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Do wrap around handguards cause hand and/or arm injuries?

Wrap around handguards and rider safety  

590 members have voted

  1. 1. What best describes your experience with wrap around handguards

    • I ride with them and they've never caused me injury.
      409
    • I've suffered injuries that I believe were the result of running wrap around handguards.
      33
    • I do not know anyone personally that has been injured by wrap around handguards.
      220
    • I know riders personally that have been injuried because they were running wrap around handguards
      42
    • No idea, but I like bikes and chicks (in that order).
      61


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Bark busters don't cause injuries, crashing does.

While wearing Sidi crossfire boots I ran a stick nearly though my ankle, I still wear riding boots.

I have melted gloves on hot exhaust pipes, I still wear gloves.

I did mess up a shoulder bad enough once to go see the doc - he asked if I was wearing a chest protector, I always do now.

I have drawn blood when wearing riding pants & jerseys, I still wear those too.

I have scratched my goggles, yes - I still wear goggles.

I have gotten monkey butt while wearing cotton boxers, I still wear fumundawear (It was all my fault on a day when I got lazy and sat down way too much).

Knee pads, check. Kidney belt, check. Helmet, duh

I find that safety gear helps to keep me safer therefore I use it.

Bark busters may be the only piece of safety gear that protects me and my bike. I cannot remember the last time I broke a lever or bent my handlebars.

I will bitch a bit about the mirrors on my bike...(street legal CAN hurt).

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I never like the rigidity of metal hand guards. So I use what are now old school Acerbis Rally Profile or whatever they are calling them now, they keep adding syllables like they want them to go away. My hands get bashed a little once in a while. But never really get hurt. The flip side is that they slide off trees that you don't hit very hard instead of jarring the crap out of your wrist and tossing you at the other side of the trail. They are getting harder to come by and they got sized down a little about seven to ten years ago. I really hope they don't go away. It seems that every time I find a product that I like. They stop making it.

Acerbis_Rally_Profile_Handguards_Black.j

With you on the Rallys. My old set have been on last 3 bikes (15 years) & still going. Like you say,they give & don't cause you to spear off into the bush after glancing a tree.The newer ones seem to more briitle & brake too easy.

As for breaking wrists,you should have let go of bars well before rotating far enough to contact arms with guards.

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its not the hardest thing to imagine your hand might come off the bars in a crash and your forearms would get caught in between the rigid aluminum guards and the nearly rigid handlebars. luckily it doesn't seem to be common but i don't see any reason to take the risk. i've hit trees really hard with my brush guard type hand guards and the bars always deflect off the tree and turn before any damage has been done to my hands. grips are cheap and running your perches slightly loose saves my levers, but to each their own.

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I run the KTM plastic wrap around guards on my 300EXC. I consider them a consumable. I've broken one in a hefty tree encounter... no hand damage. The plastic guards are more sculpted and are far less likely to get a hand/arm trapped inside. So is there some risk in getting hands/arms trapped in them? Of course... but it is far less than the risk of hand injuries caused by not using them. 

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I could see on a motocross track that they could be a liability.... However on the trail they have saved my hands countless times, and once on the street.

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Here's what I can tell you from real world experience.  Been riding/racing off road for 25+ years.  I've struck trees (glancing blows) thousands of times.  On two separate occasions (91' and 94'), I struck a tree square on with the guard.  In both situations (first with the right and then later left hand in 94') my hand never touched the guard or the tree, the sudden deceleration fractured my middle hand bone via spiral/oblique fracture (kind of like a boxer's break, but more twisting force "hence spiral"). Had I not had the guard there, my hand would have been destroyed.  3 weeks ago, I broke my ring finger hand bone with same type of fracture when I struck a large log while turning that was hidden in high grass.  The log stopped my bike short and the energy went through the frame, into the handlebar and "pop" went my hand.  My point is that the hand guards do a lot more good than bad and that you can have the same injury without your handguard ever being involved. 

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While I see the potential for injury caused by wrap around handguards, judging by the large amount of damage done to my current guards (scrapes, gouges, missing chunks of plastic), I'd say that the risk of injury from using them far outweighs the risk of NOT having them. I'll continue to use mine until they're dead and gone, and then I'll buy more...

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This topic reminds me of neck braces, you are either unconditionally convinced of their value or not.  And no one is going to persuade you otherwise.  So, in essence, another useless topic that has run around in circles for a bunch of pages.

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Put them on all my family bikes. They have saved the kids hands and fingers from being broken. I use the Cycra Pro Bends with low profile deflectors, ride them low enough to get your hands out and awy if thats the fall you are taking. To many times I see people with big deflectors and riding them so high that there is no way to get free if you needed to. Make smart choices and you will save your hands, fingers, and wrists if you run out of talent. 

Install them with the correct slight downward angle and you have MUCH less chance of having a hand go into it in a crash - BUT I've put 2 sets on recently, a Tusk and Enduro Engineering and BOTH needed to be twisted slightly to have the inner end mount line up properly - otherwise, you can't get the downward slope.  I've clamped them in a vise and with a BIG crescent wrench, twisted the inner end just a little.  Easy.

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You need to add one more selection. "I ride with handguards and they have saved me from countless injuries."

Ditto there!

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Many years ago (about 1991) I broke the knuckle of my left hand index finger on a barkbuster.  I was riding an Enduro and it was a drier year so it was fairly fast in an area that had old ruts from a wetter race the previous year.  I dropped the front wheel in a rut deep enough to grab the bottom of the fork legs and it threw me over the bars.  My index finger was on the clutch lever and smashed into the back of the aluminum guard and broke the knuckle.  I still run full wrap handguards and have never had another injury from them but I'm sure they've saved me from many smashed fingers as well as protecting my levers.  I think I may have run them a little high back then also.  

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I have seen the dreaded broken wrist when a rider was launched over the bars. Came up short on a gap jump. I have a scar on my arm right now from cutting my forearm on the guards on my bike. They are a bit torn up from rocks and crashes. Went over the bars when the front end washed out.

With that said, I still run them as I have had more close calls with broken levers and hitting trees that one injury in almost 20 years isn't a good trade.

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Yup, I put them on all my dirt bikes. Never got hurt because of them, saved me from smashed fingers and broken levers though!  :D

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I ride with them and prefer the wrap around.

They have saved my fingers many times.

I don't do big jumps but like to dance with trees.

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No injuries from them but alot averted by them lol

I purposely went riding with no handguards this year, and it was TERRIBLE. I never realized how much brush the guards protect your hands from!

Hands down (lol), handguards enable me to ride faster. Sticks on overgrown trails don't pull the brake and clutch levers, protects hands from bruising and possibly breaking.

My friend used to ride with no handguards til he broke his hand on a tree.

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Other than the obvious tree thing, I remember my hands getting WHIPPED by the vines hanging out onto the trail until I got them.

But I'm not whipped any more....

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I bent the crap out of a cycra aluminum wrap around this summer while ricocheting off of a tree. My hand would have been pretty jacked up without the guards. I run them on all of my bikes.

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