Harley Mid Controls Vs Forward Controls [Which Would Best For You?]

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Harley Mid Controls Vs Forward Controls

It’s interesting to test the Harley mid-control vs forward controls. If you are curious about this, don’t worry and go through it until the end of this article because I will explain the differences between mid-control and forward control in this guide.

Let’s dive into:

What is the mid-control in a Harley motorbike?

The term “mid control” in the context of Harley-Davidson motorcycles refers to the placement of the foot controls relative to the rider’s seated position.

In mid controls, the footpegs and corresponding commands are positioned more directly beneath the rider, closer to the midpoint of the motorcycle. 

It offers a more aggressive, sportier riding posture and allows you to sit more upright with knees bent at a comfortable angle. 

Many riders find that mid-controls have better balance and leverage, especially when maneuvering at lower speeds or taking tight corners.

What is the forward control in a Harley motorbike?

Forward controls on a Harley-Davidson refer to the positioning of the foot-operated controls, specifically the footpegs, brake, and shift lever, further ahead of the rider than the standard mid-mounted controls. 

It allows you to stretch your legs forward, creating a more laid-back, cruiser-style riding position. 

Forward control is preferred by riders with longer legs or those seeking a more relaxed posture on the bike.

By moving the controls forward, you can stretch out, reducing knee bend and potential discomfort over long rides. 

Forward controls provide comfort for some, but they may not be suitable for every rider or every riding condition. 

Mid-control vs Forward control on Harley 

In this comparison, we will compare the key factors of the Mid control and the Forward control.



Mid controls are designed to offer a more centered riding experience. Positioned directly below the rider, mid-controls allow for a more upright posture. 

The placement can significantly increase comfort on long rides, reducing fatigue by offering a more natural sitting position. 

The legs and feet are closer to the bike’s center, offering better overall balance and weight distribution.

Forward Control: 

Forward controls push the rider’s feet further ahead. It gives a more relaxed and stretched-out riding stance. 

While this position is seen as more aggressive and can be ideal for riders with longer legs, it might not be as comfortable for longer journeys. 

Visual Perfections


The visual appeal of mid-controls often leans towards a classic and compact look. 

It keeps the central portion of the bike cleaner in design, emphasizing the engine and the core mechanics.

Forward Control: 

This setup gives the bike a more extended look, and they can provide the motorcycle with a unique visual stance, often associated with choppers and custom bikes. 

It’s a style statement that shouts boldness and individuality.

Made Installation Easier

Ease of installation can be crucial, especially if you’re looking to switch controls or make adjustments on your own.


Given that they are closer to the center, mid-controls might be easier for some to reach and work on. 

They typically integrate seamlessly with the existing bike structure, requiring fewer modifications or extensions.

Forward Control: 

Installing forward controls may require more components, like extended brake lines or shift rods. 

While they can be more challenging to install than mid-controls, the process is straightforward for anyone with a bit of mechanical inclination or the right guide.

Which is the best in Mid control vs Forward control?

Mid-control and forward control refer to the positioning of the foot controls, especially on motorcycles. 

Each has its advantages and is suited for different riding styles and ergonomics:

Mid Control:

It provides a more aggressive riding posture suitable for active riding. It offers better weight distribution and balance, ideal for handling corners and navigating city traffic. 

Allows for stand-on pegs, useful for off-road situations. But it might be uncomfortable for taller riders on longer rides due to a bent knee position.

Forward Control:

It offers a relaxed riding posture, great for cruising on highways. It provides more legroom, making it more comfortable for taller riders.

But they reduce aggressive maneuverability and might not offer as much control in corners.

Choosing between mid and forward control depends on your preference, riding style, and intended use. There isn’t a definitive “best”; it’s about what works for you.

Why should you install the mid-control and forward controls?

You can get many of the benefits by installing them on your bike; some of them are here:

  • If you have long legs, then it will be suitable for you
  • They are ideal for riding with passengers
  • You can freely move and place your feet easily 
  • Increase internal confidence about riding 
  • If you’re planning a long ride, then it will provide you with a comfortable ride 
  • You will not feel the stiffness in your knees and back while riding 
  • You can also get the great visuals 
  • Reduces the chances of accidents while you need to break immediately 


Which Harleys have mid-controls?

Harley-Davidson offers mid controls on various models, primarily their Sportster lineup, like the Iron 883 and 1200 and the Roadster. 

It’s essential to check specific year models and configurations, as offerings can change over time.

What are Harley forward controls?

Harley forward controls reposition the motorcycle’s footpegs, brake pedal, and shift lever further forward than standard mid controls. 

It offers a more stretched-out riding position, favoring your comfort on longer rides. They’re commonly found on cruiser models like the Harley Softail series.

Are forward controls worth it?

Forward controls offer a stretched-out riding position, enhancing comfort on long rides. They can reduce cornering clearance.

But their worth depends on your preference, ride duration, and desired handling characteristics.

What are motorcycle mid-controls?

Motorcycle mid controls position the footpegs, brake pedal, and shift lever directly beneath the rider, creating a more upright seating posture. 

This setup offers improved handling and a more engaged riding experience, particularly during aggressive maneuvers. Mid-controls are commonly found on sportier models and are favored for their blend of comfort and control.

Wrapping Up 

I hope this comparison helps you find out the best control on your Harley bike, but both are bike friendly. If you plan to go on a long ride, you must install one to make your ride more comfortable and flexible.

If you want to adjust the seat and maintain regular riding, then the mid controls are better for you. But if you have long legs and mostly go on long rides and ride aggressively, the forward controls are the best option.

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