Review: HELD Handlebar Muffs

It’s beginning to get colder, and that calls for drastic measures in the war against wind, rain and cold.

I’ve seen some people riding with handlebar muffs from Wunderlich, Givi, Tuscano etc… but they are too expensive for my taste. They should work well though, but I’m not planning on using it all the time, only in the winter.

Well it was time to get some, but the shop only had 2 Givi options, priced at around 50€. That was too expensive for me. They also had a set of muffs for scooters that was priced at about 20€. It was a bargian for that price!

They also had heated grips, but they cost around 50+€ per set, and you have to get a relay for it to switch it off when the bike is off too.

Ok, so I’ve bought the Held handlebar muffs, but the problem is they won’t fit over my Givi HP1111 handguards. So off with the handguards, and on with the handlebar muffs.

Modifying part 1:
The handlebar muffs slipped too much, and the velcro piece looked so weird when pulled over the mirrors. That’s when I began to poke holes in it to screw it to the bar ends and mirror. It won’t get stolen that way, and they are also much more stiff.

Testing part 1:
I went out and didn’t have cold hands, but the problem is that the muffs still collapse on the brake and clutch lever, pressing them in. At higher speeds (140+km/h), the clutch gets pulled so hard it begins to slip.
This is a dangerous situation and shouldn’t happen, but these muffs were made for scooters that travel sub 50km/h. Under this speed nothing much happens.

Modifying part 2:
Coming home, I remembered I still had some of that flower pot tray plastic laying around somewhere, and cut it in the form of a handguard so the handlebar muffs don’t collapse anymore. This was a major fail, because the flower pot tray plastic was too weak and bendy.

Since I didn’t give the handlebars away with the new owner of the XF, I still had them laying around and found good use for them. I cut them in half and fitted them inside the handlebar muffs. The plastic is thicker and sturdier than what I’ve originally planned with the tray. I could also feel a lot more room inside the handlebar muffs.

Testing part 2:
Hooray! It works! I can travel much faster without making the handlebar muffs collapse, and they work like a charm!

I also have more room inside, no fiddling around searching where all the buttons are etc.
Mission success!

General ideas and conclusion:
For about 20€, it’s the best purchase I’ve made for the bike to keep warm in the winter.
I don’t need grip heaters, heated gloves or anything of that overpriced BS.
It’s mostly function over form. My gloves don’t get wet in the rain, and my hands aren’t getting cold in the wind 🙂

Granted I had to modify some handguards that I already had to make it work perfectly, but they sure do look better than the Givi ones 🙂

The only problem I encountered was that they get wet when the bike is parked outside when it rains. Being impermeable it collects water inside too.

Here are some pictures of the installed handlebar muffs:

 

Farkels, and why I have them

Any motorcyclist considered once in their lifetime that they need some upgrades to their bike. Well, I’m one of those motorcyclists.

For beginners:
Farkels (or farkles) are mods that are made to your bike to improve looks or the comfort of your bike. Farkels (or farkles) may not come as standard equipment on your bike.
This equipment has to be functional, hence the name “Farkles” (“-arkles” is from the word “sparkles”). If it’s chromed, it isn’t a farkel or farkle, it’s considered “Bling”.
Some examples are: radar detector, GPS, heated grips, more comfortable seat etc…

When I bought my bike, there were already some farkels (or farkles) present.
These were: A Kappa topcase, and a bigger windscreen.These farkels were pretty handy, because I can’t fit my tools under the seat, and in the winter months, ice cold air blasting in your face isn’t relaxing either.
There’s also a first aid kit in my topcase, but my helmet doesn’t fit in it anymore.

After a few months, when winter came, I bought some handguards, which were a clone of the Acerbis Rally guards. These came in handy because of the wind chill I get.
With my first lowsider on the bike, one of the bar weights broke off, which also broke the mounting hardware of the handguard. Some washers and a longer bolt fixed this.

I also needed a 12 volt outlet, which is always on, so I can charge my phone when the bike is off. I normally carry an air compressor around in the topcase that works on 12v, so I can inflate my tires when necessary.

Since my exhaust muffler was too quiet, and also too heavy, I’ve bought an M.S.R. Classic Inox muffler to replace the heavy, good for nothing, OEM muffler.

Having almost no money to buy a GPS for my bike, I was looking at some waterproof cellphone holders. I got online, and purchased a chinese made cellphone holder for about 5€. Does the job well, but since I have a new phone, I’ve bought a bigger one.

Almost half a year passed and I was getting fed up with the noise the bigger windscreen gave. Looking for some laminar lips, I found one from Givi, which was way too expensive for what it does, but I’ve never tested it.
After searching some more, I found an exact copy of the Givi windscreen spoiler, which was exactly the same quality, just without the “Givi” logo.
I paid about 30€ for it. That’s not a lot of money compared to the more *ahem, expensive Givi one.

I was also afraid that my handlebar would bend when in a crash, so I’ve bought a crossbar.
The crossbar is fully adjustable, and best of all, I can mount my cellphone holder to it.

As of above, I was afraid of crashing and also bending my gear shift lever into my crankcase, which will make the bike a total-loss, because reparation will cost more than the bike has cost me. I’ve put a diy case-saver on the bike, which will protect the case against sharp objects, such as the gear shift lever.

Almost a year had passed, and it was ice cold again. Winter has come.
My old winter gloves weren’t in the best shape anymore, but luckely, I have some new ones from last year. Though the new gloves didn’t stand up at the low temperatures the winter gave. This is the time of the year that heated grips are bought.
I bought some heated grips at my local motorcycle accessory store. The grips only have 2 settings: High and low. High is too hot, and low is too cold, but luckely, I only use it in winter times, or rain. They feel very comfortable.

I then searched for some crashbars and an optional pannier rack.
A crash bar was at the top of my list, but because the one I found was so ugly, I was stalling this till I found a better one. After scrolling at some pictures of other Freewinds on Instagram, I came across a picture from a Polish guy (Kamil.luxmot.pl), and he had a very nice picture of his Freewind with a crashbar that I’ve never seen before.
I asked him what make the crashbar is, and he told me he got it of Moto-adventure-tech.com.pl.
I then looked at the site, and saw the prices were in PLN, converted to EUR, his prices were cheap, so I bought the whole package.
A full crashbar and pannier rack. (Read the review here)

Since I have a pannier rack, why not buy some panniers?
I received a gift card as a compensation of my drenched boots (that were guaranteed waterproof) and bought some nice givi E22 panniers.
And since I have a crashbar, why not order some auxiliary lights?
Off to “the great net of inter”!
I ordered some “Hans Bo” lights. Chinese made, but good quality. You’ll read that in a review later on.
I mounted them a few weeks ago, but one is broken, so I have to wait for a replacement, which is totally FREE!

After all, I don’t want to know how much money I’ve spent on my bike, because it’s almost more than the bike has cost me. But still, farkels (or farkles) are there to improve how you experience your motorcycle.
I’m still not finished farkling up my bike, more reviews can follow.

Here’s a list of all the Farkels (or farkles) I have on my bike:
Some weren’t mentioned.
———————-
Bigger windscreen
Topcase
Heated grips
Crashbars
Pannier rack
Aux lights
12V socket
Givi E22 Panniers
Digital clock
Handguards
Windscreen spoiler
Case saver
MSR Classic Inox Muffler
Handlebar crossbar
Cellphone mount
Smaller indicators
Wheel striping
———————-