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Wide Vs. Narrow Handlebar

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trying to find somewhere what is better for racing, wide or narrow handlebar.

Looking all over the Internet about that topic but could not find anything, thought that this could be the best place for answer, cause i need experts answer.


I ride Yamaha XJR (not selling in USA) it is same bike as Kawasaki ZRX1200. Just to give you picture what type of bike and for what bike is handlebar needed.


please can racing expert say couple of words of pron and cons for wide and narrow handlebar


thank you

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Wider will be better. Here is why;


more leverage - you can steer and control your bike with less effort


Another, less imporant benefit is that the bars become less sensitive to movement; you can (and must) move the bar ends further than with a narrower set for the same reaction. Sort of like brakes; a lever with very short movement (narrow bars) require lots of effort, but very small changes in travel have big impact on retardation. A lever with more travel (wide bars) will have more power (provided it's not a result of flex) but require more lever movement.


Are there downsides to wide bars? Yes;


more air resistance = less top speed

the extra leverage can cause instability at high speeds if you're not relaxed at the bars


Still, on a big and heavy machine you'll be better off with Superbike style handlebar. Look at Spencer, Lawson, Rainey and Schwantz when they rode AMA Superbikes around 1980 - they all used wide, fairly tall (for a racer) handlebars in order to be able to manhandle the brutes.


BTW, the XJR is a beautiful bike. What paint scheme does your bike have, one of the special editions?

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Nice wide bar is good for leverage that is for sure.


Some start wide and then cut it down a little, adjust to their preference.



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@Eirik - yes its painted in kenny roberts colours, yellow with black squares on white stripe.


Today took my original bar and mounted little wider handle bar from ducati s2r that is 74cm wide which would be something like 29.2 inch and it has barends bend downwards something like sport bikes. It got cold so could not test it well. Just took it for short ride and it feels great.

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