After a Sunday morning ride on my old-but-reliable Suzuki GSX1100G, I stopped at a popular breakfast spot, where I overhead a couple of bikers talking about California’s ape-hanger laws. One of the men had gotten a ticket in a popular Orange County beach town the day before; the cop told him his were too high, but offered no further explanation. According to the biker, the cop just smugly told him that “ape hangers are illegal in California.”
California Vehicle Code section 2780 provides that “a person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.”
In other words, ape hangers cannot be more than six inches above the rider’s shoulders when he’s sitting on his motorcycle.
For those of you who’ve been wondering about or debating this issue, we hope this helps. And hey, if you have a question about motorcycle laws or riding, shoot us an email. We’ll see if we can clear it up for you.