Handlebar Risers, Barbacks, & Bar Extensions 101 - What Do I Need to Know?

bar extensions barbacks ergonomics handlebar risers

We get calls daily from people who want to adjust their handlebar position but they don’t know where to start.

It’s really simple. To install risers on your motorcycle or atv you need to know 2 things:

  1. What is the diameter of your stock bar? Common sizes are 7/8" and 1 1/8" for dirt bikes, dual sport bikes, many street bikes, and atvs. For Harley/V-Twin bikes common sizes are 1" and 1 1/4". Standing to the side of the bike/atv, simply grab a ruler [or a caliper] hold it up above the bar (near the bar clamps) and check to see what the measurement is going across the bar from side-to-side. Note: Rox risers only work on machines with a 1-piece [eg. tube] handlebar and top/bottom style bar clamps—they do NOT work on bikes with clip-on style handlebars.
  2. How tall of a riser can your stock cables handle? 99% of motorcycles can install our 2" risers without replacing any cables, but many atvs can only install 1.25" risers before the cables will get too tight. Remember though, these are rough guidelines. Some bikes can install 3" risers with stock cables and some can only install 1 3/4" risers with stock cables—if you are unsure how high you can go you can take a look at our fitment charts, give us a call at 218-326-1794, or you can do a simple check on your own. Remove the bar from the stock bar clamps. Find something to use as a spacer [a scrap of 2x4 will work]. Place the spacer board underneath the handlebar. If your cables or wires seem overly tight you can remove any zip ties and/or cable retainers then run the test again. If cables still seem tight after removing any ties/clamps you can look at rerouting the cables to the outside and/or behind the fork tubes. For most bikes this takes about 10-15 minutes. Exact steps will vary, but the basic idea is put the bike on a center stand, remove the nut that holds the top of the fork tube to the top of the triple tree, drop the tube down and then move the cables to the outside of the tube. Once the cables are outside of the fork tube you can bring the tube back up and then tighten the nut at the top again. Repeat this process for the other side of the bike. Before going out riding it’s really important to ensure your cables are relaxed through the complete range of steering motion.

Do you have other questions? Give us a call at 218-326-1794 or shoot us an email. Thanks for reading. - The Rox Crew

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