Best Ape Hangers for Road King [Buying Guide 2023]
When it comes to riding a bike with great comfort, you must ask one of Harley Road King or Road Glide owners how it feels to ride comfortably. People mostly purchase these bikes to be able to try endless customization apart from riding with style. The handlebar is one of the accessories that most, if not all, Road King owners change.
Stock handlebars don't seem to provide the expected comfort that bike owners pay for. They prefer buying the best ape hangers for Road King from third-party manufacturers to make sure they get enough grip on the palms while ensuring comfort.
If you have been feeling the same with the stock handlebars of your ride and have no clue where to look for, I got some suggestions for you.
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5 Best Ape Hangers for Road King Review
Whether you are willing to pay more for the perfect ape hanger for your bike or looking for a comfortable replacement within a tight budget, the list includes products of a wide price range.
1. FMB 10-inch Mini Hellbent Bars Custom Ape Hangers
The brand isn't just another automotive parts manufacturer. They have a good reputation among the customers to deliver satisfaction along with the products. FMB made Ape Hangers aren't an exception here as well.
When it was launched, Road King owners appreciated the handlebar for providing great comfort and experience. Still, a number of owners recommend this, as most newer ape hangers don't seem to be made to its standard.
Its smooth and sleek appearance would strike you at first sight. The gleaming exterior, along with defined edges, really complements the bike.
As the thickness of the handlebar is about 1-¼ inches, it looks moderately aggressive and a bit dangerous. It measures 28.5 inches from tip to tip, with an inside bottom of 5.5 inches. Both the handlebars measure 10 inches, which might not be that comfortable for taller individuals.
Riders with average height would find these hangers to be comfortable enough to ride in style for hours. If you are struggling with the stock handlebar, give this one a try, it won't disappoint you.
It’s available in two finish options – stain black and powder coated glossy finish. If you are a 'matte everything' type of person like me, the stain black edition would further increase the appeal of your Road King. You can sit and ride relaxedly, holding the handlebars without worrying about collapsing.
2. XFMT Chrome 12" Rise Fat Ape Hangers Handlebar
Another brand to put your trust on. This one is for those who want a bit longer handlebars to ride the Road King or Road Glide comfortably. The Ape Hanger is available in 3 different size options. You can choose 12, 14, or 16 inches as per your comfortable handlebars holding position.
Like most standard handlebars, the overall diameter is 1-¼ inches, which is pretty much the same size as the stock ones. So, you won't feel as if you are holding something else unless you want something a bit larger.
Considering its 34-½ inches distance from tip to tip, you will truly feel like a pro while riding your Road King. However, if you have relatively short arms, this might not be the one for your size. Also, riders who have back pain and sore issues shouldn't get the hangers.
The manufacturer used durable and high-grade iron to construct this piece of comfort. Chrome finish on the iron adds some serious glossy effects to the hangers. The overall quality feels quite solid and durable to last for years or even more than that.
If a glossy finish isn't your type of thing, you can pick the black option. Keep in mind that the black finish one has a rise of about 14 inches. So, if this size fits you, go for your preferred style.
3. Bagger Brothers Chrome 1.25"x12" Ape Hanger Handlebar
Those who do a lot of customization and stuff to make their bikes look more appealing, Bagger Brothers is a well-familiar name to them. This aftermarket automotive parts manufacturing company has a good reputation for making quality products to meet customers' satisfaction.
The thing that makes these handlebars extremely satisfying is its edge-cutting technology. If you have previously used aftermarket handlebars in your Road King, you will surely feel the difference.
Made of premium quality stainless steel, it got a sleek and attractive looking appearance. Its flawless and smooth surface will gleam when you ride during nights, and lights fall on the bars.
You have only one color option to go with. The coated chrome finish might be a deal-breaker for those who live with aesthetically pleasing black color.
Talking about its dimensions, it got a 12 inches rise, with 1-¼ inches diameter. The end rise is about 15 inches and 34 inches long from one tip to another. If you are an average-height person, this handlebar will provide you a secure and comfortable riding experience, unlike the stock one.
It comes with all necessary internal wiring; you don't need to take much hassle while installing it. Also, the handlebars got diamond-knurled throttle, which will provide you great grip riding your Road King.
4. Dominator Pre Wired 1 ¼ Inch Road King Special Meathook Monkey Ape Hanger Handlebars
If the installation hassle is the reason why you are less interested in getting an ape hanger handlebar, this one from Dominator Industries might encourage you to get one. Leave all the worries of installation to this handlebar, and you just plan for going for a long ride.
The manufacturer did all the plumbing and stuff for internal wiring as well as a notch system for TBW applications. Even if you don't have any experience regarding ride customization, you will still be able to install it like a pro. All you will need is to connect the wiring to your bike system, as simple as that.
With a 16 inches rise, riding your Road King will look more aggressive and feel comfortable. Most people will not face any shoulder or back pain issues with this ape hanger.
To make the handlebar feel premium, its components were cut through a CNC laser and further deburred by hand. Unlike cheaper ones, the edges on this aren't too sharp to make you feel uncomfortable. Furthermore, the components were assembled through TIG welding to make sure its look goes with your exotic ride.
When it comes to durability, Dominator doesn't make any compromise. The handlebars go through a standard quality control process to ensure durability. Thus, you don't have to face any issues regarding it.
5. Mototeks Inc. Ape Hanger Handlebars Fat 1-½ Inch
If you are one of those riders who got no chill while riding a Road King or Harley Davidson model, this 18 inches monster handlebar will tempt you to have it on your ride. Even though there are 12 and 14 inches options to choose from, the aggressiveness will remain pretty much the same.
Unlike standard handlebars, this one has a diameter of 1-½ inches, which looks aggressive and feels satisfying for riders with large hands. From one tip to another, it measures 35 inches, with 6 inches comfortable to hold pull back.
The ape hangers come in two color options. One got a chrome-plated coating that looks glossy, and the black one comes powder coated. If you want to show off your ride, the glossy hanger would be the right one. However, for better aesthetics, consider getting the black version of it.
No matter which option you go with, it will surely complement the overall outlook of your Road King. If you are a passionate rider, you don't want to miss the deal.
Installing the handlebar is fairly easy without any professional assistance. Its lightweight form factor further eases the installation process. However, for extending cables, you may need professional assistance if this is the first time you are dealing with something like this.
To assure you about its firm mounting ability, it has on-center knurling that won't let the handlebar collapse. As far as compatibility is concerned, besides Road King, you can also install it on Street Glide, Road Glide, and some other popular series.
Things to Consider Before Buying
App hangers are one of the most popular modifications for Road King riders. It's not that riders only install this mod to show off. To most of them, comfortability is another reason why they consider installing aftermarket ape hangers.
If this is the first time that you are to get a custom handlebar, it's important that you consider the following things –
Height of the Handlebar
Suppose you want the handlebars to provide you comfort while riding; consider the height factor seriously. Don't just go with the flow and look for an aggressive one. Consider the holding position that feels comfortable to your shoulders and back.
You can accurately determine which size or height is perfect for your posture. Consider three Points:
- Your seat,
- Foot pegs.
The seat on the bike as you would naturally do. It feels comfortable if you place the hands below the shoulder-level. Also, the hands should spread wider than your shoulders.
If this posture doesn't make you feel comfortable, consider taking a different one, and see if it suits your riding style or not.
Measure the distance between your hand and the riser; this is the perfect height for your handlebar.
When it comes to Road Kings, the rise of 10 inches or more fits most people.
As aftermarket ape hangers are higher than stock handlebars, you need to see if the cable from your rise to switching block is long enough to fit your expected hangers.
To check this out, straighten the cable and see how long it measures. Then compare this length with the aftermarket handlebar that you want to get. If the cable is long enough for the new handlebar, go for it. Or, if it requires any extension cable, then it wouldn't be wise to get the ape hanger.
Seating Position Preference
Once you get the ape hangers for your Road King, you will need to sit a bit upright on the bike. You need to be physically fit for that upright position.
If you already have shoulder or back problems, you shouldn't choose a size more than 14 inches. The size 12 is recommended for physical well-being.
However, if you don't have any aches or soreness on the shoulders and neck, you can go for as high as 16 inches. Keep in mind that a handlebar of this height would require you to put extra effort to hold your hands in the proper position while riding the bike.
Durability and Build Quality
Even though I'm mentioning this in the last point, it's one of the factors that determine the quality of ape hangers. If the handlebar is made of non-durable material, it might collapse while riding and cause serious accidents.
Aluminum alloy, stainless steel, titanium, carbon fiber, and chrome-plated steel are some of the most durable materials for these ape hangers. Be sure to get one that is made of any of these materials. The more durable material will cost more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ape hangers comfortable on long rides?
When you raise your hands to a perfect height, it leaves you in a way more relaxed riding position than what you would get from the stock handlebars. Thus, for long rides, these apes are more comfortable than the stock ones.
What is the legal height for ape hangers?
Several states have set a limit for ape hangers to 15 inches, as the size isn't unusually high, and there is no physical discomfort associated with it. Otherwise, higher handlebars cause discomfort, which can lead to accidental issues.
Do ape hangers hurt your arms?
Ape hangers don't hurt arms as long as you don't pick an unusually higher size.
These handlebars are extremely comfortable if the height and size meet the rider's hand size and riding preference. People with short arms and torsos find it very comfortable to ride with higher handlebars. These handlebars allow the rider to sit straight while bending the arm a bit.
How to install ape hangers on a Road King?
In order to install ape hangers to your Road King, you need to remove the front end, depending on the model to get access to the stock handlebar. Remove the headlight and everything attached to it. And then head to the handlebar, and remove screws that are holding it in place.
If your ape hangers already come with wiring, you don't need to do the hassling part of routing the wiring into the handlebar. This is the toughest part, though. Once you feed the wiring through the bars, assemble everything in stock position, and enjoy the ride with your new handlebar.
Is it hard to ride with ape hangers?
Ape hangers don't just require holding hands higher, but also a bit further to the chest. If the handles are too close to the chest, the handling would be hard.
Again, if the handles are too high, it will cause the rider to feel uncomfortable, which will lead to an awful riding experience.
Ape hangers aren't all about showing aggressiveness while riding; rather, it has to do more with comfortability to enhance the riding experience.
Once you get the best ape hangers for Road King and can install it properly, you will find a more comfortable sitting position, which will encourage you to go for a long ride without any hesitation.