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Road King Ape Hangers

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Tech Talk' started by UntamedBill, May 18, 2005.

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  1. UntamedBill

    UntamedBill Banned A-Hole

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    I have been thinking of installing some ape hangers on my 2004 Road King Classic and was wondering if anybody out there has done this to a Road King? How did you splice your wires and extend them? What size bars did you use and where did you get your oversized brake lines and Cables?Thanks!
  2. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Did my heritage, basically the same thing.

    You will need some black similar gauge wire, heat shrink and soldier gun.

    BTW that cold solder gun on tv works great on small gauge wire and you don't need extension cords and the excessive heat.

    Splice at least 6 inches into the wires, cut the ends off at different intervals so the splices are not in one bunch and soldier the original ends onto the wires, that way you have the colors so you know what goes where.

    Get a SM or diagram the wire color to the proper pin placement.

    You will need +6 inch clutch, throttle and brake cables for 12 inch apes, you might be able to get away with +6 on 16 inch apes but it will be close.

    Check the laws in your area, 16's are cool 18 cooler 20's rock but then they may all be illegal. I run 12's on stock risers which is 13 inches up.

    They fit me fine 16's felt like they's be too high on longer trips. Bar bopping is one thing.

    ALso run the wires through the bars, one side at a time, put the connectors on when you finish one side pretty easy, use a string or thing wire to pull the wires through, pull off some of the black protective covering, leave some where the wires go through the bars,

    about 4 to 6 hours work.

    Looks good when done though.
  3. harleyangel

    harleyangel New Member

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    I have been riding since 2003 and have an 03 Road King.
    I am thinking of putting higher bars on it. I changed the stock bars and now have heritage bars on it. Being a fairly new rider I was wondering what the handling difference would be with higher bars.

    Thanks for any suggestions/thoughts on this.
  4. MyAddiction

    MyAddiction New Member

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    Apes

    I put 1 1/2" thick, 16" tall Carlini apes on my king a couple of years ago. They are about the best bars on the market.The chrome is great, no yellow garbage, and they even have guide string in the bars for wiring. They sell a new bar clamp also which comes with new damper kits that you have to buy if you go with the thicker bars. The clamp fits under the stock cover. The 1 1/2" bar looks great. You can get custom length cables from barnett. The wiring is easy, just take your time. Carlini also makes nice cable clamps, for about $32 you get both sides. They also make other sizes. Look on their web site for products and prices. Carlinidesign.com
  5. harleyangel

    harleyangel New Member

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    RKing Ape Hangers

    so how will my bike handle with taller handlebars????
  6. chucktx

    chucktx Moderator Staff Member

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    the bike will handle the same, altho you may not be able to handle the bike. the extended reach, and less leverage will tax some riders. it will be harder to turn and manuever at slow speeds because of less leverage. the height of the bars may tax your arms. blood will flow down hill easier than up hill. i ran hi bars in the 70's and had to lower each arm while riding to get feeling back into them.....riding one handed with high bars is another problem.....but they sure do look good!!!!!! hope this helps a bit.................
    chuck
  7. MyAddiction

    MyAddiction New Member

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    apes

    it will handle just like chucktx said. Turning slow can suck until you get use to it. The higher you go the more reach you will have. You can roll the bars to adjust them closer or farther away which will change the way you sit. It was easier on my back with them higher on long rides. I rolled my back enough that I could still get my windshield on, but I only ran it when it was less than 40 deg out. Keep your elbows bent a little and you will be just fine. They look bad ass too!
  8. goats_hogs

    goats_hogs New Member

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    I have 12" mini apes on my 1991 FLHS. I had them on my 96 Road King also, before I sold it for the 2004 Road Glide. I'm a tall guy, 6'4", and I love them. Handles better now for me than before, always felt like I was at the handle of a rotor tiller with the originals. I push my bike in the corners too, not uncommon to drag metal on either side in the corners. The only bad thing for me on changing to the high bars, was that I had to replace the brake lines for the dual calipers. Since I couldn't find a kit for it, I ran coated stainless braided lines down. Cost is kinda high doing it this way, buying individual bangos and splitters and all. Seems like I had about $175 in just the new brake stuff, but it's been awhile.

    Hope that helps.

    Brent
  9. scooter

    scooter New Member

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    I'm probably going with some mini apes myself, as the stock Sporty bars don't do much for my back after about 150 miles.

    I've got a line on a free stocker bar from an 04 softail, but haven't seen them yet in person to see if they'll be pulling back far enough.

    Anybody know if they'll do the trick? I mostly want about 3 inches more to give me some relief.

    scoot
  10. masiwe

    masiwe New Member

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    apes

    got 16" apes on my wide glide and 14 degree trees with 8 over forks. love it all. i'm short, 5-6 and have short arms, but can handle the bike great. like some have said, apes do take a bit of getting use to, but they look coooool. I say go for it!
  11. ROADKING06

    ROADKING06 New Member

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    14" ape hangers

    how difficult is it to install them
  12. chucktx

    chucktx Moderator Staff Member

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    see post #2 of this thread..............................:)
  13. Ultra Al

    Ultra Al New Member

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    Many years ago I put what they called Sonny Apes on my 68 FLH. They looked cool but the handling through the twisties went to hell in a hand basket I mean I got a front end wobble. Maybe they don't affect the new touring model like they did the old FLH. I have heard others that tried them on the older dressers had similar problems. One other thing, I used to get cramps in my wrists on rides over 100 miles. I guess there is no one size fits all, to each his own. Personally I like the Road King bars. I have an extended thick set I got off ebay on my FatBoy and the stock bars on my RK. I also like buckhorn bars. AL
  14. chucktx

    chucktx Moderator Staff Member

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    it is hard to beat a good set of buckhorn bars for riding. they may not be as cool looking as the others, but out preform hands down!!!.................:)
  15. asleepinthealley

    asleepinthealley Member

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    There has been some misinformation being passed on here that should be corrected. Ape hangers only cause fatigue or loss of blood flow after reaching a certain height. Above the chest and shoulders. Once the optimum height is passed everything attributed to the faults of ape hangers is realized, but until it has been surpassed the optimum height is right where you'd place the end of a wrecking bar for best control and leverage. The height will be different for different height people and where in relation to the seat height the top of the triple tree the bars originate from is. Try sitting on your bike and hold a broom in your hands, then have one of your friends wrestle it away from you. Where do you find your hands when you are applying the most strength you can? You are stronger and quicker there. That's where I want my handlebars! Having my hands a little lower isn't much of a distraction, whereas the stock height will cause both lower and upper back, as well as shoulder pain. Leverage is actually compounded, thus easier with the added length, which actually explains why the front end of the bike when apes were added felt like it wobbled more. It did. What was happening is the rider's death grip and own nerves caused the shaking and it travelling through the longer leveraged bars was compounded and effecting the front wheel. Relax and the wobble disappears. I've had this happen myself in a corner but was lucky enough to realize what was occurring before I went down (it was close). Perhaps a steering damper would alleviate this (or shorter bars, ha ha). As I get a little older (... weaker and less sure footed) I find I need the added length and leverage that the Ape hangers provide if I want to move or wrestle the bike around on uneven ground or lean it over and back up. When you drive an automobile where are your hands in relation to your chest and shoulders? The driver's manual says the hands should be in the 10:00 and 2:00 positions. That places them directly in front of your chest and just below the shoulders, right where my Ape hangers are. when you use a crowbar, where do you have the most leverage? Again right in front of your chest and just below your shoulders. When you arm wrestle, where do you want your hand? As close to the front of your chest and just below your shoulder as you can get it. That's where my strength and leverage are, and so is yours. Young folks do things because they look cool. Old folks do them because they work.
  16. joshbob

    joshbob Well-Known Member

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    Well, leverage changes if the bars are narrower or wider than the ones you replace. Narrower bars means less leverage, wider bars means more leverage. I didn't experience any difference with handling in the curves or otherwise when I installed the apes. They did vibrate a bit more, but hey, I ride a shovelhead. Only when I switched tire brands did I experience better handling in the curves. I had buckhorns on my scoot originally and switched to 12" apes, so there was only a 4" difference in overall height. I trimmed 2 1/2" off each end of the apes because I prefer narrower bars (about 28" across). I have heard from other riders that when you get above 12", 14", handling will suffer the higher you go, though not as noticable on a chopper or bobber as they are lighter.

    If your hands are above your shoulders with apes you will not have as good blood circulation in your arms. The higher they are in relation to your shoulders, the worse the tingling and fatigue will get. Hands should be the same height as the shoulders or a bit lower for good circulation.

    I try to strike a good balance between cool and practicality ;).
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
    FLHTbiker likes this.
  17. FLHTbiker

    FLHTbiker Moderator Staff Member

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    Boy talk about resurecting an old dead thread.
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