Powermadd Hand Guards
The Quest for the Best Available Hand Guard
By: ATV Source Racing Staff
Powermadd hand guards are a fairly new introduction into the ATV
market and are still gaining popularity. We had a chance to try
out the new guards on our Honda TRX450R race machine. Powermadd
sent us their
full kit which retails at under $75. The kit
includes everything one will need for installation including the
mounting kit, hand wrap kit, and even the extensions to give
more coverage and protection. They also provide an array of
different colors and the kit will fit all ATV’s.
The mounting kit has everything you need and can be done by a
moderate novice mechanic. This means you won’t have to pay your
dealer to do it, but it will take between a half hour to an hour
to get everything adjusted to where and what you like. Powermadd
has included a great instruction sheet and tool list which
compiles of a power drill, 3/16” and 1/4” drill bits, 5mm, 4mm,
and 3mm hex wrench, 10mm wrench, hack saw, and lastly a utility
Mounting Kit: This step will vary by machine on what size
wrenches and sockets you need but we used a 9mm wrench and a
screwdriver on the new Honda. You must first loosen the thumb
throttle housing on right side and the clutch perch on the left.
With the throttle loose, take it off and use a hacksaw to remove
the metal tab off of it so the bracket will fit. Put on the
bracket which goes underneath the brake lever. On the clutch
side you will just need to loosen the perch, put on bracket, and
retighten perch. This step is quick and easy.
Hand Wraps: The wrap installation can be trickier but
can be done easily by a competent mechanic. First you will need
to put one of the wrap brackets into a grip vise and then place
the wrap where you would like it to be on it. Use a drill and
drill into the guard in the position you like and then once
done, use the provided screw and nut to tighten it on. Repeat
step to the other wrap. Next will
also vary by machine. If you handlebars already have holes in
the end and no end cap then you can skip a step. But if you have
factory bars like we did, you have several mounting options.
- You can remove the end cap and then install the wrap bracket
by using a 1/2” to 1” longer screw. (This is how we did it to
- If that doesn’t suit you then you can cut or drill a 1/2”
hole in the grip and then remove the assembly tube from the bars
which is time consuming and can damage the bars if done
improperly. If you go this way then they have two different
mounts: one is for aluminum handlebars and the other, steel.
Finishing The Installation: After you have completed the
previous tasks you can then start to finish the installation.
You can then tighten up the brackets on the wraps and the
mounting brackets from the mounting kit to the wrap. With the
kit, Powermadd has given 4 options for the final mounting setup.
This is where you mount the wraps to the handlebar mounts. The
four options are all listed with pictures in the provided
instructions for your convenience. You pick which option you
would like and then you tighten all nuts and bolts for safety.
You must also readjust you clutch perch and throttle perch
housing to your likings. One downside we found was that you must
raise your clutch and brake levers up about two inches higher.
For our test rider, it was how he liked riding anyway so there
were no problems, but some may dislike the setup. The finished
project can be seen in the following pictures.
First Impressions/Complaints: The guards and mounting kit is
very sturdy and well worth the money spent. They provide very
good coverage, are tough, and very stylish. There were two flaws
with the kit but only one is important. Most of the bolts for
the kit were too long or just a little short for our 450R. We
were able to use our own spare bolts however. The kit would work
but we’re not sure how the bolts would hold on the shorter bolts
so for cheap insurance we changed them. The other which is the
more serious one is the guard extensions. They are made so that
you snap them on and you get about twice the protection
coverage. However, they seemed very weak at the small snap-on
mounts and we weren’t sure how they’d hold up in hardcore riding
We took our 450R race machine out to LTM Off-road in
Casey, Illinois to a hare scramble to give a full test on the
guards and their kit. We found that there were quite a few
riders who chose Powermadd as their hand protection. However,
our predictions were right about the extensions. On the first
lap our test rider was following another rider who hit a small
tree limb and it slung back into the left side hand extension.
The extension broke up and ended up being unrepairable. The
other extension was later knocked off when our rider lost
control and was flung from the machine on the large step-up on
the motocross section of the course. It was still usable and is
Summed Up: To sum it up, our rider likes the Powermadd hand
guards system. He also has raced for Cycra on a Cannondale using
their Pro Series hand guards. Sorry but we had no pictures at
time of tests. The Cannondale is an MX machine and our rider no
longer uses hand guards for that type of racing. The Cycra’s
provide more hand coverage w/out needing extensions but they
don’t protect quite as much in crashes. But in comparison to the
price of the Powermadd's, the Cycra’s aren’t as good of a bang
for the buck. Overall we were very impressed and won’t mind
running them in future races. So what are you waiting for? Call
Powermadd or contact your local ATV dealer and get some in your
hands. You’ll never ride w/out guards again.
Powermadd Extreme Motor Sports
Phone: (800) 435-6881
Fax: (952) 400-0102
Customer Service: JacquieL@powermadd.com