Crash Bars: Advantages and Disadvantages
When your vehicle only has two wheels, it is at a much higher risk of tipping over. Most motorcyclists are all too aware of this unfortunate fact. However, bikes come with stands to allow them to stand upright. When those fail (and inevitably they do), crash bars come to the rescue.
What is a Crash Bar?
A crash bar is literally a bar that wraps around important aspects of your bike and protects them. They may wrap around the engine or other essential parts of the motorcycle. A motorcyclist may also choose to protect his or her bike with a slider. A slider is a peg that sticks out from the bike and protects a good amount of the bike from hitting the ground.
Types of Crash Bars
There are many types of crash bars, and they are all specific to the type of bike you have. They may come pre-installed as original equipment, but many riders prefer to install aftermarket crash bars, so they can choose better materials or design.
The crash bars you choose may be designed to protect essential parts of your bike, such as the engine or fuel tank. This is because, in the event of a low-speed crash, you may still be able to complete your ride with minimal damage.
Other crash bars are designed for overall protection of the bike’s athletic features. This means the plastic. It is amazing how much damage can occur to one bike simply from it tipping over.
Types of Sliders
Sliders are another form of crash protection similar to crash bars. However, they do not provide the cage effect of crash bars. There are two types of sliders: cut kits and no-cut kits. What this means is that you may have to cut into the fairing in order to install the slider. Some say this defeats the purpose of the slider, which is partly to protect the fairing. However, the slider can be installed more effectively when cut into the fairing in some cases.
Another type of slider that is available is the axle slider, which adds another point of protection to your bike.
Sliders do protect the bike from tip overs. They can also provide some protection in low- and high-speed crashes. They aren’t a guarantee, but when you think about the cost of repairs, some protection should give riders a sigh of relief. Your bike can fall in many circumstances that are out of your control, and a simple slider can prevent a lot of damage from a little mistake.
As with any protective features, material matters. There are different things to consider for both crash bars and sliders.
Crash Bars: Material Considerations
Crash bars typically come in three materials:
- Mild steel
- Stainless steel
Mild steel is an excellent material for crash bars because it flexes, which means it is less likely to break in a high speed crash. It’s also inexpensive and easy to work with. However, mild steel is susceptible to rusting. This is why many crash bar manufacturers apply a corrosion preventative followed by a powder coating. Although this reduces the chance of rust, it is still a factor. If the crash bar is damaged, exposing the mild steel, it will still rust.
Aluminum is a nice material for crash bars because it is lightweight. This is especially beneficial if you are installing a lot of bars around your bike. However, aluminum is not as strong as steel, so it’s a bit of a trade off.
Lastly stainless steel is an excellent option because it does not rust. However, hardness is a negative factor. Stainless steel is considered brittle because it doesn’t bend. It will hold up to a lot of pressure. Once it gets to a certain point of force, it will break instead of bending. It may also crack after a fall, causing it to be compromised.
The other thing to consider when choosing a crash bar is the diameter and thickness of the pipes. Small diameters with thick metal are sometimes considered better because they have less surface area that can become compromised. Large tubes generally require less thickness, but they are more susceptible to dents.
Sliders: Material Considerations
The manufacturers of sliders make them in multiple types of material. The biggest considerations for the material chosen are nylon, synthetic polymers, or aluminum. They may have metal internal components. Some people warn against the efficacy of carbon fiber sliders. The synthetic polymers like nylon are able to wear down slowly with lower friction than other materials.
Considerations for sliders involve deciding how long the sliders are. Longer sliders will offer more protection, but they are more susceptible to breaking or bending.
Will Crash Bars or Sliders Make Your Bike Tumble?
Anything that sticks out from your bike has the potential to make the bike tumble in a high-speed crash. However, it is not guaranteed. If you are on a flat roadway, it might not happen. It is more likely off of the road where the slider can get stuck on uneven ground and make the bike flip. Many sport bikes have relatively short sliders as a result of this risk. Crash bars are not likely to cause a bike to flip unless they have parts that stick out like the sliders. Again, the increased size of a slider equates to an increased risk of tumbling, but you sacrifice the protection offered.
Buy Quality or Don’t Expect Protection
As with so many things in life, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect a bargain buy from Amazon to provide you with great protection. Spend a little money, and protect your bike correctly. Whether you are protecting your bike from catastrophic damage or aesthetic damage, you don’t want your protection to fail you. Buy quality or expect to be spending some extra money should your bike hit the ground.
The advantages of crash bars and sliders are protection. The disadvantages can be added weight, poorly made materials, and the potential for flipping your bike. If you don’t carefully consider placement of the crash bars, you may also cover a panel that is commonly removed, which can be a huge inconvenience.
Overall, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, but only if they are picked out correctly. The right set of crash bars or sliders can offer great protection without increasing your risk of loss.
Crash Bars: Many Variables to Consider
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing crash bars or sliders for your bike. One great strategy is to read reviews online, but you should also talk to some professionals at bike shops or friends who have a long history of riding. They will be able to give you good advice about what not to do and maybe some excellent advice about where to find a good deal on quality protection for your engine and other parts of your bike.
If you are in an accident, and the other party is at-fault, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to be compensated for your damages. Contact the Law Offices of Kirshner, Groff, and Diaz for a consultation with an experienced attorney.