Motorcyclists can be really fussy. And this has nothing to do with finding the perfect tall stack of banana-walnut pancakes for breakfast before a big ride or seeking out the most excellent adult beverage to enjoy at the end of the journey. (Though there is that.) No, it’s about riding positions, or ergonomics as the guys in the pointy hats call it. A small change in your bike’s layout—moving the handlebar or changing footpegs—can make all the difference in your feeling of control and long-term comfort.
The Benefit of Handlebar Risers
Altering handlebar position can be a matter of changing the handlebars themselves or their mounts. Switching bars is, well, an involved pain in the backside, a lot of work when you only need to change the handgrip position a little. That’s why most riders choose handlebar risers, which fit in between the stock handlebar and the original perch or clamp set on the fork crown.
The limitation of conventional bar risers is that they move the handlebars a certain amount and that’s it. The added height is fixed, leaving you with just the handlebar rotation itself as an added variable. But what if you want more flexibility? That’s where Rox handlebar risers come in.
The Rox concept is devilishly simple and clever. Rather than lock the rise to a specific dimension, Rox risers are built to pivot on the bike’s original handlebar clamp. The amount of bar rise you get is based on the angle you mount it and the height of the particular Rox riser you buy.
How Rox Raises the Bar
Rox risers can be thought of as filling one of four categories. There’s one design for use with a conventional 22mm (or ⅞-inch) handlebar. One design fits 28mm handlebars, often called “fat” bars. Another type fits cruisers with 1-inch bars. And, finally, one type is meant to be inserted in a conventional 22mm perch but can accommodate either a small-diameter handlebar or a 28mm fat bar. This last configuration allows you to upgrade to a fat bar on bikes with an integral handlebar clamp on the fork crown.
The other dimension to consider is height. Rox risers come in 2-inch rise for 22mm (or the standard 7/8-inch) bar, 1.75-inch and 2-inch heights for 28mm fat bars, and 3-inch or 4-inch rise for cruisers with 1-inch handlebars. Special applications for the BMW R1200GS and Yamaha Super Tenere are available.
And here’s the clever part. The peg that mounts to the stock handlebar clamp allows the Rox device to swivel fore and aft, meaning that you can displace the bar in any position from forward and level with stock, to higher than stock, to rearward and level with the original position. Because the Rox riser and the handlebar are clamped down independently, you have a wide range of positions available—rotate the Rox riser to the position you want (fore and aft, up and down) and then rotate the handlebar in the Rox so that the levers and switches are where they should be.
What if vibration is an issue on your bike? Consider the Rox Anti-Vibration models, which include built-in rubber isolation. There’s one built to slide into 22mm (7/8-inch) clamps that can carry either a small or fat bar while providing a 2-inch rise, plus one with a 2-inch rise built for bikes already fitted with a fat bar.
Choosing the Right Risers for Your Bike
Anything else to consider? Well, the usual bar-relocating caveats apply here: The best bar position for you is only limited by things like interference with the fairing, windshield, and fuel tank (among other hard points), and by the amount of handlebar wiring slack and available play in the throttle and clutch cables as well as brake lines.
Most adventure-touring bikes have enough flexibility to manage the shorter risers with room to spare, especially if your intention is to move the bar forward. The added bonus of the Rox risers is that you can choose any number of positions between straight up and some angle downward or forward. Which may be enough to make you perfectly comfortable on your bike. At last!