When you’re out trail riding on your dirt bike or dual sport, the last thing you want to do is bash your hands into branches, rocks, or other debris. A good set of dirt bike handguards protects your hands from getting injured as well as your levers and handlebars from getting damaged.
Your hands are continuously exposed to debris on the road as well as the weather elements you are riding in. It’s a good idea to keep them protected for your safety and riding comfort.
Choosing the best dirt bike handguards can be a tricky process. There are a lot of options to choose from. We did our research and put together a list of the best recommendations for our dirt biking readers.
In this post, you’ll find our top recommendations for dirt bike handguards. After our reviews, we also put together a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ to make finding the right set of handguards even easier.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, let’s jump right into it!
The Best Dirt Bike Handguards
Acerbis X-Ultimate Handguards (Best Dirt Bike Handguards Overall)
The Acerbis X-Ultimate Handguards are our top recommendation as the best dirt bike handguards. Acerbis is well-known in the dirt bike industry and it’s easy for us to recommend any of their quality, durable products.
These handguards are versatile while providing optimal protection. Thanks to the included universal mounting hardware, they can be easily installed on just about any dirt bike handlebars.
Made in Italy, these handguards take advantage of a lightweight yet durable design. It’s even possible to remove the upper and lower spoilers for maximum ventilation while still enjoying some additional protection.
These are an open handguard, so they don’t offer as much protection as some of our other recommendations. However, they look amazing, are easy to install, available in a wide range of colors, and a great choice for most riders.
For forest roads, logging roads, and gravel road dirt bike riding we would definitely recommend the Acerbis X-Ultimate Handguards. If you’re getting into technical singletrack or further off road then keep reading to see more of our recommendations.
Tusk D-Flex Handguards (Best Dirt Bike Handguards for Protection)
It’s the Tusk D-Flex Handguards that we would recommend as the best dirt bike handguards for protection. These are ideally designed to protect your hands and levers from branches, road debris, and crashes.
The Tusk D-Flex Handguards feature a durable and lightweight aluminum and plastic design. They’re equipped with plastic handguard shields along with aluminum handguards.
The plastic shields are lightweight and help to block the wind, branches, and road debris. With the aluminum handguards, this is what protects your hands and levers in the event of a crash or accident.
Installation and mounting is simple with the universal design. These can be installed on most dirt bike handlebars with adaptors available for different handlebar sizes.
Overall, the Tusk D-Flex Handguards are a great choice for dirt bikes. They offer suitable protection, they’re easy to install, and are durable enough for off-road use.
JFG RACING Motorcycle Universal Handguards (Best Cheap Dirt Bike Handguard)
The JFG RACING Motorcycle Universal Handguards are what we recommend if you’re looking to upgrade your dirt bike on a budget. These are reasonably priced and offer ample protection for your hands and levers.
Designed using both plastic and aluminum, this is a durable and reliable set of handguards. The guard itself is made from aluminum while the hand shield is made from a lightweight plastic.
All the installation components, such as the bolts and mount, are made using a durable aluminum. This helps keep everything in place while protecting your hands and levers from damage.
Installation is simple with this set providing a fit for most standard handlebars. Once installed, there’s still plenty of room to use your brake cables, clutch lever, and other dirt bike controls.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable set of handguards, it’s the JFG RACING Motorcycle Universal Handguards that we would recommend. These are lightweight, reasonably priced, and easy to install all for an affordable price.
Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong Handguards
The Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong Handguards are durable and well-designed for riders spending a lot of time off road. These are ideal for dirt bikers getting deep off-road on single track and other technical riding conditions.
Durability is a key component for these handguards. The guards themselves are designed with both steel and aluminum components.
While the hand guard is made from a plastic material, this is more for protection against branches and road debris. The bars are made from aluminum and this helps to protect your hands and levers from serious impacts and crashes.
Installation is simple and uses quality components. This set even includes an indexed steel bar-end insert for added durability. The steel insert mounts solidly and prevents the hand guards from rotating in a crash or impact.
Overall, the Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong Handguards is a durable and reliable set of handguards. These are a great choice for riders spending a lot of time off road in technical and harsh riding conditions.
Tusk Aluminum Handguards
The Tusk Aluminum Handguards are lightweight, simple, and offer basic protection. These offer a minimum level of protection for your hands and levers.
Ideally, something with the plastic guards would offer better protection. However, if you’re looking for something lightweight and minimalist, these would be a great choice.
The Tusk Aluminum Handguards are designed using aluminum components. This makes them lightweight and durable.
These are easy to install and should fit on most dirt bike handlebars. While they don’t come with any wind protection, they still provide basic protection for your hands and levers in the event of a crash or accident.
Overall, these are a simple and minimalist set of handguards. If that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll find the Tusk Aluminum Handguards to be a good choice.
Best Dirt Bike Handguards Buying Guide
There are some things to consider if you’re in the market for a quality set of dirt bike handguards. In this section we’ll go over the different features to keep in mind.
Handguards are important for both your safety and protection when you’re riding off road. They’ll help to protect your hands and prevent them from getting damaged or seriously injured, even when you’re wearing dirt bike gloves.
For the most part, the handguards are easy to install. These are one of the best dirt bike accessories and upgrades you’d want to get started with.
Not only do they protect your hands, they also protect the clutch levers. This helps to prevent them from getting damaged or broken from branches, road debris, and if you happen to get into a crash or accident.
For off-road riding, handguards are a necessity for most riders. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the different features to consider when you’re shopping for a new set.
The first thing to look for is the overall design and build quality of any handguards you’re interested in. They’re designed to protect your hands and it’s important that they are built with durable and strong materials.
Aluminum alloy is the most common material that the guards themselves are made from. This is a lightweight material while offering ample protection for your hands and levers.
Next, look at the parts that connect the guards to your dirt bike. It’s important that these components are made from either aluminum or steel for extra durability.
Plastic handguards don’t offer as much protection, especially in the event of a crash or accident. However, they’re a suitable choice if you’re on a budget or not getting into too much technical riding.
Depending on your dirt bike, the size of the handguards can be another feature to consider. Bigger models will be heavier, take up more space in the cockpit, and have a greater wind resistance.
Smaller, slimmer models will be lighter, take up less space, but they won’t offer as much protection. Choosing the right set depends on your personal preferences and the type of riding you’re doing.
Bigger handguards will be better suited for bigger bikes. These should also be considered if you’re riding in a lot of technical areas.
Smaller handguards will be better suited for smaller bikes. These make a great choice for light trail riding and less technical areas.
Generally, installing handguards is an easy process. Keep an eye out for models that are fully connected from the guards to the handlebars.
These offer the best protection and provide the most durable setup. Any models that clip to the bars or aren’t bolted into the handlebars should be avoided.
Different Types of Handguards
Depending on the type of dirt biking you’re doing, there are different types of handguards available for specific purposes. In this section we’ll look at the different types along with each of their benefits and drawbacks.
When you’re riding off-road it’s important to be using hand hurts to protect your hands and levers. Without them, you could injure your hands and damage the handlebars or levers on your bike.
Branches, bugs, chunks of rock, and other debris are all hazards when you’re riding off-road. Without any hand protection, including dirt bike gloves, you’ll be exposing your hands and levers to all of these hazards.
Off road handguards are designed to protect your hands and levers with the highest level of protection. They’re meant to withstand light impacts from branches, stones, and other debris on the road or trails.
Without them, it’s possible to injure your hands and fingers. It’s also possible to damage or break your dirt bike levers or handlebars.
Handguards designed for off-road use are made using durable materials, such as hard plastic and aluminum. They also typically include a lightweight plastic cover, which is what protects your hands the most.
Handguards designed for motocross are slightly different than those meant for off-road riding. These are meant to protect your hands from roost, or the rocks, stones, and other debris getting kicked up from bikes in front of you.
When riding on rocky trails or tracks during a motocross event, all of the bikes around you will be kicking up debris. It’s important to protect your hands and fingers from the impact of this debris to avoid any pain or injury.
For Motocross handguards, look for large plastic shields This is what helps to shield your hands and levers from all of the debris getting kicked up.
Cold Weather/Mud Handguards
Those of you riding in cold weather and muddy conditions will probably want handguards designed for this purpose. These are made to deflect the wind and prevent your hands from getting muddy, which can have an impact on your riding capability.
Handguards designed for cold weather and mud typically don’t offer any ventilation and come with a larger guard. This helps to deflect the wind and mud away from your hands and dirt bike controls.
Along with a set of motorcycle heated grips, it’s possible to have a comfortable riding experience even in muddy and cold conditions. Using the right handguards and keep your hands warm, dry, and clean.
Should You Use Dirt Bike Handguards?
Yes – without a doubt dirt bikers should be using handguards on their bikes. They’re one of the best accessories that can prevent injury and improve your riding experience while saving you time and money.
How do they save you money? With handguards you probably won’t have to replace your levers, motorcycle grips, or handlebars if you get into a crash or impact. The guards will protect everything, including your hands.
How do they save you time? You won’t have to spend time preparing everything that’s damaged if you get into a crash without guards.
While they are an additional accessory, they’re one of the best add-ons most riders could add to their dirt bikes. If you’re spending a lot of time off road, it’s a good idea not to leave home without them.