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maximNikenGT

Niken handguards

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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
First time Yamaha owner - BUSA!

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After install. 

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2019 Niken GT
First time Yamaha owner - BUSA!

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Those look good!  The lines and angles suit the machine

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2015 red FJ-09 / touring bags / oil plug mod

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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
First time Yamaha owner - BUSA!

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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
First time Yamaha owner - BUSA!

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