Crash bars or some call it engine guards and adventure motorcycles go hand in hand. The question is not whether will you drop you bike but more like when will you drop your bike? Essentially you need a set of crash bars!
*UPDATE: We’re adding the new 2016 Honda Africa Twin to our selection of protective accessories. Read on to find out more.
Protective motorcycle armor has been around for decades. Some make real good, functional and attractive looking ones. Some just don’t get all the above features right. On top of that, some try it too hard and come out with bogus products just to jump on the “adventure bike accessories” bandwagon. Read below the eight reasons why you need a decent set of crash bars.
1. Long Term Savings – Call your motorcycle dealer and ask for a quote on the following parts: radiator, fuel tank fairings, fuel tank, turn signals. Guaranteed you will have to sit down to digest the price tag your local motorcycle dealer shoves down your throat. To put this into actual numbers, at least $1500-$3000 depending on the brand you own. Don’t forget to add the mechanic’s charges to the bill…How does a $300 investment into a set of crash bars sound like?
2. Look – A lot of guys treat their bikes like their wives/girlfriends. Some even better but let’s not get into that. I’m safe to assume that making your bike look awesome and adventure-ready is just as important. After all, you’ll want to show it off in front of your buddies.
3. Structural Design – In my humble opinion, there are more crash bars on the market that don’t work than the ones that do. Why? Poor structural design. Just because one adds a “ton” of metal tubes all across the crash bars and make it look like a cobweb, it won’t work better. It will result in excessive weight, vibration(!) and could very well crush your bike’s expensive plastic parts, crack the frame or rip mounts off the engine during an impact.
Raising your crash bars up too high to try to protect the fuel tank is a disaster waiting to happen. The further the protective armor reaches away from the mounting points, the more flexible it becomes. As long as you don’t crash your bike, you’ll be fine. The headache begins when you lose control over your bike while riding on a trail and you sure better let that beast go and give in to gravity. It’s not rocket science that when a 500lbs+ bike hits the ground there will be some serious impact and with that impact there will be some serious damage. If you’ve got the right crash protection, then you will most likely be able to ride on. If you don’t, then better have a buddy with a pickup truck or AAA platinum card. Outback Motortek believes in the less-is-more philosophy, therefore we design and make compact crash bars. Watch the video below to see results of this crash that involves a BMW F800GS and a car. Read the full story by clicking here. Video credit: www.OnHerBike.com
4. Quality Hardware – Small thing but could be a real nuisance not to pay attention to. We use 8.8, 10.9 or even 12.9 grade galvanized or stainless steel bolts and place them where they best suit their purpose.
5. Mounting tabs or pieces are as essential as wheels for cars. They are the strongest and most essential links between the protective armor and bike’s chassis and/or engine. These parts must absorb the last piece of impact. What’s even more important that in some cases they need to able to bend to prevent the energy from the impact to be transferred onto the frame or engine.
6. Surface Treatment – Are we talking about show bikes or adventure bikes for off-roading? If you think your bike is the latter, then you might want to opt for a durable and no frills surface. Outback Motortek chooses to sandblast all their products to create an adhesive surface before powder coating. Sandblasting is certainly key in creating a surface that withstands a lot of abuse from riding off-road. Most manufacturers choose only the powder coating option and some choose the fancier anodizing.
7. Fitment– The majority of crash bars are hand-made or hand-finished, therefore there is always the chance to make errors. Regardless, there are manufacturers that make better fitting products than others. Fitting should be part of quality control, before and after welding the crash bar components. We follow up with this and run a series of tests during the manufacturing process to make one of the best fitting crash protection in the market.
8. Warranty, customer service – Warranty is an insurance that customers pay when purchasing products. Outback Motortek offers warranty for its customers given that the product in question failed due to material or manufacturing error. If you beat up your crash bars while off-roading and your bike remains intact, we will invite you for a six pack or a bottle of wine of your choice. Just send us some epic shots of your adventure(s). Try us! It’s your call: 1 877 931 3636 or visit our online store here: www.OutbackMotortek.com/shops
*Outback Motortek to outfit the new 2016 Africa Twin: some of the accessories will include a real bad-ass skid plate, the sturdiest and most protective crash bars you can possibly get, generously sized and useful luggage rack (if you’re looking for a fancy, shiny part that’s only decorative then we can’t help you, sorry) and perhaps a couple necessary accessories that truly help you on the trails or on your true adventure.
We’re planning to post photos of the prototypes around early April, so you can see whether you’ll like what we will have in the making. Expected availability in Canada and the US is June, 2016. Be the first one to learn about the details and sign up for our newsletter!
The latest blog update on the Honda Africa Twin accessories project can be found here: “Why we choose to involve you, the rider, in the Africa Twin parts development?“