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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 23 Feb 2009
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Possibly silly question regarding bash plates!

Quick question for anyone in the know regarding bash plates / sump guards.

Almost all of the bash plates available are made from 4mm Ally, I assume for lightness, what would be the issues of having one made from stainless steel instead?

I am owed a few favours by someone that works with stainless steel for a living, and he has offered to knock me up a bash plate to my spec free of charge. I appreciate that it would be heavier, but a bash plate is not a huge item so I am thinking the weight saving from a purchased plate compared to a free stainless steel plate would not be enough to warrant paying for one, but is there anything else I should take into account. Also any idea what thickness I would need to go for on a steel plate as opposed to ally?

Thanks in advance

Steve
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Only other issue I can think of apart from weight is rust. Sure you will paint it but it is going to get bashed and will without doubt start to rust.

I know several people use steel so it isn't like it is a serious no no or anything.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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possibly silly question regarding bash plates

Rust ? He's talking stainless steel !
I would reckon 2mm of steel would be as strong, maybe stronger than ally.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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The weight advantages of ally aren't that great if the steel part is designed correctly. KTM use steel frames that are quite a bit lighter than some alloy ones. I think regidity is an issue, although this could be sorted with some well placed creases or corrugations.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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2mm Stainless might just be very nice. I'm sure you can find out what the weight would be.

One point though - alu. alloy absorbs impact by deforming: stainless is very strong. Would this strength transmit shock impacts directly to your frame?
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Yes indeed

Exactly. The alloy will absorb shock and stretch a bit. It will not transmit the force and thus punch the frame, but also it will take many, many impacts and still be there. Linzi.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Although I am not fitting it to an engine, I am planning to make a bashplate out of plywood.

For a bike, P-clamps to the frame and its secured.

Its light, strong, easily replaced, and absorbs impact well.

I will make a plate for the underside of my sidecar from rectangular sections on a steel flatbar square frame bolted on rubber mounts.

Not pretty but very easy to work with and does the job. Food for thought...
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Damn

Damn but I almost mentioned ply there myself. I have been with a friend today discussing a sump and rear oil filter guard for my Guzzi for protection against thrown up stones. He mentioned Ply: lightweight, won't screen against heat loss so much ( my bike's air cooled) and it's resilient. The guard would probably be best if it was progressively destroyed after a few impacts, then replaced. Linzi.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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In most cases it seems a serious bash plate is not really needed

Last edited by mollydog; 25 Mar 2009 at 07:51.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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plywood?

thats an interesting suggestion warthog. as a trainee furniture maker i use this stuff now and again and think that a bash plate is the only thing its good for!

I wouldnt suggest using any 'real' timbers as the engine heat would dry them out which would cause them to bow.

As far as alu. vs stainless steel good points made. how about mild steel (carbon steel)? you would have to paint to protect, but it would absorb impact as it is quite soft compared to stainless.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Materials

For bash plates the deformation of alloy makes it very suitable indeed. Mild steel doesn't have the same ability to absorb energy in big strikes. You're more involved in furniture than I am as I only use it but surely you are doing it an Funny how different peoples' views can be. Hell, some people don't like bikes!!!!!!!! Linzi.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linzi View Post
For bash plates the deformation of alloy makes it very suitable indeed. Mild steel doesn't have the same ability to absorb energy in big strikes. ...........
Aluminium is brittle compared to steel. Alu will break and steel will bend and can be straightened again and again. It'll probably be a little heavier for the same strength but as said, can be straightened with a hammer or a stone.

Try straightening a piece of aluminium. It will break.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Desert racers
Why?

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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Hardness

Sort of, it depends on the grade of alloy used. Some aluminium alloy is soft, that's the type I'd use. Linzi.
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  #15  
Old 23 Feb 2009
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Ply wouldn't sound as hardcore on gravel roads with the rocks bouncing off it but maybe thats an advantage.
Ally transmits heat quicker than steel so perhaps marginally helps an aircooled engine whereas a ply guard would insulate it.
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