Thread: Bmw F800gs Q&A
View Single Post
Old 08-25-2008, 10:18 AM   #19
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
Originally Posted by klarue
What are your crash bars of choice? There is no small amount of debate on this particular point! Thanks again for sharing your real-world experiences.

Hmm, I haven't been following too much overseas discussions so I'm unsure of what the crash bar debates are but I'll chime in with my point of view, feel free to ignore if it not aplicable for you.

In general, the aftermarket manufacturers make their products that meet the needs of the average rider as the market is the biggest at this point in the bell curve. Unfortunately, adventure riders fall outside this area and therefore a lot of the aftermarket stuff we can buy is close, but not tough enough for consistent abuse. In addition, a lot of the stuff is manufactured by European manufactureres which is great but it is orientated more to their riding conditions. In dual sport havens like North America, South Africa, Oz, etc. access to amazing tracks and trails and very rugged terrain leads to the demand for even more rugged parts.

Crash bars are essential for the plastics AND radiator AND engine as mentioned, so some of the stuff I have seen doesn't do much to protect the plastic or rad. Seems a bit strange to me, but oh well. It simply reflects that motorcycles for most are leisure vehicles and as such form (looks) are more important than function, Most won't be pushed to the limits to handle more than a simple tip over so it won't matter to them. To me, it is incomplete logic, as you will go through the time and effort to order the bars, install them, and in reality you get a protective device that doesn't protect you when you need it most. A rough anology is to buy a roll bar for you 4X4 that looks great and works ok if you bump into something but if you actually roll your truck it doesn't work.

On of the benefits of riding multiple days in sand and dirt and gravel is that you and the riders around you have a lot of tipovers, a few spills and if unlucky, an actual crash. In a remote location or distant country you can't afford to have your bike sustain significant damage, fixing it is very difficult and access to replacement parts is difficult or sometimes almost impossible.

Based on what I've seen, I wouldn't go for any of the lighter, minimalistic setups. The BMW engine bars, are engine protectors only. The additional bolt ons that come up over the plastic offer a bare minimum. I would go for the strongest, toughest setup that you can find, if you plan on riding the bike off highway, off road or pushing it’s limits. If not, an almost all highway bike can easily get away with the BMW like setup.

Sorry can’t provide more specific feedback on the other setups, but I’ll take a look and let you know what my impressions are. When I set up the bike, I didn’t look around as there was nothing available so we made our own crashbars. We were somewhat limited by the equipment we had access to but made a fairly minimalistic set up that didn’t look as stellar but was very effective. Now that I’m back, we are making a second generation set of crashbars that is more fitted and a bit better looking. People keep asking so we are making sets for a few friends along with skid plates and rear racks. If anyone else is interested in them, they could be available to all adv’ers, same price as for all friends, cost (once we figure out what cost isJ)

RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote