Bark Buster fitment at handlebar - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2016, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Bark Buster fitment at handlebar

Received BB kit from Revzilla, the handlebar clamp simply will not line up properly without torqueing the crap out of it - if I follow the instructions and keep the backbone 'level'. If I rotate the backbone clockwise about 20-30 deg (looking at bar end), it will line up virtually perfectly in the clamp but then the clutch lever is below the backbone. The levers are in stock position as far as I can tell (2nd owner).

Is this common for Bark Buster? I've looked at a bunch of comments, they seem to fit properly and this crowd would have warned if otherwise. Checked the part # against their list, it's correct.

Anyone else have this problem? Does it matter if the lever is fully (but just) below the backbone? Quality issues?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2016, 07:07 PM
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PHX Joe, The barends fit better, but I was able to fit some clamp on ones I had, but I had to bend the aluminum bracket. I also had to rotate handlebars up to keep off of tank at full lock.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Feedback appreciated! I decided to send them back, I couldn't fit the throttle side at all, and while I could have bent the backbone - I couldn't bring myself to fit their $140 "bike specific" kit. I did trade emails with the maker - they were very good at getting back to me, and thought I might have the wrong kit - but alas, just poor engineering or QC or both.

Any other votes for better fitment?

Much appreciated, gents. Cheer!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 12:25 PM
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Joe - I've installed Zeta ZC guards on two bikes, and adjusted the OEM stock guards on my '15 to be at the proper angle (I also have 2" risers). Took awhile, but NOT really an issue.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2016, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ed - can you advise which model you fit to your V? Doesn't seem to be bike-specific on their website. Thanks.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 12:42 PM
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Joe - here's a link to their site:

- ZETA RACING -

and here are two pics of mine on the '08:





My '15 LT came w/ Kawi guards which I have modded to be able to remove the plastic bits from the front (as on Zetas...), and I would recommend the Zetas OVER the Kawi ones.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Again, thanks for the help. Cheers!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PHX_Joe View Post
Received BB kit from Revzilla, the handlebar clamp simply will not line up properly without torqueing the crap out of it - if I follow the instructions and keep the backbone 'level'. If I rotate the backbone clockwise about 20-30 deg (looking at bar end), it will line up virtually perfectly in the clamp but then the clutch lever is below the backbone. The levers are in stock position as far as I can tell (2nd owner).

Is this common for Bark Buster? I've looked at a bunch of comments, they seem to fit properly and this crowd would have warned if otherwise. Checked the part # against their list, it's correct.

Anyone else have this problem? Does it matter if the lever is fully (but just) below the backbone? Quality issues?

Thanks.
Barkbuster handguards are a high quality product but they require a mounting kit specific for the Versys. I ended up removing and selling them as they interfered with my Gaffer SS brake lines. The kit attached two brake lines at the reservoir, I ended up using a longer bolt and some washers to provide clearance but then they contacted my windshield on a tight turn after I did the mod.

If they have been crashed the aluminum backbone can bend which could cause fitment issues. You can fix this with some heat from a blow torch and some hammering in a vice.

I like the look of hand guards but they do nothing as far as cold weather comfort goes and I don't ride off road where I need protection for my hands from branches. They do protect the brake and clutch levers but a replacement lever is <$20 and the guards cost almost $200CDN with the Versys specific parts. I'm just as happy now without them and the extra weight and cost they add.

Fasteddie - in the pictures you posted the custom bar end weights that come with the BB Versys kit is missing. I would expect you would get more handle bar vibration because of this. In the BB kit I had, the backbone mounted to the custom BB end weights, not directly to the bar.

Last edited by twowheels; 08-23-2016 at 11:45 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 12:06 PM
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"Fasteddie - in the pictures you posted the custom bar end weights that come with the BB Versys kit is missing. I would expect you would get more handle bar vibration because of this. In the BB kit I had, the backbone mounted to the custom BB end weights, not directly to the bar...."

Those are Zeta XC guards, and they don't come w/ bar-end weights. I removed the OEM ones, and have NEVER noticed any bothersome vibes on either bike (same type on my '09 for 63K kms - the '08 has 66K miles)....

Ed
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 06:35 AM
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I have the originals that come with the LT version.
After 1 crash on left, it flipped up and took the clutch cable adjustment screw with it.

They are not solid at all. Test your by hand. I'm not saying you could lift the bike with them, but I sure don't expect them to move like that.

I tried to loosen everything (clamp and the backbone screw) and realized as you say that the alignment is really bad.


Plus, you cannot give any torque, the stupid allen bolt stripped in the head. Now I have to find replacement bolts (trsu me it will be hex head, and blue threadlock which was missing).

I'm thinking of removing them entirely sine they don't even protect the lever when they flip up. They just break stuff. Can you imagine if they cracked the master cylinder...
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 12:34 PM
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So, I ended up finding a replacement bolt (much harder steel).

But the best thing I could do to prevent them from flipping up is heavy duty zip ties to the triple clamp!

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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At the end of the day, I've ordered the Zeta bars to test the fitment and a set of shorty levers (less to hit around the bar end). I may or may not keep any/all, but another Versys discussion with several valid points of view. Thanks to all.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 02:55 PM
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At the end of the day, I've ordered the Zeta bars to test the fitment and a set of shorty levers (less to hit around the bar end). I may or may not keep any/all, but another Versys discussion with several valid points of view. Thanks to all.
Hey, How'd your Zeta's turn out, JOE??? I thinking on finally getting those for MUH 2012 Gen 2 after Fasteddie has been recommending them for years. Still would like to retain my Bar-ENDs, though! DOH!!!!!

THANKS ALL!!!!

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-19-2018, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Morgan2112;1574065]Hey, How'd your Zeta's turn out, JOE??? I thinking on finally getting those for MUH 2012 Gen 2 after Fasteddie has been recommending them for years. Still would like to retain my Bar-ENDs, though! DOH!!!!!

As it turns out, I'm an idiot! The Zeta and the BB both fit like crap, at least as I interpreted the instructions. I ended up returning the Zeta parts just like the BB items. BB instructs the alum. bar is 'flat' (level to ground) from the bar, but it simply doesn't fit that way - and after seeing other installations, I went with the BB with more of a 'V' shaped to the ground. Works just fine. Select the parts you like and run with it!


I've learned that parts fit VERY fussy, and after screwing with the BB, they have performed admirably after many drops. I suggest that whatever you buy, take the time to fit everything loosely, then tighten up a bit here and there until you get it tight. Fast Eddie has probably done this in his sleep, being the 30+ (50+?) year bike guy (sorry, Ed), but for me it was WTF?


End of it all, I think any spec'ed hand guard will fit if you're patient and thoughtful. And more mechanically inclined than I, but they work just fine. I used blue loctitite on all fasteners.

Good luck!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 05:37 PM
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Hey, How'd your Zeta's turn out, JOE??? I thinking on finally getting those for MUH 2012 Gen 2 after Fasteddie has been recommending them for years. Still would like to retain my Bar-ENDs, though! DOH!!!!!

THANKS ALL!!!!
I used and recommended them on both my Gen 1s, as the time I low-sided the '08 all the bike got was a few scratches (I busted a couple of ribs....).

I "tried-out" the OEM ones on my Gen 3 a few days ago in Bella Coola, BC, but you'll have to read my MEMBERS RIDES about the event (should get it started in a day or two) to see what (and HOW!) it happened....
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