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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Another (practical) farkle

Oh dear, I must be turning into a wuss, getting old or any other insult you care to toss in my direction!  After decades on faired bikes and  a mere 20 months on a naked Street Triple, it's a delightful change of scene which I'm loving. However, at the risk of attracting snorts of derision from my fellow bloggers from the n-w of the USA and Canada; I find getting cold hands in the winter a bit of a trial.

Ok, I hear you say, what temperatures are we talking about here?  Shuffles feet in embarrassment....  we almost never get frosts where I live, let alone snow .  BUT in mitigation, the provinces south of us do have early morning frosts.  Ok, only down to about -4 C on the coldest of mornings if you want to quibble, but even that gets a mite chilly on the paws when you're on the bike for a few hours at a stretch.  At this stage,  Troubadour and Stacy  will be shaking their heads after their outstanding cold weather rides.  I've not bothered with heated grips or gloves on the Triple because that would be really wussy given our generally benevolent climate.  Besides, I don't really want to load up the electrical system of the bike any more than with my radar detector and GPS.  But what to do for winter riding??

I recently saw a photo of a Street Triple equipped with Acerbis Dual Road hand guards which matched the colour of the bike. They were elegantly designed whilst still functional as opposed to the larger trail bike guards.  The penny dropped - a set of guards for the winter to reduce wind chill on the hands and I should be fine! 

Trawling the 'net for prices showed a fair bit of variation but with the current exchange rate between the US$ and NZ$, a pair were finally ordered from Motostrano in California and they arrived today - superb service and thoroughly recommended!


 The universal mounting kit which comes with it has just about every combination known to mankind.  However, I was struggling to get the OEM internals out of the bars so made a small modification to one of supplied components and voil√† - fitted in a few minutes!

Triple before mounting guards

Triple after mounting the guards

View from rear

The colour blends in beautifully, as does their shape and they don't detract from the bike at all - it still looks brutish.  They'll get removed in the warmer weather though as they'll be too hot. As I write, it's absolutely tipping down, which is what it's mostly been doing for the last 2 weeks so I'm not about to go out and try them this instant.  However, the forecast is actually good for the weekend so looking forward to an early trial.

Oh, and one final thing.... in the second photo up, you can see the brand name Acerbis written in small print along the centre of the guard.  You can actually unscrew that section and replace it with a strip of LED's.  You can be assured, dear reader, no way is that going to happen.  Apart from having a loathing of over-dressed Goldwings and other cruisers with coloured strip lights and other ghastly accessories,  I dread to think what my riding partners would say.  Actually, I do know what they'd say and my street cred, such as it is; would be in the gutter.  A bridge way too far!


22 comments:

  1. Hi Geoff,

    Those hand guards look great. I keep thinking about getting some for the VStrom - (I'm convinced that mine is the only 'Strom on the planet without them.)

    Looking forward to hearing how they perform. I've had some painfully cold rides in recent weeks so if the guards cut down the cold I think they might be a good investment.

    Have a great weekend mate,

    cheers

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  2. You won't get no sneering comment from me, Geoff. Besides giving good weather protection those hand guards actually look pretty sleek. I like them, and it doesn't spoil the harmony of the bike. I promise you will still look cool.

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  3. I will say Geoff the look very good, I do dis lik the big ones that are on a lot of bikes. i will like to complient you on how well polished the bike is looking!! Six weeks with out a ride is driving me nuts.

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  4. Heated grips rock but heated grips and hand guards are even better...

    @Anthony, your strom doesn't have hand guards? Yep, it's the only one without 'em!

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  5. Cheers Anthony - you must be one of the few 'Strom riders without them as I thought they were standard because I'd seen so many of them! You have a great weekend too.

    Sonja - you say the sweetest things ;-) thank you! I only became aware of those slimline ones recently and I'm impressed. Beautifully made and really rigid.

    Roger - thanks mate and the bike is only polished because that's all we can do at present, eh?

    Andrew - the guards should be really effective. The mirror housings on my old BMW K100RS were perfectly placed for just that purpose. The Blackbird mirrors weren't and it was really noticeable.

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  6. Looks great. They seem to suit the bike and your hands will thank you. It is summer here and I am still glad I have my guards and occasionally turn my heated grips on low when in the mountains.

    You will find you wish you would have put them on sooner. Having said that I still think they look pretty stylish.

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  7. Thanks Trobairitz! I'm sure you're right about wishing I'd had them on sooner as I suffered a bit last winter without them. Your guards look great too and would suit the Triple. Are they a Suzuki aftermarket part or another brand?

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  8. Geoff, there is no virtue in riding with frozen fingers and toes. Moreover, excessively cold or hot riding can distract a rider at a critical moment so really, your hand guard wind deflector whatevers are a SAFETY item! During the bitter cold winters here in the AZ desert I consider my electric vest to be a critical safety item just like my helmet. Honest.

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  9. I agree with the other folk, I think they suit the bike very well.

    I was looking at a new Triple at lunchtime today and was thinking how petite it was compared to my new acquisition. Is the wheelbase as short as it looks? Our forecast is for a sunny winter's day on Saturday so I'm hoping to get out for a ride as well.

    Cheers Jules.

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  10. Look an excellent match Geoff and I should think good stone protection to boot. Incidentaly what winter gloves do you wear.....if any?

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  11. Doug: You're absolutely correct, I've tended to forget the lessons of riding in the UK in snow and ice in the early days and being unable to control the bike because I was so stiff. Now I never tended to associate Arizona with bitter cold - I must look up its climate!

    Cheers Jules! It is indeed a very short wheelbase. Easy to wheelie off the throttle and very easy to unload the rear tyre under heavy braking unless you know what to expect!

    Hi Dylan! Thanks and I'm off for a ride tomorrow so we'll soon find out how good they are. I wear German Held brand winter gloves with Icebreaker merino liners. Not as stiff and bulky as my Teknic brand which I hate - not enough "feel".

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  12. Beemer Girl:
    I absolutely detest thick, bulky winter riding gloves. So anything that makes it possible to wear summer gloves further into the season (or completely through it) is aces in my book. You will love them! And yes, they do look great on the triple.

    -Lori

    Lori: Had to post your reply up manually for some reason!

    Yeah, bulky gloves are a pain and you also speak from experience about the benefit of grips. Really looking to try them out tomorrow if the weather co-operates!

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  13. Okay, so those hand guards look sleek but - I love my heated grips. Turn on the heat.

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  14. VStar Lady:
    I had heated grips on the last bike but I don't know how good the electrical system on the Triple is when you start to load it up. Will try the guards on their own first!

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  15. Strange that you had to post it for me. Blogspot hates me right now. :) But thank you for getting it up there. Yes, I definitely vote for heated grips, but the guards are a start until you figure out the electrical.

    -Lori

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  16. Lori:
    Well that post worked fine so I'm wondering whether I accidentally hit the "Delete" rather than "Publish" button.

    Incidentally, since Blogger changed its dashboard layout recently, I've had no more problems posting photos. Mind you, I've only posted once since then so plenty of time for things to turn to custard!

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  17. Geoff:

    You are a man of steel, you got those hand guards for looks only, right? Their streamlined shape makes the Striple go faster.

    sorry, I am behind in my reading. I'm still down in the Columbia Gorge. It will be a long day riding home tomorrow. 6 or 7 hours of actual riding, plus lunch and rest breaks.


    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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  18. Bob,

    I am a man of Jello. Tried them out today and they worked superbly.

    A long day....6 or 7 hours of riding?? Still, I suppose stopping for 4 or 5 gourmet meals does eat into riding time ;-)

    Loving your travels!

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  19. ooh - love my handguards. The heck with the mild climate, get the heated grips too. Happiness is heated grips. They're very comforting on crisp mornings, even if it's not really cold enough to need them. :)

    These look very nice on the triple - good choice!

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  20. Cheers Kari
    I must be slow - wish I'd done it earlier. You must be a whole lot wiser than me :-)

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  21. Nice handguards and great pictures as well. I like the view of it from the front. Good share man!

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  22. Cheers Spada - it looks better than I thought it would!

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