handlebar ergonomics?

Motorcycle geometry and egonomic information is everywhere but I've yet to find anything on handlebar offset. I'd like to know how handlebar offset affects handling. The offset I speak of is the distance between the center of the steering axis and, I guess, the center of your hands on the grips. I know that if the bars are more forward your hands will make an arc like a rainbow around the steering axis and if the bars are back farther, behind the steering axis line, your hands make a arc like a U. But which is better??? And why??? I had my own theories about what set up was better and why but just recently I temporaryily welded on some bars to some clip on clamps I made and was suprised how good the offset felt.

What's everyone's take on this???

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about. Ignore my bar tilt back and tilt down art failure at the very bottom, that's my next question.

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

i ride a moped and whats this?

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

put your hands out in front of you like you're grabbing the handlebars, and imagine you're pulling the bike backwards. that's the angle you want to be at. not resting like you're doing pushups.

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a lot more is at play than just handle bar pitch and offset

its more about how your bars distribute your weight and how you want that weight distributed... i dont see why anyone would want to have to hold themselves like a push up. dumb.

so yeah. nice doodles - i like those clip ons best

i guess maybe youre asking how each arrangement feels while riding? i prefer clips ons for faster peds... it feels more direct with more feedback.

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

#CrazyWayne™ rocks. #CrazyWayne /

This?

Our this?

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

i wasn't talking about bar height so i don't know why anyone would talk about push ups, this applies to all height bars. I know that your forearms should be parallel to the ground especially while cornering where it matters the most and weight distribution is actually more about where between the wheels the footrests are. Though this is all is garbled in moped world since we're dealing with bikes with such short wheel bases. All I was asking was about how far forward or back from the steering axis people prefer their bars.

you can see that some bikes are setup differently.

some bars sit dead on or forward of the axis and some sit back toward the rider more.

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Ergonomics don't matter. Just go as low as possible for the most aerodynamic benefit. Duh!

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forearms parallel to the ground? sounds real ergonomic.

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Re: handlebar ergonomics?

I haven't seen any ergonomic studies on this. Most motorcycle design books are concerned about frame geometry. The only time that handlebars are put somewhere for a reason other than "it looks cool" is probably on race bikes, and they seem to be closer to the rider. At higher speeds you aren't turning the bars much, more pushing and leaning - basic motorcycle drivers ed "push left, lean left, go left"

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

mojavemesa - How does handlebar offset (from steering axis fore and aft) effect handling?

Mechanically, not at all.

Handlebar offset is all about rider comfort, along with grip width, angle, diameter, and tilt.

The more comfortable the rider, the better the handling.

Quatto wrote of not riding like you are doing pushups. This might seem odd or laughable at first, but we often tire as we ride, slump forward and put excess weight on our hands. This happens to bicyclists all the time. Our hands go numb. This comes from a pinched nerve between our shoulder blades, which in turn comes from slumping forward.

Riding posture (i.e. ergonomics) is very important.

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

Riding position has everything to do with your question.

Both riding position and handle bar position need to work together.

I know with racing my car, they teach you not to "pull" down on the steering wheel but to push away. (so for a left, dont pull down wiht your left hand, push up with your right)

This is because as your body is being tossed around, if you pulling and hit a bump or any excessive G's, your gonna pull it more then you wanted.

An example, I was 19, driving my brothers VW bug to the store, took a fast right, had both hands next to each other on the wheel at about 4 oclock. Door flew open, i fell out but maintained grip on the wheel. My weight pulled the wheel clockwise to 7oclock and tightened the turn of the car into a bush.

If my hands where at 9 and 3 like they were supposed to be, this wouldnt have happend (10 and 2 is out). I would have maintained grip on the wheel and the steering wouldnt have been pulled into a tighter angle.

So If you have to much weight on your bars, your body is gonna effect your steering. So a set up with your bars "Centered" would prolly be best.

As you sit up, and less weight is put directly over the bars, your handle grips can move further off the "center" because body weight isnt going to effect your turning as you hit bumps while turning.

Make sense?

I can ramble, lol

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

saggy hips franklin /

Yesterday I was almost blown over by a gust of wind, is there a handlebar set-up that can fix that?

Re: handlebar ergonomics?

David Theriault /

Depends a hell of a lot on what kind of bars they are. Its not where they're mounted, it's where your hands end up. In relation to the rest of your body as well of course.

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We have a Safari in our gang that has clip ons way out there in front of the headset and I don't like riding it. It's very twitchy. It's the only bike I have recently rode with this offset condition but I'm thinking that is the culprit. My M bars feel about perfect to me.

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it's hard to differentiate between how far away the bars are and the turning axis.

using clamp style, you're changing distance which changes rider position.

i can't imagine any style bars that won't.

to eliminate the distance issue, which is designed into the short wheelbase of mopeds may be impossible.

hate to say this, but go with the flow, look at production bikes.

cruisers, sports, full race, the lot and see what is perferred.

one of my favorite sayings, "i'm not smarter then the engineers"

i believe i ride with my grips behind the axis, but not very far behind.

i keep thinking there's a reason you don't see tiller style bars any more.

not even going to think how rake and trail relate to the question.

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Just a story...

I borrowed a friend's big v twin honda for a long trip to see my brother. The bike ran awesome and would practically drive itself in a straight line. But that turned out to be a major problem. I weigh 160 and this bike probably weighed close to 400 and turning at high speed was a nightmare. Because of the cruiser geometry it centered itself too much. It wouldn't easily lay over and want to stay laid over like my other friend's 600 sportbike will. I had to body lean like crazy and constantly counter steer with all my might just to get the bike to lay over and stay laid over. Long sweeping freeway corners were 45mph corners for me.

I returned the bike and told my friend about the shitty handling. He knew all about it, it's taken him straight into quite a few break down lanes in the past. I noticed that the bars were leaned a little far forward of where I thought stock placement should be. We tilted the bars back a few degrees and it's made a huge difference. In this instance tilting the bars back gave more leverage and made the bike easier to handle.

Sometimes it's not all about positioning the bars a certain distance from the seat, sometimes you just got to position the seat a certain distance from the bars.

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Downhill Harvey (OFMC) /

Ergonomics always takes a back seat to style. BMWs are the only ergonomic bikes.

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get some ape hangers they're made to be comfortable and give ultimate control

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I always prefer a low seat style way back on the bike. I think this is more important than the handlebars. But i like the feeling of being low and reaching up to hold on instead of being prone and leaning forward.

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^^ that guy aint gonna get any pit stains thats for sure

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