The use of Ape Hangers and other tall handlebars for motorcycles in Indiana are a cause of confusion with many motorcyclists. There are good reasons for the confusion as you will see below.

What Is Causing The Confusion?

Previously, Indiana had a statute that motorcycle handlebars could be no higher than the shoulders of the rider that was in the seated position on his motorcycle. Some experts said the handlebars could not be more than 15” above the seat. However, in 2015 that language was struck from the statute. At the moment the Indiana statute (9-19-7-2) says nothing about a maximum or minimum height for a motorcycle handlebar.

There are other statues in Indiana that specify that nothing is to impede in the motorcycle rider’s reach in the safe operation of the motorcycle. Additionally, there are federal regulations specifying that the motorcycle rider is to be able to safely operate all the controls mounted on the left and right-hand side of the handlebars while maintaining a grip on the throttle or the handlebar grip on the left side. The word “safely” is very important. How the handlebars fit the driver would have to be considered.

What Are The Pro’s And The Con’s?

Rumor has it that a lot of the laws concerning the bikers and their motorcycles were only issued to give the police a reason to stop bikers when they dared to pass through their states. They would search them for drugs, tattoos (for hidden messages) an anything else that looked different. We don’t know if that is true or not, but it sounds possible so will leave it with a firm “could be.”

However, the following information is to be believed and you may check the source here.

Pro’s Of Using Ape-Hangers

  • They handle well while maneuvering an urban setting at a slow speed
  • They turn slower and are more steady in most settings
  • The driver maintains greater hand/eye coordination
  • The driver maintains greater high-speed stability

Con’s Of Using Ape-Hangers

  • The driver rides with his hands above his heart for extended periods of time causing fatigue in the hands, arms, and fingers. This could cause pain and numbness and result in the driver losing control if he fails to stop and rest.
  • The increase for and handlebar flex is not the best for precision steering.

You can find people who ride well with any style handlebar. That is because people come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. They also come with various experience levels and therefore, comfort levels. What is safe for one rider may not be safe for another. This is why we must be honest with ourselves. Be smart, stay safe, and stay alive.