The 690 Enduro comes with hand guards. Technically speaking they are hand guards but with them being 100% plastic nobody is sure what they might be able to guard your hands against.
Like Kleenex, when we talk about proper hand guards we usually say BarkBusters. That’s wrong as it’s a brand name and I’m not sure but they might be the ones who first started out with the idea. I had them on my bikes when I was desert racing back in the 80’s!
They consist of a bar end plug that attaches an aluminum bar out in front of the handlebars and then comes back and attaches to the handlebars closer to the top clamp. Over the years people have come up with ways to improve on the idea. If you ask the forums (ADV) which product to use the answer is generally HDB.
Highway Dirt Bikes (HDB) takes a slightly different approach. Instead of having yet another clamp on the handlebar they replace the top clamp of the bars. They looked at the way that most companies connect to the bar end and made that better too. Instead of a expansion slider style bolt, they have you tap directly into your bars and then give you a big ass screw to attach it with. There’s also a difference in what they do behind the plastic brush shields. HBD splits the aluminum into two ‘eyes’ for better coverage of my fragile little fingers. They also have a cool dash system that integrates into the top clamp. That extra will have to wait for a bit.
Removal of the stock system was easy and I cast those aside. I don’t think I could ever sell/trade them. To the recycle bin they go.
HDB provides a new 5/8″ tap in their kit. I have a full set of metric tap and dies but didn’t have a handle that was big enough for this tap. It’s a 3/8″ square.
No problem. We could adapt something right? I took a couple of 3/8ths wrenches and…
While that worked fine for holding the tap, I was having trouble getting the tap to bite into the metal of the bars.
Tomm came over with a big big tap handle that was the proper tool for the job, not some makeshift crap I came up with. He also had extra 5/8ths tap and more muscle. Even with two of use we couldn’t get the tap to bite into the stock Renthal bars. We tried his extra tap from his shop which we guessed was probably manufactured back in the late 50’s or 60s and it started just fine!
“Just fine” I say but there was a massive amount of apprehension and a great deal of force and torque applied. I could literally see the tap twisting from the pressure. On and yes we know all about how to tap, had lubrication, and regularly backed it up to clear threads. We even went so far as to back the tap all the way out, clear all the threads on it, the hole, and blow out all the debri inside the bars. We learned that his tap was great at starting the threads, the HDB tap was better in the middle to the end. Neither was great but we finally got the job done.
With the bars tapped the rest of the install was easy. I honestly don’t know how anyone would manage this by themselves or with just the single tap I was given.
I did have to bend the ends of the aluminum bars a bit just to get a better angle at the attachment point at the top clamp but that was an easy fix with a bench vice.
Fully installed I adjusted the levers to where everything fit right and then locktighted each bolt and torqued them all down.
I think we’re good to go!