Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canberra-ish, Australia
The first time I test rode a Wee I found my hands starting to sweat and wondered why, as they hadn't been sweating on the ride to the dealership on my own bike. Of course, it turned out that it was the OEM handguards that had been on the Wee that was blocking the air and preventing my hands from cooling down.
At that point I decided that whatever Vstrom I ended up with was going to get handguards as I suffer greatly from cold hands in Canberra's winter. Unfortunately they didn't really help much when the temperature approached freezing, so I decided to throw some Hippo Hands over the top of the guards. Surprisingly this also did not make much of a difference. I ended up spending $150 on the most heavily insulated MC gloves I could find, which helped a bit.
This coming winter I will be using OEM hand guards, covered with Hippo Hands, with Oxford Hot Grips. If that doesn't work then I have no option but to pay the big dollars for electrically heated gloves.
So yes, OEM handguards are effective, but only up to a point.