Do handguards cause more damage when a bike is dropped? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Do handguards cause more damage when a bike is dropped?

I purchased SW-Motech crash bars and Barkbusters VPS handguards for my bike, with the main reason being I'm a new rider and will probably drop the bike at some point A secondary reason is that I've read having handguards increases comfort, especially when riding in adverse weather conditions.

However, I just stumbled across this post on the forum:

Quote:
One issue I've found with my Barkbusters, on two separate occasions now, is they are more likely to damage the handle bars, when you drop the bike. The issue is the handle bars are made of very thin walled steel and will bend under the powerful localized forces the hand guards apply to the bars in a drop. On one occasion the handle bars bent at the forward attachment point of the hand guards. On the second drop the weakly welded end plate of the bars, the part the hand guards screw into, broke free. My advice is if you are adding hand guards for lever and bar protection skip the expensive hand guards and instead purchase an extra brake and clutch lever for $10ea on ebay. It takes all of 5min to replace a damaged brake or clutch lever.
Is that accurate? Will handguards actually do more damage to the bike?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 02:42 PM
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Seems odd to me. Im sure the bark buster is stronger than the stock handlebars, so it seems plausable that they could direct forces in a way that could be morelikely to bend the bars, but aftermarket bars can be purchased pretty cheap so I wouldnt sweat it. Ive used a few sets of Bikemaster bars on other bikes and in my opinion they are at leas as good as stock bars. They go for about $20 and come it a ton of different bends.

We used to run barkbusters on dirtbikes to protect our hands when we clipped trees more than lever protection. To reduce damage to levers and perches, we screwed them to the bar tight enough so they wouldnt spin in normal use, but loose enough so they can when you crash. Some guys also drilled a hole in the lever in a strategic spot, so in a fall the lever would be the sacrificial piece and break at the hole. Replacement levers were cheap and easy to carry. A broken perch was more of an issue.

Since the versys is my first "adventure bike" if you want to call it that, its been a surprise to me how many people seem to buy bark busters for lever protection. I nevr considered them for that function. I can attest to the fact that the plastic shrouds will help keep your hands warm though, and I will likely pick up a set myself for that benefit, but probably just a $30 ebay set since I have NO intentions of riding this thing offroad.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 03:01 PM
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weakest link

the saying is that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. IMO so if you re-enforce the ends of the bars with hd guards, the fall force has to be applied to the next weakest thing.. ie the handle bars...... if you buy hd handlebars then the mount points are the next weakest, etc etc. So, if you are going to beat the crap out of the handle bars, then re-enforce everything and it will take alot more abuse before it is not useable. It is a snowball effect that any racer can attest to...lol. By the way, I still have replacement levers from previous bikes I have owned, that I carried on the bikes and never used with alot more offroad abuse than I'll ever put my V through. Leave it stock, loosen the perchs for the levers so they spin if they get smacked hard on the ground but tight enough so the don't turn from vibration and you are good to go.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 03:41 PM
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IME yes, they can. On the Versys the handguard snapped and managed to damage the screen and on my KLE500 the handguard snapped and took off the valve at the top of the fork.

Both were the type with a metal brace and plastic. When the KLE500 went over with just its plastic handguard, only it broke.

Both bikes now have all plastic handguards.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 03:52 PM
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I run handguards for wind and rain protection.
They are cheaper than barkbusters though, and much better wind protection. I think the brand is powermad...

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Givi racks with V35 sides, and V46 Top-case, Garmin Zumo 450 GPS, Powermadd Handguards, Motowerks GPS Mount, Peg Lowering kit, Flat Foot, Arrow Exhaust, Adjustable Levers, GIPro Gear Indicator, Oxford Heated Grips
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N00bster View Post
...Is that accurate? Will handguards actually do more damage to the bike?
When I low-sided at about 20 mph, left side, beside bending the shifter, this was all the damage to the handle-bars, or my guards (which I covered w/ tape).



A small scratch on the stator cover (did NOT have the skid-plate at that time!).



Small scratches on my H-B crash bars, covered w/ a small piece of electricians tape.



NO damage to handle-bars, and in my recent crash on the Dempster - NO handle-bar or lever damage (tho' LOTS of other stuff got "stuffed"...)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkovo View Post
...Since the versys is my first "adventure bike" if you want to call it that, its been a surprise to me how many people seem to buy bark busters for lever protection. I nevr considered them for that function. I can attest to the fact that the plastic shrouds will help keep your hands warm though, and I will likely pick up a set myself for that benefit, but probably just a $30 ebay set since I have NO intentions of riding this thing offroad.
Shorty levers along w/ guards do a pretty good job protecting things....

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-10-2015, 06:26 PM
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These just screw into the bar end. Dropped several times and got hit by a car. Only scratched some on the ends...

IMG_0018 by weljo2001, on Flickr

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IMG_0017 by weljo2001, on Flickr

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 03:27 AM
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The Versys is my second bike I have had BarkBusters on and and I rate them highly. My KLX was pushed over onto concrete by some arsehole and survived with minor scuffing on the plastic hand guard.
My Versys has been down 3 times at a standstill and again the only damage was a minor scratch on the BarkBuster plastic guard and minor graze on the SW-Motech crash bars. Neither bike suffered handlebar damage.

Want more proof? Check out these 2 videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bEDVpLvP_4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XudvK9mBdpA
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 06:45 AM
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I have the SW crashbar and BB handguards which saved my V the 2x I dropped it. The handguards have scratches from backing up duck-walking and bumped into a concrete wall. The best farkles I put on my bike! Expensive, but we'll worth it.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 07:31 AM
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Not expensive at all when you consider how much damage they save IMO
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickAus View Post
Not expensive at all when you consider how much damage they save IMO
Bark Busters are from Australia too. Is it common to push people's bikes over down under? No wonder BB are built so strong
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
These just screw into the bar end. Dropped several times and got hit by a car. Only scratched some on the ends...

IMG_0018 by weljo2001, on Flickr

IMG_0009 by weljo2001, on Flickr

IMG_0017 by weljo2001, on Flickr
What brand/model are those?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawdog View Post
Bark Busters are from Australia too. Is it common to push people's bikes over down under? No wonder BB are built so strong
My son's bike (my old KLX250) was pushed over in a shopping centre car park this morning and apart from scuffing on the plastic guard and a broken mirror (cheap ebay chinese mirrors) no damage.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 09:54 AM
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I dunno- maybe it's one of those things that it's something that happened to someone one time and they posted about it, but for that one person there's 99 others who dropped their bike and it was fine. I remember seeing that post before I bought mine but did so anyway. I managed to drop my bike within an hour of installing them and all I had was a scuff on the plastics. I bought them mainly to cut down on wind on the back sides of my hands (I have heated grips, also) when it's cold out and I think they (Storms) do their job well. I've worn my summer gloves much later into the season before switching out to my bulky winter ones and don't find they make my hands much warmer in the summer. -Chad
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkovo View Post
What brand/model are those?


http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...oad-handguards

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