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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 19 Jul 2011
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Are engine bars really necessary?

Maybe it's farkle-exhaustion, but I'm pondering engine bars for my F650GS twin's year in South America. I'm leaning towards the BMW bashplate (best choice??) but do I also really need engine bars or is that just being overcautious and adding weight unnecessarily?

Thanks!
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Old 19 Jul 2011
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Yes, they are really necessary. Your bike will topple many times (hopefully most times while stopped or low speed ), the luggage takes a lot of it, the handguards some and the crashbars the rest (hopefully). Small price to pay to save not only some cosmetics, but also helpful to save things like your radiator.

The BMW bash plate looks fine for around town, but there are more robust options out there. After the hundreth speed bump, you will be thankful you went with the strongest one you could find.
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Old 19 Jul 2011
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Fit engine bars first, along with barkbuster (or similar) to protect the vital bits of the bike - engine and controls. Since your 650 is the twin, then its also a good idea to fit a decent set of metal tubes to the rear as a rack, to protect the fuel tank sides in the event of a slide.

Finish with a decent heavy duty bash plate.

The rest of the touratech catalogue will just add weight...
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Old 19 Jul 2011
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Thanks so much for all that - would love to hear which engine bars and bash plate you recommend? I had heard that the BMW bash plate was good enough..

G
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Old 19 Jul 2011
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I have Metal Mule gear: pannier system, engine bars and bash plate. All fitted when I bought the bike, but they've saved it from many tumbles both in Africa and in the UK, and although expensive, they've saved the bike from damage which would have cost far more to repair...
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Old 20 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by goo View Post
Thanks so much for all that - would love to hear which engine bars and bash plate you recommend? I had heard that the BMW bash plate was good enough..

G
Definately NOT the BMW bashplate ... its a bit soft, AND does not extend enough to protect your oil filter

Have a look at the bashplate and engine guard from Adventure-Spec. They are the ones I would lean towards.

G-iT Guard-It-Technology Engine Protection Sump Guard Bash Skid Glide Plate crash bars BMW Enduro trail adventure f800 gs MX dual sport - Guard-it-Technology - G-iT BMW Equipment - adventure-spec.com: Off-Road Adventure Motorcycling gear,UK,enduro,ra
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Old 20 Jul 2011
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Flip side of the coin for me, not worth the extra weight for the protection you get. I have had hundreds of offs over the years and never broken anything that engine bars would of saved other than a scuff on the occational engine casing (N.B. whilst racing!).
What about that rock that the bike lands on that fits nicely into the area where the bars don't, what about etc what about etc.
How about a poll to see how many people without bars have done damage that they would of saved, but when alls said and done if it makes you happy to have them and gives you piece of mind then they are the perfect addition.I'm sure there are plenty of things on my motorcycle that people feel are unnecessary.

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Old 20 Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by goo View Post
Maybe it's farkle-exhaustion, but I'm pondering engine bars for my F650GS twin's year in South America. I'm leaning towards the BMW bashplate (best choice??) but do I also really need engine bars or is that just being overcautious and adding weight unnecessarily?

Thanks!
Only if the bike falls over
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Old 9 Oct 2011
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I'd def go with bash plate, crash bars, barkbusters and something to protect the tank at the back of the 650 - its quite exposed. The stock BMW rack for the bike doesn't offer too much from what I've seen on my mates bike, so I'd go for something like th Touratech ones which appear to offer more protection around the tank

Iain Nic
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Old 10 Oct 2011
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I use my bars to rest my feet on and to extend my legs
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Old 11 Oct 2011
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A decent bash plate is a must, even at modest speeds on grvel tracks on my CRF I have been surprised at the amount of times I have heard the 'tinging' sound from stones being fired up at it from my front wheel.
Engiine bars, pros and cons, a 90mph slide offon my airhead r100 wore one side of the bars flat and saved the rockerbox and more from damage. Cons, some say that engine bars can cause damage to the frame. I would go for engine bars and bashplate.
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Old 11 Oct 2011
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I use my bars to rest my feet on and to extend my legs
Yes me too, nothing like a set of highway pegs mounted to crashbars to help ease that pain in the cheeks by moving one's derriere around a little.

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Old 11 Oct 2011
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A decent bash plate is a must, even at modest speeds on grvel tracks on my CRF I have been surprised at the amount of times I have heard the 'tinging' sound from stones being fired up at it from my front wheel......
.
It may go against current racing/MX fashions, but the mudguards are actually there to stop this. Bolt/rivet a cut out section from a plastic oil bottle or a bit of conveyor belt rubber to the plastic fashion accessory above your front wheel and worry not. The bash plate cum birdbath cum mobile forge hearth is there to stop rocks puncturing the sump when you ground it. Likely on Dougie Lampkin type off road sections, not such a worry on gravel roads, although exposed cartridge type oil filters can make it so.

Engine bars are a mixed bunch. I've seen a set on an oilhead rip a bolt out of the engine down near the brake lever and actually cause the biggest problem in a 70 mph slide down an icy road. I took a set off the Triumph as the connection between the sides ahead of the block was just a slide together fit. Bend the bars upwards on the only real fastening (a plate under the sump subframe) and this joint would just slide until the bar touched the engine or exhaust and started to bend that. You'd need an angle grinder to cut off the mess and get to the likely damage such as the oil cooler lines. There is IMHO a huge difference between engine bars (meant to keep you mobile after a drop at speed) and dresser bars (meant to keep the paint clean if you knock it off the stand in Starbucks car park).

Andy
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