Long Handles

I know there are some weird motorcycles out there, but even so, I'm going to vote that this is fake, even though I don't see any obvious evidence of photoshopping. I just don't think it would be possible to steer a bike like this. Especially not on a highway. (via bcmacsac1's flickr page)

Update: I should have known better. I should have known that just because something looks incredibly stupid is not a reason to doubt its reality. And the discovery of more pictures of this long-handled motorcycle has convinced me that it is, in fact, real.

Apparently such bikes are called "ape hangers". The motorcycle shown in the pictures is an extreme example of one. I'd guess it was designed more for show than for serious riding. Thanks to everyone whose comments convinced me of my error, particularly BlueMoon for finding the additional photos.

Photos Technology

Posted on Sun Feb 24, 2008


You may be right about this particular photo, Alex, but there actually are motorcycles with handlebars like that. They call them "ape hangers" if I remember correctly.

I agree that the configuration looks VERY dangerous and I'm guessing it's only legal in some states.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  12:52 AM
Not a fake. Page 6 and page 10 of this forum have pictures of the same bike from a different angle.
Posted by BlueMoon  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  02:20 AM
I've known too many guys who fixate on this kind of, yes dangerous, steering mess so I vote 'TRUE' on this one as well. And, yes, I've heard of the 'ape hangers'...the key word is 'ape' and that pretty much says it all.
Posted by hulitoons  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  04:11 AM
Thirded... "ape hangers" is the correct term for that bike.
Posted by Oppiejoe  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  06:52 AM
Here's the links to the pics directly:

Is it me, or does the girl look like Britney Spears?
Posted by coit  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  09:16 AM
You mostly steer a bike by leaning, not actually turning the handlebars (except at really low speeds).
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  09:36 AM
Also, I think this photo just caught an odd angle. Looking at the guy's right arm, I see he's still got a pretty good bend in his elbow. It's there in the left elbow too, but harder to see because of the angle.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  09:38 AM
"Is it me, or does the girl look like Britney Spears?"

I don't know what you look like, Coit, but I'd say that woman does look a bit like Britney on a good day. That's not saying much, though, because Britney is so nondescript-looking that a large number of young women and girls bear at least a passing resemblance. I always wonder how many of the "Britney" pictures in the tabloids are really of B.S., since most of them could easily be more or less anybody.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  11:48 AM
As a motorbike rider for many years, I have to say those bikes give a really bad image. It's everyones first response to think 'too dangerous for the road' (and maybe they are).

On the other comment about leaning and turning, steering is actually counterintuitive on bikes. At high speed, you turn left to go right. Turning left pushes your centre of gravity right, which leans the bike over to the right, and hence you turn right. Same idea for left. At low speed, right is right. I found the instability point at around 20km/h, where the bike wanted to go 2 directions at once.

So, yes, I too believe you could steer one of these things without having to actually turn the handlebars much.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  06:50 AM
I think ape hangers are a practical accessory for any bike gang member. It will save time when they are pulled over by the police.
Posted by Captain Al  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  01:28 PM
'ape hangers' is the term for the bars themselves, not the bike. i'm amazed that it is street legal.
Posted by j dinn  on  Tue Mar 11, 2008  at  10:26 AM
There's some of those "ape hangers" down here in the Florida. My brother was the one who called 'em ape hangers when we saw 'em, but I'd never heard the term before he said it...
Posted by Christopher  on  Wed Mar 12, 2008  at  08:36 PM
I am not a biker, but I do know that ape hangers are supposed to only be legal as high as your shoulders. (as I have heard in the past). I'm sure different states have different ideas on them, but that is generally the norm.
I like them. I think they make the bike and the operator look more bad ass than they are.
This bike in particular is pretty cool.
Thumbs up.
Posted by Shawn  on  Sat Mar 22, 2008  at  09:49 AM
We are at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and Bikefest here this weekend. I would not have believed it had I not seen it. But my husband and I rode up behind it on our bike, we were right behind it and next to it for sometime and at several lights and it is real. Not something we would choose to ride, but deffiently real.
Posted by Beck  on  Sat Sep 13, 2008  at  08:38 PM
Yes this is a real bike. Although it is so extreme that it is neither comfortable nor safe to ride. It is a great conversation piece. To steer this bike you just have to pull down in the opposite direction that you want to go and let the motorcycle do the rest. I like ape hangers. They do a lot in keeping my hands from going numb on long trips. Although my arms do get a bit tired on really long rides.
Posted by Motorcycle Men's  on  Tue May 26, 2009  at  02:16 PM
Not only is this real, it is not a show bike, he rides it everywhere, and does not trailer it. He lives in St Louis, and designs the bars his self.
And not only is it an extreme ape hanger, it is an old shovel with suicide side shift.
Posted by Mike  on  Tue Aug 17, 2010  at  06:52 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.