I never intend to fall into a rock or hit my handlebars in a tree on a single track, but it does happen, at least to me. Just like wearing protective boots and having a tough and covering Touratech RallyeForm skid plate, I always ride with hand guards. Although the Yamaha Ténéré 700 comes standard with plastic hand guards, I wanted something more substantial. I would like to keep all my fingers and the Ténéré levers intact, so I ordered the Touratech Defensa handguards with the Defensa Expedition option for the Ultimate Moto Yamaha Ténéré 700 project bike.
My riding partner and I were at peace as I got to know the Ténéré 700 when we encountered a three-foot long mud hole created by a summer thunderstorm the night before. I walked through it and determined that it was off limits for me. I found the only way around, and it was through the bushes and trees. I didn’t expect to need the Defensa handguards for this ride, but I was glad they were there.
Touratech sells the base Defensa Core unit ($ 170) as a forged aluminum exoskeleton structure. I chose the Defensa Expedition setup ($ 220) – the Core unit, plus large built-in plastic shields to deflect brush, flying stones from your partner’s rooster tail and cold freeway air. . Plastic shields are available in your choice of black or white, so they will go with any color scheme.
There are several pieces to assemble, loosely at first. You should also run the cables and anything that is already attached to your handlebars. One end bolts securely to the ends of your handlebars and the other grips the bar closer to the triple clamp bar mount. Once you’ve assembled it, make sure neither of them rubs on your fully-closed tank, then tighten it all up. The second side went much faster than the first and the whole installation process took less than 30 minutes.
Since putting them on, I haven’t dropped the Tenere or smashed it into a tree, but I know it happens as I get more adventurous with the Ultimate motorcycle Yamaha Ténéré 700 project bike. I will update the review as the inevitable crashes occur.
During my morning walks in the off-road areas, I have noticed that my hands are not as cold as I would expect due to the deflection of the wind.
I also realized that my muscle memory from waving to other road cyclists was my left hand slipping off the end of the handlebars. Once the Touratech Defensa hand guards are installed, an aluminum protection bar is there to block my hand sliding. It’s just a small thing, but if you find yourself shaking your head in exasperation for this silly reason, know that you are not alone.
Installation is quick, the guard is made of 14mm heavy-duty forged aluminum and the Touratech Defensa handguards look clean and finished. With the Defensa Expedition option, I am confident that my fingers and levers will be protected from adverse elements, local flora and inevitable accidents.