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Just took delivery of a pair of SW Motech Kobra handguards. Last year I froze my hands riding during the winter. These handguards should help reduce the cold. Install was very simple only options during installation was which of two hole attachments to utilize. One hole brings the guards closer to the hands, the other a little further away.  The Niken handguards only mount to a single point on the bar ends. It will be interesting to see if handlebar vibration is worse with swapping the hefty weighted stock bar ends. Additionally the SW Motech have am extension option as well as option to add LED lighting. 

 

 

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2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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Those look good!  The lines and angles suit the machine

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2015 FJ-09 / touring bags / oil plug mod / Evotech rad guard / SW Motech bash plate / VStream touring windshield / Seat Concepts:  Sport Touring

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Took the Niken out to road test the new SW Motech Kobra handguards. A couple of notes:

  • Even though they utilize a single mounting point the handguards themselves do not vibrate at speed. Very well engineered and solidly built.
  • The attachment screws even came pretreated with an orange colored Loctite equivalent compound. Nice attention to detail for customers to aid quality installation and minimize loose bolts.  
  • At speed these did keep my hands warmer. Ambient temperature was 60-62 degrees F / 16-17 degrees C, and I was wearing some relatively thin Dainese leather/Kevlar gloves. Riding at highway speeds of 70mph on the freeway with grip warmers set at 3 (of 10 settings where 10 = max heat setting), was the perfect combination of keeping my hands warm. The handguards basically reduce heat loss from air convection when unblocked air flows over your hands during ride and tries to mitigate some of the  the effects from wind chill over your hands. According to Bike Bandit.com, if ambient temperature is 60 degrees F then at 75 mph / 120 kph the temperature can feel more like 53 degrees F / 12 degrees C. Now while my hands are definitely better off, I could still feel a temperature difference in my upper arms not protected by the handguards or my fairing, but primary goal of keeping hands warmer was successful. 
  • Only knock against them is that depending on the angle of installation, they actually can block about 25-75% of my view through the side view mirrors. Now, it should be noted that the Niken mirrors are ridiculously small and have minimal adjustment. That being said,  I adjusted the angle of the handguards such that it provided a balance of hand protection and usability of my side view mirrors. Not the fault of SW Motech but a usability consideration given the geometries of the bike mirrors and variable user height when seated. 
  • Other item is that by switching out the beefy stock bar ends with the lighter hardware of the Kobra I did notice some more buzzing through the handlebars. Not a lot, but for 50 mile / 80 km rides my hands were more slightly more numb from vibration than before. For me, an acceptable tradeoff for warmer hands. 

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2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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  • 4 weeks later...

In researching the Niken I came across a picture of what appears to be Yamaha accessory handguards. They must not have made the cut for production. Wonder if partially blocking the view in the mirrors was a factor in that decision.

 

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22 hours ago, jetpilot5 said:

In researching the Niken I came across a picture of what appears to be Yamaha accessory handguards. They must not have made the cut for production. Wonder if partially blocking the view in the mirrors was a factor in that decision.

 

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Thanks for sharing. I've seen these thinking that Yamaha must have made handguards for the Niken but after calling Yamaha of America at their toll free number, they advised that neither these nor auxiliary lights were available for the Niken. 

Incidentally the guards shown in the photo are not thicker than the handlebar grips, and as such look like all they do is protect against big branches thwacking your hands or protect your levers from getting wrecked when you drop the bike going through some country terrain. Popular on offroad bikes but they don't do much in terms of shielding your hands from the elements.

As cool of a YouTube video that might be, I'm not sure how many Niken owners actually intend to seriously offroad their machines, I just know that I'm not one of them. 

2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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  • 2 weeks later...
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CORRECTION - I just ran across this accessories PDF on the Japan Yamaha site:

NIKEN ACCESSORIES (ysgear.co.jp) 

Lo and behold, they appear to sell the handle guards for the Niken but it's a 2020 Japan only product for now.

2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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Interesting that Yamaha would limit accessories to certain markets. I have seen a few more pictures with those guards in place. Also read that someone made Tracer hand guards work but I don't have details or pictures.

Yamaha guards.

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A bunch of custom work done here and guards are in place but no other details.

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I'm nerding out over the crash bar mounted auxiliary lights and the Givi tall windscreen on that Army Niken. That's definitely not a SW Motech crash bar, not sure where they sourced that from, but I'm super excited that I've now seen two confirmed pictures of auxiliary lights being mounted to Nikens in the wild! I've been searching for months to find actual examples. I feel like I've witnessed the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. 😀

Is entirely possible that this Army Niken might have been bought in Japan hence some of the customized kit. 

2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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Yeah I don't care for the graphics on that bike but it does have some pretty cool mods. I think the crash bars are GIVI and the GIVI website doesn't show any bars for the Niken but those look like the same bars that the Tracer uses. Not sure but there's a thread here with pictures. I think the passenger backrest is very well done. I also like the GIVI screen.

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3 minutes ago, betoney said:

This modified Niken looks nice, I like the blue and silver color combination. 

The main  part that caught my eye was how the owner replaced the side view mirrors with ones that aren't obstructed by the handlebars. I think I can just barely make out replacement turn signals. Also interesting was the relocated cigarette lighter adapter plug on the left fairing housing, the full length exhaust, in addition to the lower front fairing and the side panel fairing where one's  knees would go. 

2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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16 minutes ago, maximNikenGT said:

The main  part that caught my eye was how the owner replaced the side view mirrors with ones that aren't obstructed by the handlebars. I think I can just barely make out replacement turn signals. Also interesting was the relocated cigarette lighter adapter plug on the left fairing housing, the full length exhaust, in addition to the lower front fairing and the side panel fairing where one's  knees would go. 

The mirrors are a huge improvement over stock, and I had to take a second look at the front end to see that it was actually a Niken, it looks narrower from that camera angle. 

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Same - I totally thought it was a Tracer or FJR at quick glance not realizing it was actually a Niken. 

2019 Niken GT
"Motorcycles - the brand is not important, the fact that you ride is."

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