Selecting a Cafe racer handlebar

Selecting a Cafe racer handlebar

When I think of a motorbike, I think of handlebars too. Handlebars either make or break your ride. Experienced riders will tell you, braking and controlling a motorcycle are not functions of the engine but the sole duty of your dedicated handlebar.

Which options are available? How do they differ? Let’s talk about it.

The Clip-ons

​Café builders value and adore the stock handle bars. Part of the cafe style is the low minimalist look of clip-ons. There are two choices of clip-ons from which you can choose from. If you are conservatism, consider having the clean look and simplicity of non-adjustable clip-ons. This is the most ancient option. These clip-ons basically consist of an aluminum or steel bar tube that is mounted to a billet aluminum clamp. Normally, this set up is clipped just below the top triple clamp but many extreme café pilots clip them well down the fork tube for the no compromise racer’s truck.

Despite being cool, classic and clean, straight clip-ons can inflict a considerable amount of pain if they lock the rider in the wrong position. To avoid this somewhat undesirable effect, an adjustable split clip–on is used instead. It is designed with the vital option of being adjustable at two or three joints on the units. This luxurious feature makes it possible for the rider to comfortably adjust the angle, height and even the distance from the seat. If you want to add a level of individual adaptability to your bike, then consider using these clip-ons.

The clubman handle bars

What happens to individuals who find clip-ons disgusting? There is a third option for you! You can still give your bike a sport on retro feel using the clubman handle bars. These handlebars attach in the stock bar mounts and lower the grip portion of the bars to clip on height. This is a suitable option for bikes with handlebar clamps that are not removable from the top triple clamp.

Some riders find it cheap and easier to take their original handlebars and just flip them upside down. (watch video)

Others turn to either a clubman bar or clip-ons. However, regardless of the barstyle you decide to use; you should be keen to ensure that the steering functionality of the bike is not compromised. Ensure that all wire and cables are properly fitted and routed to avoid pinching their functionality. The bars should be carefully checked for full range of movement. They should not at any given time touch the tank at full turn
You can also give to your bike a classic touch of style, glamour and sophistication by selecting the right mirrors. Without a doubt, you will need some clean rear view mirrors. Many café builders find it appropriate to use bar-end mirrors to keep the profile of their bike low. There is a wide variety of lower clip mount mirrors in the aftermarket today.

Pros and Cons

What exactly are the pros and cons of each option? Well let’s look at each of them individually.

Clubman bars are cheap and easy to install. However, on the downside, you will need to loosen up the entire triple tree and slide it down every time you want to lower the front end of your bike without changing the fork springs. Moreover, most handlebars restrict how far you can take it down. You should ensure that you get the same tubing diameter as your current handle bars.
Clip-ons are meticulously designed such that you can opt to adjust them to your desired height and adjust them to your desired horizontal angle. Some are designed with extensions that can be raised to the same height as where handlebars would reside. However the disadvantage of this option is cost. Despite being relatively expensive, Clip-ons are readily available on Amazon.

Take that bold step and make a choice. Adjust your bike’s handle bars and enter into a completely new world of comfort, control and of course speed. The choice is yours based on your tastes and preferences.