Tomas  van Daalen
Tomas van Daalen

Prevent damage to your motorcycle with crash protection

11 mei 2022

Damage to your beloved motorcycle. It’s one of the worst-case scenarios for any motorcyclist. Damage could occur during a crash, but also in an unlucky situation. For example when the bike makes a tumble while parking the bike. Manufacturers within the motorcycle industry provide countless solutions to prevent your beloved motorcycle from damage. One might get lost in all the different types of protection for your motorcycle, which is the reason why we decided to explore all the different possibilities. Read all about our findings in this blog.

Crash bars

One of the most effective and common forms of motorcycle protection are crash bars. Crash bars are constructions of bars made from metal that are attached to the frame of the motorcycle. The main benefit of crash bars is that they cover a large area of the motorcycle in the event of a crash. Other types of motorcycle protection are redundant, as the crash bars often cover the engine, clutch cover and frequently large parts of the bodywork. This does come with a significant drawback, which is the notable weight of the crash bars. Aside from that, the bars are often clearly visible on the bike as these do stick out quite a bit. One might completely dislike this look. Especially on sport or naked bikes, as it interferes with the design of the bike. On the other hand, the crash bars might give an extra rugged look to adventure and touring orientated motorcycles. Some famous manufacturers of crash bars are Givi and Hepco & Becker. Heed is also a good alternative for those with a smaller budget.

Frame sliders

Another common form of protection are frame sliders. The goal of frame sliders is the same as with crash bars: keeping the frame, fairings and the engine away from the asphalt during a crash. However, where crash bars are visually present on the motorcycle, frame sliders are much more subtle. This makes them a better option if you don’t want to compromise the looks of your motorcycle. Another benefit of frame sliders is that these function as contact points with the ground that enable the motorcycle to slide over the ground instead of rolling over, preventing extra damage to the motorcycle. The smaller size of the frame sliders, along with the more than sufficient protection characteristics, makes this a perfect compromise between looks and protection. Some notable manufacturers of frame sliders are Puig, R&G, SW-Motech and Givi.

Protection of individual motorcycle parts

Frame sliders do not cover as large of an area as crash bars do. This is the reason why lots of riders opt for extra protection of individual engine parts to complement the frame sliders. Some examples of parts of the engine that might require extra protection are the clutch cover or the valve covers of boxer (e.g., BMW’s R1250 engines) and transverse v-twin engines (e.g., Moto Guzzi’s V-twin engines). These motorcycle protection parts are often developed by the manufacturers themselves to ensure perfect fit on the motorcycle. However, there are ample aftermarket parts available as well. In this case, it is of large importance to check whether the protection parts fit your motorcycle. The protection parts are rather inconspicuous as well as the parts are specifically manufactured for your motorcycle, ensuring the the looks of your motorcycle are not compromised by the protective gear.

Skid plate

The skid plate is a solid plate on the bottom of your motorcycle that protects vital parts of the engine such as the transmission, water pump and clutch basket. It’s often made of materials like aluminum. Skid plates are frequently found on off-road oriented motorcycles to protect the engine of the motorcycle from rubble on the road and pointy rocks on trails (however, it works just as well against damage inflicted by curbs or speed bumps). Most skid plates are easy to install on some fixed points on the bottom of the motorcycle. However, always consult the installation guide beforehand to check out if you can do this yourself. Touratech, Givi and Acerbis are famous manufacturers of skid plates if the manufacturer of your motorcycle does not offer any OEM options.

Axle sliders

In the event of crashing, the swingarm and the forks of your motorcycle are parts that get scuffed up easily. This is damage you want to prevent at all times, as replacing your swingarm or front forks is costly and difficult to do yourself as well. Luckily, preventing damage on these parts is rather easy and cheap with the installation of axle sliders. Axle sliders look very similar to frame sliders and can be installed on the front and rear axle of the motorcycle. The sliders prevent the forks and swingarm from touching the when the motorcycle slides over the asphalt, resulting in no or minimal damage on the motorcycle components. Axle sliders are produced by manufacturers such as R&G and Barracuda.

Bar-end protection

It is even possible to protect your handlebar during a fall with bar-end sliders. Similar to frame and axle sliders, bar-end sliders are plastic or metal caps that can be attached to ends of your handlebar. These caps are easy to install and uninstall, meaning that it is easy to replace after crashing. It’s certainly easier (and cheaper) than installing new handlebars and grips. Examples of manufacturers are Highsider and Barracuda.

Lever protectors

The brake and clutch levers are components that bend or break easily, even during light crashes or when dropping your motorcycle. Luckily, protecting the levers is easy and not expensive as well with the installation of lever guards. Lever guards are short metal pieces that are attached to the ends of the handlebar. In the event of a crash, the levers are completely covered by the lever guards. It is even possible to choose hand guards over lever guards, as these also protect your hands from the wind or during a crash. Fun fact: since 2011, lever guards are mandatory on all MotoGP bikes to prevent other riders from accidentally touching the brake lever of other riders when riding next to each other.

Exhaust sliders

Just bought a new exhaust to unleash the inner beast of your motorcycle? With exhaust sliders it is possible to protect your exhaust as well. This type of slider is attached to the clamp that holds your exhaust in place. Unfortunately, there is no universal type of exhaust slider as it depends on where the exhaust is placed and the manufacturer of the exhaust. Be sure to check out if there is an option for exhaust sliders for your new exhaust!

Radiator cover

The last type of protection that is worth mentioning is a radiator cover. Radiator covers are metal plates or grills that protect the radiator of the motorcycle against loose rocks or other types of projectiles on the road. The guards improve the longevity of the radiator by protecting the cooling fins from dents and generally preventing the radiator from leaking (although this is uncommon).

All in all, there are lots of options to protect your motorcycle from all sorts of crashes and tumbles. Good protection is not cheap at all. However, so is replacing parts of the motorcycle after crashing. Therefore, treating your motorcycle with some protective gear might be considered as an investment as well. Aside from protecting your bike, everything that is added to your motorcycle increases the value of your bike when selling it eventually.

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