Barkbuster bare aluminum HG bars covering with 1" heatshrink tubing/ multiple colors - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Barkbuster bare aluminum HG bars covering with 1" heatshrink tubing/ multiple colors

Wanted to do something about the bare aluminum bars of the Barkbusters, I didn't care for the bare aluminum look. I've seen the black handguard bars that some of the members here had and liked the look. I was going to paint them black, but was worried about the paint flaking away. Anodizing would probably be too much of a hassle and more money.

I decided on trying something different, I got some colored 1" Polyolefin 2:1 heat shrink tubing from AMZ 10ft = $11. 10 ft. is the shortest length that the AMZ seller I used had. I wasn't sure how much I would end up using or if I screwed up I would have extra to try again. You'll have extra left over to do your other bikes or a friend's bike. Or if you drop the bike you'll have extra to redo your handguard bars.

There are other sellers you can go with on AMZ and eBay and probably safely go with 4-5 ft. of 1" heatshrink tubing.

I bought the green colored 1" heatshrink tubing, because it's a Kawasaki. If I don't like it I'll buy some black heatshrink tubing. They have a bunch of other colors available on Amazon: Black/ Blue/ Clear/ Green/ Red/ White/ Yellow/ Yellow-Green.

Each handguard bar used up about 19" - 20" of tubing. I used a heat gun at about 1250 degrees for the best results. You'll get these little sections that look like runs, when I applied the higher 1250 degrees of heat from my heatgun it evened out and became uniform in color and texture.

I did get 3 wrinkles in the main bend of the first bar I did. I got a little better with the 2nd handguard bar, 2 wrinkles. I don't think I can do it without getting any wrinkles with the HS tubing material I got, it's very thick. Leave some extra heatshrink tubing over each end, it will shrink some when you use the heatgun. You can trim the excess when it cools down.

Be careful of where you use the heatgun, it can easily deform any plastic/ rubber/ wires/ cabling nearby/ grips, so it's best to do this off the bike on a safe work surface. You might need a pair of gloves, if your not patient enough to wait for it too cool off completely. I ran the parts under the sink in cool water to speed things up.

The plastic handguard shields screwed to the bars without any issues. The bars still fit in the molded track of the handguard shields.

Here is how the green HS tubing turned out on my bike. You'll have to cut away some of the HS tubing where the mounting bolts go through on both sides. If your not careful the bolt heads will twist up and wrinkle the HS tubing.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:42 PM
DinkinFlicka's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2019
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Hey this is really great. Thanks for sharing!
Great idea to use heat shrink especially if itís thick.
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