Hand guards - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hand guards

I want to buy some handguards for my 2015 Versys, but can decide which ones to get. Im torn between what seems to be the industry standard Bark Busters brand and the SW Motech Kobra handguards.

Does anyone have any experience with either if these or others? I don't need off-road lever protection, just wind, rain, and bada$$ looks. (I favor the kobras for this).

Thoughts and comments would be much appreciated!

SW-MOTECH Kobra Handguard Kit Kawasaki Versys 650 2007-2015-2016 - RevZilla

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-12-2016, 12:10 PM
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I used ZETA XC guards on both my '08 and '09s. You can get MANY colors, PLUS it's available w/ built-in turn sigs. Low-sided my '08 some years back at 20 to 30 mph - NO damage to the lever, and I covered the scratches w/ reflective tape (pic #3). They required removal of the bar-end weights, and I have NOT noticed any excessive vibes over 100,000+ miles w/ them....

IF my '15 hadn't come w/ guards, ZETAs are what I would've put on, and I HAVE modded the LT guards so I can remove the plastics from the front.





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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:15 PM
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I think the Kobra's and the Zetas that Eddie showed are both good. I opted for the Acerbis Dual Road guards with the turn signal inserts. They only attach to their own built in barend, and not a 2nd clamp onto the bars, but still give plenty of protection.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 03:26 PM
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I think the Kobra's and the Zetas that Eddie showed are both good. I opted for the Acerbis Dual Road guards with the turn signal inserts. They only attach to their own built in barend, and not a 2nd clamp onto the bars, but still give plenty of protection.

I liked my Acerbis Dual Road hand guard too. I didn't have the fancy light though....

IMG_0010 by weljo2001, on Flickr

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 10:48 PM
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I have a set of GIVI that don't offer crash protection, but have better wind protection and better looks IMO than the factory units. I got mine from Italy w/ some other GIVI accessories and paid about half what US dealers ask. Givi HP4103 Handguards Kawasaki Versys 650 / 1000 - RevZilla

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Tough decisions! Might have to make a call soon though, high 40s on the commute in this morning. Getting chilly!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 08:13 AM
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I've tried hand guards on my V in the past. I ended up removing them. I found that when riding on a hot afternoon - I like to have some air flowing over my wrists and up my sleeves in order to be comfortable. When the weather turns cooler, I put on glove liners and turn on my heated grips. If the weather gets even colder, I put on my heated gloves.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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I've tried hand guards on my V in the past. I ended up removing them. I found that when riding on a hot afternoon - I like to have some air flowing over my wrists and up my sleeves in order to be comfortable. When the weather turns cooler, I put on glove liners and turn on my heated grips. If the weather gets even colder, I put on my heated gloves.
Thats why I like the idea of having removable plastic covers, we had quite a few 80-90 days this summer...handguards might not have been fun.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 11:42 AM
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Thats why I like the idea of having removable plastic covers, we had quite a few 80-90 days this summer...handguards might not have been fun.
Agreed.

Gloves are removable / interchangeable also, no tools needed and don't take up much space in the tank bag. I always carry waterproof over gloves from AeroStitch, too.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 05:12 AM
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I have Givi ones on mine...I like them, I put them on for wind/rain protection

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 07:06 PM
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I have the Bark-busters and love everything about them except the large white lettering which I painted\;]

No idea how to post a simple pic

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 07:27 PM
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Thats why I like the idea of having removable plastic covers, we had quite a few 80-90 days this summer...handguards might not have been fun.
I have the factory Kawasaki handguards on my '16 LT and I actually took them off for the summer so I could get more air flow over my hands. It takes about 5 minutes to take them off and put back on. Then once the weather started getting a little cooler, I put them back on. And they do help quit a bit keeping the cold air off the fingers.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rawkstar320 View Post
I want to buy some handguards for my 2015 Versys, but can decide which ones to get. Im torn between what seems to be the industry standard Bark Busters brand and the SW Motech Kobra handguards.

Does anyone have any experience with either if these or others? I don't need off-road lever protection, just wind, rain, and bada$$ looks. (I favor the kobras for this).

Thoughts and comments would be much appreciated!

SW-MOTECH Kobra Handguard Kit Kawasaki Versys 650 2007-2015-2016 - RevZilla

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
Make sure what ever hand guards you buy include counter weights as these are essential for controlling vibration through the bars. I know the barkbuster kit includes these, not sure about the others.

IMO, and I've had barkbusters, they are well made and have a bike specific fit but they are more of a cosmetic thing than truly functional.

Hand guards do make the bike look better IMO but have no real effect on say warmth of hands in cool weather. With replacement levers costing $10-20 while Barkbusters cost $160+ (with Versys specific install kit) they are not economically viable way of protecting the levers either.

Last edited by twowheels; 10-01-2016 at 10:03 PM.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 04:11 PM
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Make sure what ever hand guards you buy include counter weights as these are essential for controlling vibration through the bars....
I'm not sure I agree w/ you. I installed ZETA XC guards on my '08 and '09 Vs W/OUT weights, and NEVER had a problem, or noticed any unwelcome vibes....





The '08 has OVER 66K miles on it.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 06:56 PM
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Which barkbusters fit the 2015 1000?
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 12:11 PM
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When I removed my hand guards I rode the bike a while before reinstalled original end weights. IMO they make a very noticable difference.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 09:59 AM
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Any fellow loonies ride in sub-freezing temps? I've ridden thru the winter for decades with no electrical heat, just handlebar muffs. I have the ABS model, and I know I don't want guards in the hot temps, but I'm thinking having guards might let me go deeper in the winter before installing the muffs, but I've never had a bike with hand guards so I'm not sure.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 03:12 PM
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Cold temperatures in early spring and late fall is a fact of life in northern climates. Nothing beats heated jacket liner and heated gloves plus regular motorcycle pants, jeans don't work when it gets cool IMO.

I find you lose heat over time and with speed (wind over the body) being a factor too. Electrical heat is only worth while solution for rides of an hour or more or highway speeds, but for slower city commuting it is less important.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 12:16 PM
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Any fellow loonies ride in sub-freezing temps? I've ridden thru the winter for decades with no electrical heat, just handlebar muffs. I have the ABS model, and I know I don't want guards in the hot temps, but I'm thinking having guards might let me go deeper in the winter before installing the muffs, but I've never had a bike with hand guards so I'm not sure.
Me (Any fellow loonies ride in sub-freezing temps?). I have a Tourmaster Synergy heated jacket-liner in each garage that is WONDERFUL when it's cold, and BOTH my Vs have handguards, ZETA XC in AZ, OEM Gen 3s in BC. I remove the plastic part of the guards for warmer weather, but put them ON for colder ones (there are a few forum members who claim they have NO effect on hand temps...), so here's a few windchill temps to think about:

30mph @ 40F = 28F windchill
60mph @ 40F = 25F windchill
30mph @ 20F = 1F windchill
60mph @ 20F = -4F windchill

I find having them OFF in summer cools my hands nicely, while ON in winter protects them....

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Finally installed my new handguards, Acerbis Vision in black/carbon fiber!



I wired them directly to the aux plugs that Kawasaki left available under the left fairing. While I was at it, I dropped in a 12v socket, and heated grips. (Oxford Heaterz Premium Adventure Heated Grips - RevZilla). The grips were originally purchased for my wifes bike (Ninja 650), but she hated the controller, so I decided to keep them for myself! I will have to find something lower profile for her bike later on...

Hopefully the Kawasaki Accessory Relay shows up soon, so I can get power to all this stuff! Somehow I missed the fact that you needed that relay...until after I installed everything into the harness.
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