Review: Barkbusters Handguards

There comes a time in every rider's life when you think: right, I'm going to push myself.

Roads were fun and all, but most of the world isn't roads. It was time to hit the dirt, and like any sensible person, I knew there'd be the chance of me actually hitting the dirt.

And so it was with great pleasure that I welcomed industry leaders Barkbusters as an official partner: I needed some good, solid handguards, and boy have I put them to the test!

Let's get it on

Like any farkle, it's always great when they're easy to install. I'd never installed handguards before, and am not very talented at these things, yet it only took me about 15-20 minutes to get them on … not including the time taken to capture this highly necessary bunny impersonation:

The mount (also called a 'backbone') is a strong, heated-treated aluminium. I also installed the 'skid plate': it goes on the exposed end of the aluminum 'backbone' to protect it from minor crashes and tip overs:

with the wind deflectors being made from a high-impact plastic:

I went with white, to match Chillie's tank, but they're available in all sorts of colours.

A bright idea

And you know me, I love my farkles, so I was pretty happy when the crew sent me the LED lighting strips that are available as an optional extra. They're pretty bright, and in my humble opinion, provide a safety advantage in terms of visibility:

Thoughts

I love them. They're a simple, affordable bit of protection that have saved my controls and hands as I've been running amock of late; taking on dirt roads, sand, mud, and creeks, and so occasionally dropping the bike here and there. And they look good :) which is always nice!

A bit of history …

OK. So I do like my engineering and all, so here's a bit of history …

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there were no handguards available to protect controls from falls and tree branches. And so Barkbusters was founded in 1983 by enduro legend Ted Goddard when he came up with a simple design solution; elegantly functional, to the point, and strong:

Ted sponsored Matthew Phillpott, a close friend who was racing enduro bikes during the 80's and 90's, and it was Matt who came up with the idea to create plastic weather-shields in '96:

In '98, Matt bought Barkbusters, and has since expanded the business: they now export to every continent!

He designed new ranges such as JET, EGO, VPS, STORM, CARBON, and BBZ, to fit almost all types of motorcycles: enduro, trail, dual-sport and road bikes.

Just like Ted, Matthew is keen to keep moving with the times, and has upgraded the old-school machinery:

… where each guard was hand made, to now having the latest in technology throughout the manufacturing process. I got to go down and check out the facilities, and even got to meet some robots!

Barkbusters are now even producing handguards for Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM in Australia and aluminium hand guards for KTM in Austria.

So not just some cool handguards, but a great Aussie success story!

 

Comments

Hi Kinga, I've been looking at these for my AT - do the lights/indicators look like they'd rip off when in use? Eg scraping past bushes. Great write up by the way.

Hi Stephen, they've been fine for me in my usage. The LED strip is stuck on using double-sided tape (that they include) so I guess it depends how hard you're planning to hit/brush them.

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