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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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
What do I need for my bike?
All hardware required is supplied in the kit. Find your model on the link below.