Rated 2.5 out of 5 by 2
Rated 2 out of 5 by ArlingtonSportster Physics Wins Every Time
I've owned eight motorcycles, including four Harleys. Without a doubt, the stock handlebars on my 2015 Sportster Custom were the most uncomfortable of any of the motorcycles that I've owned. For my size (5'7" tall, about 29'' - 30" inseam), the reach was too far forward and too far downward. My wrists ached after a 20 mile ride. I needed to do something to improve the comfort or the bike would be history.
Unfortunately, the choices--or should I say choice---are very limited for the 2015 Sportster Custom. Because of the shape of the stock riser and integral speedometer housing, Harley offers only one solution to increase the rise and pull-back: the Sportster Reach Handlebar. A more drastic alternative would be to remove the stock riser and speedometer housing altogether and to replace with parts from another Sportster Model. I didn't want to go that route.
So I researched the Sportster Reach Handlebar. After I studied the dimensions and compared same to the stock handlebar, I concluded that they would be useless. They may have a couple of more inches of rise and pullback, but they also are a couple of inches wider than the stock handlebar. Remember Pythagoras's theorem: A squared + B squared equals C squared. Here, A and B are my arms, and C is the width of the handlebar. Any gain due to the increased rise and pullback would be offset by the increased width. "Not so," I was assured by my local H-D parts person. So I bit. I paid for and had the dealer install the Sportster Reach Handlebar.
I've ridden my 2015 Sportster Custom more than a dozen times since then, and added about a thousand miles (mostly highway, but some local). Conclusion: The handlebar did improve my reach, but barely. From being intolerable, it is now "only" very uncomfortable. I can now endure a 50 miles ride without aching wrists, provided that I don't mind riding in a splayed position. Beyond that, I'll take my car. Like I said, physics wins every time.
I cannot understand how Harley can advertise this handlebar as an improvement on the stock handlebar.. Maybe Harley named the handlebar Reach because that's literally what you have to do to put your hands on the grips. Surely Harley can come up with a more suitable solution to the stock handlebar. A longer stock riser, a shim to insert under the stock riser, or a "Reach" handlebar that maintains the width of the stock handlebar among them.
Some might be inclined to say that I should have test ridden the bike to "make sure it fit" before I bought it. But I think I'm in good company. The ample supply of after-market risers and handlebars for other motorcycles is a testament to the frequency with which bikers change their handlebars. It makes it even more regretable that Harley has all but ignored this market for owners of the 2015 Sportster Custom.
March 18, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by scuba0485 know your bike better than you think you do.
I bought this with the intent of changing some things more than just the bars. But before I checked out I made sure they would fit. And of course the hd website said it would.. o wait they didn't if I spent 400 on a new cable system then they'll fit hd website forgot to mention that. So I lost out on about 30 sending them back. Its a little my fault thinking hd would havr they're stuff together.
August 14, 2014