The hand guards were next, factory Yamaha brush guards had been fitted but these were very very flimsy so some reinforcing was needed:
I removed the bar end weights and welded a nut inside the bar, bent up some 3mm aluminum and bolted them on:
A sleeve spacer was made for the throttle side so the twist grip would still rotate but the bracket is close enough in that you wouldn't notice it at all:
After many thousand of kilometers and quite a few offs (including one by my brother which included replacing the front forks) these simple guards have stood up well, I have not had a single broken or even bent lever and they cost all of $5.
They might not be as strong as Barkbusters but hey, they also don't carry the price tag.
After these mods it was time to really test the bike and see what it could do.
A two day trip was planned including some mud, stream crossings, a bit of altitude, some rocky snow covered single trail and lots and lots of gravel roads.
I spent the night out under the tarp only, curled up in my winter sleeping bag, smoking away and sipping at a flask of whiskey.
It was the best night out I'd had in a long time: