installation: Defensa Handguards – BMW R1250GS/GSA

This video will walk you through the installation of your Touratech Defensa Handguards. Touratech DEFENSA Handguards are engineered tough with a forged aluminum exoskeleton structure and integrated plastic shields designed to provide durable protection for riders and levers. High-strength aircraft-grade aluminum is forged for strength and maximum impact resistance while having a modern angular design with a textured matte finish. The structure is designed to provide plenty of clearance for stock or aftermarket levers providing an uninhibited range of motion.

This aluminum guard is available as ‘Defensa Core’. Further protection and rider comfort are provided with an optional integrated plastic shield structure that slides over the aluminum and is secured by bolts. This configuration ‘Defensa Expedition’ is ideal for deflecting foliage on a brushy trail or protecting hands from flying rocks or gravel. It also protects riders from rain and cold air which boosts comfort on cooler rides.

Additional coverage can be added with the Defensa Spoilers. All Defensa handguard systems come with bike-specific mounting kits that provide riders with everything needed for clean mounting to the bike.

The plastic shields are available in either black or white. Your adventure motorcycle levers are perhaps the most important controls you have, protect them with Touratech DEFENSA Handguards.


Hello, Ian here, with Touratech USA. And today we’re going to be installing the Touratech Defensa Expedition Handguards along with the extension spoilers onto this R 1250 GS. These instructions will work for all of the R 1200 and R 1250 GS and GS Adventure motorcycles. If you’re going to be installing either the Core or Expedition Defensa Handguards.

So let’s head over to the table, look at the tools, look at the parts and get started with the installation. At the beginning of every installation, I like to lay out the tools and the product that we’re going to be installing. So here’s an example of one side of the handguard kit. Over here are the tools that we’re going to use to install this.

Let’s break down the tools first. I have a 17mm wrench because our bike has folding Touratech mirrors on it and this is what I need to pull off the Touratech mirror. These are the Cruztools 3/8″ Drive Torx Wrenches. And these are the Cruztools 3/8″ drive Allen Wrenches. This is an 8mm combination wrench and extension, a ratchet tool, and a #1 Phillips screwdriver.

Over here for the parts we have the two main components of the Defensa handguards. Actually, I should say this here is what you would get in the core kit, but because we have the expedition kit, we also have the main shield, and we’ve added this additional spoiler that’s sold separately. So this right here is the clamp componentry, these three main pieces. You have the small dowel, a socket cap bolt, and a nyloc nut as well as a hex bolt and a flange head M6 bolt and then this spacer and then another M5 lock nut. This is the bar end hardware. You’ve got a long bolt with a big button head and the black anodized bar end cap. Here we have two M6 flange head bolts, two M6 nuts. And then this one coarse thread flange head bolt, and then these two small coarse thread screws, these come with the additional spoiler. So if you don’t have spoilers, you’re not going to have those two screws.

So to get started, I’m going to place the expedition spoiler onto the aluminum guard and then put the spoiler onto the shield. So the shield is really easy to install onto the guard. All you have to do is place the tip of the guard through the slot in this shield, and then slide it down. Slide it down here until this end matches up and on the inside the screw hole lines up right here.

Now we’re going to take the coarse thread screw here and screw it in. This one we can run all the way in tight, this uses a Torx T20 driver. Now that I have the plastic shield mounted on the aluminum bar, I’m going to install the additional spoiler. You’ll notice I’ve already drilled the holes here, it’s actually really easy to do because this shield has two dimpled holes molded into it. All you need to do is just grab a drill and just poke those two holes through. The holes are also molded into the spoiler and that makes it really easy to get the screws to thread in. So the way I like to do this is just take the coarse thread screws and my screwdriver and screw both of the screws all the way into the plastic shield here. And then I will line up the spoiler after that.

Now we just line the spoiler up with the molded lines. I like to start with the front screw, screw it in, tighten it up about halfway. And then move to the back screw, you can kind of flex the plastic just a little bit to get it to line up, and then we can tighten the front screw the rest of the way. Now it’s time to install the side support onto the main aluminum bar and this goes onto the back here. It actually has a molded detent into it that engages right here, just like that. And on the inside of this, you can see it has these molded shapes into it and that’s actually to hold the nyloc nuts in place. So you don’t need a wrench on the backside.

So we’re going to use the two longer flange head bolts and these take a Torx T30 driver to screw them in. These two bolts do not need to be very tight. All they need to do is engage the nyloc on the backside and make sure that nothing’s going to vibrate once it’s assembled. Now we can loosely assemble the front clamp piece. There’s a bunch of moving parts on this one, so it’s good to practice it here on the table first.

So grab the bottom piece. You’ll know this one because it has that big hex molded into it. Take the M5 hex screw, drop it through like that. Now you’re going to take this little end piece right here, and you’ll notice it has a concave side and a convex side, take the convex side and set it right, just like that, over the end of the bottom piece of the clamp. Now you take this washer and again, you’ll notice that it has a concave side and a flat side. And so you’re going to put the concave side against the convex side of this piece here, and this allows it to rotate while still having a nice flat surface for the M5 nyloc nut.

So just leave that one finger tight, so everything can move around here plenty. Now for the upper piece of the clamp, you’ll see this is where you use the dowel. The dowel just drops right through this open hole, it’s a little bit of a friction fit, but it can slide through freely, so make sure you don’t drop it. And the way that works is it actually hooks like this into the end of the clamp. So that’s cool, that way you only need a fastener on one side here. So then you take the socket cap screw, drop it through the side with the recess and then the matching nyloc nut screws in there. And it also has a matching hex recess so that you don’t need to put a wrench on it like that.

So when you’re mounting this all on the bike, the socket cap screw here is going to be facing up. And we can imagine if it fits on the bike like this, here’s my hand grip, here’s the levers, it’s going to fit on the motorcycle this way. So the socket cap screw is up, the swivel portion is down and it fits in just like this. So I’ll take the last shorter M6 flange head bolt and I will just screw it in loosely up here at the front.

So we want to make sure there’s a lot of play in all of this because we’re going to need to adjust that fit when we get over to the motorcycle. Lastly, we have the bar end piece and the large bolt, just drops together and it’ll slide in under the handguard here, but we’re not going to worry about that too much right yet. Now it’s time to head over to the motorcycle and remove the stock handguard. Over here at the motorcycle, the first thing we need to do is remove the handguard. So the first step on that is removing the mirror. In our case, we have the Touratech folding mirrors. So all I need is a 17mm wrench. The stock one might use a different size, but I don’t have that here to confirm the removal process will be really similar though.

There is a washer that rests here on top of the handle bar underneath the mirror, set this aside you will not need it when you are reinstalling the Touratech guards. Next, we need to remove the bar end of the handguard, this uses a Torx T50 wrench. You’re going to need to reuse the stock bar end weight, so be sure to keep that. The rest of the stuff just lifts off like this, and you can put it all in a Ziploc bag, make sure you don’t lose these pieces. One handy thing to note is the black washer fits right over the bolt there. So it makes it easier not to lose it. Okay, now I have the Touratech Defensa Handguard, and I’m back here at the motorcycle. So I like to start on the bar end, so I grabbed the stock bar end weight and the Touratech anodized bar end with the Touratech bolt.

I’ll drop that through the Defensa Handguard and then put the bar end weight right through it like that. And now we’re going to screw this in, not even close to hand tight, just nice and loose. The idea is we just want this to hold everything in place on the motorcycle while we work on the inner clamp. So on the inner clamp, I’m going to use a 4mm Allen and I’m putting it on an extension just to make it easier to reach. And you can see here how it’s going to be oriented. Again, we’ve got the Allen bolt facing up and everything else just bolted to the handguard very loosely.

So the only tricky part here is you want to make sure that you don’t lose this nyloc nut or that dowel in this process. So I like to just hold my finger on the bottom, so the nut doesn’t go away. Then I can take this bolt out and set it on the seat. And then the clamp I actually remove and so long as you keep it vertical, that dowel is not going to slide out. So you just put the clamp underneath the handlebar like that, get the dowel engaged and now she’s roughly in place. So I’ll take the bolt that I had set aside and just screw it down a few turns, just so that the nut doesn’t fall out.

Okay, the inner clamp is on loosely and the bar end is on loosely as well. So now it’s time to start lining things up. To line this up, I start on the bar end, so we’re going to use the same Torx T55 that we used to remove the stock bar end bolt. And we’re going to screw this one in, and no we’re not going to try and make this really tight right now, but we are going to get it tight enough that it just holds things in place so we can work on this inner clamp. Now, I personally like the aluminum, the main bar of the handguard here, I like that to be level with my levers. So I’m just going to hold it right here, tighten this thing up just enough so it doesn’t fall out of position.

Now I can work on the inner clamp. At this point, we’ve got the outer bolt tightened, not fully tight, but just enough to hold everything in place. We’ve got the hand guard lined up where we want it. Now, I like to just give the inner clamp a jiggle to make sure that everything’s loose and not binding anywhere. And now I’m going to tighten up this small nut down here that controls the swiveling part first. To do that I’m going to use an 8mm ratcheting wrench. All right, now that that swivel is tight, it’s taken up some of the slop up there. Now I’m going to tighten up the bolt at the front of the handguard here that uses a Torx T30.

Now that the swivel nut is tightened and the T30 bolt at the front is tightened, this clamp is in its final place. You can see that the top is still loose, because we haven’t tightened it, that’s exactly what we want. Nothing’s bound up, it’s not jammed sideways. Now we’re just going to tighten this bolt using our 4mm Allen tool. And this bolt especially does not need to be very tight because this is a clamp and all it needs to do is just create enough friction with the handlebar that it’s not going to spin. Now, the last step is just to crank down the torque on the bar end bolt.

Now that we have the Touratech Defensa Handguard installed, we need to just check the lever clearance, make sure it’s not hitting anything, which it absolutely isn’t because these are designed specifically for adventure bikes. And then we got to install the one on the opposite side, take it for a ride. Okay, the Touratech Defensa Handguards are now installed on this R 1250 GS. I really liked the installation it goes together really well and they fit perfectly on this motorcycle. I’m really excited to get it out for a ride and see how they handle. Not that I plan to drop the bike, but it’s been known to happen from time to time. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like to see more products that we make for your adventure bike, don’t forget to visit our website