I winterized my V-Strom handguards

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by War Hammer, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    I know a lot of folks replace their OEM V-Strom handguards with something that can take a harder hit, but the OEM ones are actually quite good for weather protection. Their biggest weakness seems to be that the bottom is COMPLETELY open and cold air swirls up from beneath to chill your fingers. So, I set out to fix that issue and add a little more weather protection up top as well. Here's how the process went and what I came up with:

    (This is all reposted from another thread, so if it seems like I'm answering question that no one asked, that's why.)

    Initial mock up:
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    Closing in the side:
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    Working out the size for the bottom:
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    #1
  2. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    This is pretty close to the final design. I just need to extend the inside edges to give a good are to bolt it on. I drew the lines with a black Sharpie to show where the original guard ends.
    Side:
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    Top:
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    Bottom (looking up):
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    Inside:
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    The bars can turn full lock without the guard hitting the tank. The throttle rocker does not interfere at all. I'll need to bend a small relief at the inside to give the heated grip wire enough room, but that's easy to do. The left side will be pretty much identical, with minor changes to fit the OEM guard contours, side it's shaped slightly different on the top on that side.
    #2
  3. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    I received the Kydex, but I had a few other projects that kept me away from this project for a few days. I finally got a chance to do some work last night. Here's where things stand:
    Cardboard mock-ups cut off of the bike.
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    Tracing the mock-ups onto hardboard.
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    Hardboard templates for the top and bottom. The smaller one that sort of looks like a penguin is the top.
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    Two layers of Kydex attached to the template and roughed out.
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    The Kydex after being routed to the shape of the template.
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    Three little penguins... Two top right wind guards, ready to be finish sanded and heat formed.
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    I had intended to invert one of the pieces of Kydex to make a top left and a top right at the same time, but I forgot to do that. So, I have two top rights. Oh well, no biggie. I'll cut out the other three pieces sometime today or this evening. The hardest thing so far was dialing in the right router speed for trimming the Kydex. Too slow and you get lots of chatter and kickback. Too fast, and the stuff just melts instead of cutting. I had to use a speed controller on my scroll saw as well. At full speed, the cuts try to melt back together as soon as the blade passes! I'll post more pics as the process continues.
    #3
  4. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    Not much to show today. I got 2 full sets cut out and ready to bend. I'll try to work on them tomorrow, but it's Halloween and there is much to do!
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    Hey guys! Sorry it's been so long, but I finally got back to this project and I'm finishing up the first sets tonight. So far, I just have the left side done, but they turned out so good that I just couldn't wait to post some pics. So, here goes:

    Heat forming and fitting the top extension. It's kind of a balancing act with the heat gun because you can overheat it and remove the matte, rough-grained finish, leaving shiny smooth spots.
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    Heat forming and fitting the bottom. It's important to wear heavy glove to avoid melting your fingerprints off!
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    Here's the left guard ready for mounting the extensions. I used 3M double-sided mounting tape. This stuff is really strong once it sets. This is the same stuff that holds bug guards on your hood or those plastic rain guards around your car windows.
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    Finally, here's what everyone came to the show to see. Here's the (now much larger) handguard reinstalled on the Strom. I can still turn full lock without the bottoms of the guards touching the tank.
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    After I finish up the right side, I'll take her out for a test ride and report my impressions.
    #5
  6. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    OK, got the right side done, too. Here's a weird thing that I didn't expect: the right and left OEM hand guards are not the same length! The outside right guard is .66" shorter from where it attaches to the bar end to the front edge of the guard. Weird, huh? Anyway, this didn't make any difference for the top extension, but it did complicate the bottom piece. The bend to make it fit right were more complicated, both due to the shorter size and some different internal bends.

    Here are some pics of the pieces for the right side. You can see that there are some compound bends here. I had to heat the Kydex up enough that it could stretch a little to form to the interior of the OEM guard. The first few shots are bottom pieces.
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    And these are shots of the top piece. It come out looking like a funky Pringle potato chip, but it fits the hand guard perfectly.
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    And here is the completed right side hand guard. Looks big enogh to carry water in like a bucket!
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    You can see how much hand room there is.
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    Too bad the extensions look so nice, 'cause my hand guards look like crap in comparison!
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    I just took about a 1 hour ride to test them out. It's chilly out, but not really cold here (about 50 degrees, hey... I live in Texas), but I wore my mesh summer gloves so I could feel the wind. The difference is incredible! As far as I'm concerned, this is a big success. These extensions don't completely block all the air, like Hippo Hands would, but they make a world of difference. With the top extended and the bottom blocked off, your finger tips ride in completely still air. I turned on my Oxford grips for a short time, but they got too warm, even on the lowest setting. I'm sending a set to V-Tom on Monday. Since Tom lives in Ontario, he should be able to give an opinion of how well they work in REAL cold weather.
    #6
  7. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    Finally, here are few outside pics now that I have some daylight:
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    #7
  8. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    Damned good work and a damned good tutorial! Thanks for posting.
    #8
  9. locorider

    locorider Loco, pero no estúpido!

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    Great work!!! I installed Cycras in mine, but opted for mits...but yours is a great idea. :clap
    #9
  10. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I like em! I used an old KTM rear fender,cut it to fit and pop riveted it on the bottom only,it helped with the cold but yours look way better.
    Maybe cut some extras out and ship em out here to norcal for more testing.:wink:
    #10
  11. Steve Craun

    Steve Craun benridin17yearsmyashurts

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    Very nice mod. :nod By the way, Sick paint job on the bike!
    #11
  12. MPH

    MPH Been here awhile

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    :eek1

    I use the stock guards on my K4 for 9/10ths of the year, and then Hippo Hands for the truely perverted temps, but you's looks fantastic and hits the exact pain-point that I discovered : the cold blast up from underneath, which hits the fingertips and thumb, the most-vulnerable parts. Still got those templates? Able to copy them 1:1 into a PDF (with a scale reference) and e-mail it to a fellow cold-riding luny?:wink:

    Dynamite work, truely creative and impressive!

    Mark

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. T

    T --------------

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    One of the best things you did (for wind management) was to go with bar end mirrors. It's surprising how much air the stock mirrors direct down on the hands. Nice work...
    #13
  14. Voluhzia

    Voluhzia iExplorer

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    Very nice job, you should start selling this stuff since you've got the templates. Or just the templates for DIY folks...
    #14
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    [​IMG]

    Damn fine looking bike!:deal

    Almost makes me want a Strom, almost!:evil

    Jim :brow
    #15
  16. Glenngineer

    Glenngineer Scooty Puff Sr.

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    Wow, those do look nice. I've got a bunch of kydex sheets lying around that almost match my 04...

    And I can't wait to get my bar end mirrors on there.
    #16
  17. War Hammer

    War Hammer Evil Monkey

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    Yep, the bar end mirrors are great for reducing turbulence wind noise. Everyone who is buying multiple $200 windshields searching for a way to fix "the buffeting" needs to just remove their mirrors and take a test ride. My mirrors only cost me $18 and they did more for the bike than any windshield or adjustable bracket.

    Another ride report:
    I went out for about 3 hours yesterday morning with temps in the low 40's (the weather report said the wind chill factor made it feel like 36 degrees). I wore my mesh summer riding gloves. With the new extensions and my Oxford grips on the 2nd of four settings (40% power), I was plenty comfortable. I can feel the wind up top and below hitting right about at my wrists. My fingers ride in completely still air. No problem with my thumb turning into a block of ice. I've had a couple of folks see the extensions up close and they thought that the hand guards came that way stock.
    #17
  18. MPH

    MPH Been here awhile

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    I was re-watching Long Way Round last night and noticed the Touratech handguard extensions on Ewin's and Charlie's bikes. I suspected that they used them for the very same reasons: a bit more protection without overly-clumsy-looking (though highly effective) Hippo Hands. I also found out the hard way that Hippo Hands cause a drop in fuel economy, prolly good for 20 or so less miles/tank of fuel than without them. Yes, I thought I had enough headroom to make it to my usual fuel station and wound up pushing the bike for 2.5 miles to the nearest one instead.

    I really want your extensions, WH. C'mon, send us the drawings!!! :evil

    Luv, Mark
    #18
  19. V-Tom

    V-Tom Been here awhile

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    Great work!

    I can't wait to try them out!

    ..Tom
    #19
  20. xtphreak

    xtphreak from B4 "adventure bikes"

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    how thick was the Kydex?
    #20