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What is a Motorcycle Sissy Bar? Why Have One?

Motorcycle Sissy Bars aren’t so popular so it’s understandable that you might be scratching your head. You’ll generally just find them on cruisers and older motorcycles rather than adventure bikes and practically anything offroad.

So what are they exactly?

A motorcycle sissy bar is a bar that sits on the rear-end of a motorcycle which rises up and above the rear fender. These sissy bars are used as a backrest for pillion passengers, as a rack to hold luggage, to help mount a rear fender to the frame or simply for cosmetic reasons on hotrod motorcycles. You’ll typically find these on bagger motorbikes.

Most manufacturers don’t fit these standard so you’ll need to find an aftermarket version that fits your specific make and model. Some engineering shops do custom-makes and you may find sissybars available as either new or used on eBay.

Motorcycle Sissy Bars

Available in a range of heights, widths and materials, motorcycle sissy bars are used on street cruisers more than any other type of motorcycle. You can find these in fixed sizes though custom designs are quite typical.

For the adventure rider who’s worried about losing their luggage off the rear of their motorcycle, they can be a great idea. You can occasionally see adventure riders sporting these mounted between their two rear luggage boxes.

What’s important is ensuring that you can actually find a good mounting spot and one that’s hard-fixed. Sometimes that will require some of the right tools or taking your motorcycle into a qualified mechanic.

Sometimes you may want to get removable sissybars so your motorcycle can be used for show events, or for weekend overnight cruises. These should be able to be removed within 5 minutes quite easily.

It’s best to use one made from aluminum. These are not only lighter but they’re also resistant to the air, sun, salt and water when you’re riding. You can fit some padding to the sissybar and your passenger has a very comfortable backrest that looks flush with your motorcycle, almost as though it came from the dealership as-is.

In Summary

For most people, installing a sissybar is great for their passengers especially if you have a habit of really throwing on the gas. Trying to hang on to the rider’s body can be challenging and the rear sissy bar provides a lot of confidence.

Yet you’ll still seldom find these on bikes and if you do, they’re often quite small.

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