Product Review

FLY Racing AERO Tapered Handlebars Review

Author: David Hogan

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In 1998 FLY Racing was established as a Moto brand. Surprisingly the two products that launched the brand were not pants and jerseys that we see from FLY as a few key staple products today. It was in fact Helmets and Handlebars that launched the FLY racing brand.

In the Australian Market, we have not had access to certain aspects of the whole FLY Racing product range. Some of those products have been the OG product range of Handlebars. Until now.

FLY Racing Australia is now able to offer the AERO Tapered Handlebar, Bar Pad and CONTROL Grips to the Australian Market. Available through your affiliated local motorcycle dealer. I was lucky enough to be able to test these products and naturally, I, as a test rider for Fullnoise was happy to fit up a set and take them for a spin as part of an AlwaysMoto inspection.

From the moment you unbox these tapered bars. They look and feel like a market leader. In a smooth and sexy black with subtle FLY logos. It’s a stylish product. The bend we used for this inspection was the KTM/SUZ 09-12 (FLY Racing Part number 18 96401) otherwise known as the Reed/Henry bend which has been a preferred bend of handlebars for many years by many a top-line rider. For the less aware, the Tapered bar is a crossbar-less set-up.

The bars come with a Crossbar pad that is a very different take from the traditional bar pad. It is not your stock foam-filled pad. It’s a moulded honeycomb impact dispersion bar pad design with a durable TPR cover. I will say that the bar pad is super light and nicely fitted over the clamp area.

The TPR cover did seem to be backwards in the velcro position for the way I wanted the main top logo to sit facing me. But minor personal aesthetic issues here so keep moving. The Honeycomb pad design to me feels very lightweight. But with the lightweight design. The FLY Racing bar pad has not lost any of the intended safety aspects of the product. A stray head or another appendage will still be cushioned from the metal beneath the pad when it makes contact with the clamp area.

The CONTROL grips from FLY hit straight to my heart. For many years now, I’ve been a thinner is better grip guy after issues with forearm pump, severe blistering and struggles with hand positioning during cornering. For those that don’t know. I’ve done a bit of study in anatomy and physiology (Physio over here). I still remember the first time I heard the theory about optimum muscle length for force produced and things clicked about my forearm pump issues. Thinner grips allow me with an average-sized hand.

To control my ride with less fatigue and the rest of the issues I listed before have faded away. These FLY CONTROL grips are in that thinner mould with minimal extras to the overall grips design mould. They are available as all grips should be in full waffle, half-waffle and Race light (no waffle). Along with Firm, Medium and soft compounds. The particular model we inspected was half-waffle and medium compound. I would love to try the Race lights in the future. My normal grip preference is no waffle, again just to get it as thin as possible.

So how did they stack up on our first few hours of use?
Exactly how a handlebar and grip should. Generally unnoticed. The grips are comfortable in the hand and show no sign of wear from our few hours of use so far. The bars aren’t overly rigid, they’d be middle of the road compared to the different bars on the market.

This is a general characteristic of tapered bars as a crossbar adds rigidity. This Tapered Bar being middle of the road with rigidity is again a nice comfort aspect to reduce rider fatigue and potential arm pump issues. Now so far and for future efforts, Fingers crossed. I haven’t dropped the bike so no news on how the bars go with crash impact from a bending point of view. But If that’s your concern. I think you might be looking at this all wrong. Bars will bend if they hit the ground. I don’t care what brand you use. They will all bend. As long as they don’t break and you can ride it home, that’s what counts!

Is there anything to dislike? Look, it’s my job to be fussy, picky so and so. So here are my very minor dislikes. The sticker with the part number fell apart when trying to get it off so I had to spend ten minutes peeling it off. The only other thing I’d add here. But keep in mind almost all bar brands could improve here.

The guidelines to line up the position of the bars in the clamps isn’t enough. I’d love to see a few more lines here and not just vertical for roll. But a few horizontal for alignment to the side of the clamps to ensure the bar is square in the clamp. Outside of these minor dislikes, I had a really positive experience with the new Australian Market offerings from FLY Racing and will be continuing to put more time into these products in the months to come. Lockdown and all.

The FLY Racing brand is well established in Australia and Worldwide. These hard part products are a great addition to the Australian market. These products should definitely be considered by all levels of riders when making your next handlebar and grip purchase.

So where to from here? To your local dealer to order a new set for your ride and then back to Fullnoise.com.au inspections for whatever quality product we are next adding to the Inspection list, maybe another FLY Racing product on the horizon?

The FLY Racing products are distributed in Australia by Mcleod Accessories. For more info on the available products and their features. Head to https://www.mcleodaccessories.com.au/brands/fly-racing/

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