Best Motorcycle Handguards For Warmth and Protection


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Last Updated: 20th May 2021

Handguards are a cheap way to boost the effectiveness of your winter gloves or heated grips.

Windchill is a huge factor in making our hands cold while we ride. It’s not only uncomfortable, it seriously compromises our ability to react quickly and optimally control our bike.

Well-made handguards can look a bit slicker than muffs on some types of bikes too.

Our Top Pick

Oxford’s Premium Handguards

Oxford Premium Handguards

Simple and Stylish

Oxford’s Premium Handguards are simple but stylish and can be adjusted for maximum protection. Check SportsBikeShop

Cold Weather Pick

SW Motech BB Storm handguards

SW Motech BB Storm

High Standard Finish

SW Motech BB Storm handguards are built for hostile conditions and perform very well in the coldest of UK weather. Check SportsBikeShop

 

Best Motorcycle Hand Guard Reviews

Let’s jump into our top picks.


Oxford Premium Handguards

Oxford’s Premium Handguards

These quality-looking, bar-end-mounting handguards from Oxford are made with a black anodised alloy and plastic deflector panel.

The lightweight, CNC made lever protectors can be adjusted to different lengths using Allen bolts, helping you get a perfect fit on a pretty wide variety of bikes.

These handguards use 12-18mm expansion bushes that fit into the bar end, and within the 22mm handlebar category, these are as close to “universal” as we’re likely to find.

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The plastic deflector panel can be removed in hotter weather, leaving the lever protection in place. These handguards aren’t significantly more expensive than an off-brand, cheap solution and are a lot more modular.

They also look decent, which can be a big factor in selecting aftermarket bits for our bikes. Recommended for their quality, versatility, and looks.

Pros

  • plus iconFit a lot of bikes
  • plus iconVersatile once installed
  • plus iconLook cool

Cons

  • minus icon Not cheap

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Barkbusters Storm Bar End Mounted Handguards

Barkbusters Storm

Barkbusters are another recognised name when it comes to producing this kind of aftermarket kit.

The Storm Bar End Handguards are designed with maximum weather protection in mind (the name gives it away). This explains why they wrap around the hand, almost like a shallower, rigid handlebar muff, if not as fully encapsulating.

The shape functions well, driving water, snow, and cold air away from the hands but it’s a lot more visually intrusive than Oxford’s Bar End solution (more effective too – worth noting!).

Ultimately, it comes down to how much weather protection you need and how much you’re willing to let it impact the look of your bike.

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We’ve seen these fitted on cruisers, adventure bikes, naked bikes, and scooters.

They mount to a single point on the bar end using an internal locking system not dissimilar to most bar end-mounted accessories – with a kind of expansion bolt/bushing. The Storm Handguards are sold as weather protection only and not intended for off-road use etc.

Installation is pretty quick with these and the same goes for taking them off when the weather improves. Overall, excellent weather protection and decent-looking on bigger bikes with more fairing/plastic.

Pros

  • plus iconExcellent weather protection
  • plus iconEasy to install

Cons

  • minus icon Look bulky

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SW Motech BB STORM 6-8mm Handguards

These BB Storm handguards from Motech are for 6-8mm internal diameter handlebars.

Similar to the Barkbuster’s Storm, these are focused on delivering maximum protection from weather and wrap back in the direction of the arms to drive cold air and rain away from the hands. These mount on the bar end using proprietary hardware and installation is quick.

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This design of handguard is very effective at keeping down windchill but is fairly large and bulky looking. It’s arguably more suited to larger Goldwing-esque touring style bikes than smaller machines.

We like the quality mourning hardware and that the company supply replacement shells in the case of an accident. These are excellent guards for the coldest UK weather and are finished to a high standard.

Pros

  • plus iconQuality gear from a reliable manufacturer
  • plus iconVery effective in cold/wet weather

Cons

  • minus icon Expensive

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Bike It Venom Reinforced Hand Guards

Bike It Venom Reinforced Hand Guards

These are another set of durable motocross, aluminium and plastic handguards from Bike It. They’re designed for 13 and 17mm bar end fittings and come in a range of colours.

These are slightly more expensive than some of the cheapo, no-name replacement handguards but are finished to a higher degree, justifying their price.

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Weather protection is also supplied by the wrap around design of these guards and we’ve seen some people fit them to bikes other than just motocross.

These are durable, look decent and offer good protection from weather and debris on the trail.

Pros

  • plus iconWell-made and tough

Cons

  • minus icon Cheaper options available.

Yosoo Motorcycle Handguards

These are a cheap and cheerful option from an unknown manufacturer. If you’re going to go cheap, buying something that mounts on two points might be a safer option.

Less premium handguards use inferior materials more likely to snap in an accident. By mounting on the bar end and handlebar, these guards should be fairly solid.

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They don’t look terrible either, for what they are – thin aluminium bars and some moulded plastic. Still, they do the trick of blocking the wind and making whatever gloves you have on work a lot better. Not a bad option if you’re not sure handguards are for you.

Pros

  • plus iconPretty cheap

Cons

  • minus icon Pretty cheap

WATODAY Caken Universal Handlebar Guards

This cheap but sturdy set of motocross style handguards use aluminium and plastic to form decent protection from gravel and debris. These are aimed squarely at MX bikes with 22-28mm internal diameter bars and don’t really offer much protection from weather. Not none, exactly. But not much.

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We’ve included them because they’re durable, cheap, easy to fit, and look decent on most kinds of motocross bike

Pros

  • plus iconCheap and cheerful
  • plus iconDurable

Cons

  • minus icon Not much weather protection

Buyer’s Guide

Considerations, Components and Fitting


Why Fit Motorcycle Handguards?

The use of handguards in motocross is pretty self-explanatory. But for riders in colder climates, handguards can also be important for deflecting cold air, improving the effectiveness of heated grips and winter gloves.

The latter kind of guards also come in useful for adventure-type riding, when flying gravel, mud, and debris can be a problem. For these riders, handguards are dual purpose. On most street/road/touring bikes, they’re mostly there to protect against the elements.

 

Components and Materials

Handguards typically include an aluminium/alloy bar to protect the levers and a leaf-shaped plastic section to deflect cold air, rain, rocks and debris.

Those that mount on the bar end also offer some protection to the ends of your handlebars.

Some of the adventure/touring/street bike options on our list have a removable plastic section if you just want protection for your levers. Many riders leave the aluminium bars on their motorcycle in the summer months to help protect the levers in an accident/fall/drop or from snagging in cramped, urban parking situations.

 

Fitting

Most of the guards on our list feature the word “universal’ in their name. This doesn’t mean they fit literally any bike. In this context “universal” means the guards support most types of motocross bar – not every motorcycle handlebar.

Usually, expansion bushes are placed inside the bar end and tightened by an Allen key bolt. Others mount around the bar with a clamp.

We’ve included options on our list with clear measurements and diagrams so you can check compatibility with some accuracy.

Always check the comments, questions, and review sections of vendor listings to see if anyone’s asked about your model of bike.

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