Review: Touratech Stainless Steel Headlight Guard, GD Hand Guards, and Handlebar Risers for Kawasaki KLR650

Jun 16, 2014 View Comments by

Review: Touratech Stainless Steel Headlight Guard, GD Hand Guards, and Handlebar Risers for Kawasaki KLR650 The Kawasaki KLR650 is one of the most versatile motorcycles ever produced, but it does have some off-road weaknesses that need to be addressed. Touratech, a world leader in touring and adventure-oriented aftermarket accessories, offers an extensive array of products for many motorcycles including the KLR. I selected three Touratech items: the headlight guard, hand guards, and handlebar risers to begin the transformation of my bike into a truly adventure-worthy mount.

Anyone who has ever followed another vehicle on a gravel road knows how vital headlight protection is. The Touratech Headlight Guard is a simple, effective, and stylish barrier between your headlight and flying debris.

Constructed of laser cut stainless steel, the headlight guard features a durable black powder coat finish. Once two lower support brackets are attached to the guard, installation onto the bike is quick and easy. The Headlight Guard attaches via four stock machine screw locations so no drilling is necessary, and provided spacers hold the guard away from the fairing and prevent damage to the paint. The fit and finish of the guard are excellent, and the rigidity of the stainless steel mesh ensures that your bike’s night vision capabilities will remain intact.

touratech-P1050971Another chink in the KLR’s armor is the stock hand guards, which affords little protection to the control levers or hands in case of a fall. Touratech addresses the problem with a tough plastic guard that, unlike the stock part, attaches to both the handlebar and bar end making a much more rigid mounting system.

Touratech has found that the tough yet flexible plastic used in their hand guards is superior protection for heavier adventure than non-flexible aluminum guards. The hand guards are designed to absorb the impact rather than transferring it to the handlebars like a rigid guard does. The result is a greater likelihood that handlebars and handlebar mounts will survive a mishap unscathed.

The hand guards are available in black, blue, red, white, and yellow. Optional spoilers (part #040-730X) can be added to increase wind protection and are offered in matching colors. Touratech recommends that handlebar risers be used with the guards to eliminate hand guard/fairing interference, and I found their advice to be on the mark.

The hand guards fit the bike well, and although installation is substantially more difficult than that of the headlight guard, anyone with moderate mechanical skills should have no problem. Minor re-routing of the choke cable is necessary, and other cables and wiring secured to the handlebars need attention as well during the installation process. The packet of mounting hardware looks intimidating at first, but the exploded assembly included with the guards is self-explanatory and no questions or problems arose during the installation.

Review: Touratech Stainless Steel Headlight Guard, GD Hand Guards, and Handlebar Risers for Kawasaki KLR650 Once the guards were installed and interference with the fairing was noted, I installed the handlebar risers. On my bike, the wiring harnesses limited full movement of the handlebars after the riser installation, and I had to remove the gas tank to expose and adjust the various straps that secured the wiring to the bike’s frame. While this step took some extra time, it is extremely important that wiring harnesses and cables are not subjected to excess tension when the bars are turned to their full travel limit. An added bonus of the riser installation is increased rider comfort when standing on the pegs in off-road situations.



Stainless Steel Headlight Guard

Kawasaki KLR650, 2008-on
Part #409-5095 $99.90

Touratech GD Hand Guards
Kawasaki KLR650 2008-on, Versys
Part #408-565X $132.80

Handlebar Risers
30mm, Kawasaki KLR650
Part #040-0275 $69.50

Want to receive free Touring Tips, reviews, deals and contests, and additional content? Sign up for your free newsletter now!

Tags: , , , , , , , Categories: Product Reviews