Hippo Hands or their equivalent? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Question Hippo Hands or their equivalent?

With the amount of discussion going on around fit vs. installation issues around hand guards....thought I'd ask the question:

Is anybody using hand protectors like the Hippo Hands or similar? Agreed, it doesn't look great....but does it do the job of cutting off the windchill?

I see Hippo Hands for Versys listed at roughly 70 bucks...is it worth the money? Really looking to increase riding comfort for the next couple of months here in Raleigh, NC....

Thanks for your input. If you have any pics, post 'em up!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 07:02 AM
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On the UK forum they rave about the KTM handguards, which are supposedly easy to fit and have very few interference problems with other mods such as bigger screens
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 08:08 AM
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I've not used them myself, but I've heard good things about them. I think they are used widely with folks on snowmobiles. The theory is certainly sound in that they reduce convective heat transfer because they basically eliminate any wind around the hands.

The only downside that I've heard is that some people feel almost claustrophobic because their hands are not free to release from the grips in case of a getoff. Obviously they are not tied on, but there would be some amount of obstruction.

Probably nothing here you didn't already know, but maybe it will help.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:09 AM
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I got the hippo hands after I found my powermadd handguards and heavy gloves were still not enough to keep my hands warm. I've been pleased with the hippo hands and they come on and off in about 5 minutes. The opening is wide enough that I have no problem getting my hands in and out quickly if needed. My hands have always been my weak point in cold weather and I found that while the hippo hands do block the wind my hands still get cold at temps below about 45 if riding over about 20 minutes. I ended up also adding oxford hot hands over grips as well and only my thumbs and tips of my fingers felt a bit cold during an 80 mile ride one morning when the temperature, at the time I got back, was 36 degrees. If your hands aren't as cold sensitive as mine you might be able to add only the hippo hands. I'll see if I can get some pics. And, yes, they do give your bike the British Bike Messenger look but at least you're able to ride. ;-)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks healdem and Chris!

El Tig - appreciate your input as a current user....yes, my hands are my weakest links...and one a bike they need to be the strongest to operate safely!

Pics would be phenomenal...and did you buy the ones they make specifically for Versys? Thanks!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2009, 09:55 AM
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I bought some 25 dollar four-wheeling "mits" from cabellas.com I just need to go pick them up at the store now. they were cheap and it's more then I have now so yeah I'll post what I think of them when I get down there...

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 03:06 PM
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I still have a set of the original Hippo Hands that I got in 1982. These are the big vinyl units with the fake sheep wool inside. They are big and stiff, but they are the best things I ever had to keep hands and lower arms warm. All I ever used was the brown cotton gloves inside them.

With the newer bikes and all the master cylinders and junk mounted on the bars, they don't fit so good or I would still be using them.

I have a set of the lightweight canvas ones that are used mostly for atv's, and they do an ok job of keeping the rain and cold off your hands. The problem with them is that they are not stiff enough to keep the wind from pushing them back against the front brake lever and slightly applying the brakes. I know this because I can't use my cruise control because the brake lever is being moved enough to activate the brake light switch.

This can be remedied by making some sort of a brace to keep the hippo hand from being blown back by the wind.

There are a few drawbacks to the hippo hands, but IMO, there is nothing that comes close to providing the protection from the cold and wind. I used to ride in temps that sometimes went below zero and still used nothing on my hands but those brown cotton gloves. ( I was young, tough , and not so smart back then).

I recommend them .

Anybody else think these buffalo wings taste a lot like chicken?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 08:22 AM
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I did buy the Versys specific ones and they fit fine if not quite perfectly around the mirror. Here is what they look like:

http://s690.photobucket.com/albums/vv263/Vrsys/
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks El Tig! Fist time I've seen them on the V!

Have you also noticed them pushing against the brake lever?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 09:15 AM
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I already had handguards installed so the hippo hands aren't an issue hitting the controls. The maker says they are stiffer than the original model hippo hands and should not pose a problem but, if they do, he shows some simple brackets in the instructions that can be installed to keep them from hitting the levers if it is an issue.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tig View Post
I already had handguards installed so the hippo hands aren't an issue hitting the controls. The maker says they are stiffer than the original model hippo hands and should not pose a problem but, if they do, he shows some simple brackets in the instructions that can be installed to keep them from hitting the levers if it is an issue.

So hippo hands do fit with handguards installed?


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 06:43 PM
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I guess it really depends on the handguards.....I have the powermadd star series ones that are not very large (they actually sell a larger insert than what I have) so I have no problem. The company might have an idea of what might or might not work if they've had returns due to sizing conflicts.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 06:49 PM
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Remind me why you guys are going for the Hippo Hands and not heated grips? Were the heated grips just not enough wind protection?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 07:35 PM
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Heated grips heat the bottom of your hand, the top still gets cold. I think heated gloves are better if a person wants to go the electric route, at least they heat the top and bottom of the hand.

The hippo hands keep the wind off of your hands and lower arms, which also keeps wind from going up the sleeves of your jacket.

If you use the quick attach canvas hippo hands, they really make a difference in a rain storm, by keeping your hands and arms dry and warm. Then when the rain quits, one quick stop and you can remove them.

I used to snowmobile, and with the heated grips, some part of your hand was always cold, while other parts would sweat.

That's my story anyway, ymmv.

Anybody else think these buffalo wings taste a lot like chicken?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 08:35 PM
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Heated grips don't kill the wind. And from my own eperiences, I've found that the wind is far more painful than the actual cold air. So while heated grips are nice, handguards or hippo hands (or both!!) are needed if you really want to keep those fingers warm.


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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-03-2009, 09:13 PM
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Ok, I guess when I think about it, the tops of my hands do get kinda cold.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 08:19 PM
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I got the hippo hands in October and they really work. My hands get cold even off the bike, so they really froze when riding. With the HH I can ride easily down to 20 degrees F with just light gloves on. The folks who make them are great. Quick service, friendly. I definitely recommend them over anything electric. I don't have handguards on my bike, but I certainly need a bracket - otherwise the HHs press the clutch and brake levers at 40 mph or above. The openings are huge so it doesn't feel like my hands are trapped - very easy to get my hands into and out of them.

A great product.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De-Silva View Post
Thanks El Tig! Fist time I've seen them on the V!

Have you also noticed them pushing against the brake lever?
De-Silva:

I tried a couple of different brands of hippo hands on my Vs, and just couldn't get them to stay off my brake and clutch levers without hand guards.

Not sure if it was you that asked; but I've found hippo hands better than heated grips, as others have said, becaue they cut the wind. An nice alternative to heated grips are heated glove liners, particularly if you have more than one bike, since you can use the glove liners on any bike you want, with minimal installation effort. I use Gerbing heated clothing, as it is top quality, and Gerbing support both the sport, and the community.

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