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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.

Tools Needed
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 knife.

 

Step-By-Step Installation
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.

  1. 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 our 450R.)
  2. 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 conditions.

Race Test: 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 fine.

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.

Contact Information:
Powermadd Extreme Motor Sports
Phone: (800) 435-6881
Fax: (952) 400-0102
Customer Service: JacquieL@powermadd.com


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