I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. The Interesting Facts and Trivia page has a new bit of history added each week. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Monday, March 21, 2016

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!

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* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.



  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.

  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

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

  4. Hello !
    I have a question about Helibars?
    All original cables and hydraulic lines works?
    Thank you>

    1. Yes, all the original cables and lines worked and fit properly. Sorry for late reply.

  5. has anybody tried convertibars on VFR1200?

  6. This is a really helpful review. Bought my VFR a year ago and comfort has been the only questionable feature of the bike. I see other people complaining of sore wrists, but my problem is a sore neck. I have slight spinal damage from earlier bike adventures. I reckon an 8% reduction in lean angle would be quite enough to sort this and also help to push my butt a little further back on the seat relaxing the angle at my knees. Also interested in what you have to say about cornering. I scrubbed in a new back tyre (that's how we spell it over here) yesterday and while the bike certainly goes round corners an improvement in fluidity would not go amiss. So thanks for the review, even though it took me 4 years to read it...I'm slow that way. I retire at Christmas so if I can get the comfort issues sorted I'll be hanging onto this bike for a long time...hope so anyway

    1. Congrats on your retirement and your purchase of the VFR. The Helibars sure helped me a lot and I loved what they did for the feel of handling. I hope they help you as much. Good luck and enjoy your rides.