Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best dirt bike hand guards in 2020. You may be looking at dirt bike hand guards for the first time to protect your hands and gear. It could be that you are replacing broken dirt bike hand guards. Perhaps you are considering a full bike refurbishment to match a new color scheme or that of a race team? This article will inform you about the benefits of dirt bike hand guards and highlight some of the best options available.
What are Dirt Bike Hand Guards?
Dirt bike hand guards are designed primarily to protect hands and levers from roost, rocks and brush. Second, they also help to block wind, rain or any extreme weather conditions.
Roost can be your worst enemy when traveling at speed. Baseball sized boulders can easily break fingers and knuckles. This could put you out of action from riding and, in a remote location, could prove dangerous. With hand guards protecting your cables and levers around the handlebars, it can also mean avoiding expensive and unnecessary repairs.
Types of Dirt Bike Hand Guards
There are two main types of handguards. MX or Open Style, sometimes known as Standard, and Full Wrap around, sometimes known as Closed Wrap.
MX open style handguards are entirely open on the outside of your hand. This style is mounted with a single bracket towards the center of your handlebars. The bracket can be attached on top, or below the bar for greater accessibility.
Open style dirt bike handguards are lightweight and suited to faster, trail and enduro riding, Dirt bike guards offer protection from light roost and most weather conditions.
Full wrap handguards offer the ultimate protection for your hands, levers and bars, covering the whole hand and lever area. Full wraps include a support bar, which attaches at two points. Firstly a clamp attaches near the center of your handlebars using a clamp. Then on the outer part of the handlebars, an expanding nut system fits inside the hollow tube of the bar end. Sometimes you will need to cut away at rubber grips and cut/file the end of the handlebar tube to mount full wrap handguards.
A full wrap handguard is the most robust available. It is well suited to riding in the rough stuff, thick woods, brush and rocky terrain. If you were to clip a tree (or a cactus), encounter an unfortunate tip over or wreck, the full wrap would protect your hands more than an MX open style handguard.
Often more substantial, full wrap handguards are more suited to trails than tracks and racing. They are an excellent consideration for newer or youth riders who may have more frequent tip-overs when hands and costly levers are often the first points of impact.
Are all Motocross Hand Guards Universal?
Not all dirt bike handguards are universal, but many options are available with adjustable clamps to suit most dirt bikes and handlebars. The mountings available for MX open style and full wrap-around dirt bike handguards tend to be adjustable between 7/8″ (22mm) to fatter 1-1/8″ (28mm), but always check before you buy.
What materials are used with Dirt Bike Hand Guards?
Dirt bike handguards generally come with two main parts: the mountings, clamps and bracket set used to attach to your dirt bike’s handlebars and the shield or guard that is usually made from toughened plastic.
Brackets and mounts will range from hard plastics at the lower end of the budget scale to more substantial, billeted 6061 aluminum at the premium end.
Similarly, the deflective shields will be made from flexible plastics at a lower cost to hardwearing, often reinforced, injection-molded or composite plastic at the premium end.
Often, dirt bike handguards will be vented. This allows airflow, which can be handy on hotter days or for aerodynamics when racing. Vented designs will sometimes ship with a spoiler allowing optional blocking of the vents when riding in colder, muddier or harsher conditions.
Best Dirt Bike Hand Guards Buying Guide
As with many motocross parts, you will get what you pay for – buy cheap, buy twice – so you should always buy the best you can afford.
In this article, we consider the best options from different price ranges to help you get started, with a variety of budgetary options, to suit most pockets. Read on to discover a dirt bike handguard to suit your needs.
Best Value Dirt Bike Hand Guards
1. Acerbis X-Future Dirt Bike Hand Guards
The Acerbis X-Future dirt bike handguard ships in a range of vibrant colors to suit the design of your bike. These handguards are MX open design and come with a universal fixing bracket meaning it will fit most handlebars, with two additional horizontal adjustment positions.
The Acerbis X-Future’s have a secure, simple mount by the collar and a fully vented design. Plastics are dual-injected for maximum resistance. The mount and clamp are plastic meaning it is lightweight, compact and flexible, but overall could be less resilient if you encounter many a tip over. Acerbis is a trusted MX brand; the product looks great and provides excellent value for money.
2. Cycra Stealth MX Dirt Bike Hand Guards
Cycra is a market leader in aftermarket products, with all products proudly made in the USA. The Stealth MX open style handguards have high-quality injection-molded composite shields that mean they are tough but lightweight, perfect for MX riding.
Mounting brackets are manufactured from machined 6061 T-6 billet aluminum, meaning they are strong, resilient and robust. These alloy brackets are fully adjustable and will fit almost any off-road bike and ship in a full range of colors. Overall a great value product, a trusted brand and a sturdy bracket that should stand the test of time.
3. Powermadd Power-x Combo Dirt Bike Hand Guards
The Powermadd Power-x ship as a kit, including adjustable plastic brackets and shields. Some reviewers report that these handguards are perfect for newer or younger riders that might quickly outgrow their bike or tip over more frequently. With a quick, simple installation process and a range of colors available, they are vented allowing airflow.
The flex mount system absorbs impact and allows you to change shield colors regularly if required, relatively inexpensively. Powermadd are confident in design quality and ship with a one-year warranty, meaning a full replacement if the handguards break, no questions asked. A great choice for price-conscious buyers where practically is a priority over looks.
Mid-Range Dirt Bike Hand Guards
4. Acerbis Tri-Fit Dirt Bike Hand Guards
For something a little more versatile for mixed track and trail riding, you may wish to consider the Acerbis Tri-Fit. Allowing you three interchangeable bracket options – open style, full wrap, or an ATV style attachment for mounting on the outside of the handlebar only – these are a worthy consideration. These three options give greater flexibility for all seasons and conditions.
A full wrap-around could be used for newer riders, changing to open style as confidence grows. The mounting bracket is plastic but ships with an embedded carbon fiber print for a better aesthetic. The Tri-Fit handguard shield is available in all colors, as you’d expect from Acerbis. Overall, a quality consideration and with subtle venting and great design.
5. Cycra Rebound Dirt Bike Hand Guard Kit with Alloy Mounts
The Cycra Rebound is an open style handguard. As you’d expect from Cycra is very high quality, and mounts are manufactured with billeted aluminum, meaning strength and rigidity. The rebound function is a patented feature that allows the plastic bracket to springs outwards in a ‘breakaway’ fashion. Should you have a tip-over, this feature protects the bracket from snapping.
Cycra says this is one of the strongest open style handguards available and plastics will have unrivalled strength against trail debris. A reinforced backbone on the plastic shield is another sturdy feature. Some reviews suggest installing longer screws and locking washers to keep everything tight. As with all Cycra products, the Rebounds are proudly made in the USA.
6. Powermadd Trail Star Dirt Bike Hand Guard Combo
The Powermadd Trail Star is a simple, strong and functional handguard set. The Trail Star hand guards may be perfect for beginners and younger riders and are completely covered with no venting, perfect for colder conditions or extra protection from the elements. For previous Powermadd customers, the Trail Star works with the Star Series aluminum mount kits.
This Combo kit ships with the handguard plastic shield and a Star Series aluminum mounting kit and fixings. Aluminum build means the mounts will be strong and durable. Reviewers say the Trail Star handguards look great once fitted but could use more fitment instructions. Overall, a good quality product that ships in a range of colors.
7. Zeta Impact X3 Dirt Bike Hand Guard
The Zeta Impact X3 handguard ships with a unique adjustable inner guard to protect the master cylinder, though this can be removed. The Impact X3 can be mounted to curved areas of your handlebar – useful when space is limited, such as on newer bikes with a mapping switch or electric start buttons.
When mounting on a curved area of the bar, the plastic shield mightn’t be level, so you simply adjust by turning a special spacer to bring the shield to a horizontal position. The shield is fully adjustable, with three different positions. The plastic is lightweight, durable and will reflect instead of crack. Universal clamp design means this handguard will fit most bikes.
8. Renthal Moto Dirt Bike Hand Guard
Made in the USA, the Renthal Moto handguard boasts excellent protection against roost, mud and rocks. The shield is manufactured from lightweight, dual-compound molded plastic, plus a flexible, synthetic rubber edge. A reinforced composite mounting bracket means extra protection and allows flex in the event of a tip-over. It mounts independently of perches for versatility, and this means it won’t interfere with your controls.
Reviews say that the Renthal handguards make for a great look, are install easily and have plenty of flex to avoid breakage. Some reports indicate fit isn’t perfect and, if you are likely to tip over frequently, something more hardwearing may be better. It is fully adjustable three ways horizontally to suit your motocross grip.
Premium Dirt Bike Hand Guards
9. Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong Dirt Bike Hand Guards
For a full wrap handguard that’s heavy-duty (and has a more premium price tag), the Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong is a great consideration. The Acerbis Rally Pro X is sure to stand the test of time, as it is made from a durable, injection-molded nylon composite. It’s manufactured with an anodized aluminum support bar inbuilt to the shield. For further protection a spoiler is available as a separate purchase, allowing an increase in profile.
The Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong ships with a universal mount allowing for fitting to a 7/8″ and fatter 1-1/8″ bars alike. Sleek and stylish in design, it comes with an indexed steel bar insert for the hollow end of your handlebars, mounting solidly and ensuring the handguard won’t rotate. Many reviews say these Acerbis dirt bike handguards are easy to install and have protected hands on many occasions, including big hits from trees. The Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong handguard simply bounces off. Ships in all factory colors with all the necessary hardware for mounting to your bike.
10. Cycra Pro Bend Ultra Dirt Bike Hand Guard Kit
Last and by no means least is the Cycra Pro Bend Ultra Hand Guard, with a premium price that reflects the design and quality. This full wrap handguard is reportedly the best of the best. If you have the money to spend on your beloved bike and want the ultimate in handguard protection, look no further. Manufactured using Cycra’s superior materials and designed and built in the USA, this ultra-strong handguard will have you covered.
The trademark Pro Bend feature refers to the shape of the support bar that dips on the outer edge. This allows your hands to escape much easier during a fall but is also a solid feature, protecting levers and controls. The material used for the support bar is aircraft quality billeted 6061 aluminum, meaning strength and resistance while also being lightweight. It is extremely adjustable, with three mounting positions on center clamps, allowing you to move horizontally to suit your bar set up.
The Cycra Pro Bend Ultra ships with a removable dual-zone ventilation system allowing for vented or unvented shields, for full-season and ride conditions. The shields are also interchangeable, meaning you can replace them with fresh colors should you wish to upgrade your bike or plastics. Reviewers say this product is solid, has superb quality fittings and is extremely easy to install.
The only thing that potentially deducts a point is a supplied expanding nut for the hollow end of the handlebars, which could be threaded for extra strength. Overall, as you’d expect from Cycra, this is a market-leading handguard that will stay put and do its job. The Cycra Pro Bend Ultra ships with all hardware required for fitting and is available in a range of colors.
So there we have it, our ultimate dirt bike handguard guide with a selection of leading products to suit your every need. Make sure you consider these options if you wish to protect your hands and handlebar gear whether you ride on the track or trail. Remembering that the dirt bike handguards you select will be more suited to different tracks and trails or your style of riding.
The only question that most of us will have is why has somebody not yet invented a carbon fiber handguard? They would certainly be strong, as well as looking the business.
We’ll be back soon with more motocross advice, but in the meantime stay safe and have fun out there!