MXA TEAM TESTED: MUD MUCKERS HAND GUARDS
WHAT IS IT? You may not be old enough to remember the original Mud Muckers, but back in 1976, World Class Products came out with what were undoubtedly the best hand guards ever made—especially for mud, rain or cold races. Used by Roger DeCoster, Jimmy Weinert, Tony D, Billy Grossi and Jim Pomeroy, Mud Muckers weren’t hard plastic hand guards that had to be bolted on to your handlebars; they were padded vinyl cloth hand guards that protected the rider’s hands from roost but were exceptional in a mud race because they would fold over the grips, throttle and levers so that when you picked up the bike after a crash, everything was clean. Fast-forward 42 years! Mud Muckers are back—only in a more compact shape with a simple Velcro closure system and a carbon fiber vinyl material that provides even more protection. Best of all is that they are being made by the same man who designed the originals!
WHAT’S IT COST? $23.00 (a pair).
CONTACT? (317) 844-4800, your local dealer or www.mudmuckers.biz.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Mud Mucker hand guards.
(1) Concept. Unlike all modern hand guards, Mud Muckers are not made out of plastic. They do not bolt to your handlebars, and they are not rigid. Instead, they are sewn from carbon fiber vinyl and lined with closed-cell foam Landau padding. There is a plastic stiffener sewn in to the outer edge of the hand guards to keep the vinyl from interfering with your hand, grips or levers. To install the Mud Muckers, you fold the hand guards over your handlebars and close the inner end with a high-strength Velcro closure. From the outset, Mud Muckers were designed to be used at mud races. In this environment, they are perfect; because, if you crash in the mud, the Mud Muckers fold over your levers, bars and grips to keep them clean. In fact, if you keep your hands on the bars when falling over, your hands will still be clean. In a mud race, keeping your hands and grips clean means that you will be able to hang on more securely.
(2) Times change. Back in the 1970s, the original Mud Muckers sold for $8.95. Today, they cost $23 but come with free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The old-school Mud Muckers were much longer and wider and had a cut-out that the looping throttle cables of the 1970s could exit through. Modern Mud Muckers are 13.5 inches long and 12 inches wide (although the 12-inch width folds to form the top and bottom of the guard).
(3) Performance. Not a single MXA test rider likes to race with plastic hand guards. A close look at the knuckles on their hands will reveal the foolishness of this. The best thing about Mud Muckers is that they lie flat in the bottom of your gear bag until you need them for a rainy day, freezing-cold day or rocky track. They attach to your handlebars in seconds and can be taken off without tools. On the track, the Mud Muckers warded off roost, thanks to the 1/2-inch-thick foam padding. They were so flexible they didn’t interfere with our hands or fingers. The MXA test riders don’t think that they would choose to run Mud Mucker hand guards all the time, but they use them as a quick and easy set of hand guards to install for rainy days or surprisingly rocky tracks.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? MXA’s old-school test riders who raced with the original Mud Muckers wished that the new-generation Mud Muckers were a couple of inches longer.
MXA RATING: It is often said that there are no new ideas, only recycled ones. Mud Muckers are an old
idea that is still a good idea. Perfect for wet weather, cold weather and heavy roost days, they are a quick, simple, inexpensive insurance policy that everyone should have in the bottom of their gear bag.