Aftermarket handguards - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650 and DL650A - 2004 to 2011 DL650 from 2004-2006 (K4-K6) and DL650 or DL650A from 2007-2011 (K7-L1)

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post #1 of 24 Old 12-31-2018, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Aftermarket handguards

Hey Ya''ll
I'm thinking about replacing my stock handguards with something fancier. One of mine is sort of broken and scratched.

Who's got what and how do you like them??? Pics if your motivated enough or I can google it.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 01:36 AM
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I have the SW-Motech Kobras, got the little extension bits to put on come winter. I quite liked them, decided to go for them over Bark Buster Storms purely because of aesthetics. For a while the SW-Motechs were superior due to coming with replacement bar end weights, but I think the Bark Busters come with something appropriate now. Really, to me, there isn't too much of a difference between the two. It comes down to aesthetics and price mainly. And maybe replacement prices if you tend to be quite hard on the plastics, but in that instance I would suggest running just with the aluminium bars. For both the Storms and the Kobras, they seem to have a similar level of wind protection. That amount of wind protection seemed to be more than the Acerbis (think that's the brand) offered, which was consistent with the other styles of Bark Busters.

Getting everything lined up, how I want, after installing seemed to be a bit finicky. I don't see that being any different for any of the other manufacturers (at least if you are purchasing ones that have 2 mounting points on each side).

I am not totally into how they clamp into the tube. When I first installed them and ended up wanting to adjust them, and again now as I have installed risers and adjusted my bars a bit, I have found that it was difficult to get one of the clamps to engage. It just kept slipping in the tube, as it relies on friction from the bars to start widening its contact and locking into place. Once it has enough of a start on locking into place it works well, but before that it is quite annoying. Seems to only be an issue on my throttle side. Would help if I remembered not to loosen it too much each time. If the decision came up again, I would be happy to get the SW-Motech's again as it is a small enough quibble and I do like how they look.

If you do go with the SW-Motechs there is one small modification to their instructions I would make. Hell, it might even be in there and I just didn't read it. For both guards, there is a bolt that screws into a lock nut. I don't think it suggests a top and a bottom for those. On at least the right side guard, have the nut on the top. That point ends up sitting under the brake line/reservoir so there isn't much room to get an allen key in, but there is an angle to get a snapper in. Doing it this way means you can tighten/loosen that side much easier if you feel the need to.

Last edited by rambaldi; 01-01-2019 at 01:49 AM. Reason: Adding more comments, and doing so again.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 08:37 AM
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I am not totally into how they clamp into the tube. When I first installed them and ended up wanting to adjust them, and again now as I have installed risers and adjusted my bars a bit, I have found that it was difficult to get one of the clamps to engage. It just kept slipping in the tube, as it relies on friction from the bars to start widening its contact and locking into place. Once it has enough of a start on locking into place it works well, but before that it is quite annoying.

I experienced the same problem on my bike when installing a pair of Grip Puppies. I had to disconnect the hand guard to get the Puppies over the end of the grip. The expandable connector inside the bar kept sliding towards the triple tree every time that I tried bolting it back together. The throttle side bolted up ok but the clutch side gave me problems.

I made a hook out of a couple of strands of guy wire which I used to pull the expander to the end of the bar. Evidently the profanity that I used was not getting it done. I ended up wrapping the expandable connector with some blue painters tape that I had to where it was a snug fit in the bar and stayed in position until the long bolt got started.

Just a couple of tips that smoothed out my task.
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 01:33 PM
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I have some eBay specials, they are very nice for the money.....yes they’ve been tested.

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post #5 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 02:00 PM
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barkbusters have been tested to 65mph, plastic was worn through to the aluminum, but saved my hand and controls.

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post #6 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambaldi View Post
I have the SW-Motech Kobras, got the little extension bits to put on come winter. I quite liked them, decided to go for them over Bark Buster Storms purely because of aesthetics. For a while the SW-Motechs were superior due to coming with replacement bar end weights, but I think the Bark Busters come with something appropriate now. Really, to me, there isn't too much of a difference between the two. It comes down to aesthetics and price mainly. And maybe replacement prices if you tend to be quite hard on the plastics, but in that instance I would suggest running just with the aluminium bars. For both the Storms and the Kobras, they seem to have a similar level of wind protection. That amount of wind protection seemed to be more than the Acerbis (think that's the brand) offered, which was consistent with the other styles of Bark Busters.

Getting everything lined up, how I want, after installing seemed to be a bit finicky. I don't see that being any different for any of the other manufacturers (at least if you are purchasing ones that have 2 mounting points on each side).

I am not totally into how they clamp into the tube. When I first installed them and ended up wanting to adjust them, and again now as I have installed risers and adjusted my bars a bit, I have found that it was difficult to get one of the clamps to engage. It just kept slipping in the tube, as it relies on friction from the bars to start widening its contact and locking into place. Once it has enough of a start on locking into place it works well, but before that it is quite annoying. Seems to only be an issue on my throttle side. Would help if I remembered not to loosen it too much each time. If the decision came up again, I would be happy to get the SW-Motech's again as it is a small enough quibble and I do like how they look.

If you do go with the SW-Motechs there is one small modification to their instructions I would make. Hell, it might even be in there and I just didn't read it. For both guards, there is a bolt that screws into a lock nut. I don't think it suggests a top and a bottom for those. On at least the right side guard, have the nut on the top. That point ends up sitting under the brake line/reservoir so there isn't much room to get an allen key in, but there is an angle to get a snapper in. Doing it this way means you can tighten/loosen that side much easier if you feel the need to.


Thanks for the detailed write up! Have you ever knocked the nut out of place inside the bars that the bar weight threads into? Now that is a pain the ass to re-seat. I used bailing wire with a hook on the end and a lot of patience. And I am pretty tough on plastics, everything in the desert here has thorns that tear up paing and plastic......or rocks when I fall down

Those Kobras are pretty sharp looking. I'm gonna keep an eye on Ebay for a used set. They are a bit pricey new!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Big B View Post
I have some eBay specials, they are very nice for the money.....yes they’ve been tested.
brand?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepe lopez View Post
barkbusters have been tested to 65mph, plastic was worn through to the aluminum, but saved my hand and controls.

I really like the barkbusters but they are spendy too. That's a pretty solid endorsement. Maybe I should stop being cheap...
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 09:05 PM
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barkbusters have been the best value for protection i've ever spent,
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-01-2019, 09:14 PM
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I have barkbusters with the VPS plastics. They are similar looking to the sw motech kobras with bar end weights, adjustable in height and $50 less. Barkbusters are also modular so you can swap out the plastics to a different style if desired. I have tested mine on a slow speed roll into a ditch and they worked as expected.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-02-2019, 06:46 PM
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I put a pair of Barkbusters on my DL 650 partly for wind deflection and mostly for protection, and shurnuff, I did a full-lock low side in some thick dry sand. No damage to me, the bike or the Barkbusters (and no one saw me do it). The Bb's are very stout, do a good job of protecting the levers and your hands, and fitment is excellent. I have the VPS-style shields and the larger Storm shields will fit the aluminum guards as well. Every part of the Bb's are replaceable and wherever you buy them should also carry those; I got mine through RevZilla.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-02-2019, 08:15 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention before, that sets the Motech's apart from the BB, is that you can get swanky little indicator bits for them. I haven't actually seen them in the wild, and if you are thinking of getting guards for protectors, they are almost guaranteed to get damaged first time out. But still, its something I guess...
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