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Old 06-28-2013, 12:42 AM   #44
Joined: Aug 2009
Oddometer: 966
Would I use crashbars again? Hell. Farking. No.

I'm sure this will start an argument, but I've personally seen more damage done by crashbars than prevented by them.

The 9*0's, from an engineering perspective, have awful crash bar mount points. The front two bolts go into the same non-structural aluminum plate, at almost the same location! The long arm that extends upward under the radiator has no inwards bracing, and hence the bending moment from a sideways impact just twists the bars around, crumpling them back into the front fairing, or worse, the tank they're supposed to protect. I've seen this crumpling behavior trash a bundle of fairings that would have otherwise been fine (mine included) , and hole tanks on two occasions. Usually down near the lower tank bolt, when the flange mount there deforms inwards and takes the bolt with it. Unless you have a brace across the front of the radiator - in which case it bends too, crushing into the radiator. Load-wise, they're just not a well-braced design.

On top of that, as the rear mount on most 9*0 crash-bar designs is a jaw-clamp on the frame, a hit from the front will cause the bars to bend and rotate backwards and down, as the rear clamp slides down the frame. You'll see the mild version of this on a lot of bikes after most crashes, where the bars contact and rub on the lower front of the fairing. A bigger hit, however, can wrench the bars around far enough to crush the fairing, possibly damage the radiator, and even deform the hinge bolt and clamp teeth enough to release the jaws, and send the aft section of the bar back into your engine case. I've also seen this happen. It's surprising how mild the impact was - the impact angle was just right.

The nylon standard tanks are incredibly tough in terms of impact strength. It's abrasion and puncture resistance where they're lacking, and the carbon-kevlar (i.e. NOT the KTM OEM carbon guards) IMHO fill this gap better than crash bars. They're lighter, slimmer, they don't catch on things and twist or bend in, they don't have big gaps to let rocks sneak past, and they're cheaper.

For what it's worth, I've lost count of the slides my CF guards have had. Rock, sand, gravel, tarmac, roos. But earlier this year, I was hit head on by a firetruck, in the front-right quarter. Closing speed around 70kph/40mph. My right carbon guard shows the scars from the truck bumper, the left has the gravelrash from the subsequent highside and slide down the road. The tanks were undamaged, as was the rest of the bike, save for the right Cycra bark-buster (and me...). The tanks took basically the entire hit. THAT's how tough they are.

I know a lot of people will jump in and say "Well, I highsided MY bike,and MY crashbars did just fine" and I won't dispute that. They can work quite well in the right circumstances: on tarmac. They shelter the upper fairings well and slide great on smooth-surfaces. But what I'm saying is that the 950 was never actually designed to fit bars, and as such, they can cause more harm than good.

Although the CF guards do not include competency, they do mitigate very well against the results of a lack thereof.

Jdeks screwed with this post 06-28-2013 at 01:16 AM
Jdeks is offline   Reply With Quote