Helibars versus Convertibars
Helibars is on the left. Convertibars is on the right.
The Helibars are taller than stock and I have had them since 1999 until now (June 2011). While they are more comfortable than stock, but on long distance ride, I always wished that they could be a little bit taller.
The Convertibars are about 2 inches taller and they are so well made. The adjustability is so much more flexible: the bars can be lowered or raised, the angles can be adjusted from 0 degree to +4, +8, -4, -8. The bars can also be moved fore and aft. The bars itself can be rotated 360 degree around its own axis.
Unlike the Helibars that use 2 bolts to clamp to the fork. The clamps of the Convertibars use a single bolt that draws 2 vertical steel bars together and therefore apply a uniform clamping force on the fork. Same for the clamps of the bars. There is only 1 bolt to torque to clamp on the fork, and another bolt to adjust the height of the bars independently. Brilliant.
Bar end of Convertibars
The female thread inside the bar end of convertibars is so much deeper than my ThrottleMeister bolts. The bolts are metric M6 - 1.0 thread flat head socket cap screws. The ThrottleMeister bolts are 60mm long and I needed 80mm for them to reach the female thread inside the Convertibars. Nobody has them. I finally found them at http://www.fastenal.com
and they have local stores everywhere. The customer service is topnotch. I called a local store on the phone and ordered 2 to be picked up locally and they did not even ask me for my VISA. They just took my name and ordered them for me.
This is the only drawback of the Convertibars. There is no reason for the female thread inside the bar to be this deep. They should at least provide some adapters or long bolts as there are no bar ends with that long of a bolt. If they are any deeper, the Convertibars would be unusable, because the longest 6mm bolt available is 80mm and it barely reached the female thread inside the bars to reinstall my bar ends. Nobody in the world make a 6mm bolt longer than 80mm. Again, may be it's my bar ends as mine are ThrottleMeister's heavy duty bar ends and they are longer than stock.
This was how my Helibars were installed. I raised it up 1/2 inch from the top of the triple clamp just to gain a little more height...
Helibars looking from the front
This was how the Helibars look like from the front. This picture is to show the original angles before the Convertibars were installed.
Helibars from the top
This is to show how the Helibars angles looked.
Before the Convertibars were installed, I put my XX on centerstand, with the handlebars pointing straight ahead and measured the distance from the ground to the left handlebar so I could get a baseline for later comparison.
The distance was 998mm (2 mm short of 1 meter).
Convertibars Left side
There were so many ways to install the convertibars and finally this was what it looked like.
Convertibars right side
I had to remove the throttle cables at the throttle tube and rerouted them from the front of the right fork to behind the right fork. The brake lines are Galfer with 2 inches longer than stock. Same for the clutch line which is Galfer with 2 inches longer.
Convertibars left bar end distance to ground from centerstand
Now with the convertibars installed, the measured distance from the top of the left bar end to ground, from the centerstand, is now 1010mm. Which was 12mm taller than the Helibars. This may not seem much, as it's only 1/2 inch taller. But the bars are further back toward the riding position and that makes a big difference. See other pictures of the convertibars taken from the front and top.
The bars can be adjusted to go higher for another inch, but my Galfer brake/clutch lines and throttle cable ran out of room. I will need longer brake/clutch lines and longer throttle cable if I want to go higher. The current brake/clutch lines are 2" longer than stock and the throttle cable is stock.
convertibars top view
See how further back they are. Compare this picture with the picture below, which was taken with the Helibars. Pay attention to the sticker on the left side of the gas tank for reference.