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Small Measures to Keep Your Bike Protected


We're always talking about protection. More specifically, protection for yourself. But now it's about time we show our bikes a bit of love too.

Our motorcycles also need protection from potential crashes and the often harsh conditions of the road. After all, no one wants a damaged bike and I don't care what you say, no matter what, it hurts to shell out hundreds of dollars in repairs. Not to mention it's a hassle.

We can take some preemptive measures by installing some small protective items. To me, it's well worth it to invest a little bit of money now in bike protection, than to risk it and have to pay hundreds (or even total your bike!) later when something does happen.

These are some very simple ways you can protect your bike:

Frame Sliders

We all know how devastating it can for our bikes during even minor crashes, especially if the bike slides. Heck, even an accidental tip-over can be super costly.

Frame sliders are the easiest protective measure for your bike in these cases! These are a little cylindrical piece that you mount to your bike's frame, so that if your bike goes down, this piece will catch it and slide across the road.

This measure minimizes the damage to your fairing, or if you have a naked bike, to the frame and hard part (which you definitely don't want to damage!). It's not a guarantee that you can ride away with a completely undamaged bike, but the point is that you can ride away with it with just superficial damages.

For around $50-$200, this is one of the best things you can do for your bike. It's silly to think that you won't ever be involved in a crash. There are no-cut kits (no bodywork cutting required for installation) available for more modern sportbikes, so for such an easy installation and good price, you'd be sorry you didn't get one if anything did happen.

Bar Ends

In a crash scenario, the bars are often at the forefront of taking the damage from the crash force. Bar ends are designed to take the hit of the crash so your more expensive parts don't take the brunt of it. 

In addition to protection, they also serve another important purpose: the additional weight of the bar ends also help to dampen the vibration at the handlebar area. Which means more comfortable and stress-ride long rides. Seriously, just try the difference between riding with bar ends and without. Your hands will thank you for it. 

Because of how important bar ends are, make sure to choose high quality ones. Bar ends also add some style to your bike. Some bar ends are even designed to accommodate bar end mirrors. Most manufacturers offer both frame sliders and bar ends, so make sure to buy a matching set! 

Engine Guards/Crash bar

Same thing, different name. Crash bars are typically used on dual-sport/adventure bikes, though some cruisers use them too. They are tubes of steel attached to the bike for the purpose of distributing the force of the impact in case of a crash. When the bike goes down, the crash bar will be first part of the bike to hit the ground.

Just like with frame sliders, its purpose is not to completely protect the bike from damage, but rather to protect the vulnerable expensive parts from damage. Most of the time, this is the frame, engine, and gas tank.

It's important to get high quality crash guards, since they are meant to protect the important pieces of the bike. A cheap engine guard won't even protect what it claims to guard - the engine.

Note that crash bars are meant to protect the bike, not the rider. This seems to be a huge debate in the motorcycling community. If you're in a crash and are thrown from the bike, guess what, a crash bar isn't going to do you any good. Only if you fall over with the bike, it may limit injuries to the leg/ankle/foot. So do NOT get a crash bar and think that it means you can lessen awareness.

Handguards

This one is a necessity for all the dual-sport/adventure enthusiasts out there. Handguards serve the dual purpose of protecting both you and your bike.

Because of the nature of this type of riding, the hands often take the worst of the beating. Even if you're smart and wearing gloves, your hands can be subjected to slapping of branches, flying rocks, roost, etc. And at worst case scenario, if you ride your grips into a tree, your hands are going to be in big trouble. Basically, gloves alone will not do the trick when you're taking your bike off-road.

This is when handguards come in handy (ha!). These are durable plastic pieces that attach to your handlebars, so that your hands stay completely protected from all kinds of extreme weather and road conditions. Not only do they protect your hands, they also protect your delicate clutch levers (for in cases if you run your bike into that aforementioned tree).  

Handguards are easy to install and remove and come in a variety of options and colors, including vented ones and spring-loaded ones, which will flex back in case of a crash.

Our favorite handguards manufacturers are Bark Busters and Moose Racing, both of which are known for their high-quality, durable, and sleek designs.

Skid Plates

This one is another must for the off-roaders. Skid plates protect the delicate underbelly of your precious bike from flying rocks, branches, other debris. This is where all the expensive parts of your bike are located! A stray rock or branch can easily damage your casing or oil filter, causing you to not only end your day early, but also hundreds of dollars worth of damages.

Skiplates are not the cheapest (most are around $150 to $300), but trust us, it's a small investment to make to avoid a far, far more expensive repair job. When you wish you had one, it's already too late. We recommend a skidplate made with durable, lightweight aluminum or steel (NOT plastic), as plastic just can't stand up to the constant beating of rocks.

A lot of people wonder if they really need these. The answer is no, you don't NEED them, but you'll be glad you had one in case anyone happens. Like I said, it's silly to think that you will never experience a crash. It's better to invest in these now, than to have to deal with the consequences of not having them later.

Do you use any of these on your bike? Has there been instances where you were glad you had them? Share your experience! 


By Anna

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