As far as looks go thats a personal choice. I like the looks either way as I used to use the hidden fairing brackets and no engine guard. Made the bike look slim. Decided that I was doing too much riding not to use the lowers and I have to say they made a huge difference in my comfort level this winter. I used to wear chaps for temps below 50 but just the other day I left for work and it was 38 degrees and no chaps. I was fine but granted I was a little cool, but not uncomfortable, and the ride was only 25 minutes but I could have never done that without the lowers. The only thing that would keep me off the road is ice or a hurricane so the lowers were well worth the investment. And as far as the looks... I think they look great if they are color matched.
Just an add on: The lowers do NOT block all the air from hitting your legs so you will feel wind. The difference is that it is a light breeze compared to a 70mph blast hitting you. It also eliminates the updraft from the bottom of the fairing. My buddy complained when he bought his lowers that they didn't block all the air. I told him to go buy a Goldwing if that's what he was looking for. You need airflow to keep the engine cool so you will feel some wind.
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Last edited by RGKen; 02-08-2013 at 08:53 AM.