Dirt bike product reviews - Motonation Wacker Hand Guards - From Dirtbike Experts at Dirt Rider Magazine

When it comes to hand guards, the basic design hasn't changed much in the last few years: aluminum spine with plastic deflectors to shield the digits. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Motonation set out to simply introduce some refinements and improvements.The Wacker is a rather simple aluminum spine, sprouting stiff plastic hand shields that wrap around to the sides. The mounting hardware is sold separately for either standard-diameter handlebars or oversized (bulge) bars. The best part of these guards has to be in the attachment components. Standard bars can be steel or aluminum, which translates into different inner diameters. Matching this inner diameter isn't rocket science, but it is nice to see options in a kit. With three different inner diameters from which to choose, practically everything on the market is covered. The real drama in putting hand guards on a bike is always on the inside mount, where the brackets are competing for bar real estate. The designers of the Wacker solved this overcrowding by allowing the piece connecting the guard to the bar bracket to pivot, so the bracket can be attached further inboard than the aluminum spine can physically reach. Granted, it does add another bolt, but the savings in time, effort and words your children are not supposed to hear are worth it.With a name like Wacker, the hand guards inspired us to quickly seek out any available tree or bush to ram them into or through. They are a little light on the shielding from brush (shield extensions will be available should you need more coverage), but impact protection was deemed ample. In the drop test, we noted our only error: the guard rotated up upon contact with the bricklike soil. A quick retightening of the hardware after repositioning the hand guard, and we no longer had any problems. We must say that our experiences so far have been positive for the most part. One tester did have some difficulty mounting a pair on a Yamaha WR.The Wacker retails for $52.95 and is available for full-sized bikes in Honda red and white; Yamaha blue and black; Kawasaki green and yellow; KTM orange and white; and Yamaha blue, and black and white for minis and playbikes. Should your plastic shield get old and mangy, you can replace the pair for $29.95 whether you have a full-sized or a mini- or playbike set. The Wacker crossbar handlebar mounting kit is $37.95, and all bulge-type handlebar mounting kits run $42.95.DR Tested: 8.0Motonation: 877/789-4940; www.motonation.com