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Rise of the Bagger T-Bars Harley-Davidson Tall Risers T-Bars Explained

A new trend is on the rise in the Harley world when it comes to custom handle bars. The “T-bar” style has migrated over from the mid-size cruisers like the dynas and modern softails over to the touring family motorcycles. The Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson crew goes into the details surrounding the latest hot style that has a moto-inspired look that has been ushered in since the performance bagger movement started. Learn about how T-bars on baggers is becoming more popular and what to consider if you’re looking to equip your bike with this style.

Thank you hey what’s up guys matt here coming to you from laid loss harley-davidson so today i want to talk to you guys about bagger bars and how they’ve evolved over the years and the trend we’ve seen most recently with the t-bars on baggers and as we all know styles change over the years writer’s preferences mold and shape based on the style of light they want

And also based on the type of writing that is most prevalent at the time as well over the last 20 years i’ve seen a lot of different styles and handlebars and that’s one of those unique factors about harley-davidson motorcycles in general one of those key customizable parts of the motorcycle that really define the specific style and function of that motorcycle

Around the la area in the early 2000s a lot of bikes around here were characterized by ape hanger bars it almost seemed like the taller you went the more manly you were pretty much everything that didn’t have a batwing fairing on it was just getting these huge ape hanger handlebars and although that style is very relevant i feel like it’s tapering off a little

Bit and it’s becoming a little bit more of a niche style for guys that are going off like that vehicle that gangstered out softail or bagger or whatever it may be and then around 2008 with a road glide and the street glide just started to become very very popular and that custom bagger look started to hit the scenes real hard daggers were less about traveling

And the functional benefits of the storage and the wind protection now they were becoming like hot rod baggers they were getting slammed with the big shroud the stretched bags a lot of those bikes had the taller bagger bars on them and they were getting really thick and just custom looking different colors and things like that we saw a lot of the meat hook

Styles that were designed specifically for the batwing or the shark nose fairings the 12 inch the 14 inch bars became really popular and that’s actually what i’m currently running on my bike i currently have a 14 inch vindicta like angular bar like a bagger bar for the batwing fairing and then around the 2018-2019 time period we started to see the t-bars creep

Into the bagger world and that look really came to life a lot in the dyna scene where a lot of guys were tricking out their dinos and making them club style diners with the tall t-bars with the quarter fairings and everything and that style first started really grow on the dynast scene like the dyna bro club style dinas where a lot of guys are doing the t-bars

On them and that style’s been going on for a long time now but i really feel like i started to hit mainstream in a big way right around that 2008 2009 time period that’s when i feel like the clubbed out dinah really started to hit mainstream and the guys that weren’t actually in clubs started doing it but then somehow those moto style t-bars made their way over

To the baggers as well and maybe it’s partly because some of these dyna riders are now graduating up to a touring bike they’re doing longer riding they want that same moto style and aggressive look and feel that the t-bars deliver on their bike and we’ve also seen the rise of the performance baggers where this is a key trade on those bikes as well so right now

In this time period i feel like we’re seeing the biggest climate popularity in t-bars on baggers we’re at a point now where i want to say at least half of the baggers that we do custom bar jobs on are some form or fashion of a t-bar i personally predict that this style will only get more popular i do not think this is peaked at all is it for everybody no should

People feel like they needed do this even if it’s not really their style their jive no absolutely not but is it something new and fresh and does it tie into the increasing popularity of the performance bagger scene absolutely so i’ve enlisted the help of one of our best parts guys brandon and i’m going to have him take us through some of the details on t-bars

On baggers things so look for some of the pros and cons and hopefully give you guys some information that will help you decide if t-bars are best for your bagger preferences and if you’ve already decided that you want t-bars in your bagger maybe this video will give you a little bit of information on guiding your direction on which ones to get exactly and then

We’re going to jump over to andrew he’s had several bikes including dinas and baggers that have had the t-bar setups he’s tried a lot of different brands over the years as well so i wanted him to weigh in with his opinion on this subject as well foreign brandon here in the parks department some of you guys probably seen me in some of matt’s videos already

Just brief history on myself grew up riding like dirt bikes and things in southern california pretty much my whole childhood later into the harley world coming into that side of things a riser bar setup and t-bar setups for me felt comfortable and felt familiar in a sense you see these t-bar setups and riser setups really jumping over not to say that t-bars and

Risers weren’t already a popular thing especially out here on the west coast just being so many people can lane split and you don’t want to be sitting in traffic you want to kind of be as narrow and tight as possible sometimes big giant ape hangers at 39 inches wide can just be a bear in traffic so bring your bars in kind of nice and tight sometimes have that

30 inch to 31 inch span or width just helps you kind of get that control and leverage over your bike so sometimes when you have a big 39 inch wide handlebar and you’re just swinging i think mickey even said it’s like hugging a tree sometimes like when you go into those turns so having just a moto style setup is sometimes more comfortable and without shift and

Performance on a big bike makes a world of difference with my bike here i’m running a thrashing supply nine and a half inch pullback with a one inch mid-bend bar which is about a four inch bar so this gives me a perfect about 13 inch rise in total so again really familiar doesn’t go past my shoulders i’m not feel like i’m really stretched out this is already a

Big heavy bike as it is so having that control up high and being able to again dip into a turn with confidence hugely inspiring but i mean a lot of it just comes down to styling at the end of the day like i said west coast styling is so popular we see now running all over the country like i said all these guys doing performance builds big custom paint it doesn’t

Matter what full faring or if you have no fairing we kind of can make a modular system to fit that bike everyone’s jumping on the trend with these clip-on style gauge mounts or you can put them up high put them down low the list goes on and on when really it comes to modularity and handlebar setups so just talking about pros and cons when it comes to t-bars

Versus again some other setups t-bars can sometimes be made to fit and not always a direct bolt-on luckily in some cases like for instance on say road kings where you don’t have fairings and all these extra shrouds you actually have to cover some parts are going to be a direct bolt-on other parts say like on street glides road glides you kind of have to cut to

Fit or maybe even massage to fit in a sense perfect example be on a performance setup such as this on the pullback plates that can make these fit onto these bikes you do have to massage shave cut down on a you know a couple plastics and things like that not to say it can’t be done or it’s not aesthetically pleasing there’s a right and wrong way to do everything

Ergonomics is huge though so what ergonomics means to you is what’s going to fit on your bike and how it’s going to fit for you so again everyone’s different everyone has taller upper body shorter upper body sometimes even seat placement can make a big difference where you’re just sitting again how you’re confident and how you sit on your bike is what makes the

Difference and makes the bike for you pros and cons again is the modularity sometimes like you don’t always have to cut sometimes you can just remove parts and say add a gauge relocation kit or things like that where you can relocate your factory parts without having to cut and you still maintain those oem factory parts in case you ever wanted to take them off so

Again one of the big pros is modularity there’s so many different options when it comes to height spacers you know pullback plates if you want to hide your wires or have the big old spaghetti wires on a riser like this you have perfect example of modularity we can move all your gauges up so you have your speedo intact in plane sight where you can see it modularity

Allows you to not be able to have to cut you’re able to relocate things and move them up and out of the way whether it’s for a soft tail or for a road glide or if you want to hide your wiring some risers even have a hidden plate where you can hide wiring on the inside and again clean up your setup as well a really good company that does modularity really well is a

Company called krauss kraus offers so many different pullback plates and so many different options for again road glides street glide as you guys saw whether you want to do a straight riser again it’s all comes down to preference if you have a straight rise with a taller handlebar you get that adjustability out of the handlebars and you can have a mid bend bar or

A tall bar the benefit of the modularity is if you don’t like the low bar you can switch out for say a high bar if you’re a taller guy and you didn’t like your low bar setup you can change it and it’s relatively inexpensive to replace just a handlebar rather than your whole riser setup or replacing your whole handlebar setup or running even the wiring on a big

Ape hanger you know again very inconvenient sometimes when it comes to rewiring really comes down to preference and what’s going to work for you and everybody’s going to be different having your rider triangle is super important especially on longer trips and again keep in mind i have have a standard inseam 510 average guy on a pretty much a stock seat and a 13

Fits me just right and again everyone’s a little bit different some guys have longer arms some when people have longer torsos but this tends to be the most popular positions that we see getting on a road glide and street glide there’s a little bit more that goes into building it and thought process of how you set it up because you have a screen that obviously i

Don’t have on a road king setting your riser and your pullback plate with your bar is huge to where you can see your navigation where you can answer your phone calls where you can you know your brain or your bike road glides have a little bit different setup and see how street glide has because the road glide fairing obviously is a frame mounted fairing so your

Screen sits up higher you can kind of have a riser that sits a bit lower with a taller handlebar which still gives you that clearance to be able to look and see your screen very clearly street glads you don’t see quite as much just being it’s a different fairing setup it moves with the handlebars everything’s a little bit tighter to your bar and riser setup that

You choose not that there’s one worse than the other it’s what’s going to work in regards to seeing your screen being able to again navigate your touch screens things like that so you don’t see them a lot on the street glide nearly as much although a lot of people don’t realize that they do fit on the street glides and there’s so much modularity that can make the

Street glide still work for you as we keep seeing with these performance builds coming out hey what’s up guys andrew here from late loss harley-davidson and i kind of want to touch on what i’ve used in the past and what i’ve had on different bikes and the different bikes i’ve owned and kind of where i came from and where i am now so one of my first harleys

Was a street glide special back in 2017. that bar setup i went with a vindicta 14 inch meat hook style bar i put about 15 000 to 18 000 miles on that bike went across country on it the style was awesome but for me as an aggressive rider bars being that high and that wide didn’t really vibe well with that particular style for what i like to get out of the bike

Bars being that high in that wide kind of turning you get more leverage on that front end and it kind of feels more wishy-washy awesome for you know deluxes and kind of the vehicle builds and even for the you know baggers having meat hook style bars really great looks awesome but kind of for performance riding your free will kind of hooligan riding like i do and

Canyon carving and kind of getting up there and in the rpm range and getting hard through the turns bars that big and wide just didn’t really work well they look awesome but didn’t really care for them too much in that aspect then shortly after that i got a dino and that dyna i put on the hard case performance risers with a moto bar on it i think it had a rental

Bar on it i grew up on dirt bikes i grew up behind the bars of a kdx 222 stroke so that was just a moto style kind of bar really familiar when it was on the dyna really liked that feel more narrow and when you are aggressive riding through canyons or even long distance i just really like having the bars up and more narrow after that i had i bought another low

Rider s and that had a lucky dave’s lucky 13 bar on it it was a one piece bar style setup came up and bent towards you that was about a 13 inch rise one piece cool like the style they’re very cost efficient when you are trying to do a t-bar setup they cost about half the price as a riser and moto style bar setup after that that one two skip a few i’m on my 2017

Road king now and end up going with a crowd setup i went with a crowd set up on my 2019 road glide as well and really love the krauss they have what they call an isolated bushing so when you do upgrade your bars whether you go a ape hanger meat hook style you’re changing risers or whatever half of your changing bars in general the first thing you want to do is

Get a polyurethane bushing and what that does is it makes a more rigid clamp from your riser or your bar to the triple tree the stock bushings that come from the factory are more of a hard rubber there’s more give so when you are raising your bars you’re adding leverage so when you’re on the bike and you’re you got you know 13 inches of leverage you’re pushing

And pulling when you’re stopping and accelerating on a point that’s very low so when you get on some bike some stock bikes or even used bikes that have stock bars you can get on the bike and push and pull the bars back and forth you can feel a lot of that play and polyurethane bushings really eliminate that but what kraus has done is they give you a hard aluminum

Bushing that goes in your triple tree that that bolts down in at the lowest point so that’s more of a firm rigid mount to the triple and the bar setup where they meet and then they end up putting the polyurethane bushings up in here so they cut your leverage in half instead of having 10 inches of leverage you have about five so you’re not really yanking on it it

Cuts that in half and that’s a really big benefit for a setup that is geared more towards an aggressive rider and i noticed over the years the higher the bars are the less i like them you know because i i built this bike it’s not a performance bag it’s purpose built to my riding style i do a lot of aggressive writing pair that with a lot of long distance writing so

I want my bars to handle my aggressive riding style and be comfortable when you’re stacking 700 miles in a day so the seat that i have here is a saddleman seat and you have take that in consideration when you are doing a bar setup and you’re changing your seat and your pegs you’re changing the ergonomics to the bike so what i recommend to a lot of new customers

That are looking to do bars and which bar is good for me that’s really hard question to answer to somebody that you don’t know you know their height their you know riding style stuff like that so you change the bars you change the seat it can put you further if it puts you higher it could put you further back which changes the feel of where you grab the bar so

Take that in consideration when you are bar shopping the best thing you do i recommend is go to your local harley-davidson dealership and check out their use section if they have bars there sit on the bike sit on the seat you know if they have seats in stock ask them if they can bolt it on for you real really quick and you know because it’s a big investment to

Buy bars that you don’t like personally i don’t like being above my shoulder line like being a little bit lower so your blood flow is a lot easier not to say this is perfect but it’s where i like it i’m still getting numb hands on long distance trips which cruise control helps eliminate that you shake out your hands you’re back on it kind of do your research

Before you pull the trigger on a fifteen hundred dollar setup with you know labor and stuff like that so yeah that’s pretty much wraps it up thanks a lot for watching guys hopefully we’ll give you guys enough information to make an educated decision if you’re looking to transfer to bagger t-bars if you’re looking to equip your bagger with some t-bars or one of

The styles you’ve seen in the video please hit us up here at laidlaw’s harley-davidson if you don’t live in close proximity to us make sure you check out matt hyphen for all your aftermarket parts needs if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section below we always try to get back to everybody thanks a lot for watching guys

We’ll see on the next one later foreign

Transcribed from video
"Rise of the Bagger T-Bars" │Harley-Davidson Tall Risers (T-Bars) Explained By Matt Laidlaw