This is a hobby website dedicated to the Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. I make no claim concerning the accuracy of the procedures, nor do I guarantee the success of any work done using them. All users of the material found here are advised that there is no real or implied warranty associated in any way with the website content, and that all content available here is for use at your own risk.

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I had just installed my new Dunlop D606 tires and wanted to try them out. It was winter and there was about 1 foot of snow. The snow wouldn't have been a problem, but the layer of ice under it was. I was getting the feel of the new tires and things were going well. By the time I left the level front field and went into the woods I was moving right along...

I rode along a side hill and dumped the bike to the left. There went that brush guard. The next one was a downhill corner which took out the right brush guard. Due to the cold, they snapped right off, instead of flexing as they usually do. Being fresh out of any kind of protection for the expensive controls, I knew that I was in need of something better than the stock brush guards.

The solution came, as it always has, from Fred Hink at Arrowhead Motorsports. There were a couple choices, so I shot Fred a quick email asking for his recommendation. I've found these "Maier Woods Pro Aluminum ATV Handguards" to be just the ticket - and they have optional brush guards, which was enough to seal the deal.

This information is meant only as a supplement to the instructions that Maier includes with the guards. This isn't a difficult installation, but I think that pictures are always helpful. The included Maier instructions are at the end of this documentation for reference / verification.


I ordered both the aluminum guards and the optional brush guards. Not only do the brush guards provide protection from... you know... brush, but they also noticeably improve the comfort of your hands in cold weather riding by deflecting the wind off them.


The guards will install at the handlebar end by putting an expanding tube into the handlebar. To begin the installation process, you have to cut the ends off of your grips. It's a done deal on the left side, but on the right side - the throttle side - you'll also have to take care of the "cap" on the end.

The instructions suggest cutting off the end with a hacksaw. Having learned the hard way over the years, I'm always a little leery of just jumping into stuff like this, especially since their instructions are generalized, (not specifically meant for a KLR.)

I used a Dremel for a couple things here. I used one bit to enlarge the hole in the end cap to the same size as the opening in the left bar end, and a cut-off disk to cut back the grip, (next step.) Take your time and get it right!

Throttle side cut

As suggested in the Maier instructions, I cut back the grip about 1/8". The Dremel with a cut-off disk was perfect for this job. That's it for the "prep" work, now to get those guards installed!

Grip cut back

The next step is to loosely fit the clamps. They'll be facing forward and a bit downward. You can use the bar to get a general idea of where and how the clamps need to be positioned. The following pictures should help to give you an idea of how they should be...


Clamp Left

Clamp right

The handguards come with parts that allow installation on a variety of machines. The larger bolt, thicker tube and cone are what we'll use for the KLR.

Parts used

Note that the bars are stamped on the inside with L and R. The threaded holes are for the optional brush guards.

Bars marked L and R

These are the bars with the KLR-appropriate option assembled...

Bar ends ready

Maier suggests a downward angle of about 10 degrees. I don't have a good eye for this stuff and having the left & right guards at different angles would drive me nuts, so I used a level gauge that I happened to already have. I set them to 12 degrees.

You'll have to adjust and tweak a fair amount to get them at the proper angle - and to still be at the proper angle once you tighten down the bolts. I used blue Loctite to make sure nothing vibrated loose.

Maier made a big point of warning about NOT having the guards angled in any way in an upward direction - they should never be higher than level.

Guard at correct angle

You can get a level like this at Home Depot. This picture is just to show a general side view to get an idea of what the angle should look like.

Guards angle view

This is showing the installed guards, left side no brush guard :right side with it installed. If you also get the brush guards, as I did, you'll have to drill the 7/32" holes that the mounting bolts will go through into the aluminum guards. I used a compass point to mark the spot to drill from the inside of the guard. I installed with a stainless washer on the outside of the brush guard, and again used blue loctite.

Brush - No Brush

These pictures show the finished installation with brush guards. Since, apparently, my dumping the bike is inevitable, it's reassuring to have these protecting the goods!

Finished - Front

Finished - Rear

!!! Final Checks !!!

- Guards are angled no more upward than level and preferably 10 degrees down.

- No pinched wires or cables

- Throttle working freely, no binding, releases automatically to fully closed

- Handlebars go fully left and fully right without contacting the fairing, gas tank, cables, etc.

- Brake and clutch levers do not contact the guards in any way

- All fastners are secure (remember the blue loctite!)

The original, included, Maier Instructions for both the handguards and brush guards