Protecting your motorcycle from costly damage in the event of a fall requires careful consideration as to what type of protection crash bar/engine guard accessory you fit to your bike.
Motorcycle crashbar protection considerations
Motorcycles fall over, whether at speed or when parked. It is important therefore to ensure that your engine, body panels and other vital components such as your radiator are protected with a well-engineered set of crashbars.
In the event of a bike being dropped, there are generally 3 points of contact with the ground: the handlebars, footpeg and the outer extremity of the bodywork. In the majority of cases, one of these points is where the bike will first make contact with the ground.
At the very least a crashbar should ensure protection of your body-work where it is most likely to touch the ground.
SW-Motech engineers are critically aware of this and actually lay each bike on the ground to determine where the extremity of the bodywork of each model is relative to the handlebar position.
The next consideration would be where the crashbars mount . On each model, SW-Motech engineers look for the strongest mounting points for their crashbars to ensure a sound, solid attachment base.
And they go beyond this.
Additional design features include a cross bar element (pictured left) to brace the entire system. Some manufacturer’s offerings neglect this vital element and, in a fall, their crashbars actually bend into the bodywork of the motorcycle, causing damage to both the radiator and body panels.
Without crash bars (or poorly designed units) there is every likelihood of the radiator suffering damage in the event of the bike being dropped. This could leave you stranded. Not to mention collateral body panel damage as well. Both are costly exercises to rectify.
The following models all have the radiator behind the body panel, making this vital component very vulnerable in the event of a fall:
- BMW R 310 R / R 310 GS
- BMW X Challenge / Country
- BMW G650 Sertao
- BMW F800GS /700GS/ 650 GS twin cylinder
- BMW F 850GS /750GS
- BMW S 1000 XR
- BMW R 1100 GS
- BMW R 1150 GS
- BMW R 1150 GSA
- BMW R 1200 GS (2004-2012)
- BMW R1200GS LC (Liquid cooled)
- BMW R 1200 GS LC Rallye
- BMW R1250 GS LC
- Honda XL 650 Transalp
- Honda XL 700 Transalp
- Honda NC700/750 X
- HONDA NC XRV 750 Africa Twin
- Honda XL 1000 Varadero
- Honda CRF 1000L Africa Twin
- Honda CRF 1100L Africa Twin & Adventure Sports
- Honda VFR 1200 Crosstourer
- Kawasaki Versys-X300
- Kawasaki KLR 650
- Kawasaki Versys 650
- Kawasaki Versys 1000
- KTM 790 Adventure / R
- KTM 990
- KTM 1190/1290
- Suzuki DL V-Strom 650
- Suzuki DL V-Strom 1000
- YAMAHA XT660R
- Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
- Yamaha Tenere 700
- Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
- Triumph 800 XC
- Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer
Even if your bike is not water cooled such as the BMW R1200 GS oil cooled model, it still requires the protection of crash bars. In this instance, the boxer motor cylinders are exposed and are most likely to be the first thing to touch the ground.
How big should crashbars be and are bigger bars better?
Do not be fooled into thinking that the higher or bigger the crash bar the better. Any crash bar that extends beyond the outermost extremity of the bodywork is superfluous.
Not only does it add additional weight to the bike but even more importantly can potentially be unsafe to the rider.
A crash bar that is too high can cause serious injury to one’s legs in the event of falling forward.
Furthermore, this additional height can also cause vibrations that will ultimately be transferred to the rider and bike. Such vibrations can also lead to metal fatigue and premature failure.
Lastly, there are known instances of full “lock to lock” steering problems with designs of this nature.
Do Integrated Engine Guard & Crashbar Systems offer more protection?
Another question we are often asked is: why do SW-Motech not design an all in one unit that encompasses both crash bar and engine guard/skid plate? Although this may sound like a good idea in principle it is not.
Weight: Such units can weigh up to 11 kg and do not necessarily provide more protection: only more weight.
Ground clearance: “Integrated” crash bar and engine guard designs by their very nature cause the bike to have a lower ground clearance as the tubing of these units has to run under the engine sump.
A dedicated SW-Motech engine guard allows for maximum ground clearance and works independently of the crash bar.
Safety: Due to the lower ground clearance the integrated engine guard will drag very shortly after the footpegs do and could lever the rear tyre off the ground. Bear in mind that the foot pegs have been designed by the manufacturers to tilt up in the event of them scraping. The integrated crash bar/engine guard cannot .
Furthermore, the additional height of such units can cause bodily harm in the event of a fall.
Quality built into every SW-Motech Adventure Crash bar
- All SW-Motech crashbars are engineered in Germany and constructed of high-quality steel machined to the finest of tolerances, sandblasted and then powder coated to a rich lustre.
- Units are constructed from 26 mm tube with a wall thickness of 2.5 mm (most competitors products are 24 mm tubing with a thickness of 2.0- 2.2 mm).
- Design criteria also include minimal bends and gussets (when required) to further increase their strength.
- High-strength frame mounting points and rubber anti-vibration components (are also included when required).
- Cross braces where required
- Superior engineering: SW-Motech joints are 5-axis laser cut, creating a perfect union, before the bars are hand TIG welded in a jig. This process creates a precision fit, easy installation and superior strength. Some competitor crash bars are fabricated through crimping the bar and then welding the joints, creating a forced fit with a weak bond and installation difficulties.
- SW-Motech voluntarily subject random samples of their production units to an independent testing authority. Such units are X-rayed to check quality of the weld, paint adhesion etc.
- Simple to install . No cutting or welding is required.
What do I need for my bike?
All hardware required is supplied in the kit. Find your model on the link below.