Build Custom Motorcycle Handlebars with Josh Allison of American Metal Customs

Build Custom Motorcycle Handlebars with Josh Allison of American Metal Customs

Hey everyone, it's Josh from Cry Baby Cycles again! Today we're talking handlebars! Everyone needs them, and there is a sea of options out there. If you're having trouble finding what you like or the last 10 bikes you have seen have the same pair, then maybe it's time to build some! I will walk you through the process of making some killer custom bars for your bike. Remember, be creative and push yourself to go outside the box and you will have the raddest pair of bars in the hood! Let's get started!
Bending Handlebars

Depending on what you want and the size you need, you have to start with the right material. Usually, bars are either ⅞ inch or 1". Today we are building ⅞ inch bars. I always use ⅛ inch DOM tubing. There are no seams in this material, it's solid and welds nicely!

Depending on what you want and the size you need, you have to start with the right material. Usually, bars are either ⅞ inch or 1". Today we are building ⅞ inch bars. I always use ⅛ inch DOM tubing. There are no seams in this material, it's solid and welds nicely!

You can see that the OD "outside diameter" is ⅞ and the wall thickness is ⅛.

tube bender
The first thing I do is figure out the bends that I want for my bars. This is where the possibilities are endless. In this case, I'm building a lower style for a tracker style bike. So I'm bending them a little over 90 degrees. This is a Baileigh Industrial bender that shows the degree marks on it. This is key to getting both sides the same.
Bending chopper handlebars
Now that I have both sides bent I can put them on top of each other, and they should match perfectly.
Now that I have both sides bent I can put them on top of each other, and they should match perfectly.

I lay both sides on the table now so that I can start to see the design I want to build.

knurling handlebars

Now I need to figure out how the bars will mount. In this case, they are mounted by risers. I want to make another piece that connects the bottoms of the bars and attaches them to the risers. I'm going to put a knurl on the piece so that when it goes in the risers, it bites good, and the bars won't move. There's various tooling that you can get for lathes that allow you to knurl different sizes of tubing.
knurled motorcycle handlebars

As you see in this pic, we now have a nice knurl for our bottom piece.custom handlebars

Now I cut my bars to the height that I like, and I can set my bottom piece and start to see them come to life. Now I need to make an upper connecting piece that will add strength and style.

custom handlebars

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