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 Upgrade from Honda Helix

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bigbird
numnumcook
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numnumcook
Scooter Rider
Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 3
Location : Canada
Points : 3351
Registration date : 2012-05-31

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PostSubject: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeThu May 31, 2012 3:15 pm

Greetings all,

I've been been reading for the last year or so on this forum and noticed a bunch of you have had or still have a Helix. Just wanted to get a little more insight on what I might expect in moving up from a Helix to a Silver Wing.

I ride solo (wife won't ride with me) and have no friends that ride. I started out with the MSF course 4 years ago on motorcyles, found out they weren't for me. Bought a Honda Ruckus, rode it ~5000km for a year (active member of totalruckus.com) modded it a bit.

The bought a 98 Helix imported from the US. The thing is blast to ride and very comfy (w/ Utopia backrest). It is fast enough for the majority of the riding I do, (occasional commute/weekend ride when I can) with the exception of highway where it reaches its limits.

This is my third year with the Helix and I just received my full M licence after my second safety/training course. I am now ready to move up in size without breaking the bank (under $5000) and sell my Helix and Ruckus.

I have always been a scooter guy for as long as I can remember. I love the automatic trans for ease of use (cars I prefer std.), smaller wheels, smaller size, easier to clean and just being different than 99% of other bikers.

Last year I went to look at a older Hondamatic and the thing was much bigger than I expected and realized I don't want to go that big! I've got a bit of a weak left knee from too many sports injuries.

I know the Swing weighs some 200 lbs. more than my Helix, but the ones I've seen in the showroom looked like a very manageable size and of course step though convenience.

I'm very curious with Honda Integra, but know I won't be able to afford one anytime soon, nor is there any certainty it will even come here. Also, I should mention I've though about a used DN-01 even with all of its quirks, but haven't found one in my price range yet. Strangely most of them have very little mileage...

Sorry about the long post, just wanted to provide some background info on where I'm at.

Thanks in advance for your opinions/time!


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bigbird
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru


Number of posts : 2413
Location : Winnipeg
Points : 6725
Registration date : 2010-05-02

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeThu May 31, 2012 3:33 pm

Where in Canada do you live?

You will find the Swing very heavy, until it starts to move, at which point it becomes very easy to ride. Plan ahead, as in back into parking stalls and look for easy places to U-turn. It's no fun "waddling" the Swing around, even in a garage. You'll enjoy the power and easy 120 km/h cruising speed, if you so desire. In stock form, the engine and drivetrain do vibrate at low rpm under acceleration. They smooth out after rolling back the throttle. There is an easy mod if you want to smooth everything out. Do a search here on Dr. Pulley sliders to learn about it.

The Swing is unique, as are the Burgman 650 and to a lesser extent the Yamaha T-Max, in that they really are heavy powerful motorcycles first, wrapped up in scooter clothing.
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numnumcook
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Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 3
Location : Canada
Points : 3351
Registration date : 2012-05-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeThu May 31, 2012 4:27 pm

Thanks for the info bigbird.

I live in Ottawa. I am used to the 'planning ahead' thing with sharp turns etc. as I do the same with the Helix having a longer wheelbase than the Swing (64in vs. 63in). I was hoping it would be a little more manageable than the Helix at low speed with a shorter wheelbase and the different engine placement, even with the greater weight.

I am a huge fan of Dr. Pulley sliders. I used them in my Ruckus though haven't found a need for them in my Helix, though there is a noticeable buzz around 58-62mph stock. Actually I haven't had a need to open up the variator yet. I read somewhere it is greased or needs grease if replacing the rollers, so I haven't even bothered to replace them with sliders.

Is the accel vibration really that bad? Regardless, I would most likely throw slightly lighter sliders anyways to replace stock rollers in the Swing.
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bigbird
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru


Number of posts : 2413
Location : Winnipeg
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Registration date : 2010-05-02

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeThu May 31, 2012 5:25 pm

numnumcook wrote:

Is the accel vibration really that bad?

Some owners complain about it, others say they don't even notice it. Mine ,when new, with no mods, definitely had what I would call moderate vibration. I didn't like it. Raising the engagement rpm of the front variator with either lighter sliders or a J Costa variator, both of which I have tried, definitely eliminated that vibration and the accompanying belt slap.
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GHM-PM
Site Admin
GHM-PM

Number of posts : 2016
Age : 68
Location : Bullhead City, AZ
Points : 5570
Registration date : 2012-05-17

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeThu May 31, 2012 5:52 pm

numnumcook wrote:

Is the accel vibration really that bad?

I traded in a Kawaskai KLR 650 (dual sport; big single) so to me the 'Wing is smooth as glass. Actually I do detect a small amout of buzzing at certain RPM's but nothing compared to what I was used to with the big Kaw!!! Good luck!
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larryinseattle
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 388
Age : 68
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 4541
Registration date : 2010-03-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 12:22 am

I owned a couple of Helix scooters. This is a different ride completely. The SW you sit upright with your feet forward. The Helix you sit back with your feet forward. a ton more power on the SW.

The helix gets 75 - 80 mpg and the sw will get 50 if you ride it decent. more like 40 if you ride it hard.
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john grinsel
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john grinsel

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 1:44 am

Having owned/ridden 4 Helix, all purchased new, ridden 36-50000 miles each and traded....and a new SilverWing, I am not sure you are upgrading when moving to SilverWing, other than SilverWing is still current production and larger displacement.

Helix has wonderful trunk, valves that can be adjusted in parking lot, drive belt that can be changed without taking clutches apart, easy removal of seat to get at stuff as opposed to removing plastic on SilverWing. Of course 250 to 600 cc apples and oranges comparison---two negatives on Helix #1 J rated (62mph) tires on bike that will go 70 plus mph, downhill/tailwind #2 Trailing link front end does not like winter salt. Another plus with Helix has rear foot brake, very useful for balancing aid


Helix still in production, I would consider purchase, same as soon as current Burgman has 50,000 miles, I would consider another SilverWing.

3 of the 4 Helix I had had either rear clutch problem or clutch bearing problems, all covered under warranty.
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PHXScooterBill
Maxi-Scooter Rider
Maxi-Scooter Rider
PHXScooterBill

Number of posts : 142
Location : Miami, Oklahoma, USA
Points : 3860
Registration date : 2011-06-07

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 4:23 am

I loved the Helix when I had one. It was my first maxi-scooter. My wife felt the pillion seat was the most comfortable on the Helix of all my maxi-scoots (Helix, Burgs 650, 400 & S-Wing). The thing I hated the most on my '95 Helix was the way the coolant temperature would get real hot quickly in downtown traffic. I was told by a dealer this was endemic to the model until it was resolved on the last model year available in the USA. My three other maxis stayed at the same cool temperature no matter how long they idled in the summer heat.

Ditto to other's comments on the center of gravity difference. The Helix has a much lower seat height. The long wheel-base was easy to handle, unlike when I rode my friend's Yamaha Morphous. After two Burgmans I was used to the higher center of gravity on the Silver Wing. I'd still go back to a Helix for a second bike for around town, but honestly the S-Wing is good enough for that too.
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larryinseattle
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 388
Age : 68
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 4541
Registration date : 2010-03-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 9:51 am

The under seat storage is larger than the trunk of the Helix.

The Helix is carberated and the SW is fuel injected.

The rear brake on the helix is drum, on the SW it is disk.

Here is my brother on his helix and me on my Silverwing in April 12 north of Phoenix in the desert.

Upgrade from Honda Helix 011
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larryinseattle
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 388
Age : 68
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 4541
Registration date : 2010-03-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 9:53 am

Here are the bikes at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. My brother has a pet carrier on his Helix to carry his little "Buddy is his name) dog.

Upgrade from Honda Helix IMG_2512
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bigbird
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru


Number of posts : 2413
Location : Winnipeg
Points : 6725
Registration date : 2010-05-02

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 9:53 am

Very safely attired and protected. Sad
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larryinseattle
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 388
Age : 68
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 4541
Registration date : 2010-03-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 9:54 am

My brother could buy anything he wants and has at times considered buying a SW, but stays with the Helix due to the reliability of the bike and the gas mileage. His is an 1986.

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larryinseattle
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 388
Age : 68
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 4541
Registration date : 2010-03-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 9:56 am

bigbird wrote:
Very safely attired and protected. Sad

Right... I wore pants instead of shorts and I had a hat on to protect me from the sun. I had tennis shoes rather than flip flops. It was 95 in Phoenix.

We also used sunscreen.

I stood on the edge of the canyon and survived!
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bigbird
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru


Number of posts : 2413
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Points : 6725
Registration date : 2010-05-02

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 9:59 am

Where's your and bro's helmets, gloves, ballistic mesh jackets, boots, you know the drill.
Or don't you care?
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larryinseattle
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 388
Age : 68
Location : Lattitude 47
Points : 4541
Registration date : 2010-03-31

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 10:14 am

bigbird wrote:
Where's your and bro's helmets, gloves, ballistic mesh jackets, boots, you know the drill.
Or don't you care?

We rode without all of that and survived! The dog did have a water bowl and a bottle of water along. That was the only safety measure we took that day.

We did stop by your gas station:

Upgrade from Honda Helix 016
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MikeO
Site Admin
MikeO

Number of posts : 3451
Age : 72
Location : Seaham, Co Durham, UK
Points : 8082
Registration date : 2009-06-29

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrade from Honda Helix   Upgrade from Honda Helix I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 01, 2012 10:18 am

You two are pathetic; it's about time you both took the hint about not spoiling the forum for the majority and grew up.

Thread locked.
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