Rizoma Proguard System Test |
Rizoma might be one of the best-kept secrets from the American motorcycle aficionado. Even if you’ve heard of them you likely think exotic, cool, expensive, premium Italian motorcycles only, and so on—and you’d be half-right.
Rizoma was founded just outside of Milan, Italy, about 10 years ago, by the brothers Fabio and Fabrizio Rigolio. Legend has it that someone said to the latter brother, “I cannot find this accessory for my bike anywhere, why don’t you make it for me?” and the rest is history.
In the intervening years, Rizoma has been the product of the Rigolio brothers’ passion, and the creativity of them and their young and dynamic team has created a huge catalog of motorcycle accessories made from premium materials that include solid billet aluminum or high-end composite fibers and made to a maniacal level of quality. Heck, even the packaging is so good it’s a shame to throw it away—this is Apple-level gorgeousness.
Funnily enough, despite all this, the Rizoma products are not outrageously priced. Affordability is very much a relative term, but in general, I suspect most people will be pleasantly surprised that the Rizoma items don’t have much of a premium price attached.
Also, the catalog of Rizoma products is a lot deeper than people might suspect—hence my opening statement—and there are a lot of products for Japanese models as well as the usual Italian brands. The catalog includes an enormous range of universal products in multiple styles, so you can establish a theme and then carry it throughout your bike.
The list is far too large to detail here, but suffice to say it includes mirrors, turn signals, handlebars, fenders, headlight fairings, levers, gas caps, brake/clutch fluid tanks, rear set footpegs, and protection guards for different parts of your machine.
The last one piqued my interest, and I subsequently added a Rizoma Racing Edition Proguard System to my own Suzuki GSX-R1000. Anyone who follows racing will know that when things get really close—as frequently demonstrated in MotoGP where Rizoma sponsor the LCR Honda team—it’s actually possible for bikes or riders to tangle enough that front brake levers can get pushed briefly, with catastrophic results.
I’m old enough to remember Steve Rapp’s shocking crash at Road America when the front brake lever of his Ducati brushed the rear of John Kocinski’s machine. It locked Rapp’s front wheel—at around 160 mph—which then proceeded to hurtle the bike and Rapp end-over-end into the landscaping.
Miraculously, Rapp survived completely unscathed. Nevertheless, incidents like that eventually led to Rizoma’s development of the Proguard lever protector system, which are now mandatory fitment in most professional road racing series.
The Proguard System also comes in a Street Edition, and is a straight-arm design to allow for a more discreet fitment to pretty much any street bike.
The Racing Edition Proguard System is like all Rizoma items—a high quality, beautifully crafted piece; even the parts that end up hidden are gorgeously made. At just over four ounces (the Street Edition is 6.5 ounces), the Racing Edition is incredibly light—it is lighter than the bar-end weight it replaced. The Racing Edition is available in any color as long as it’s black, but the Street Edition comes in three variants—black, gold, or brushed silver stem.
This Proguard System will have practical use for commuters in California, where thanks to AB51 lane-splitting is now codified into law. Brushing past traffic in close proximity is almost asking for trouble, and having the brake lever protected may well save a life.
In my case I acquired the piece purely for pose value. I make no apology for wanting to make my pride and joy to look like a superbike track refugee, and the Rizoma Proguard System adds that MotoGP-esque touch that will make other bike night attendees take a step back and realize that I’m clearly a rider to be reckoned with. Ahem.
Street-cred established or not, I’m very happy with the Rizoma Proguard System, and I was excited to put it on the bike. The process was blindingly simple and involved me pulling out the bar-end weight, replacing it with the Proguard’s knurled end, and then cinching up the Allen bolt until everything was tight.
Yes, the Racing Edition Rizoma Proguard System is very cool, and by extension, therefore so am I. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Rizoma Proguard System Fast Facts
Versions: Street Edition and Racing Edition
Colors: Black; black/silver (Street Edition); black/gold (Street Edition)
Rizoma Proguard System Price: €99 MSRP (Street Edition); €298 MSRP (Racing Edition)
Rizoma Proguard System Gallery