Barkbusters VPS on KTM 1190 Adventure

Why go metal?

The standard hand guards that come with the KTM 1190 Adventure R are the plastic type with no metal frame. They are similar to the Touratech models. The thinking is that, in the unlikely event of an accident, the plastic will flex preventing the guard from braking and let it spring back into position when the bike is picked up. They believe the metal hand guards will bend and you will be left on the trail trying to smash the guard back into it correct shape.

The problem with the plastic guards is that when they bend in a crash, they do not protect your brake or clutch levers which is 50% of the point of the guard. The Barkbuster VPS are solid guards and do not bend or flex during an accident.

How they perform

IMG_1988I have dropped the 1190 quite a few times with the guards on rocky hills and even once on the stand. Other than some cosmetic scratches, the guard has not been damaged and my levers we not damaged. I dropped the bike once with the original plastic guards and broke the tip off the clutch lever.


The KTM 1190 Adventure takes the two point mount VPS guard but does require extra spacers to hold the inner handle bar mount out from the brake and clutch cylinder. You could probably get away without the 10mm clutch spacer but a little extra buffer is probably a good thing.

Wind protection

IMG_1992The wind protection of the VPS covers is about the same as the original guards. The original guards do look to have a little more coverage. I rode with one original and one VPS on a cold morning and both hands got cold at about the same rate. If wind protection is a problem, you can always change to the Storm covers are a later time as they are compatible with the VPS mounts.IMG_1989


Value for money : Good
Installation    : Easy
Strength        : Very solid
Wind protection : OK
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