Handguard Questions - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Handguard Questions

Hi all. I am slowly but surely trying to add some items to my bike to make it more comfortable for taking rides 100+ miles. Also, as I am in the NE, the weather is slowly turning into Fall, so I’d like to make some modifications to make the riding experience in colder weather better.

One of items I have been thinking of getting is handguards. Seems as though the majority of people on this forum have them, I am sure for good reason (Blocking Wind?).

I have a couple of questions: 1) If I have an aftermarket Givi Screen (for the Versys 11' model), can Handguards be installed without issue? I thought I read somewhere that it cant.

2) How hard are the handguards to install? Does anyone have any pictures/videos of doing the install?

I appreciate any help/advice. Also, just knowing if they are worth the investment would also be nice.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:39 PM
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I have the Kawasaki branded handgaurds and they installed super easy and look great. However once I rode around I found they added vibrations to the bars and an annoying buzz. I found the buzz was from the adapter that goes inside the bar weight and fixed that but I still have the added vibrations.


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 06:27 PM
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I also ran across the same references elsewhere on not being able to install handguards with the givi windscreen, or more specifically the Barkbusters handguards with the givi windscreen - I htink it varies a fair bit between the different components - the best I can offer up is that the Barkbusters don't interfere with a Powerbronze flip windscreen, but it's not the widest of screens

As for installation - I had thought it might be very simple, but found that I couldn't get the original bolts out of the handlebars - they've been glued in with red loctite (the really tough stuff) - get that out and the rest is pretty trivial!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:09 PM
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Barkbusters touch a Givi Windscreen on the 1st gen V but it is very minimal. This problem was eliminated when I installed handle bar risers.

As far as what works on an '11 I have no idea.


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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:37 PM
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I have installed KTM hand guards and a GIVI 405ST windshield on my '08 V.
The hand guards will contact the windshield with the handlebars at full lock. This does not affect normal riding.

The KTM hand guards are an easy install. The most difficult part is removing the bolt that secures the bar end weight. The factory uses thread locker on it.

You might want to consider a set of Oxford Heated Grips along with the hand guards. If you have never used heated grips you owe it to yourself to try them.


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 09:12 PM
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I have the Givi 405 and Acerbis handguards, installed by the PO. After I took off the huge steel spacers on the screen, the guards just touch at full lock.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naudan View Post
Hi all. I am slowly but surely trying to add some items to my bike to make it more comfortable for taking rides 100+ miles. Also, as I am in the NE, the weather is slowly turning into Fall, so I’d like to make some modifications to make the riding experience in colder weather better.

One of items I have been thinking of getting is handguards. Seems as though the majority of people on this forum have them, I am sure for good reason (Blocking Wind?).

I have a couple of questions: 1) If I have an aftermarket Givi Screen (for the Versys 11' model), can Handguards be installed without issue? I thought I read somewhere that it cant.

2) How hard are the handguards to install? Does anyone have any pictures/videos of doing the install?

I appreciate any help/advice. Also, just knowing if they are worth the investment would also be nice.

Thanks!
I have a 2011 Versys with a Givi aftermarket windscreen & I just installed Barkbuster "Storm" handguards. Bought both the Givi windscreen & Barkbuster handguards from Twisted Throttle. They both fit great no interference at all. The handguards took 15-20 minutes to install with a box wrench, allen wrench & phillips head screw driver. Very easy install & they work great - good hand coverage & protection. The handguard frame (aluminum backbone) is very stout. No modifications to the bike or handlebars is needed. The Twisted Throttle people are very helpful & they make sure what they sell you fits your bike. Usually you have your parts within 3-4 days.

KJ

2013 Suzuki V-Strom
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Last edited by Kankujoe; 08-25-2011 at 11:39 PM.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kankujoe View Post
I have a 2011 Versys with a Givi aftermarket windscreen & I just installed Barkbuster "Storm" handguards. Bought both the Givi windscreen & Barkbuster handguards from Twisted Throttle. They both fit great no interference at all. The handguards took 15-20 minutes to install with a box wrench, allen wrench & phillips head screw driver. Very easy install & they work great - good hand coverage & protection. The handguard frame (aluminum backbone) is very stout. No modifications to the bike or handlebars is needed. The Twisted Throttle people are very helpful & they make sure what they sell you fits your bike. Usually you have your parts within 3-4 days.
Awesome to know! I am usually worried about install. Were the directions from Twisted Throttle? Where they easy to follow?
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:45 AM
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Awesome to know! I am usually worried about install. Were the directions from Twisted Throttle? Where they easy to follow?
Very easy, straight forward install. Directions were included in the parts packaging. But Twisted Throttle will help if you are confused.

KJ

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 07:40 PM
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Thanks for this post. I have ordered the Barkbuster Storm handguards , and already have the Givi shield installed. Not concerned about a fit on my 2011 after reading this.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naudan View Post
Hi all. I am slowly but surely trying to add some items to my bike to make it more comfortable for taking rides 100+ miles. Also, as I am in the NE, the weather is slowly turning into Fall, so I’d like to make some modifications to make the riding experience in colder weather better.

One of items I have been thinking of getting is handguards. Seems as though the majority of people on this forum have them, I am sure for good reason (Blocking Wind?).

I have a couple of questions: 1) If I have an aftermarket Givi Screen (for the Versys 11' model), can Handguards be installed without issue? I thought I read somewhere that it cant.

2) How hard are the handguards to install? Does anyone have any pictures/videos of doing the install?

I appreciate any help/advice. Also, just knowing if they are worth the investment would also be nice.

Thanks!
Hand guards are easy to install but even the high quality Barkbuster storm guards ($135) I have are ineffectual at blocking the wind. If this is an issue for you invest the money in some good quality winter gloves or heated grips first.

The Barkbuster do a great job at protecting your levers though because of aluminum back bone. One issue to consider though is that a replacement lever is only ~$15 for the clutch and $30 for the brake lever, much cheaper than hand guards. IMO I would skip them unless you ride off road. They are also only useful for protection if you already have crash bars.

Last edited by twowheels; 08-01-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 08:47 PM
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The Barkbusters are easy to install. A couple of the bolts were a bit short in my kit.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 12:30 AM
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I have barkbuster Storm's on my 2012. They were quick to install and I installed Oxford heated grips at the same time. This was an excellent combo. Stock windscreen on my Versys.

The grips were pretty easy to install. There was some challenge in getting them to fit just right with the brake and clutch lines but other than that it's just unbolting and re-bolting everything.

As far as their performance I have not dropped the bike on them yet (Hopefully never!) but they do block the wind pretty well. It may not seem like they block the wind on a particularly well but they do. When it's in the 40's there is no way to really keep your hands from being cold aside from heated gloves or grips so keep that in mind. On days where it's in the mid 50's I don't have to use my heated grips at all and I would if I did not have the guards.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 01:45 AM
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I have Cycra DX handguards. They only have in inboard attachment, no attachment at the bar end, so you can use the stock bar end weights, and the bike doesn't become wider. To me this type of handguard seems more about weather protection than crash/brush protection.

To install them I had to move the levers inboard a little. That had plusses and minuses. On the plus side you have more leverage on the levers when they're moved further from where you grip them--I had thought about moving them anyway for that reason. On the minus side the mirrors are a little less effective. Mirror extenders would help.

They keep some wind off your hands. The warming effect from the handguards pales compared to heated grips or gloves (I use both in the Winter). But they allow you to use bar muffs, which along with heated grips are probably good enough for as cold as most of us ride.

They also seemed to increase buffeting on my helmet a little. With my hand I could feel the airflow from the handguard up to my helmet. I rotated them a bit which may have helped. Or maybe I just got used to it.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 02:01 AM
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I don't think they helped much with the cold I bought them for protection. In fact the day after I installed them I dropped the bike onto concrete. Result? Small scuff on the plastic of the handguard. Oh yeah they don't hit my Kawasaki branded MRA Vario windscreen and IMO they are worth every cent.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 11:23 PM
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They look great, I'm looking for Acerbis ones, waiting for they arrival at the shop. Will post some pictures once installed.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 05:17 AM
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Anyone used the touratech all plastic handguards? Considering a pair but not cheap


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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 12:17 PM
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I ride to work anytime the weather is decent and the morning temperature is acceptable. In the winter time that means down to around 25F/-4C. My cycra Hand guards and decent winter gloves work to the high thirties for my commute. Heated grips make it much more comfortable on the 'cold days' .

'09 Versys
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 11:56 AM
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Anyone used the touratech all plastic handguards? Considering a pair but not cheap


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I have the Touratech handguards in black. I really do like them. I added the extension pieces to make them a little taller. Very good wind/rain/bug protection for your hands. Not sure how they would fair in a tip-over or crash, but I really didn't order them for that reason. I would imagine, given the design, that they would perform decently. Better than none at all I would guess. +1 on the looks too IMO.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 12:16 PM
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I like handguards for looks and protection if the bike is dropped. But in winter for blocking wind they are basically useless. Got heated grips put on this spring,Because i don't like bulky gloves. If the grips don't work out good enough this winter. I will get heated gloves.

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