How to Build a Sissy Bar


Sissy bars are not for sissies; they are serious motorcycle accessories. Sissy bars are typically built out of square tubing, welded chain, brass or cold-rolled steel. Adding a sissy bar to your bike will enhance safety for a passenger. Sissy bars require some metal working, but can be built and installed at home with the right tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Wrenches
  • Stovepipe wire
  • 1/2-inch brass or cold-rolled steel rod
  • 2 female heim joint rods
  • Tap and die set
  • PVC pipe and joints
  • Marker
  • Sand paper
  • Calculate the approximate length of the sissy bar by measuring the surface area on the back of the bike where you plan to attach it. A sissy bar should complement the lines of your bike.

  • Rough out the shape of the bar using some wire or a small rod. Make an "H" shape jig out of PVC or metal tubing. The "H" will be on its side. The lower bar is the axle length. The upper bar is the fender width. The center of the "H" is the distance from the axle to the fender. This mock up and jig will save you some time and frustration later.

  • Obtain a wheel rim from a junk yard or another round metal object with a circumference that approximates what the top of the bar should be.

  • Bend the rod around the rim or round object to the shape you want using the wire as a guide. A heat source may be required, such as MAPP gas or acetylene torch. A propane torch will not heat the metal enough for it to become flexible. Use the wire as a guide to other bends for measuring and marking the spots. Use the jig to get the axle and fender spacing right.

  • Thread the ends of the rod with a die. You may need to temporarily remove parts from the back of the bike in order to install the sissy bar. Attach the threaded fasteners to the fender. Fit the ends of the sissy bar through these fasteners and into the heim joint rods that will attach to the axle.

  • Sand the sissy bar if needed. If the materials used could rust, consider painting it. You will want to tweak it some and then have the piece chromed.

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