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Monday, March 21, 2016

Rising up on the Honda VFR 1200 - Helibars review

The Honda VFR 1200 is a great machine with plenty of horsepower (172 reported by topspeed.com), ABS, traction control and a sleek top notched finish.  This sport-touring motorcycle, however, has one of the most aggressive seating positions for its class. It took a little getting use to after almost four years on the Yamaha FJR 1300 and its less aggressive position.
Photo taken during first all day ride shortly after purchasing the VFR.
On shorter rides (200 miles or less) the riding position was OK and the fun factor was great, but I did notice more discomfort than I would like, especially on the 653 mile day I rode in July 2014 to Walsenburg, CO.
Riding and camping in Colorado & New Mexico, July 2014
In January, 2016 I started considering selling the VFR and purchasing another FJR (both are great bikes).  After a lot of thought and discussion with fellow riders I decided to customize the VFR for me.  The top priority was to relax the sitting position.

After performing some research I ordered the Helibars VFR 1200 risers which provide a 2 inch rise, 1 inch pull back and are longer by 1 inch.  They arrived in 2 business days complete with detail installation instructions.  With the help from a couple of friends the new bars were installed in short time.
Helibars look so much like the stock bars it is almost impossible to tell the difference
My initial test ride with the Helibars was very positive.  I immediately felt more comfortable and noticed a smoother/easier control on turns & curves.  Suspecting my first impressions might be my optimism and anticipation of the changes I knew I would need to take a much longer ride to gather clearer and more detailed impressions.
Upon inspection one can see the bigger gap between the base of the handlebars and the controls.
A couple of days later I was able to ride the VFR on country and city roads, with and without traffic, through sweeping curves and tight corners - a ride range of riding environments.  Now I can say with all certainty the Helibars were worth the money!

I felt more relaxed, more in control and less fatigued at the end of the day.  The risers decreased my lean angle by approximately 8%.  I was expecting the risers to improve the comfort of my ride, but the improvement and smoothness I felt in the handling is a bonus!  Pressing into the corners feels more fluid.

The Helibars risers' finish is professional and they merge with the stock controls seamlessly.  everything fit perfectly and was easy to reinstall.  Other than the height change one can not distinguish the difference between the stock bars and the Helibars.
Great finish on the Helibars risers - photo from Helibars.com
I highly recommend Helibars, especially if a rider needs to relax the riding position on his/her bike.  Great quality and quick fulfillment of the order.  Installation instructions are clear and complete.

Lets ride!
  

3 comments:

  1. We often underestimate just how important proper fitting bars are to comfort. I typically go through 2 or 3 sets of bars on any new bike before I find just the right fit. Glad you found a configuration that suits.

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  2. HELI Bars have been around a long time and they are top notch. I had them on my R1 and my CBR1000RR. They made a world of difference and saved my back and shoulders.
    John Baumgratz

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  3. My love for motorcycle has brought me here and I feel quite lucky. Your reviews are quite helpful! thanks for the Helibars suggestion.

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