Supposedly a “sissy bar” was originally a handle put on the back fender or rear of a motorcycle’s frame to give people a place to grab onto so they could help a racer through a difficult section on early off-road events. I’ve got no idea if that’s true or not, but I do know the modern version of a sissy bar is one of the most obvious creations on any chopper. One thing that’s cool about ‘em is that you can build one in a weekend and totally change the look of your bike, flex your fab skills and have some fun. I prefer stainless steel since you can just give it a quick polish and be done with it, no need to send out to chrome. There are plenty of tutorials out there, here’s a good one we did with Zac Doom back in the Chop Cult days. http://www.chopcult.com/news/articles/making-a-sissy-bar-with-zac-doom.html
Last year at Born Free our intrepid photog Geoff Kowalchuk walked the acres of choppers, snapping pics of quite a few cool set ups and we’ve compiled ‘em here for your reference. One thing to keep in mind, all the cool trinkets in the world don’t make up for a solid design with good fabrication. We’ve all witnessed plenty of cracked and broken sissy bars over the years and its usually because someone didn’t think it through, wasn’t a very good welder, or put 200lbs. of shit on a 1/2” sissy bar and expected it to last forever. So, make it strong, then make it cool. Good luck!
(BTW, you can click any image for a larger version.)