How to choose the right handlebars?


Choosing the right pair of can make a huge difference in both your riding style and cornering speed.
ProTaper SE Series Handlebars

But how do you choose between all the different bends?

…and how do you know if you chose the correct one? The simple answer is “You have to try them all and pick the ones you felt most comfortable with”…that’s all good and dandy when you’re a factory rider and you get all that stuff for free, but what if that’s not the case? After all, I’m willing to bet my right hand that 99.9% of people who are currently reading this are NOT factory riders! (Did I lose my right hand?).

So then, what’s the alternative you ask? It’s hard to say, I mean, how can you know if you’re going to like bar A better than bar B if you don’t try them both? Maybe my experience in the matter can help a little. Now I’m sure most of you used to ride bicycles and BMX bikes when you were kids, so try to remember how you had you bars setup back then, which position you felt most comfortable in. Did you like to have your bars forward and high or closer to you and low? The same feeling applies on a dirt bike, if you had your bars forward on your bicycle, chances are you will feel comfortable with a set of handlebars that’s higher than standard on your motorcycle.

How tall you are should also play a big part in the process of choosing your new bars. You don’t want to use a tall pair of bars AND rotate it forward as well if you’re only 5’7, or good luck leaning back in a whoops section! Take me for example, I’m about 5’9 on a good day (a very good day), and it’s already hard enough for me to lean all the way back in a whoops section without getting butt-kicked by the seat, with standard, neutral bars. When I tried a taller pair of handle bars, it made it way harder to blitz the whoops, and even cornering became more difficult. Then I decided to go to the other extreme, and tried a pair of low handlebars, rotated closer towards me (a la Carmichael). At first it was weird yes, but man after a few laps I realized I was blitzing the whoops much easier, thanks to the fact that I was able to lean back farther on the seat, and even my cornering speed increased.

I still wasn’t as comfortable with my new set of lower bars as I was with my regular ones, but I was definitively faster! I guess those new bars worked better for my size, and I kept riding with them ever since.

My closing argument is this: if you’re between 5’6 and 5’9, try a low pair of bars and rotate them down a little, closer to you. If you’re above 6 feet tall, you’ll probably be better off with taller bars, rotated forward a little. But don’t ask yourself too many questions, don’t question whether you made the right choice or not, or wonder “what if”. It’s just a pair of bars after all, and even choosing the right ones won’t turn you into a speeding bullet!

  • Change it, or straighten it if possible with no visible dents afterward. (will break easier) No problem either way.. just be shure to lose an retorque your fork trees afterwards.

  • Joel McClellan

    I had a pair of Protaper on my Klx-140l and was climing a old spoil pile and hit a rock and lad it over and it bent so bad that it ain’t in line with the wheel what do I do

  • Agus_nba08

    hola cunto sale este manubrio? gracias

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