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Handlebars: steel vs Al

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I've been destroying a set of carbon

steel bars every single weekend. My

theory is that since the bars aren't

rubber mounted on this bike, I'd rather

trash a set of $15 bars instead of a

triple clamp or worse.

The parts guy at the dealership tells

me to stop worrying about it and talked

me into buying some Aluminum bars. Of

course, they sell Honda/Kawasaki with

rubber mounted bars only.

I'm not really hung up on saving a few

pounds or anything... what are the

advantages/disadvantages as far as

reliability with Al vs steel?

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I've got the standard on-the-bar bark

busters, which just seems to transfer

the stress that would have been absorbed

by the whole bar bending to the point

where the bark buster clamps on.

Seems like an easy lay-down bends the

steel bars. Lets put it this way, I've

received zero injury. Just slip on a

root and pick up the bars and they are

bent. Minor, but annoying.

I was mainly concerned that if the Al

bars are so strong, that 15-inch lever

may be enough to break the mount instead.

Sometimes its better to have the weakest

link be a $15 one.

(yeah, I fall down a lot. never had

a paintjob, helmet or set of leathers

look new for a whole day on the roadracing

weekends either).

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Get a GPR Pro kit, Top clamp, Tag oversized bar, and a GPR stabilizer. Aprox.$$500.00, and not spend your time changing bars! I've only heard of two sets of oversized bars bending ever!


Mark...00 426 w/plates,and $4000.00 of other attachments!

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I don’t have any hard data to back this up but I’m thinking any Al bar will be much harder to bend than steel. Once you do bend them though good luck straightening them. In my experience even a mild flop will bend a decent steel bar, but I’ve only bent two pairs of Al bars in recent memory and both led to medical bills in excess of the replacement bars. I’ve also broken a pair of Al bars, and ruined a bar clamp but never damaged a top clamp, so I wouldn’t worry about Al bars causing top clamp damage.

How are you destroying the steel bars? If you are bending them so bad that you cannot hope to straighten them I suggest saving the money you would spend on Al bars for riding lessons…


Just kidding, but if you are mangling a pair of steel bars that bad I’m guessing you would probably damage any kind of Al bars as well. Well mounted bark busters, especially with inboard triple clamp mounts, will help protect your bars to some extent.

Hope this helps.

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I was always a die hard Renthal Cross Bar fan. Then when I got my YZ400 it had Pro Tapers on it. I've grown to like them. On hard hits you can actually feel them flex a little bit and absorb some of the shock. I've watched my bike cart wheel 5 times on one crash and the bars got tweaked only the slightest amount. After that I was sold on them and will keep getting them. If you don't want to replace teh triple clamps to mount oversized bars like the Pro Tapers, I'd suggest the Renthals with the cross bar. I rode with those for 12 years on many different bikes and only had to replace them twice from bending on a crash. Very strong bars!!!



"What's that?"

"It's a Yellow 99' YZ400!!"

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