Handguards don't often show up on the Motocross track because well-groomed and often loamy dirt negate their use.

Off-road riders generally equip their dirt bikes with handguards because of the varying obstacles that somehow always find fingers and hands. However, on tracks saturated with rocks especially those pellets that feel more like shotgun spray when peppering your hands, equipping your dirt bike with guards offers a significant advantage over those who ride bare. Even the thickest gloves prove no match to a rapidly incoming rock.

Motocross handguards save your hands for the next Moto, protect your levers from damage and on rare occasions help prevent larger stones from lodging in between your pressed brake or clutch lever and the grip. It's not the coolest thing to race Motocross with handguards especially when not needed but if the track's reputation precedes itself or you notice during practice an unusual amount of painful roost then buck up and grab a pair.

Any protection helps but if you're looking for the sleekest and stylish while maintaining versatility, durability and ease of installation then check out the best Motocross handguards below. Click on the headline link or photo to see additional details.

Acerbis Uniko MX Vented Handguards

Acerbis is nearly synonymous with dirt bike handguards and the company's Uniko MX Vented Handguards ranks among the best. Acerbis used feedback from professional riders and made this vented version of the regular Uniko MX Handguards that incorporates a large venting pattern positioned to direct airflow past the levers.

Other features include:

  • Universal mount kit allows the guards to be positioned independent of the angle of the levers
  • Lightweight polypropylene construction for maximum performance and durability
  • Mounting brackets suitable for all MX bikes

Acerbis Uniko MX Handguards

The Acerbis Uniko MX Handguards were developed through testing from pro riders and help block the wind on those cold riding days. These lightweight, easy mount handguards also go easy on your wallet.

Other features include:

  • Constructed from lightweight nylon dual-injection frame that absorbs light impact
  • Includes nylon mounting brackets equipped with threaded brass inserts
  • Fits all standard 7/8-inch bars

Cycra Stealth MX Handguards

Cycra is another big player in the MX handguard arena and their Stealth MX Handguards offer an aluminum mount and a bit larger profile than the Stealth Primal version. Used by pros like Mike LaRocco and Kevin Windham, the Stealth Handguards quickly and easily mount thanks to the unique alloy bar mount brackets.

Other features include:

  • Lightweight and sized for MX style riding
  • Allows the maximum freedom of adjustment and space for lever
  • Fits with your aftermarket clutch perches and folding levers

Cycra Stealth Primal Kit

A slightly smaller and lower profile version from the Stealth MX Handguards, Cycra's Stealth Primal also offers a plastic mount that is designed to break off the bars in the event of a hard crash. The unique mounting system allows you to place the handguards above or below the bike levers and the injection-molded composite brackets keeps the weight down.

Other features include:

  • Brackets for both 7/8" and 1-1/8" bars
  • Large shields to protect against roost and debris in a slim, low profile design
  • Kit includes all hardware to mount directly to your bars

Acerbis X-Force Handguards

Acerbis X-Force Handguards represent the company's newest addition in their handguard line up. Also popluar in the off-road crowd, Ryan Villopoto tested the X-Force which offer maximum protection against stones, hits and bad weather. Spoilers allow you to mount with or without ventilation.

Other features include:

  • Made of nylon and polypropylene
  • Universal nylon mounting kit included
  • Mount above or below levers

The simple design and ease of installation of handguards provide a quick solution to either ride with or without them. Carry them in your grab bag and if conditions warrant, take a few minutes and mount them before the gates drop.

Many riders who transition from racing one weekend to off-road the next generally mount their handguards and leave them on therefore prefer an all-around handguard that works for both scenes. Accordingly, we return to Cycra and Acerbis:

Cycra Pro Bend Handguards

The Cycra Pro Bend Handguards offer a larger area for the off-road component yet remain adaptable for racing. Solid construction uses 6061 billet aluminum for the frame and high-quality injection-molded handshields.

Other features include:

  • Integrated composite bumper to protect Probend bars
  • Pack includes bars with bumpers, enduro shields, power grip bar ends and hardware
  • New and improved bar ends

Acerbis Rally Pro X-Strong Handguards

The Rally Pro X-Strong uses a durable injection-molded nylon composite handguard with an anodized aluminum bar and an indexed steel bar-end insert to prevent the guard from rotating in a crash.

Other features include:

  • Strong, stylish and durable enough to handle the most extreme conditions
  • Universal mounting kit fits most standard 7/8-inch and oversize 1-1/8-inch steel or aluminum handlebars
  • Delivers maximum strength and durability

Check out the rest of our "Best of" in Motocross protection: