Same, I am looking for a pair of bars and handguards, so this is probably my time to search for a better throttle tube, tbh I never really tought of it before. :headscrati was unaware that dirtbike throttle tubes came with bearings... i must investigate... I am intrequed!
Good point on the trail side fixes. If you are running full guards and manage to break a throttle tube, odds are you have bigger problems keeping you from riding home.The alum. tubes with bearings..forget handguards. Won't work. They are smooth though.
A standard alum. tube without the bearings is not too much more than a plastic unit. And in the case of the DRZ, it makes grip changes much easier as the stock DRZ tube has the stock grip welded to it.
You will feel more vibes..not really annoying, unless you're sensitive to that to begin with. I prefer it as it gives a little more feedback.
The biggest advantage though, is in a crash the alum. tube is unlikely to break. Just the opposite with a plastic tube. That alone is usually worth the price of admission. A busted throttle tube cannot be rigged out on the trail.