Install Sportster Ape Hangers

Replacing your stock handlebars with custom ape hanger bars is a quick and easy way to add a custom look to your Sportster. Replacing handlebars isn’t a difficult task, but it takes time and some attention to detail to really get it right. Combined with other cosmetic touches, they can give the bike an appealing, old-school chopper look at an affordable price.


1. Detach the fuel line from the fuel tap. Carefully remove the fuel tank and set it aside. Open the front brake master cylinder and drain the front brake system.

2. Remove the clutch and throttle cables as well as the brake line from the master cylinder to the proportioning valve. Remove the Torx head screws from the bottom of each switch cluster and split them along their seams to remove them. Remove the throttle and idle cables from the throttle grip and carburetor. Remove the throttle and left hand grips.

3. Loosen the handlebar riser hex key bolts with a hex key then remove the riser cover. Remove the stock handlebars and set them aside.

4. Set the new ape hanger handlebars into the risers. Replace the riser cover and tighten the riser cover bolts until they are mostly tight but will allow some adjustment of the handlebars. Adjust the ape hangers to the preferred angle, the angle that is aesthetically pleasing, safe and fits you as a rider, then tighten the riser cover hex key bolts to the torque specs as outlined in your shop manual.

5. Replace the control clusters, lever assemblies and grips. Install new, longer control cables and a brake line per the instructions in your shop manual. Install the control switch extensions. Refill the master cylinder and bleed brake system. Replace the fuel tank and reattach the fuel line. Tighten everything down per the torque specs laid out in your shop manual.