Buying and installing handguards + review

Why did I want handguards?

I have always liked handguards. Why? Like I knew! Probably because I’m used to seeing them on dirt bikes. But my bike is no dirt bike, still I wanted handguards. Surprise, surprise I didn’t buy them because of the protection against wind, rain and crashing (these are just a nice addition), but because I like the way they look!

Where did I buy them?

There wasn’t many places that sold handguards for my bike. I bought mine from SW-Motech. SW-Motech seemed the most promising from the beginning. I gave this a proper thought since it’s a quite an investment financially after all.

SW-Motech KOBRA handguards (photo by SW-Motech)
SW-Motech KOBRA handguards for my bike on the webshop (photos by SW-Motech). I bought the handguards on the left side.

I was disappointed when I realized SW-Motech doesn’t ship to Finland. I thought that yea I’m not going to get them and I had been dreaming about buying them for couple of months. I noticed this when I was about to buy them (typing my home address etc. info) and I was ready to give up, but then I noticed that I can send an inquiry to my local retailer. I sent the inquiry and thought that they might never answer… I hadn’t ever heard about R.M. Heino (the local retailer) before.

To my surprise I got an answer the next day saying they could order the handguards for me. Yes! I got really good service from R.M. Heino on this matter. They replied quickly to my emails and the order process was very clear. They ordered the handguards to their shop (I could have had them posted to my home address but decided I would pick them up from the nearest shop instead). The shipping from SW-Motech to R.M. Heino took 2,5 weeks (original estimation was about 2 weeks).

Were they easy to install?

I have to be totally honest here. My boyfriend did most of the installing (okay maybe even all of it) and I just followed. I probably wouldn’t have managed to install these handguards by myself…

Installing handguards
Installing the handguards

Trickiest part was removing the handlebar’s cores. It wasn’t as easy as my boyfriend would have thought and we watched this Youtube instruction video “How To Remove Honda Bar Ends and Cores” by AimlessMoto just to be sure what we were doing.

He managed to remove the cores’ “clips” without breaking them so if anybody wants to put the original parts back on they can do it. My core and the clips weren’t that rusty as in the video (probably because the bike is so new)! Also had to be careful with all the wires going beside the handlebar so that they wouldn’t get too squeezed by the handguards’ holders.

How do I like them so far?

We installed the handguards in the end of May (2018) so I’ve been driving with them for a couple of months now. I haven’t noticed any real difference when comparing to the time before installing them… BUT I feel extra cool. I really like the looks of them and I think they fit well on my bike. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? So what do you think?

My only concern is that if I’m going to trip my bike over what will happen to them. Will the plastic parts just get some scratches or will they break down altogether? I hope that it doesn’t happen anytime soon!

Now I’m dreaming of embedded blinkers for the handguards! For that I should get rid off the current front blinkers (by law there cannot be two pair of front blinkers on a motorcycle in Finland) and probably also change the relay and rear blinkers. Also I think I want to change my mirrors. The current mirrors are too round… I want something more angular shaped and shiny black. Something to do for next year!

SW-Motech blinkers (photo by SW-Motech)
SW-Motech blinkers for KOBRA handguards on the webshop (photo by SW-Motech)

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