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-   -   Possibly silly question regarding bash plates! (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/equipping-bike-whats-best-gear/possibly-silly-question-regarding-bash-41055)

steved1969 23 Feb 2009 10:19

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


Hornet600 23 Feb 2009 13:18

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.

lowuk 23 Feb 2009 14:47

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.

Big Yellow Tractor 23 Feb 2009 20:37

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.

Caminando 23 Feb 2009 20:39

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?

Linzi 23 Feb 2009 21:18

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.

Warthog 23 Feb 2009 21:20

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...

Linzi 23 Feb 2009 21:25

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.

mollydog 23 Feb 2009 21:41

In most cases it seems a serious bash plate is not really needed

tommysmithfromleeds 23 Feb 2009 22:10

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! :thumbup1:

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.

Linzi 23 Feb 2009 22:26

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.

pbekkerh 23 Feb 2009 22:33


Originally Posted by Linzi (Post 230376)
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.

mollydog 23 Feb 2009 22:49

Desert racers

Linzi 23 Feb 2009 22:52

Sort of, it depends on the grade of alloy used. Some aluminium alloy is soft, that's the type I'd use. Linzi.

Honybadger 23 Feb 2009 23:01

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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