When I tested a set of HeliBars Horizon ST (Sport Touring) multi-adjustable handlebars two years ago, they were available only for the Kawasaki Concours 14 (Rider, October 2011). Heli Modified, Inc. has since expanded the fitment range to include BMW K 1600 GT/GTL, Honda ST1100/1300 and Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 models. And it has introduced all-new Horizon LST (Luxury Sport Touring) handlebars for the Honda Gold Wing GL1800 and F6B.
At the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota last August, I met company owner Harry Eddy, a man who takes great pride in having helped thousands of motorcyclists ride more comfortably for the past 25 years. HeliBars handlebars, risers and other products are American-made, and they come with a one-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. Harry handed me the keys to his Horizon LST-equipped 2007 Honda GL1800, which has Galfer front rotors and pads and a Corbin seat, but is otherwise stock and runs on OE tires.
Horizon LST handlebars have a patented design that allows a huge range of adjustment. They can be positioned anywhere from 1 to 2.5 inches higher than stock, and fore/aft over a 4-inch range (up to 3 inches closer to the rider than stock, and one inch farther away—any more and they would hit the fairing at full left or right lock). The grip angle can be adjusted fore/aft over a 26-degree range and up/down over a 16-degree range. Just use a hex wrench to loosen the various clamps and adjust position in one dimension at a time, making small changes until the ideal setup is achieved. With the bars set for my height and reach, I went for a two-hour test ride on back roads between Sturgis and Spearfish.
The Gold Wing offers the ultimate in long-haul comfort, but its handlebars are in a fixed position. With Horizon LST handlebars fitted, riders unhappy with that position can adjust the location of the grips to better suit their particular body type and riding style. As I found with the Horizon ST-equipped Kawasaki Concours 14, the LST-equipped Gold Wing required less steering effort. Also, because a crossbar connects the left and right risers, they flex less than the stock bars, providing more direct and precise feel. The crossbar also provides a secure place to mount electronics.
Horizon LST handlebars are available for 2001-2013 GL1800s (except airbag models) and the new F6B. The design and build-quality are top-notch, with aircraft alloy risers, pivots CNC machined from aluminum billet, low-carbon steel handgrips and alloy steel hardware. Installation takes about two hours and uses all stock cables, hydraulic lines and wire looms. Priced at $795, they can be preordered now through the HeliBars website ($200 refundable deposit required), with deliveries starting in December. They are finished in medium-gloss black powdercoat, and the first 150 units will include special contrast cut machining and free shipping (U.S. and Canada). Full production will begin in early 2014, with a chrome finish available by mid-year.
For more information:
Heli Modified, Inc., 20 Industrial Way, Cornish, Maine 04020; (800) 289-1047; helibars.com/goldwing