Handguard, plastic or aluminum???

We had a big ride the past weekend and I came up from the ride with one less flasher and a bent front brake lever. Now I'm in the process of buying handle guard (I know I sould have bought those before crashing the bike!!).

I was wondering if the plasting handle guard made in one big piece are enough tough for trail mx riding and low speed crash. I'm not talking about the cheap one but the massive one sold as expensive as the aluminum one. Should I buy the heavier aluminum framed one or they are just usefull for motocross crash at high speed?

It seems like I've seen quite a few Acerbis rally handguards and similar models littering the sides of trails. I've also seen quite a few race participants with badly skewed plastic guards at the finish line. I think their ability to protect your levers in a hard fall is suspect.

They probably work great to ward off brush induced punctures and scratches on your hands but that is all, IMO, they were designed for. Aluminum bars like Cycra pro-bend or E-Line may be a bit more intrusive, expensive and harder to mount but you'll never have to replace them.

And I don't think they are appreciably heavier than the all plastic models.

I now have triple clamp mounts on my Cycra Pro-Bends, they can't rotate. No bad wrecks yet but this setup seems stronger than anything else on the bike, save maybe the smell of my shin guards... :)

When I still had bar mounts I broke two sets of bars without hurting any levers, and I have a snap-prone MSR Raptor clutch lever.

Before the Cycras I used to fall and break levers all the time. I still fall all the time.

I don't even wrap teflon under my levers anymore because they never suffer any contact.

So I guess you can say I endorse Cycra Pro-Bends...

...and I think you could call 'em lever guards as well (esp. w/ triple clamp mounts).

But if all you are worried about is broken and bent levers then:

1) don't tighten them so much. Let them rotate on impact and they won't be as likely to bend or break.

2) wrapping teflon tape around bar where lever is to be mounted allows you to tighten them pretty solidly but they will still rotate on impact

3) buy a spare set of levers. Moose makes good forged levers that can be bent and rebent (I know this firsthand).

Hope this helps!!

[This message has been edited by Hick (edited 08-30-2000).]

I have hand guards on my wr400. They are called BARK BUSTERS and are designed for high impact crashes. They have heavy duty alloy clamps that bolt around the inside of the handle bars and then a thick alloy bar that goes from the clamps to the end of the handle bars covering the levers. Then there is a heavy duty plastic shields that attaches and covers all the controls and levers. These are Australian made and look real good. I have dropped my bike hard on several occasions and these things will not move. So they protect your levers,light switches,decompression lever and even strengthen the handle bars.

Be real careful with the aluminum guards. If you tend to fall or tip over then they may work. However, in a crash that involves hitting directly or "endow" I would warrant against them. Your hands or wrists can be broken by the impact. -- Ex.-- You are moving @ 30 mph on your bike--suddenly you hit something and the bike stops --- you will still be moving @ 30 mph with only the back of your wrists to stop you.

I would have to agree with UR i.t.o HG's, I have seen where a Au reinforced guard has trapped the wrist/hand of a person and resulted in a fairly nasty incident, best to go with an open nylon or shatterable closed guard that will break/flex under impact, might end up costing more in the long run but is better than velcro on the seat :)


I have the Acerbis Rally Pro guards that have a piece of aluminum molded into them. They have more than paid for themselves with several slow speed tip overs in rocks and trees not to mention two high speed get offs. I have my levers adjusted so they don't hang down below the guard. I'm sure if I had the all plastic type I would be replacing a lot of parts instead of just sanding the gouges out. Also saved my hands and fingers while still holding on in a high speed dump.

Hick I agree with your opinion on the (pro-bends)especially the point of attachment at the bar end allowing full range of motion with your wrists. I did happen to perform a third gear lip auger wich resulted in the breaking of the of the clamp at the inside of the bar mount area. :) Where did you get the mounts to relocate to the top of the triple clamps? To me they are the best hand guards I have used to date, I have heard that the triple clamp style mount also allowes the pro taper bars to flex the way they were designed to reducing arm fatigue :D

Hum... I won't take any change and I'll go for aluminum handguards. The acerbis looks great even if they seems small for wind protection (I'm dual riding),but we can add a biger deflector. Anyway, I'll have dirt bike for many years and handguard can be dissassembled for the next bike. Thank for all.

The Acerbis Rally Pro guards bend fairly easily in a tip over. The last side impact I had actually bent the guard into the brake lever, bending that as well. I've probably saved a few clutch levers with them, but they're not as strong as I thought they should be.

Acerbis Rally Pro (Plastic with Alloy insert) is my guard of choice.

Acerbis is a more supple pastic than Emigo or the other replicas.. others will break (have crash photos to prove it!) while Acerbis tends to flex more.



**Ride it like you Stole it!**

Matt Porritt

99 YZ400F

Vist the Rubber Chicken Racing Online Shop

Discounts for ThumperTalk members.

On my last outing I hit a tree in 3rd (was not having a good day). If not for my aluminum hand guards I would currently be sporting a shiny new cast. After that incident I will not ride without aluminum guards and a steering damper.

By the way - in my opinion there is a good reason why they are called "hand guards" and not "lever guards" as the guards tend to rotate upon impact (regardless of how tight I tighten them) and leave the levers exposed and often broken.

Mr. Huge,

I got the triple clamp mounts for my Pro-Bends directly from Cycra. I forgot how much they were...

But they only work for top clamps with pinch bolts that protrude to the side (as oppossed to the front). They will work with Scott's top clamp and stock YZ/WR top clamp.

800-770-2259 is Cycra's number.

Uncle Richard,

I always thought the "handguards snap wrists" was an old wives tale. All the pros (GNCC) seem to run E-Line, SRC or Cycra, and their wrists look like they work good.

A few months ago I launched myself off the front of my bike, ending up about 10 meters away. My wrists came with me. It is easy to imagine your arm falling down in there but I wreck all the time and this has not been an issue (knock wood).

One thing I will say is that, for bar mounted bark-buster type alum. guards, frontal impacts may result in MORE stress/breakage of bars since the guards stop the bars from absorbing impact over the entire length, focusing impact between handguard bar mount and bar clamp. I have snapped two sets of alum. bars in this manner (and also bent my Cycras quite a bit. They bend back).

I always went with the Accerbis Rally Pros with the aluminum bar running through them. I have two sets at home that are severely bent from crashes (not my fault crashes by the way :) ).

When I put my IMS tank on, they wouldn't fit (kept digging into the tank at the bar mount). So I got the plastic hand guards instead (the stock kind that don't attach to the bars). Well, now I find that I spend a lot of trail time replacing levers from crashes (not my fault crashes by the way :D ). So instead of constant dirty looks from my riding partners due to down time, I decided to try other bars and gaurds.

I went with the Pro Taper bars and the Cycra Pro Bends (bar mounts). They fit with the IMS tank. Haven't had any crashes yet (not my fault crashes I'm sure :D ) so I can't report on durability.


Dougie, '99 WR400 with a lot of dumb, stupid, here take my money, I have to have them but they don't make me a better rider extra mods.

(Except the dampner :D)

I finally ordered emgo handle bar since the acerbis distributor was too far from home. I'll try them and if they break I'll change for the acerbis one. Are emgo really cheaper than acerbis handle guard?

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