Highway Dirt Bikes (HDB) Ultimate Handguard Review

This review just in from our Cape Town correspondent, Angus. His reactions on a rear view mirror solution for dirt biking:

Product ReviewHighway Dirt Bikes (HDB) Ultimate Handguards.

On my quest for added safety when riding my CRF450x on public roads to get to my bush play gound I decided that rear view mirrors would be a good idea. After a Google search I came across the HDB Hand Guard/Mirror combination and thought that these would be a practical bit of kit to add to the ultimate extreme adventure bike.

Rally bikes feature a lot of plusses for where we ride on our adventures. A light bike with enough power ticks all the blocks … Highway Dirt Bikes focus on Rally builds based around a variety dirt bikes. After more research and some deliberation I completed an online order through their website.

Unfortunately they were not interested in sending anything to South Africa but as a friend of mine was going to the USA on business I was able to get them shipped to his hotel for collection.

After doing the maths and taking off a zero when converting from $ to ZAR I decided that the huge price was worth the added safety of rear view mirrors. You need good vision all round; period. Once the order was placed the delivery state side was seamless. My mate got them in good time. It did however take a while to get them back to South Africa. Anyway, when I got them, I discovered to my horror that I had been sent orange hand guards! Orange! No, no, no! Never on a red bike! So they sat in my box of goodies… For quite some time…

Then a short while back I saw that Flying Brick had some in stock and I chatted to Chris (the owner) and he had also had a problem with wrong colour hand guards so was more than happy to swop out my orange for a set of black jobbies! White was my first colour choice, but beggars can’t be choosers!

HDB Ultimate Handguards with the mirror in the
HDB Ultimate Handguards with the mirror in the “closed” position. Well made. Tough and useful.

All stoked now and almost a year later it was time to fit these puppies. It’s one heck of a system. The mount it a bit overkill in my opinion but remember that these are designed for rally bikes. I decided not use the supplied threaded handle bar mount. The bar mount section is rather sturdy to say the least with a ball and clamp system and therefore quite large. The problem with most bikes is that we run out of handle bar space as we run GPS units and USB ports etc. so things become a bit crowded on the bars… Anyway, after a bit of cable adjustment I was happy that everything fitted and all was in order.

HDB Ultimate Handguards with the mirror ready for action.
HDB Ultimate Handguards with the mirror ready for action.

My first test run was a night ride down to the Viper Lounge biker bar and back. Hmmm, not bad, I can now see activity on my left side. The adjustment was not perfect but with a bit of head movement I could see all behind me. On my commute to work the next morning I was a bit disappointed that there was quite a bit of vibration at normal road speeds and the adustment was very limited.

Ok, now for a bush ride. I decided to go and watch the sunrise from a superb view point in the bush. To get to my bush ride location I make use of some public roads. For this part of the journey the mirrors were pulled out from behind the hand guards and “boom!” Nothing… Blimey! Useless, I could only see the road below me! “Ag no man!” But there must be a solution…  Once in the bush however, the mirrors fold in behind the hand guards and are completly protected from wayward trees and other hazards, safely tucked away. This part of the system worked brilliantly!

And a solution to the rear view on road there is… After some investigating I realised there is more mirror angle adjustment. After a bit of fiddling I now have them dialled in. As the mirrors fold away, one will need to adjust them to your perfect viewing position each time you pull them out.

Overall the mirrors work well. They are basic but the rear vision is prety ok for what they are. And I can now legally and safely get to my bush riding spot…

Price – about R5000! Expensive? Yes!

These hand guard mirrors are available from Flying Brick, Cape Town. Limited stock available.”

Gus, thank you for your review of an interesting rear view mirror solution for dirt biking.

Chat soon buddy!

Keep the rubber side down, Bruce.

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