Motorcycle Highway Bar Buying Guide for 2013

By Glenn Zetterquist (Zee331)

Have you ever been riding down the highway and felt the need to “stretch out” and place your feet in another position? Have you ever stopped and had your foot slip out from under you? In this buying guide, you just might find your cure! Freeway bars or highway bars are a great aesthetic and functional addition to your motorcycle. Many people use these bars as platforms to mount highway pegs, driving lights, speakers, drink holders, desert dawgs, and many other accessories. In days of old, what we currently know as highway bars was referred to as either engine guards or crash bars. But, due to our current legislative environment these common motorcycle saving ‘tip over tools” now come with warning labels similar to this:

“Freeway bars add style to your motorcycle. They are not designed to withstand a serious impact and may not protect you and / or your motorcycle in the event of a crash.”

This being said, most of today’s highway bars will withstand a mild drop, tip over, or slip of the foot. If this does happen, please examine all welds, mounts, and fasteners and replace any damaged component(s) as soon as as possible. Several of these top manufacturers of highway bars are as follows:

- Lindby Custom - Cobra - National Cycle - Baron Custom Accessories - Kuryakyn   - MC Enterprises - Custom World International - Show Chrome Accessories - Jardine - And Many More...

When it comes to sizes and styles of highway bars the one style which comes immediately to mind is the classic 1 ¼” hoop. Although the most common, there are many more options for us look at with some having unique and key differentiating features. These various styles and their differentiators are as follows:

  • 1 ¼” Hoop: This is by far the most common type of highway bar. Typically these bars come as a full hoop, a “u” or an “n” and they attach at the top of the frame near the tank and at each footpeg / floorboard mount.
  • 1 ½ Fatty Bar: These are “oversized” highway bars which look bigger and beefier than the standard one and a quarter inch bars. Cobra is the leader of this design which they call the Cobra Fatty Freeway Bar.
  • Paladin Highway Bars: National Cycle is the creator of the Paladin Highway Bars which have the same traditional hoop style with a twist! By design are stronger as they are two separate bars which bolt independently to the frame of each side of the motorcycle. If you are looking for the strongest bars possible, National Cycle is a good place to start!
  • Highway Bar with Built In Footrest: Lindby Custom was the innovator for this integrated footrest design and remains the leader in the marketplace today. They have broadened their line and now offer the Linbar, Multibar, Twinbar and Unibar. Another popular highway bar with built in footrest is the Ergo Engine Guard from Kurykayn.
  • Highway Bars w/o Traditional Bar: The Hiway Bar from MC Enterprises was one of the original non-tubular highway bar / peg option. In the present day, Kurykayn has taken over as the leader in this segment with their Mustache Bar, Right Angle Mounts, Cruise Peg Mounts, X-Tensions, and many more.

In addition to tip-over protection, highway bars can become the mounting platform for many other useful accessories. Some of the most common accessories added to highway bar are:

  • Highway Pegs: Hands down the most common accessory added to highway bars. Keep in mind that most highway bars are 1 ¼” so choose your clamps based upon the bar choosen! The options are almost endless and the comfort provided is so worth it!
  • Desert Dawgs: These chaps for highway bars are barriers from wind and rain in the cold months and block hot air in the summer months.
  • Driving Lights: The highway bar is the perfect place to mount driving lights. Just be sure to get the proper diameter clamp for your highway bar application.
  • Horns: Air horns and electric horns with tones at or above 120 db are very common additions.
  • Speakers: Audio Speakers are a popular addition. Just make sure the speakers have bar mount options the same size as the highway bar.
  • Drink Holders: Kuryakyn and Rivco lead the way in this category and there are many options!

Whether purchasing highway bars for tip-over protection, a platform the above mentioned accessories or just for simple cosmetic enhancement... once added to your motorcycle you will wonder how you ever lived without. Thanks you for reading this motorcycle Highway Bar Buying Guide.

Until next time, take care and ride safe.
Kyle and the Cruiser Customizing Team

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