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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
From reading previous threads it looks like the choice of handguards is either OEM stock (cheap but plastic) or something like the Barkbusters (2-3x the price and metal).

What I'm looking for is something to protect the levers in the event of a drop. I really don't need full hand coverage (and in fact in the current heat I can't imagine needing to keep the wind of my hands - just the opposite in fact!).

Does there exist a set of strong (metal) handguards with ventilation holes in them, or even just a minimalist single bar that acts as a lever protector but not a windblock? I've looked around and can't see anything commercially available.

I suppose it would not be too hard to make such a guard from a strip of aluminum (maybe 1" wide x 3/16 to 1/4" thick), but before I spend hours in the workshop trying to fabricate one, I'm wondering if someone has beaten me to it?
 

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You could do the 'dirt bike thing' and only tighten your brake/clutch perch down enough so that it's tight, but not so tight that if the bike falls over the lever/perch will rotate around the handlebar, preserving the lever from breaking. Lucky for us, the Strom has it's throttle grip separate from the brake perch, so this is possible, and it doesn't cost a cent to prevent your levers from snapping in a tip-over.
 

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In my experience, the OEM handguards will protect the levers in a drop. I'll also add that I'm not convinced that they block as much wind as one might think (until you add the extensions created by one of our own whose name I'm not remembering as I type this), though I haven't done a careful comparison.
 

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The previous owner of my bike added these Acerbis handguards. I don't know much about them, but I like them. They start with an aluminum bar that goes from the bar ends all the way down to the downturn of the handlebars. Then, bolted to the aluminum bar with a couple of small bolts, there's a big plastic wind protecting hand guard. It takes all of about 5 minutes to remove both of the plastic guards. You can get the idea from these pictures.

Here's a link to what I believe they are:
Acerbis Multi Concept X-Pro Handguards - Dirt Bike Motocross - Motorcycle Superstore



 

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I dropped my bike in the dirt with oem handguards and bent the clutch lever. I now carry a spare cluch lever.
 

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My Handguards

I used the Acerbis ones as well.
However I did not want to get rid of the bar end weights as they can stop vibrations/buzz from the engine.

These are off the shelf Acerbis hand guards for a dirt bike.
The problem is they are too short for street bikes as we have switches and larger master cylinders.

So I milled a slot in the bar end so the hand guard fits in farther.
The clutch one then bolted up just fine.
However the Right side one had to be extended father to get the inside mount past the master cylinder.

They work great and if you want you can just unscrew the plastic deflector if you want more wind on your mits.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tips and the pictures.

Has anyone tried the Weston Power Sports guards?

Western Power Sports Off-Road Handguards - Dirt Bike Motocross - Motorcycle Superstore

The price is right, they look pretty sturdy and not too large and they are generally positively reviewed - but I'm guessing that they will have the same issues as the Acerbis guards, i.e. although they are "universal fit', they're probably not going to fit around the brake fluid reservoir on the right bars and will need some sort of extension machining up.
 

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I have the bark busters. Expensive! I will say I have dropped twice and not a scratch on anything. I think it is because of the BB's. They are great.
 

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The Barkbusters are definitely sturdy in a crash.
And of course, can be used without the plastic shielding.

I think the "Storm" plastic is a better choice than the "original" plastic.
In cold weather they deflect enough rain, that you are usually fine with "ordinary" gloves - without bulky overgloves.
They protect your fingers from stones thrown up by other traffic.
And in really hot weather, the air deflection may actually be your friend - by reducing the jet-stream of hot air blasting away at your hands. (Rather like the way you should "rug up" when riding in ferocious heat, in order to slow the airflow delivering heat onto your body - and in order to allow sweating/evaporation to work slowly & efficiently.)
.
 

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I did a complete farkle upgrade on my K4 wee, and it included the Storm guards. They have been on back order for a while, so if you need something right now, you might want to consider going somewhere else. My KLR used to be my 10,000 mile per year commuter, and I love the Storm guards.

BTW, Oxford heaters are down in the $70 range on Twisted Throttle. I love Oxford heaters.
 

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I have been with three vstroms when they have gone down and all three broke the lever on the side it went down on with stock guards. The stock guards also broke. The stock guards should be known as wind guards as that is all they are going to stop.

I have also seen the loose perch method break the lever. If you ride off road at all even on nice dirt and gravel get a hand guard with a metal back bone. You will not be left stranded this way with a broken clutch lever.
 

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Stock is quite good as wind protection, but depends how u drop the bike, they do crack easily

VPS BarkBuster setup is great and in Australia, they are only about 40% more than the OEM guard. we get charged more for OEM stuff here.

As people said, u can take all the plastics off and have as barebone for forestry road ride, with the normal height deflector, or VPS extra height deflector screwed on. You can also drill extra vent holes in area where the Extra height deflector and standard deflector overlap- that's what i did.


Bark buster works well as i have 3 drops in dirt since i have done installed
 
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