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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 17 Jan 2014
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Handguards with or without aluminium bar?

Hi everyone!

I'm planning to get some new handguards for my Triumph Tiger 800 XC.

Unfortunately I can't decide to go either for the plain plastic ones or for the ones with an additional aluminium bar!

Touratech doesn't offer aluminium bars, because they say, that those would bend anyway, when a motorcycle over 400 pounds falls. On the other hand, this might mean I have to get a new clutch or brake lever.

Did you guys made any experiences with either of the possibilities?

I'm grateful for every shared experience!

Best regards from Bonn (GER)!
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  #2  
Old 17 Jan 2014
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The received wisdom, I think, is to use something like the Barkbusters set up with the metal bar. Personally, I think this would be the more protective choice. Just don't ask me which one's I have .
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  #3  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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Metal Bars for Sure

The Bark Buster brand have gotten very good reviews from Tiger riders. I've seen them in person ... the fit and quality looks very good!

Barkbusters VPS Handguards (Triumph Tiger 800/800XC and Explorer 1200) - TwistedThrottle.com

Metal reinforcement bar ... only way to go ... And YES crap Tourtech guards will bend but Bark Buster will not.
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  #4  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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Alright..I think I'll go for the Barkbusters with the VPS covers.

Unfortunately it's not that easy to get them in Germany..
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  #5  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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I use metal for racing but not for touring.

It's easy to hurt your hands if they get trapped behind the metal when you crash.
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  #6  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
I use metal for racing but not for touring.

It's easy to hurt your hands if they get trapped behind the metal when you crash.
How get your hands trapped behind the bar? And don't you crash more often in a race, so you'd go for the plastic ones on race-purpose?
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  #7  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benniontour View Post
How get your hands trapped behind the bar?
That's easy, ride your front wheel into a hole. The bike stops and your body get pressed down and forward


Quote:
Originally Posted by benniontour View Post
And don't you crash more often in a race, so you'd go for the plastic ones on race-purpose?
I crash more often in a race, but I accept higher risks in a race and the consequences are smaller. It's better to hurt your hand at a enduro-track then in the middle of nowhere.

In enduro we also have a lot of trees (at least up here) that we hit all the time. Metal really work for this kind of riding, but touring (even offroad) is something else.
Even the mx-people rarely use metal (not a lot of trees), it's better to break 10 levers then to brake your hand.
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  #8  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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Thanks for your advice! Really helped me..though now I'm back at the start, where I don't know which handguards to choose.
I think if I hit a branch with the guards without a metal bar, they'll still protect my fingers and hands. A branch, which would destroy the handguard, probably send me off the bike, anyway.
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  #9  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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I think you're missing the point here. It's unlikely you'll be running much single track trail on you BIG Tiger. The reasons for hand guards are several: If you fall on a BIG heavy bike like the Tiger it's possible that not only will you break a lever (and maybe whole assembly) ... but you may bend your handlebar and worst of all ... you may destroy things like the Brake master cylinder/reservoir ... or the clutch perch or a switch pod.

Plastic guards would be OK for hand protection against branches and such but when your 550 lb. PLUS bike hits the ground ... the plastic guards will just break or rotate around ... not protecting the above items.

And then ... you have your hands. If you fall hard you want your hands protected. A Aluminum guard will take the hit and stay (more or less) in position ... you can continue to hang onto the bars as you slide down the road and your hands will be inside and protected. I've done exactly this with NO injury.

I've seen stuff broken from just the bike falling over when parked. Think about it. Big, heavy bikes hit HARD when they go down.

The good thing about the Bark Busters is that they actually FIT onto the Tiger
pretty well. The more you talk to dirt bike guys you will find out that fitting many hand protectors systems involve some custom work with a Hammer, Vise and drill. I've done all this on previous dirt bikes using mostly Acerbis products. Acerbis are good ... but it's always One Size Fits All ... which just about guarantees they will NOT fit your Tiger!

So it's more than hand protection. On a light weight enduro bike light weight plastic guards (good ones) would be OK. But, IMO, not on a heavy duty
ADV bike.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 18 Jan 2014
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Bark-busters are good but they're bloody overpriced too. There's nothing special about them.

Acerbis Rally pro 2 are about £60 with all the fitting kit and just as strong. You can get the high spoiler for them too for a tenner.


Anyway..I'm a aluminium bar advocate. The ones without are good for weather protection only.. And the occasional twig.
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  #11  
Old 19 Jan 2014
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Ditto for being for being a fan of the hand guards with the aluminum bar.

I was not aware that the racers went without so good to know that the hard core riders go without so thanks to AB for that info.

As for the OP, you might want to look at it from the perspective of what you will be using your bike for.

For touring or general overlanding, the aluminum braced hand guards have provided good protection for my hands at low to medium speed drops that are most common when riding around with side panniers and camping gear strapped to the top. This ranges from going too fast/too slow and then hitting soft sand/dirt when off highway to dropping your bike at low speed at the fuel station.

I figure that the trifecta of protection is the rear panniers, the hand guards, and the engine crash bars which generally have provided the points of contact with the ground when dropping the bike while mostly keeping my skin intact. That's at least the wear points that I have found on the bike after picking it up

Happy planning and ride safe whatever you choose.
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  #12  
Old 19 Jan 2014
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I haven't mentioned before, but as Ted pointed out: The Barkbusters aren't a bargain and you pay a lot for them...as a student, this is an important point for me.
I'll write an email to the German distributor of Barkbusters and ask about the price.

I'll let you know which handguard made the race.
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  #13  
Old 19 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benniontour View Post
I haven't mentioned before, but as Ted pointed out: The Barkbusters aren't a bargain and you pay a lot for them...as a student, this is an important point for me.
I'll write an email to the German distributor of Barkbusters and ask about the price.

I'll let you know which handguard made the race.
If price is important then forget the brands altogether.

They're all just some aluminium bar with some plastic screwed on. None of them are actually worth more than about £30.

Contact Gab at Zen Overland.

He can get you some very good ones for about half the price you're thinking. I've got an identical set on my newly restored XR650 and they work just the same..
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Last edited by *Touring Ted*; 19 Jan 2014 at 19:05.
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  #14  
Old 19 Jan 2014
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the ones from zenoverland.com are much cheaper than barkbusters and acerbis but so so tough, they have an ali bar, and i've crashed at low and medium speed.. barely budged, and saved my hands...

Handguards - Aluminium Reinforced

Ask Gabe (the owner) if they fit a tiger ..
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  #15  
Old 19 Jan 2014
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Thanks for the tip! I just emailed them. Hope they can help me!..and they look damn nice btw.
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