Baggers and Ape Hangers | A Love Story

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Planet of the Ape Hangers

Once upon a time, in the ancient golden age of choppers, someone somewhere decided to start playing with handlebars. Or, rather, lots of chopper guys did. Buckhorns, beach bars, drag bars, and crazy styles that were either too dangerous or wacky (or both) came out of that time. Only one of them found love in the custom bagger crazy of the 2010s: the ape hanger.
Someone else, somewhere else, decided to start playing with apes again, only this time with touring bikes like the new (at the time) Harley-Davidson Street Glide. A lot of other people saw this and liked it enough to start putting them on their own baggers as a sort of nod to choppers and a middle finger to all the haters who labeled touring V-twins as grandpas’ rides.
For you new folks, the term ape hanger refers to how bikers looked riding choppers with these high-in-the-sky handlebars: like an ape hanging on set of bars. Beards weren’t combed and trimmed back then and the only oil in them smelled of motors, not lilacs. It was a different time.

So many riders have taken to apes on their baggers that now the style is identified as much with touring sleds as choppers. The fitment is a little different between the two types of motorcycle, though, for one obvious reason: fairings. Choppers typically don’t have them, baggers typically do. Here’s a good example of some for a bagger.

drag specialities bagger ape hangers
These Drag Specialties 1-inch diameter handlebars are available in a 14-inch height; a very popular set of sizes for custom baggers. Note the center length: it’s longer than you’d see with a chopper to better fit the fairing.

Designed and notched for electronic throttle control, the bar is also knurled and slotted for internal wiring. That’s important on a touring bike, especially with all the electronic extras with which owners outfit them.



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ABOUT Drag Specialties®

Drag Specialties is an industry-leading distributor of aftermarket parts and accessories for Harley-Davidson and custom V-Twin motorcycles. We pride ourselves on providing our dealers and their customers with the widest selection of the newest products from the hottest brands.