Crash Bars are ON!

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SW Motech Crash Bars

SW Motech Crash Bars

Well, the deed is done. Mod number 1 has been made to the bike. They probably constitute the most expensive add-on I will ever make to the bike, and I have every hope that they’ll be a complete waste of money. And if that makes no sense, I’m not explaining it to you.

Took it out for spin today to try out the bars, and I’m pretty happy. There’s no hint of vibration at any speed, any revs or any load, and though the bars themselves are pretty solid, there’s no sense of added weight at all.

The install was simple enough. The kit comes with clear instructions. Not so much step-by-step, but a detailed diagram showing the fixing points, the parts required and a few extra notes. The kit also comes with a collection of extra bits to allow the bars to fit with a centre stand and/or an aluminium bash plate. The bash plate’s a very likely future addition, and the centre stand holds some appeal as well (not least because it makes the rear rack a reasonably straight table at a campsite… though that probably isn’t the smartest reason for fitting it). I managed to break 2 pieces of my crappy socket set in the process, but a quick trip to Bunnings got that sorted.

It has got me thinking about the adequacy of the tool kit. For starters, the included screwdriver is too fat for the fairing screws, and the allen key doesn’t fit the subframe bolts (too small, but they’ve been replaced now anyway) or the rear rack bolts (too big). The tube spanners are OK, though my time with the KLX taught me that they have a pretty limited life. Also, the crash bar kit introduces a new size bolt to the collection (13mm) which the tool kit doesn’t allow for. At this point I’m thinking that I’ll extend the basic kit a little, so that it still fits in its box, and I’ll look at a more comprehensive kit for longer trips. There are plenty of tool kit posts on the forums, so that shouldn’t be too hard to work out.

I am loving how the bike goes… not that I really have any idea what I’m talking about. My prior experience is limited to a gutless 250, and that’s it. Anything was going to feel as though it was a rocket after that. Still, after a longish ride through 100kph straights and uphill twisties with a pillion passenger, I can safely say it suits me just fine. If there’s stuff it can’t do, it’s probably beyond my abilities anyway.

Now if the weather would just improve…

UPDATE: Added picture at the request of Jackal, below. The bars were purchased from Motorrad Garage, and cost about $260, though they’ve gone up considerably since then.

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