Popular bolt-on accessories for adventure-touring bikes—the Jeeps of the motorcycling world—include bash plates, engine guards, hand guards and anything else that will protect the bike from damage in the event of a crash, a tip over or a bushwhacking ride through dense bushes. Even if you don’t take your adventure bike off-road, or if you don’t own an adventure bike at all and instead have a sportbike, cruiser or other motorcycle, the unexpected can and will happen. How many times have you been hit by a piece of gravel that fell off a lumbering dump truck or was kicked up by a car? Makes you glad you were wearing a full-face helmet, doesn’t it?
If an acrylic or polycarbonate windscreen or faceshield gets hit by a rock at 75mph, it might scratch but it won’t break, in part because plastic is more flexible than glass. Glass is brittle and breaks easily. That’s why you get those starburst cracks in your car’s windshield after high-speed gravel strikes.
Ventura Motorcycle Accessories, makers of the versatile Bike-Pack rack and luggage systems we’ve tested (see review of the Ventura Aerodynamic Bike-Pack Motorcycle Luggage System), also offer Light-Guards, model-specific headlight guards made from “impact resistant space age Zykalon CS.” Unable to find any references to Zykalon CS on the interwebs (other than references to this product), I contacted Max Martin, who heads up Ventura’s U.S. distributorship in Lynnwood, Washington. Unfortunately, the response Max got from Dold Industries, the New Zealand-based company that designs and manufactures all Ventura products, was limited at best: “a unique high-tech plastic.” Well, at least it appears to be a polycarbonate, like brand-named Lexan.
The Light-Guards are designed for specific a make/model/year of motorcycle. I tried them on a 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650, which got a significant facelift this year. Installation is easy. Small, white hook-and-loop tabs with adhesive backing attach the guards to the headlights. Four tabs for each guard are provided, plus a few extra. Clean the headlight with rubbing alcohol, attach the tabs according to the sequence in the instructions and press the Light-Guards into place. The adhesive reaches full bond strength within 72 hours. The Light-Guards can be easily removed, cleaned with mild soap and water, then reapplied. Though the white hook-and-loop tabs are a little unsightly, detracting from the clean design of the headlight itself, they work well to keep the guards a few millimeters away from the headlight, and they absorb impacts and allow easy removal.
With prices starting at $22.50, Ventura Light-Guards are inexpensive insurance against a cracked or shattered headlight lens. Since the 2012 V-Strom 650 has dual headlights, the Light-Guards for it cost $49. A wide arrangement of fitments is available; visit Ventura’s website for availability, pricing and ordering.
For more information, visit the Ventura website.