Gear Review – MachineArtMoto – ADVance Guard
It was a dreary January afternoon the wind was picking up yet there was still considerable overcast, the temperature crept above freezing and therefore a perfect day to test out the new MachineArtMoto ADVance handguards. If your going to test adjustable handguards you might as well do so on a cold windy day were roads still have sand on them from the previous ice storms, and the current rain is making the roads extra slick without actually rinsing away any of the gravel. The dirt roads where in worse shape where you would come upon muddy ruts at the bottom of and nearly tractionless accents making you rethink your devotion to the TKC70 rear tire on muddy rolling glossy hills. The testing also needed to hit the Interstate for speeds above 80 MPH to fully vet out these handlebar attachments and make sure there was no undo vibration as well as would it block additional air from going up your sleeves. In all I think I gave it the best possible winter test I could have given the time constraints that winter allows you during Januarys in Kansas.
Background on machine art moto
I first became aware of MachineArtMoto products when I was at RawHyde off-road training and I took notes on what the instructors bikes had on them back then it was predominantly the Mudsling. When I got my 2014 GS some of the first things I added to it were the Mudsling then the X-head and the advent guard. I got one of the first X-Head_LC they made because I have seen cylinder head covers get shredded on bikes that had protective bars around them. Again, this was at Rawhyde when a bike crashed and then the bike in front of me almost got out the guys way but his pannier ripped right into the cylinder head cover. Luckily one of the Adventure brothers were on hand and Lance Thomas was able to get it put back together because he carried JB Weld Kwick. In short, I should admit upfront that based on previous experience with MachineArtMoto that I am a fan and like their products.
I like the design and am drawn to it because I had actually thought that an additional adjustable guard would be a good idea and had played around with creating my own. Well the MachineArtMoto is better and includes a removable section for hot weather riding giving you a year-round advantage.
I had potential concerns about the ADVance Guards.
· Would there be room with winter or large off-road gloves
· Would it be a lot of weight on the handlebars?
· Would the wiggle loose or have loose/lost parts?
· Are the mirrors going to be a problem?
· Are the Adjustment knobs actually usable?
I can now attest that
· Even with mammoth hands and gloves there is ample room
· The additional weight does not cause a high-speed wobble
· The small parts are retained (brilliant)
· The mirrors turned out to actually be no problem at all
· The knobs are actually usable, and you can adjust them with gloves
Those adjustment screws are one thing that concerned me when I first looked at this item as it seemed like a potential nightmare of loose parts rattling around in my panniers, but I am happy to report that those screws are retained so you won’t have to worry about losing them. I apricate the attention to detail around the size of screw knobs and retainment of those small bits its one less thing to worry about when you’re out on the road.
The instructions are good and the instillation video on the website is better, you will not have a problem know what you’re supposed to do or how to do it. As always, I strongly urge everyone to use the tools in your on-bike toolkit (not the tools in your garage) to ensure that you have the right tools with you if you need to adjust the guards when on the road. As for the BMW R1200 GS with a Touratech Windshield I will tell you the guard on the right will take five extra minutes of tweaking to get it just right. I should point out that I keep my handle bars at the 10% up position not the 0% position.
· Cold /wind blockage
· Hands free high speed
So far, the ADVance guard have not affected my off-road riding ability. I was concerned about the weight aspect on the bars, but it has not been a problem and I was on some very slick mud and didn’t fall over and that is a good rating for me. Does it block the wind and keep the cold from shooting up your arms? It does block more wind then stock BMW guards, but it actually defects or softens then wind as well making cold air up the sleeves less impactful. I was thinking about this a lot while I was testing it and the best analogy I could come up with is that your windshield doesn’t block all the wind – but it tosses most of the wind over you and softens the wind that does hit you and that’s exactly what this ADVance guard does. While I would never encourage anyone to ride without holding the handlebars that is exactly what I did because I needed to test to see if there was high speed vibration or wobble. I was able to go beyond a reasonable distance and had no wobble problems so it all seems to be reasonable.
The attention to detail and fit/finish of the product is inline with what you would expect from MachineArtMoto in that it has been thought trough and attritive. While no handguard can literally BLOCK all the wind the ADVance guard deflects a heck of a lot more wind then the stock BMW guard and softens the surrounding air considerably giving you more conform for a longer duration. While I have not tested it in the heat of summer I did test the airflow in all the variants and am excited about using this product this summer.