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Crash bars - useless?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by bastimentos, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. mwood7800

    mwood7800 Banned

    Feb 10, 2011
    Crash bars on any boxer are for no speed tip over only.
  2. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

    Aug 27, 2008
    Woodland Park, CO
    bullshit.. I have crashed my boxer at all speeds and the heads have been protected in every crash :rofl In fact I was T-boned and the bike would have been totaled but I chose to not have a scratched fork tube repaired, so they didnt total it.. the rear subframe was bent.. lots of other issues, but the heads, tank, etc .. basically everywhere the crash bars protected the bike, no issues. At least on a GSA the crash bars do their job extremely well.
  3. Tex76

    Tex76 Motersykle Advntyers

    Feb 17, 2012
    Plano, Texas
    I think we can all agree, they sure as hell don't make an accident worse! :ricky So if it makes you more comfortable? Go with it, My GSA has all the protection that I can get on it.
  4. NesquikNinja

    NesquikNinja Been here awhile

    Sep 18, 2012
    East Missouri
    Damn you. Now that you say that people are going to be coming in saying they will, and will likely even make valid arguments.

    I wish I had them when the pavement not only exploded my timing cover, but shaved away a small bit of my crankcase, requiring all internals of my motor be transferred to a new block to save the bike.

    Worst $7500 that I have ever thrown across the pavement lol. DAMNITTT I wish I had crash bars at that time.
  5. Longboardr

    Longboardr Been here awhile

    Aug 11, 2010
    south central PA
    I suppose it all depends on what you're riding.

  6. syzygy9

    syzygy9 Been here awhile

    Jan 31, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    With all due respect to Walter, it is horses for courses. The comparison with the 'Dakar racers' is a little misleading. These guys are only worried about damage that will stop them continuing, are not worried about cosmetic damage and are obsessive about weight which is entirely correct for their perspective. But for the average Joe that can't afford the $XXXX (insert required big $ amount here) in replacement 'cosmetic' panels and is less concerned about weight, crash bars make very good sense. And I guess everyone is different, which is why we all don't ride the same bike with the same tyres, with same oil and with same luggage system with the same crash protection wearing the same suits and the same helmets.

    For the record I don't run crash bars on a 2011 KTM 990, I am happy to let my Safari tanks, soft bags and handlebar protectors take the fall (which happens a lot!).

  7. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Jan 26, 2011
    Richmond, Ohio
    I thought I replied last night, guess it didn't go through or something.

    Anyways, I can't say for certain that my crash bars will help. If I crash with no damage to the bike, I won't know if the crash bars saved it, or if there wouldn't have been damage anyways.

    Just like skid plates. I always put them on, but when I bought my XRR it was 9 years old, factory skidplate, and no engine damage. I know the riding area where the PO rode it, and it is VERY rough. Wellsville OH, AKA Yellow Creek, if anyone's ever been there.

    Here's what I do know and can say 100%-

    They might protect my plastics/tank/radiator.
    They are a place to attach my Happy Trails nerf bags
    They don't look *that* bad.
    They aren't *that* heavy.
    They are cheaper than a tow truck/radiator combo.

    Are they worth it? I don't know. None of us can 100% say that for every given model the bars are worth the money. For every wreck that they save damage there's another guy who's bars did nothing. I can say that I witnessed the factory Harley Davidson bars that come on touring bikes save bikes a few times. A friend's dad has dropped his dresser at least 5 or 6 times now, and the only damage is a few scratches on the bottom of the bars. I can also say that the average aftermarket crash bar is as strong if not stronger than the factory Harley stuff, and the bikes are lighter.

  8. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

    Aug 23, 2010
    New Hampshire
    As has been stated...the Dakar analogy really doesn't work...the bikes are built for racing. They want to keep the weight down and the bikes are throw away for the most part...

    Call me a poser but I like the look of the Engine/Crash Guards...

    On my Versys it saved the bike from damage in slow speed drops....

    Plastic is expensive....a can of black spray paint is cheap....

    With the my S10s radiator mounted on the side I like having a little extra protection there as well. That could make the difference between continuing your ride or a tow home....
  9. Eladbern

    Eladbern Adventurer

    Nov 19, 2006
    Bowling Green Kentucky
    It probably depends on a lot of factors. What bike you have and what the bars are designed to do. I've seen bar designs that were meant to protect just the engine case (cruisers) and those like the ones on my Transalp that protect the bodywork as well. Personally I wouldn't ride without mine. Plastic for an alp isn't easy to find and unfortunately I got to test mine a few months ago when I hit a mattress someone hadn't secured in their trailer on the parkway at night. I can't start to tell you how much damage the bars saved the bike but I will say beyond a shadow of a doubt it was the difference between totaling the bike out or fixing it. With the bars my windshield got slightly ground there was a little grinding on the tail box. I also had to replace the rear turn signal lens, the mirrors and a bent foot peg. Of course the crash bars got ground down severely but 130 investment saved 1000's in repair of unreplaceable parts. My only damaged panel was the nose cowl wich the body shop repaired and painted for 180.
  10. moriver

    moriver Lets Go That Way?

    Aug 25, 2008
    Platte City Missouri
    My KLR has been down six times that I can think of and it does have crash bars. Two have been on the street with only scratches on the bars. Three off road "naps" as you might call it with only scratches on the bars again. The sixth time the bike was setting in my garage on a lift without the crash bars on and fell over.....Yep, broken plastic and scratced tank. Repaired the broken parts and put the bars back on. Its now an all black KLR.:1drink
  11. 396

    396 low-post lurker

    Dec 23, 2005
    Simi Valley, Ca.
    On big heavy street bikes, they can save your leg, & keep you from getting pinned. I'm talking about the old chrome loop style on Harleys, Guzzis etc. A low-speed tip over can find your leg crushed by a hot exhaust. Nice to have a bit of room to wiggle out from under it.
  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Jan 14, 2010
    Cin City, OH
    A Wee Strom I owned decided to take a nap, just fell off the side stand. SW-Motech bars prevented any damage other than the left front turn signal. Lesson learned, they were replaced with flush mount signals.

    I'd say the bars paid for themselves. Even better yet, they came with the bike when I bought it used. :D
  13. JTucker

    JTucker Long timer

    Sep 27, 2008
    West By God Virginia
    I've seen them work on a few bikes. Mainly protecting body panels from damage. Considering a there's about $5k in tanks and panels on something like an Adventure I think I would want crash bars on it.
  14. cjmadura

    cjmadura Been here awhile

    Mar 4, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Clearly everyone has a different need for crashbars depending on their bike and mission. For me, my 2006 Tiger has bars to protect the large plastic tank. The bike has been tipped over at rest and dumped at about 20 mph in the dirt around a mountain turn taken too fast:muutt:p3rry. In both cases the tank remained untouched, so the bars are a win.:D

    On my 2008 KLR650 the bars are mainly to keep the bike functioning, though protecting the tank and plastic panels is a very nice bonus. The bike is heavy enough as it is, but the bars are pretty light, so I find them worthwhile. I've dumped this bike a number a times offroad, without damage.

    For the majority of street riders, I think we all want our panels protected, as long as the bars are not too obtrusive. :ricky
  15. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

    Nov 15, 2011
    Concord, CA
    I've seen a lot of HD's tipped over with no damage... Not tested my own yet (knock on wood)
    I've tested the GSA and they at the least saved me some broken plastic.

    They work best for tipovers rather than crashes at speed... They also give me another place to put my feet on the HD and carry my lower fairings.

    If you crash in dakar doing the speeds they are doing, you're damn lucky to just get up on your own and even luckier if the bike still works. Crashbars add weight and little protection for the speeds they crash at.
  16. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

    Jan 22, 2008
    On a KLR650, the radiator is VERY vulnerable in even quite minor drops. If you're headed off road past the range of your cell phone, I'd say you need protection for this reason alone. You can work around a lot of other damage, but a munched radiator could be a show-stopper.

    The bracket on the right that holds the reservoir and electrics is also quite crunchable.

    The KLR650 also has the water pump sticking out of the front right of the engine, and it's a very thin casting, so you really need something there, even if it's just the stock plastic skid plate.

    Air-cooled bikes, like the XR or DR, have much less need for crash bars. With any dual-sport bike, some sort of protection for the controls can save quite a lot of inconvenience. A zero-mph drop without stout handguards will bend your clutch or brake lever and possibly snap off the switch pods. With protection, it's no issue at all.

    I'm a klutz off-road, and my KLR's crash bars and handguards have paid for themselves over and over.
  17. duc916pilot

    duc916pilot kiwimike

    Aug 7, 2011
    Courtenay BC
    Bwringer, thanks for your post. So far I have been lucky with my 08 KLR, had quite a few tumbles with no major damage, scratched the plastic up pretty good, but luckily no damage to the radiator - yet. Think I will be putting the Happy Trails Nerf Bars on before the spring. As you say, a damaged radiator would likely be the ride over and very expensive. Also a PITA in the middle of nowhere!
  18. jprovence

    jprovence Adventurer

    Sep 20, 2012
    My altRider bars are bent and I've had to replace the all plastic on the V-strom. And I was only doing 25mph. I didn't get a scratch. If that tells you anything. Though my tank and frame are absolutely perfect so thats the important parts. But they are bent a few cm's.
  19. Eye of the Tiger

    Eye of the Tiger Adventurer

    Jan 12, 2013
    South Carolina
    I've had a brake pedal punch a hole in the engine side cover and create a massive oil leak. A new side cover was cheaper than crash bars, though. :D
  20. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

    Oct 24, 2009
    Waynesboro, PA
    The bars on my 08 KLR have saced the radiator and side fairings numerous times, they have more than paid for themselves. The only care they need is a bit of touch up paint every now and then to cover the scratches.