Pipa already has the standard BMW engine crash bars, but Seven only had the bash plate. So I have been um-ing and ah-ing about this. Crash bars are expensive…. do I need them? If so which ones?
Firstly: do I need them? – I have decided I do. The bike is heavy, and even if it wasn’t, I will drop it a lot! Even the best riders have slow speed tumbles, especially in places where sand and potholes replace tarmac. And we are expecting to be on the road for several years and want our bikes to last all around the world. So I guess I rather spend the money now, than smash up the engine for good, leaving me with no bike at all.
That’s just my choice though. It may not be the right one for everyone. There are people who say, get a few spare clutch and brake levers and a good set of hand guards plus new, stronger handlebars and you’re sorted. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely taking spare levers and I would love to have some nice strong hand guards and Renthal bars (hint-hint: Christmas is coming up 🙂 ). But I figured the front wheel will not always be straight so the handlebars won’t catch the bike all the time, leaving the engine to bump hard onto things and possibly break after all.
Which brings me on to the next question: Which bars to choose, since I am investing in some anyways? There are the standard BMW ones, which are almost like a second bash plate. Then there are SW Motech ones, which fit around the lower middle part of the engine and coolant hose. And then there are the Adventure Spec ones, which cover the upper part and faring. And if you google image them, there are loads more options it seems.
I did ask around on the HUBB, looked on f650gs.co.uk and other forums, searched eBay and gumtree and just about everywhere else I could think of. For months. But is seems no-one wants to sell their crash bars and none could be found second-hand. At that stage I didn’t really mind which ones…. second-hand and cheap of any kind that fits was fine by me. But all I found was one BMW standard set in America, where the postage bumped up the price to brand new ones bought here, and one for a different model, that wouldn’t fit.
So if I have to buy shiny new ones, they may as well be the kind I want. So back to chosing. I settled for the SW Motech ones in the end. They aren’t in the way when taking the bash plate off (for an oil change, for example). They look like they will prevent the bike from landing on the engine itself. And since I’m not too worried about the faring, I don’t need the ones that go higher up (as far as I’m concerned, faring can be fixed with Gaffer tape – not exactly a trip-is-over-cos-bike-is-broken-and-will-never-start-again kind of situation). Oh, and some people fit two sets: higher and lower one! But I’m not that rich, it adds tons of weight and basically its overkill!
Having said all that, sods law will surely hold true, and I will drop the bike such that it breaks anyways and one of the other crash bar choices would have been wiser. Oh well, deal with that when it comes. Will keep you posted on how these bars hold up, once we are under way.