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Why choose AltRider for your BMW? Tech Breakdown thread

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by AltRider, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Xyphon112

    Xyphon112 Been here awhile

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    Hi @AltRider. Do you know if your cylinder head guards are compatible with other brands of crashbars? I have SW-MOTECH bars and like the design of the Alt-Rider much better than the SW-MOTECH head guards.
    #21
  2. AltRider

    AltRider Been here awhile

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    Hi Neil,

    Good question. We don't undergo testing against other 3rd party parts so I don't have a hard answer for you but I can share some things to keep in mind in your research.

    It really comes down to how your bars are installed. Look at their mounting points and cross-reference them with the mounting points for the cylinder head guards. Are any bolt-locations overlapping? If so, it's likely not compatible.

    If no bolt-locations overlap, the next step is to check for clearance. You can do this by comparing the shape of your bars with the shape of AltRider's bars, preferable to have a picture of both the AltRider lowers and cylinder head guards installed. Are your bars closer to the engine than AltRider's at any point? If so, is that a point where the cylinder head guards would sit? So you know, we designed these parts to be space-efficient so it is a tight fit between the AltRider lowers and cylinder head guards.

    If you have more specific questions, please let us know at Info@AltRider.com. Remember to send some pictures as that will help us help you.
    #22
  3. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    #23
  4. AltRider

    AltRider Been here awhile

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    This is just BMW, to keep things clean, but we're hoping to get threads built for each of the marquees. We're just very busy focusing on the incoming release of R1250 and F850 parts at the moment so there's not as much time to update old threads.

    However, we still get alerts anytime someone tags/quotes us so we can respond to anything directed at us.
    #24
  5. JPCollinsworth

    JPCollinsworth Compulsive Spender

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    I ordered your GSA crash bar reinforcements for my 2018 GSA Rallye. After reading other's experiences in removing the through engine bolt, I thought it would be a good idea to check the alignment of the reinforcement bars first. I checked the left side first, loosely attaching the clamp to the bottom of the bar, I tried to align the top of the bar to the mounting location at the frame top. In the first two pictures, the clamp was right against the rubber pad on the OEM crash bar. There was about a 3/8" gap between the top of the bar and the frame. Next, I positioned the bottom clamp as far to the other side as it would go (last two pictures). That reduced, but not eliminated the gap but then the lateral alignment was off.
    Alignment on the right bar was closer but not perfect. With all due respect, I expect closer tolerances on a $200+ accessory for a $25,000 motorcycle.

    Attached Files:

    #25
  6. AltRider

    AltRider Been here awhile

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    Hi JP,

    You're correct that there should be tight tolerances with a $200 part and a $25k bike. There is one thing that wasn't mentioned and that is the accessory lower crash bars from BMW, whose tolerances we are unable to control or prepare for. Between the bike, our bars, and BMW's bars, the stacking of tolerances (even small ones) can result in the exact experience you are having.

    With that said, I had an engineer look at this and you are fine to install the through-bolt and pull the bar flanges in when you torque everything down.
    #26
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  7. JPCollinsworth

    JPCollinsworth Compulsive Spender

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    Thank you very much for your prompt response to my post. Correct me if I'm wrong but what I believe you're telling us is that BMW's tolerances are pretty wide for the tooling of their lower crash bars for the GSA.

    That would explain the reviews that I've read for your competitor's reinforcement bars which were the driving factor in my choosing yours.

    This being the case, I've decided to roll the dice and forgo accessory reinforcement bars.
    #27
  8. AltRider

    AltRider Been here awhile

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    Hi JP,

    We don't know enough to make a blanket statement saying BMW tolerances are very wide but it is something to consider when you're adding new accessory parts to existing accessory parts.

    The choice is always yours in the end but I would recommend that you consider the possible costs of replacing your valve cover in the event of a drop. We've received multiple reports that show how the OEM bars fail even in light tip overs and crack the valve covers. Regardless of brand preference on the reinforcement bars, we wouldn't trust the OEM bars on their lonesome.
    #28
  9. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Hi Altrider. I sent you an email direct describing a 2017 R1200GSLC that was written off a couple of weeks ago after hitting a very large kangaroo. This seems like a good place for more discussion.

    While I loved the solidity of your bars when I fitted them, they did bend at the RHS rear upper mounting point where the bar tube tab mounts to the frame. The bar hit the road with enough force to bend the attachment tab far enough for the bar tube to crimp the frame about half a centimeter. That means the bar tube moved that far, plus the centimeter clearance provided by the tab attachment.

    I am not having a go at your design or bar strength. Nothing would have done any better in my case as the bike appears to have launched over the big roo after impact and then fallen hard to the road on the RHS and with the back-end slightly down, so the major initial road impact was taken exactly in-line with that rear upper tube. The bike was write off as the roo impact also bent the frame at the forward structure mounting bracket for most of the cockpit stuff.

    It was a big hit on both counts. Interestingly, the bike's engine was unscathed and still able to be started, so my view is that the bars did what they were supposed to do. I always accept that the bars should be considered sacrificial in a big fall. These were, so no complaint. Unfortunately, that combined with other damage made the bike a total loss.

    I struggle to see how you could reinforce this attachment any further. My point is that while people argue about the merits of different bars and different diameter tubes and different attachment points, there are some accidents where the generated force simply overpowers the product to the point of failure.

    I could just say that your bars failed. Am I unhappy? Not at all. Nothing would have worked better and most, or all, other bars would have resulted in an engine loss as well. I also believe that the Altrider bar design kept the bike from rolling over and doing additional damage to the tank etc. All for nothing given the subsequent write-off.

    I am unsure if I'll fit bars of any description to the new bike. The costs are questionable (for me) given the cost comparison against insured values, but then there is always the driveway drop or fuel-stop fall or wet-road low-side that needs to be considered. Maybe I'll do yours again. Maybe it really doesn't make any difference what bars I put on given my circumstances.

    My accident was a classic example of a unique set of circumstances that generated such massive localized forces that I could just say that the bars failed and leave it at that. The full story explains why, and that goes way beyond anything you can probably design for. I believe that's sometimes left out when people give a thumbs down for stuff that they put on their bikes.

    Anyway, it's a moot point for me at the moment. I have to see how the new R1250GS shapes up before I commit to new bars or otherwise. Still going through the insurance treadmill at the moment.

    Thanks guys.

    IMG_20190407_072614.jpg IMG_20190410_101005.jpg
    #29
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  10. AltRider

    AltRider Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing your story.

    While we'll never really know what else "could have" been the outcome, I think it's safe to say that your bike would have been totaled out regardless of our bars being there or not. Like you mentioned, the damage would likely have been worse without something taking the initial impact. With that said, it's impossible for us to protect a bike in every crash scenario. We design our parts to keep the bike safe in most scenarios but yours definitely falls into the extreme category. I really don't think anything could handle the weight of a GSW going airborne and then falling on the bars.

    I understand your hesitation to put bars onto your next bike but I would caution you from leaving your engine exposed, whether it's our bars or someone else's. With a bike as big and unwieldy as the GSW, it's not hard to imagine that you'll run into a tipover or (god forbid) another hard hit. In those cases, even the small ones, you'll have to consider the cost of replacing and re-installing that magnesium valve cover which is extremely easy to crack. Business and sales aside, rider to rider, I wouldn't leave my cylinders naked.

    In the end, we're just glad to know that you walked away from the accident and are okay. It didn't really seem like you had any specific questions for us but if I missed a point, don't hesitate to let me know.
    #30
  11. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the response. It was more a comment on why they failed and not a complaint. The bars saved the engine. If I had been in outer Mongolia, I could have ridden to safety. No Kangaroos there though, so maybe a Llama hit would be different.

    A few of us (various military engineering backgrounds) have looked at this and wondered if doubling the thickness of attachment tabs at the engine bolt mount might make it less susceptible to bending at that point. The tab allows some leverage as the bar is not directly in-line with the bolt. It's the old Work = Force x Distance physics thing. But, that might transfer too much load directly to the frame web. Adding some sort of packing spacer to that area would just transfer the load directly to the frame, so that won't work either.

    I am well aware of the fragility of the covers and the dismal lack of protection BMW provides for an area that is always going to hit the ground first. I'll give the new bike a run when it arrives and will consider bars or no bars. If I do bars again, it will likely be yours. My accident was unusual and I walked away in reasonably good shape. It gives you time to think.

    Cheers guys, and thanks.

    Mick.
    #31
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  12. 18415

    18415 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sorry if I’m asking a question you’ve probably gotten several times, but is Altrider planning or currently working on a set of lower crash bars that will be compatible with the BMW R1250GS Adventure? I have the Altrider skid plate now and love the coverage and design. Also pre-ordered a set of Altrider reinforcement bars for the OEM lowers but really was hoping for the Altrider full lower crash bar assembly.
    #32
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  13. Kwafo

    Kwafo Two wheeler

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    Subscribed to the newsletter. Desperately needing some protection for my BMW f850 GSA, but none is available.

    My local BMW dealer looked at the f850GS skid plate and thinks it should fit th f850GSA... doubting if I should buy the skidplate for the f850GS for the f850GSA.

    I wouldn't mind to supply my bike for fitment ;-), Altrider EU is located in the Netherlands isn't it?
    #33
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  14. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    AltRider is working on F750/F850 parts. they shifted priority to the 690 Enduro when that came out. Far higher demand for their parts. I keep being told "winter" for the Fx50 parts. but I've seen a lot of 850GS parts not fit the GSA version for some reason so I'd wait to hear about fitment first.

    also, Lyndell over there is great and a quick phone call to them gets most questions answered.
    #34
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