Motorcycle Bar End Weights and Hand
Manic Salamander Bar End Weights and Ducati Performance Hand Guards
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
It doesn't take very long at all after buying a Ducati to start pumping it
up with some cool accessories.
And what's a Multistrada without hand guards? After all, the
bike is supposed to be an Adventure Tourer. Well, sort of, anyway.
The Multistrada definitely looked like it could use a pair, so off I went to
the hunt. Along the way, I discovered that some owners have installed aftermarket
hand guards from Acerbis; some have adapted
KTM Adventure hand
guards and there are a few other brands here and there that have been
adapted for the task.
But Ducati lists a set of hand guards for the Multistrada in the "Ducati
Performance" catalog (SKU# 96747905B), and why not buy something that fits, I thought?
So I ordered up a pair, at an exorbitant $179.00. Of course, the price
has recently dropped to about $150.00 -- still expensive, especially for
what they are -- but guess how I feel now after spending $29.00 more?
In any case, the hand guards finally arrived in an "official"
Ducati box. The kit included, strangely enough, three different pairs
of cap screws, no instructions, no washers and no nuts. I figured the
instructions I could live without, and I have seen photos of the hand guard kit
and it doesn't appear to include the nuts or washers, so apparently our kit is correct, but why?
Hand guards typically attach at one end on the outboard side of the
handlebars and inboard at the clutch and brake lever rotating points at the
inboard side of the grips. One of the bolt types that Ducati supplied fits right down through
the hand guards, through a hole in the lever rotating point that was
apparently specifically designed to hold the optional hand guards. The
cap screws stick
out the bottom, under the levers, and a washer and nut is then required to
secure each bolt. I had to rummage around in the parts bin to some that fit.
The missing washer and nut mystery might have been solved had there been
instructions in the box; the absence of these missing parts is a puzzling
customer service faux pas. And remember, these hand guards cost 180
bucks -- not cheap, in my book.
problems with fitting the
Ducati saddlebags I
installed on the GT1000 and the missing nuts, cap screws and instructions
with the hand guards, I'm pretty disappointed in both the quality and the lack of customer focus with Ducati accessories.
It's not worthy of the marque and certainly not up to the excellent quality
I've experienced with the motorcycles themselves (thank goodness!). It seems like
a carryover from the days of the "old" Ducati organization...
Anyway, after looking at as many photos as I could find, I started to
develop an understanding for how the hand guards were supposed to be installed.
I'm still not 100% sure I've got it right, so if anyone can provide more
insight, feel free to send in your tips (see below).
One problem I discovered, which I have not seen posted by other
Multistradino owners, is that the
Multistrada 620 comes from the factory with cheap plastic caps stuck into the end of the
handlebars, which serve as a fake "bar end weights".
Here's a close-up photo:
The plastic cap can be easily levered from the handlebar
with a screwdriver blade. The cap is not metal, it's a hollow piece of plastic and it weighs
next to nothing. Cheeeep! It's obviously there for looks only.
Since the outer end of the hand guards are fitted to the outside of the handlebar,
and usually over a bar end weight, the plastic caps had to go.
By the way, I've heard
of some owners wondering if the bar end weight should be installed over the
top of the hand guard instead, and although I suppose this could be done, it
doesn't seem correct.
Perhaps there are some hand guards that are designed to be mounted with the
bar end weight on the outside, but then the weights would be sticking out as
the widest part of the bike and a
branch that should have been pushed aside by the sweep of the hand guard
could instead get caught on the bar end weight and pull the handlebars
sideways. I guess this depends on the size and shape of the bar end
weights; they vary, as we shall see.
Since the Multistrada 620 didn't have bar end weights, I had to order a
set. I guess I could have, and probably should have, simply ordered a pair from
Ducati, but I wanted to try something new.
So I nosed around a bit and
found the excellent quality Manic Salamander (details below) bar end
weights, which are available in many shapes and sizes for a variety of
motorcycles. I ordered a set of their cylindrical black powder-coated
weights for the Multistrada, which cost $64.99 for the pair.
The Manic Salamander weights are nice, hefty units and they're bigger then
the standard Ducati bar end weights that came on the GT1000. I put the
different weights on the Polder scale but have since lost the slip of paper
I used to record the results, and I don't feel like taking everything apart
just to weigh them. But I believe the Manic Salamander weights were
something like 40% heavier than the Ducati weights.
The Manic Salamander weights
easily fit the Multistrada (after moving the rubber hand grip on the
throttle side inboard slightly to ensure that it doesn't rub against the
weight) and they looked great, with the black powder-coat matching the black
paint on the bike. I rode the bike a few times with these weights
installed but without the hand guards, and I didn't notice any different in
handlebar shake; the 620 has a notorious vibration in the handlebars,
instruments and upper fairing between 3,000 and 4,000 RPM.
I then discovered that the Manic Salamander weights are slightly too
long to fit under the Ducati hand guards, so it was back to the drawing
board, or at least down to the local Ducati dealer. Fortunately, I glanced over at the
GT1000 and the ol' light bulb went off and I realized that all I had to do
was to swap out the GT1000's standard Ducati bar end weights for the Manic
Salamander weights and I'd be all set.
The Ducati GT1000 bar end weights also fit the Multi (I'm assuming the
weights are a standard Ducati part that will fit other models too), and they're tapered out towards the
ends, so they fit nicely under the molded hand guards.
One of the "button
head" cap screws that Ducati provided in the hand guard kit is exactly long
enough to attach the bar end weight with the extra length of the hand
guard on top, so apparently Ducati figured that owners would use Ducati
brand bar end
Since the hand guards are made from some type of molded plastic, it's
important not to over-tighten the cap screws, as I discovered, or the plastic will crack. I
used some blue Loctite on the nuts holding the hand guards on the lever
pivot point, but I over-tightened the bolt on the bar end weight side and
ended up putting some stress cracks in the hand guard. They look
pretty dramatic in this close-up photo with flash, but they actually are
pretty much unnoticeable otherwise:
The problem is that the bar end weight requires the bolt to be very tight to
pull the expansion collar inside the handlebar open wide and tight against
the inner diameter of the bars. But the bolt can't be
tightened too much or it will crack the hand guard.
Fortunately, the hand guard itself sort of acts as a stop to prevent the bar end
weight from backing out -- so far at least. I also dabbed some blue Loctite on the bar end weight bolt in the hopes that this will help to keep
things from vibrating loose. I've checked them after several rides and
they seem fine.
By the way, here's a photo from underneath the handlebars, showing the
washer and nut holding the bolt on the inside of the hand guards:
Here are some more photos, this one shows the Manic Salamander bar end
weight and the hand guard, which doesn't really stretch far enough to fit.
The Manic Salamander weight is also too bulky towards the outside to fit
under the guard:
The Ducati Multistrada hand guard kit as it came from
Comparing the Manic Salamander bar end weight (top) to
the Ducati OEM weight.
Here's the final product; I'm not sure if the hand
guards do much, but I guess they look cool and they
further distinguish the bike from a Sportbike.
When's the last time you saw a set of hand guards on a
GSX-R 1000? I bet those owners are jealous!
Salamander Bar End Weights - Ducati Hand Guards
Ducati (Part 96747905B)
Suggested Retail Price: Weights - $64.99.
Guards - $150.00.
|Colors: Weights -
Carious. Guards - Black.
in: Weights - U.S.A. Guards - Unknown
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►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "DP" (8/08): "I just completed a
trouble free installation of the MTS 620 hand guards thanks to
your review. Although the part took nearly 6 months to
arrive it came with all required parts (including washers, nuts
and bar end weights) except for instructions….maybe someone at
Ducati read your review?"
From "J.E.": "Just read your recent Ducati
hand guard review. I think I would have a difficult time
spending $150 + $65 for these hand guards and bar end weights.
I just ordered and installed Suzuki hand guards on my 650 K7 ABS
V-Strom -- all required parts were included -- even
instructions. Re-used the standard equipment bar end
weights. I'm very pleased with the quality, fit, and
finish. All for a $50 bill."