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This is a collection of experience and incidents such as I can remember some of my misspent youth and thrash through my later years.

The beatings will continue until moral improves.

I had always had misgivings about the plastic hand guards on my adventure bikes. That first drop of my 2004 BMW 1150 GS Adventure in the desert didn’t tear the plastic guards up hardly at all. Only a few scars. I had seen bikes returning from rough rides with guards dangling by a fastener or strapped to the rack. I first began looking in 2005, but found the solution was to change the bars add risers and in the end walk away about $400 lighter. Hmm.

Then came the current bike. I contemplated these plastic bits of protection. I scratched them more than a few times in the last decade, but never broke one. The thought occurred to me that my advancing years, coupled with less riding and diminished strength might collide so to speak in a few harder drops where the plastic could be defeated. A period of boredom led me off on an online shopping spree.

Now, searching for aftermarket parts for a deign that went out of print a decade ago is an exercise in searching other peoples ride modifications and videos as well as third party parts builders sites. Then once there emails and photos and descriptions for how my bike is set up and what I’m concerned with and finally pushing the button fill the cart then empty the virtual wallet and wait on the shipping email.

I decided on the Highway Dirt Bikes guards. $200.

Everything looks hunky dory right?


Yes, the guards fit mostly on the bars. Slight misalignments get sorted. The bars can just be turned to engage the fork lock. But, guess what? Can’t fit the key to use the bike.

Looking at the website the pictured bars are wider by more than an inch per end. Ah, ha!

Nothing to be done, but break out the hacksaw and get to work. Not exactly how I like to install $200 accessories, but that is how life goes. Now, ten years ago these guards terminated at clamps up the bar a ways and this key interference was never and issue. These guards are sort of a universal fit with the fit being centered on the new stuff.

Chop, chop, file, file

A few hours of this and that, then rolling the bars back slightly ended with it all fitting as well as I could make it.

And that is where this bit of the saga sort of ends.

Well, not so fast. I should recount that in place of tapping the bars for a 5/8″-11 screw, I used the OEM quill type expander bar end clamps, but of course had lost track of the right hand piece when the Kaoko Throttle Lock was installed a decade ago. That meant finding the parts. These are of course not available individually, but in the plastic hand guard kits listed under the KTM Power Parts. So, more money. $70 more money.

But, I like the way this works better than a huge SAE fastener on the end of the bars of a metric motorcycle.

And not quite the end yet, since as long as we’re here…

I might as well replace the throttle lock with an Atlas Throttle Lock, and so I ordered one.

This throttle lock is nice, if a bit fiddly and quite expensive. The teeth on devices clamp are meant to grip a plastic throttle tube. Mine, being the G2 is aluminum, but the steel teeth grip. I’ve not had a chance to test ride it yet as I’ve been battling serial colds thanks to a grandson we care for after school. Pre-schoolers are by nature very efficient germ spreaders. I seem to have a natural talent for catching germs. So, we wait.

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