One of the fun things about owning a bike, and a dual-sport in particular, is adding farkles to it. If I remember correctly, the word “Farkle” is a combination of “Function” and “Sparkle”. I’ve added a few of them (RAM mount, GPS) but the latest and greatest are some newly installed handgrips. I’ve wanted some for my bike for a while now, maybe they were on my wishlist even before I had my BMW! There are a number of brands to choose from and I settled on a pair of Barkbusters with VPS covers. They have a good reputation and I liked that the installation video looked really simple. It was pretty much bolt-on.
The handguards serve two purposes. First and most importantly, they protect the levers from being bent/broken in case the bike goes down. Some handguards are simply plastic covers, but these Barkbusters have a strong metal backbone which is securely connected to the bar-ends and inner handlebar and should offer some really good protection. The second useful feature of the handguards is that they offer wind/rain protection for your hands. Riding in cold weather, my knuckles would get cold really fast because of the constant wind on them. With the handguards, they still get cold, but not nearly as quickly. One final benefit is the “sparkle” part of farkle: the looks. I think they look cool! Barkbusters VPS handguards come in a varietly of colors but I went with the plain black. They were very shiny plastic when I unwrapped them but I prefer a flat-black color so I took some fine sandpaper to them and now they match the flat black of the headlight cowl and mirrors better. The next step is to get some black reflective tape to cover the white logo to complete the stealth look.
I think pretty soon I want to do some more light dirt roads around the Hill Country. Should be pretty fun and I’ll have a little bit more insurance with these handguards. But with my luck, I’ll probably brake the clutch lever when I drop the bike next time!