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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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My HDB Hand guards have saved my hands from injury when crashing on rocky trails. I am not a good enough rider to go into tight trees,   I would not ride without hand guards.   That said I did partially dislocate my thumb but that was from the bar grip not the hand guard, when my momentum pulled my hand loose.  

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Running Bark  Busters here. I have 2 thoughts on this. 

1) If there is a "get off" and the bike goes down it will protect the handles so I can ride out. With out them I have to carry extra handles.

2) $h^t happens and it sure would be great that my hands and fingers are not worked over. Yes just another safety instrument. Why is that a bad thing?

 

I purchased these: http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/barkbusters-vps-handguard-kit-for-78-handlebars

Remove the handle bar anti vibration weights and they screw right back into the bar ends. So far so good. No complaints. 

BarkBusters.jpg

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I made these from PVC pipe for about $5 with a cheap mirror mount. The connector is unglued so if my arm gets caught inside it will come apart.

25989958324_7f7f37406e_z.jpg20160423_104018

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I made these from PVC pipe for about $5 with a cheap mirror mount. The connector is unglued so if my arm gets caught inside it will come apart.

25989958324_7f7f37406e_z.jpg20160423_104018

 

THAT won't survive the lightest of crashes and it won't protect your hands or your levers in a good crash.

 

Last year I tumbled down a rocky outcropping and the impact bent my metal hand guards down about 90 degrees.  The guard did its job and took the impact, saving the clutch lever and master.  You plastic one will crush into your hand, possibly spearing you with sharp or broken plastic bits.  Not something I would entertain using on my bike.

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I made these from PVC pipe for about $5 with a cheap mirror mount. The connector is unglued so if my arm gets caught inside it will come apart.

25989958324_7f7f37406e_z.jpg20160423_104018

 

A little ghetto, but you know, I like it! Good nuff to keep most brush from pushing your levers and I'm sure some protection from minor hits. I applaud the effort! ;)

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I've been running a version of these pvc guards without the coupling for a year and it has held up fine. Granted, it is on a 160lb RM100 but it is scratched up from impacts and has held up fine. My new one with the coupling seems just as strong. I have another set of PVC guards on my 290 lb dual sport and it has saved my hands and levers plenty of times. Charlotte pvc pipe from home depot is very strong.

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I run them on the DRZ, Husky and my quad. I even bent up a ghetto set for my mtb years ago. I've crashed hard, fast, slow, over the bars, low side, high side, hit trees...etc with full wrap around handguards and i've never been injured due to the handguard. They have saved my hands, fingers and controls more times than I can count. 

I like the PVC for a MTB and i'll probably coble together something similar for my new MTB... not sure about PVC on a dirt bike but whatever works

EDIT - Schedule 80 pvc is surprising strong, thats the PVC you want to use for this 

Edited by SenorThumpy
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What do you think of a set of wrap arounds but at the corner they don't connect and there is a pivot with a spring. It should still protect from impacts but would pivot if you crash

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What do you think of a set of wrap arounds but at the corner they don't connect and there is a pivot with a spring. It should still protect from impacts but would pivot if you crash

 

Seems like it would be expensive, additional maintenance (albeit very little) and overly complicated when all you need is bent alumn bar stock bolted down? I wouldn't want my protection moving in the event of a crash, personally.

I'm not going to read through this whole thread to see if there are any examples but are people giving first hand accounts of themselves being injured by hand guards? I feel like this is one of those things where everyone has a story about their buddy or a friend of a friend or a weird uncle but there are only like one or two first hand incidents and the injuries in those couple stories can  be attributed to something else during the crash or improperly installed/adjusted equipment or some crap like that. I can see how someone unfamiliar with human physiology and physics could suppose a person could be injured directly by hang guards but it just doesn't make any sense to me in theory and in practice. 

 

EDIT - if this pivoting hand guard doesn't already exist, you could probably make good money making and selling them to all the people who think they need something like that. Not a bad idea just unnecessary IMO 

Edited by SenorThumpy
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Kind of the same as the possibility (or urban myth) of a rider that crashed, a finger went into a slot or hole in a brake disk and cut off his finger.  I can accept the fact that it may have happened but it doesn't mean we all have to go back to drum brakes because disks are dangerous...

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While I have no intentions to remove my hand guards, Cycra ProBends, I know with 100% certainty they caused a broken wrist on my first ride with them.  The overall benefit still wins me over though.

 

Riding a decent speed, lost control and hit a tree dead on.  Both hands were ripped forward into the hand guards.  Wrists folder under and the left one broke at scaphoid bone.  My folded wrists punched right through the top half (plastic guard attached to metal) of the guards and cracked them.

 

I have no idea what would have happened without them on, maybe my hands would have hit the tree.  But for the sake of the conversation, my wrists hit, buckled down, and broke on the handguards.  Like I said before, they are staying on the bike, because I would have lost a finger long ago without them.

 

-Jim

Edited by MistrRoboto

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While I have no intentions to remove my hand guards, Cycra ProBends, I know with 100% certainty they caused a broken wrist on my first ride with them.  The overall benefit still wins me over though.

 

Riding a decent speed, lost control and hit a tree dead on.  Both hands were ripped forward into the hand guards.  Wrists folder under and the left one broke at scaphoid bone.  My folded wrists punched right through the top half (plastic guard attached to metal) of the guards and cracked them.

 

I have no idea what would have happened without them on, maybe my hands would have hit the tree.  But for the sake of the conversation, my wrists hit, buckled down, and broke on the handguards.  Like I said before, they are staying on the bike, because I would have lost a finger long ago without them.

 

-Jim

 

Nice to have a seemingly honest first hand story about this and it actually makes sense too! Sucks that you broke your wrist, joint injuries are the worst. While your wrist did brake on the guards, the guards did their job IMO. They stopped your bars from pinching your fingers or entire hand between your bars and the tree. Obviously we cant say with utmost certainty but theres a 99% chance your injury would have been worse with out the guards. I'm not really sure why i'm basically restating what you just posted ... so ... hand guards FTW?lol  

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Has it been said in this thread yet that the proper way to orient the full loop type of bark buster is to angle them downward slightly?  I've seen guys riding around with them UP at about 30 deg.   Thats ASKING for something bad to happen.

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He's lucky it was the brake lever, they won't go all the way to the bars, or will at least have resistance to doing so. If the tree had been on the other side it would have been the clutch lever getting smashed into his fingers.

I know it's an old post, but I just saw it and if you hit hard enough they can. I hit a deer, doing 75ish, on a naked SV650. The day before I'd swapped on some R6 calipers, using a GSXR master, braided lines, bled well. Throttle was on the stop when I hit it. How am I positive? The final digit of my right middle finger was broken. ASV C5 levers, so no damage to the lever (other than some rash from when I hit the ground). Also broke the middle finger hand bone, and scaphoid/styloid (Chauffer's Fracture), and was flung into the bars hard enough to lacerate my spleen. If I'd had handguards, injuries may have been less serious... the front brake wouldn't have been locked up, so I wouldn't have been flung forward as hard, maybe preventing spleen damage. Then again, streetbike vs dirtbike. 

 

I always run them on my supermotos. 

 

A lot of the typical mounts aren't very solid, and rotate easily in a crash. I suppose it's possible that would prevent injuries, but it isn't something I'm a fan of. I like to tap the ends of the bars for inserts that I loctite in, and use inner mounts that either go to the triple clamp or the bar top clamp. This makes them WAY less likely to move. Both of my supermotos have Brembo radial master cylinders, not something I want to damage if I can reasonably avoid it. I used Fastway V1 handguards on the one I had to buy handguards for (still need to mount a damper though). 

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Nice to have a seemingly honest first hand story about this and it actually makes sense too! Sucks that you broke your wrist, joint injuries are the worst. While your wrist did brake on the guards, the guards did their job IMO. They stopped your bars from pinching your fingers or entire hand between your bars and the tree. Obviously we cant say with utmost certainty but theres a 99% chance your injury would have been worse with out the guards. I'm not really sure why i'm basically restating what you just posted ... so ... hand guards FTW?lol

In the grand scheme, FTW!

I see the posts after you about tilting them down, which mine are. Not sure if would have helped to have them angled even further. I'd imagine my hands would have still banged into the plastic which I essentially punched right through with downward folded wrists.

I just wanted to throw out a real example is all. I'd never ride with out them!

Edited by MistrRoboto
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Saved my fingies & and levers a few times already. I have the full wrap around bar with plastics mounted to them. Ill always run em from here out. 

IMG_3140.JPG

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Again, this is an anecdotal thing but I have a nice pair of Enduro Engineering guards on my Suzuki DS and the FIRST DAY I rode with them, I hit a tree about 4" diameter on my clutch side.  I banged it pretty hard and of course don't know how bad my fingers would have been injured if I didn't have them but no harm, no foul and rode the rest of the day.

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Nice to have a seemingly honest first hand story about this and it actually makes sense too! Sucks that you broke your wrist, joint injuries are the worst. While your wrist did brake on the guards, the guards did their job IMO. They stopped your bars from pinching your fingers or entire hand between your bars and the tree. Obviously we cant say with utmost certainty but theres a 99% chance your injury would have been worse with out the guards. I'm not really sure why i'm basically restating what you just posted ... so ... hand guards FTW?lol  

Yep. Just about every piece of safety equipment has some risks. Helmets add weight to your head, potentially resulting in neck injuries... but we wear them, because they help prevent head injuries. Airbags kill a few people. Seatbelts trap a few people in burning cars. MX boots probably cause a few knee injuries. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them, you just need to look at risk vs reward. 

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After just purchasing a 2014 Stock DRZ400S  and getting back to riding after 25+ years I went down hard coming down off a old rail line and getting caught in a washout (Over driving my skill level). When I went down it jammed my two fingers between the clutch and bars. It actually took me a bit to get my fingers out. Nothing broke but still sore. 

These are on order now http://www.mx1canada.com/acerbis-x-factor-handguards.html

I went with the large heavy duty ones to cut down more wind in colder weather, I'n not sure if it was the right purchase. I would prefer the guard to be sacrificial and not the bars. These may transfer all the energy to the bars I think. Live and Learn :ride:  

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