Zeta Armour Handguard and XC Deflector Kit
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
Versys and Accessories |
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Owner Comments (Below)
Summary: The Zeta guards and deflectors kits
are of good quality and cost effective.
The straight type hand guard provides necessary clearance
between all controls, a concern with most other designs.
The kits have met all basic requirements and look good mounted
on the motorcycle.
Now these are something we needed!
Frequent use of the Versys for off-pavement forays has resulted
in some incidents and close calls. The right side has a couple
of battle scars, but nothing that can’t be buffed out or filled
in and touched up (winter project of course).
With these events in mind, a salient observation regarding
the provision of hand-guards was made…the final straw came about
when temperatures decided to plunge and wind-chill protection
became an even higher priority.
Given the time of year, most of the dealers did not have
much in stock that we could look at and compare, although there
were lots of dirt machines around to provide some insight into
brands, mounts, etc. Wanting to expedite everything, a quick
Internet search provided the applicable part numbers, and a
local dealer ordered the items from Kimpex, a Canadian distributor.
Two days later we had received a Zeta Armour Handguard (Straight)
kit and a companion kit – a set of the Zeta XC Deflectors with
the optional LED flasher strip.
Although the kit ordered was for hollow-bar-end mounting,
the Versys has spun-on bar-ends mounted via 8mm threaded assemblies
as part of the handlebar – so a minor workaround was needed
for this installation.
Mounting the left hand side guard was straight forward, but
the front brake assembly on the right side was going to complicate
life somewhat. Some compromises were going to be needed for
this initial fitting.
The Zeta kit is well made and well finished, although the
included hardware, with stainless steel bolts, appears to be
a bit light. Included are two-piece clamshell brackets that
fit over the 7/8 bar and used to secure one end of the guard
to the handlebar. This bracket uses two 6mm bolts to clamp the
two clamshell halves together along with the bridge piece that
brings the guard and the clamp together.
When mounting the left hand guard, it became apparent that
the provided bolts were not the same thread pattern as the clamshell
bracket pieces and were also a bit short. Resorting to our metric
stock on hand, a 35mm and 30 mm length bolt was used for the
front and back respectively of each assembly. While not stainless
steel, the items used will work for the short term.
With the left side loosely installed, attention was turned
to the more problematic right side. It was at this point in
time that the decision to pick up a small (30mm) lightweight
set of LP bar-ends proved prudent.
The stock bar-ends are quite long and recessed to cover the
bar end and given where the right side guard had to be mounted
on the handlebar, due to the space taken up by the front brake
assembly, it was accepted that the stock bar-ends would need
to go, at least for this fitting.
Using the smaller bar-ends allowed the far-end of the guard
to extend just beyond the front brake assembly so that it could
be mated up to the clamp bracket and bridge pieces. It is a
tight fit, especially as clearance is needed for the rigid front
brake hydraulic line housing. The stock plastic cable retainer
strap was cut away and its plug pulled out of the handlebar-
that spot was exactly where the clamp needed to be mounted.
After fitting both sides, some leveling was undertaken and
everything was tightened up. The sequence was: hand-guard end
to bridge pieces, clamshell clamps and finally, the bar-end
While the Zeta kit 30mm x 8mm recessed-head bolts would be
fine for a stock bar-end installation, they were far too short
for this installation. Again resorting to the bin, a stainless
steel 45mm x 8mm bolt secured the guards and bar-ends into the
bar on each side.
Mounting the Zeta XC Deflectors was icing on the cake. It
took about 30 seconds to mount each one up using the supplied
bolts to secure each deflector via two holes threaded into the
guards (the Zeta brand label had to be punched out to reveal
the holes). In the cool of a late fall evening, the handiwork
was admired and final checks were made for tightness and clearances
-- portable work lights to the rescue again!
Aesthetics considered, there is a small (5mm) gap between
each 125mm grip and the bar-end itself, which would be hidden
if recessed weights were used and the replacement bolts used
to secure everything at the clamshell mounts are a bit more
visible than the kit items would be.
But overall everything mounted up well and it all looks okay.
A larger deflector with rounded lines could be used for even
better protection and to better flow into the windscreen and
Once again the age-old question, “how do they work?” needs
to be asked. They work very well indeed.
The difference in wind protection, with or without the Givi
shield, is remarkable. At highway speeds wind-chill effects
are almost negligible: the same gloves that were border-line
for keeping the fingers relatively comfortable are now quite
adequate. Both the Alpinestars and the Olympia 4150 Gore-Tex
gloves are comfortable for prolonged periods of time behind
the guards, and without using the heated grips.
As mounted, the guards and bar-end combination results in
virtually no change to the overall width of the handlebar assembly,
but the deflectors do create a heavier or bulkier look from
However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Riding
at and above highway speeds with the windscreen and the deflectors
doing their job, and the handgrips pumping out heat, the whole
cockpit area becomes a far warmer, and much more inviting environ.
Overall, the whole assembly provides a more rugged, adventure-touring
look, which was one of the objectives. The deflectors are easily
removed for warmer weather and could easily be packed for travel
and use if inclement weather is encountered. The guards on the
other hand will provide permanent protection during all riding,
especially in event of a spill.
Although there was concern over using a smaller and lighter
bar-end, it would appear to have been unfounded. Only a very
slight increase in vibration is evident and then only below
4,000 rpm. Above that, there is no difference whatsoever – the
Versys really is a smooth machine.
An Acerbis Multiplo / Multiconcept handguard it was ordered,
but it cannot be used as the guard component (curved style)
is too short and does not provide enough clearance for the levers
and the hands. With all the accessory kits on the market, other
options should be available – our quest continues.
The Zeta hand guard kit contains well
made pieces that are easily fitted. The straight guard component
used provides clearance for all stock pieces, especially control
levers. Many other guards, straight or curved, do not provide
adequate clearance for standard controls, as they are designed
for shorter motocross assemblies.
Although having a relatively small frontal area, the deflectors
are quite effective and add a distinctive adventure touring
look to the Versys.
The hardware could be a bit heavier and hopefully the bolts
found in our kits are not typical for all Zeta kits.
Test and Riding Environment
Product Review: Zeta Handguards and Zeta Deflector
(Canada and U.S.A.) via dealers and resellers. This
kit was purchased from the
Ottawa Goodtime Centre.
Price: Handguards - $71.95 CAD. Deflector
kit with LED light strips - $59.95 CAD.
in Black or Silver. Deflectors available in blue,
green, yellow, orange, red and of course, black.
||Made In: Unknown
Date: January 2008
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Comments may be edited for clarity prior to publication.
From "T.C." (5/10): "
I am seeking to fit such a product my Versys '07 model. But
unsure what you fitted, are they standard or did you fit a certain
I followed link to Kimpex whom you got them from but found
their search facility for the item somewhat fiddly and couldn't
find the item, gave up. We can get Zeta here in the UK but asked
a few times & shops not sure?
Can you please advise on the sizing etc. of fitted hand guards.
Also if you could provide the product codes or sizing codes
that we be great."
The zeta product line has changed, so the information below
is based on both the original installation and what I now see
on the website, so here goes:
The original Zeta its installed on the Versys were the Armor
Handguard Straight Kit and the Zeta XC Deflector Kit which are
small LED light strips that got mounted to the plastic protector
shields (deflectors) that were part of the original kit.
The Zeta products have undergone change in three years, but
I found the relevant information, listed below, on the
Zeta Racing site. The primary UK distributor is listed as
a. Armor Hand Hards, Straight, aluminum, Black, ZE72-0011
for 22.2mm (7/8") bars, they are available in Titanium
b. The kit should include a set of the clamps
(middle) length, ZE71-1712 for 22.2mm bars, but in some
instances or if more clearance is desired or needed along
the bar, there is a replacement kit: Replacement Clamp (long),
for 22.2mm bars, ZE71-1713 listed.
c. The original
equipment bars have threaded inserts, so you just need longer
bolts (stainless steel or alloy if available) to fit the
guards, as identified in the article. If you have replaced
the original equipment bars, optional bar end adapters (included
in the original kit I used) are available as part number
d. It seems the deflector shields are now
sold separately. The basic XC Protector, Black, ZE72-3106
is listed, along with other colours. Another kit, the DC
Flasher Protector has the LED strip fitted and its part
number is ZE72-3406 (this is basically what was used on
my Versys, although it was packaged differently at the time).
Zeta now lists Orange and Smoke coloured replacement flasher
strips as well.
A3. I hope the information provided in A2 above does the
trick. Regarding specific suppliers in the UK, there seem to
be a few suppliers, some listed on various forums, especially
those related to the Versys.
From "D" (12/08): "First
of all my compliments with your great site! I got some great
ideas and inspiration from it.
For my Versys I will buy some handguards, and I wonder about
the fitting challenge you had: How did you solve the fact
that the Versys has spun-on bar-ends? Did you make it
hollow, or what exactly did you do?"
Author's Response: "Most after market
handguard kits use either a hollow-bar-end mounting or a bolt-on,
like the Zeta units do. Some people actually do drill out the
bars to make a hollow fit, but this takes time and effort, and
precludes re-installing the original equipment at some point
in the future.
I would recommend using handguards that let you use a longer
8mm bolt to attach the handguard frame and bar-end weight to
the handlebar directly. Depending on whether the stock bar-end
weights or a shorter item is used, the actual length of this
bolt will vary.
For my installation I used an 8mm x 45mm stainless steel
bolt with an Allen key head, although a 8mm Philips head machine
screw will work as well (which is what many Japanese manufacturers
use anyway for bar-end weights).
For what is worth, most handguard kits, even those that use
a hollow-end expansion pressure-fit component can be adapted
to use a straight bolt mount using the stock 8mm threaded holes."