I've received some constructive critism regarding the crashbars through PM's. Thanks. Always helpful and welcome. However- I have to say that you are looking at an unfisnisehd project. Let me explain...
We have lots of sand down here. Oodles and Oodles of sand. Sand so fine, it squeek's when you drive/walk on it. Course sand. Red sand, white sand, brown sand. Loose sand and not so loose sand.
I've always struggled with the AT in the loose stuff in its previous form/setup. It was just too heavy, and the setup was not supportive of the ride conditions. E.g. the hard panniers were too wide (even though they are the same width as the handle bars) and got snagged by the bushes on the tracks. And your feet keep getting 'sucked' in under the panniers when walking it through some obstacles, mostly accompanied by some bad words and pain after I have extracted myself from under the bike/panniers.
So with this rebuild, I am trying to make the bike better suited to my current riding conditions. I.e. loose some of the excess weight, make it narrower, and move some of the weight off the front wheel. BUT...
A singilar problem with crashbars in sand- when the bike goes over, they disappear into the sand, and the fairings take the brunt of the impact. This generally results in cracks in the panels, normally just below the air-intake. So the idea is to try and fit some skid-plates to the frames to prevent this from happening. I am no good at this, but herewith an artist's impression:
I also want to add some additional support for the higher part of the fairing. These should also function as lift handles and drag handles (yes- sometime you have to drag the bike over the sand when it is tired and want to lie down for a sleep). The plates themselves will be allu plate. I will try and cut some 'strategic' holes for airflow, as well as appearance. Off-course, there are some problems- that is a lot of silver plate on the side of the bike and it may clash with the 'paint-job', but it would be senseless to pain them, as they will get very scratched, very quickly.
Also- practically speaking- you want as big/wide an area as possible for maximum floatation on the sand, but too big, and it looks crap. Hopefully I can find the balance. Or else, practicality will over-rule looks, as I do intend to ride it and not look at it.
But thanks again for the comments and words of encouragement. Keep it coming