The famous boxer engine goes off-road. It didn’t make much sense decades ago but BMW has proven a lot of people wrong. Their GS (Gelände-Strasse = Off-road) series motorcycles are developed for the gnarliest conditions. 

With that in mind, we thought this prestigious and highly regarded bike deserved top notch protection. Tested and proven protection. I’m not talking about some computer simulated tests and analysis. I’m referring to real-life situations that go beyond laying a 1200GS down on a carpet, cardboard sheet or sliding the bike on nice and smooth ground. 

The thing is that I absolutely don’t mind – as a matter of fact I want to risk – picking up damage on our own motorcycles to achieve the best results. Making one of our customers find out about a shortcoming of our crash bars is a no-no! Of course, it only works, if we invest into buying motorcycles. Borrowing one does not work. Especially now with the reputation I have for drop testing crash bars. LOL. 

Back in September we picked up a 1200GS Rally with extremely low kms. Stunning, factory-like condition! Perfect for torture testing our crash bars as even the smallest scratch will show, should our product fail. 

Long story short, we began phase one testing with the simplest set of crash bars. The simplest because we wanted to see how our crash bars will be reacting to impact – at this point pressure only – when laying the bike down and even dragging around a bit. 

Photos below show that “all’s good” but it’s extremely deceiving. Scroll down for more. 


Now, this is all pretty and we should just wrap up “development” and launch the sales.

No way!

Let’s dive deeper into some potential off-road scenarios. What happens when we rest the crash bar on a loose pile of rocks?

Now you can see that those rocks are getting closer and closer to the ever-so-exposed valve cover. We didn’t stop here and spiced it up by making a larger pile of rocks to let the crash bar sink into. Ouch!

It had come too close to our comfort zone and we stopped. Having collected enough feedback from the crash bars and how they’d behave in a not even serious off-road scenario, we picked up the bike and rode it back in its designated place. 

The 1200GS Rally now being on the bike lift under LED spot lights began to reveal other signs of the mini torture test. 

There were signs for minor flexing and bending. It wouldn’t be a major drawback but it wasn’t the real “Outback Motortek signature” drop test, yet! It was definitely good though to see where reinforcement needed.

In my next post, I’ll reveal more details of the 2nd prototype and I’ll have some videos to share as well!  

4 thoughts on “BMW R1200GS Crash Bars Development – Part I.

  1. Candubrain says:

    I’m not happy with my OEM crash bars on the 2018 R1200GSA, but I am concerned about the rigidity of your design. Will it’s strength transfer forces to the bikes frame and possibly cause frame damage?

  2. Candubrain says:

    Will there also be upper crash bars?

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