Sen. Andrew Hosmer, a Democrat from Laconia, has introduced legislation to repeal the statute restricting the height of handlebars on motorcycles and return so-called “ape-hangers” to the roads of the Granite State.
New Hampshire is now among more than 30 states that limit the height of handlebars. The statute prohibits motorcycles fitted with grips “higher than than the shoulder level of the driver when in the seat or saddle.” It also prohibits riding a motorcycle with “improvised, defective, or repaired handlebars.”
“I applaud Sen. Hosmer for sponsoring this bill,” said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association.
He noted that New Hampshire began regulating handlebars in 1967, a time when many state legislatures associated motorcycling with the counter-culture captured by films like “The Wild Ones” and “Easy Rider.”
“I have never heard the height of handlebars presented as a safety issue,” he said. “There is no history of accidents caused by high bars.”