finish, which should definitely look good on your Harley Road King.
You should not face any issues at all while installing the Handlebar on your Road King from 1984 to 2007. But installing this one to the 2009 and above model will require you to notch the grip end.
Installing this Handlebar is more like carrying a convenient touring pack and fluctuating among King vs. Chopped vs. Razor. At the end of the day, your comfort is what matters the most.
- The base width is around 33 inches, making it a comfortable option for almost all disciplines of riders.
- The mid-point curving will bring forth essential comfort while riding.
- This ape hanger will comply with a large number of Harley models.
If you do not follow the right instructions, wiring can turn into a complicated job. Therefore, taking full preparation before you get into the job is more than necessary.
6. Bagger Brothers HD-HB-20-CH Chrome 1.25"x12" Ape Hanger Handlebar
FLHR - Road King Models/FLTR - Road Glide Models (1996-2013)
Stylish design, internal wiring properties, and so more
You just can't come up with a single reason why you should not love this item. When it comes to choosing any accessories for your Harley, Bagger Brothers is the perfect place to search your query.
After looking at the item, we believe 9 out of 10 is a good score to justify its overall worth.
Features worth discussing
Although we are here recommending the Chrome-finished ape hanger, you can always choose the alternative that has a glossy black finishing. Whatever type you choose for your specific Harley, you will surely love the look that this Handlebar will put on your bike.
Unlike most other conventional stock handlebars, this one comes with solid curved construction. Therefore, installing this Handlebar to your Road King will bring essential comfort while riding on your bike.
At the same time, with the rise of 12-inch, this one is pretty solid to make you comfortable while going on a tour with your gang.
Another essential benefit you will get with this one is that this one comes with a pull-wire installed on it. Therefore, wiring the Handlebar while doing the installation will be super easy and hassle-free to give you the exact comfort you deserve.
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- This ape hanger is good for the budget as well.
- The ends of this Handlebar have enough grips to have more fun while riding.
- This Handlebar is notched for electronic throttle control.
Well, we could not find any mentionable drawbacks with this ape hanger so far. We are resting the job up to you to find out whether this one has any drawbacks or not. We believe you will have a great time like us as well.
How much does a Harley Davidson ape hanger cost?
A Harley Davidson ape hanger will cost you anywhere between $130 dollars to as high as $350 dollars.
The price of any handlebar mostly depends on the construction, brand value, quality, and type of the Handlebar.
Here is a little chart that will give you some hints regarding the price range of a Harley Davidson ape hanger-
Mini ape hanger without pre-drilled wiring holes
Mini ape hangers with pre-drilled wiring holes
Can ape hangers improve your motorcycle riding experience?
Yes, ape hangers can improve your motorcycle riding experience if you can choose the Handlebar according to your height and body condition.
If you are a short guy with a height of 5.6 to 5.7 feet, you can't think about getting comfortable with an 18-inch ape hanger.
At the same time, it is also true that most Harley Davidson ape hanger users have agreed that an ape hanger improves the overall controllability of the bike.
Therefore, it is arguably agreeable that an ape hanger can improve your motorcycle riding experience.
What size of the ape hanger should you get?
According to most experts, the size of your ape hanger should be near your shoulder height. Having an ape hanger installed with the same height as your shoulder will make you comfortable whenever you ride on your bike.
There was a time when most of the Harley riders tend to install a larger 18-inch ape hanger on their bike, which kind of looked awkward and a little hard to control for most users. Consider choosing the ape hanger according to your shoulder height to get the most convenient experience possible.
Are ape hangers worth it?
Yes, ape hangers are always worth it. All you need to do is choose the Handlebar according to your preferred body height, shoulder height, and body shape.
That is how you can expect to get into the best riding mood.
Are ape hangers comfortable on the long ride?
Short and mid ape hangers are comfortable on the long ride, but larger ape-hanger can really give you a tough time on the long ride.
We believe 12-inch to 16-inch ape hangers will be a perfect choice if you prefer touring with your Harley or other motorcycles. Choosing an ape hanger with the size of 18-inch can bring a really intimidating experience on the long tour unless you are a pretty big guy.
Are ape hangers dangerous?
Apehangers are not dangerous at all. There was a time when riders used to install dramatically long ape hangers to look cool, which kind of made them vulnerable to accidents.
Choosing an ape hanger with the right size will actually help you to gain a little better performance.
Why are ape hangers illegal?
Ape hangers are not illegal in all states of the USA. Some of the states made ape hangers illegal because an ape hanger may reduce the safety that a conventional motorcycle handlebar provides.
One of the most time-relevant and top-notch modifications you can make to your Harley Davidson Road King is installing a convenient ape hanger on your bike.
Installing an ape hanger to your Road King will not only make your bike look cool but also will help you to gain better controllability over the bike.
This recommendation list has included almost all possible sizes of ape hangers for your Road King. We hope you will have an easier time choosing your preferred ape hanger after scanning through this whole article.