You might wonder, are motorcycle crash bars worth it to protect my bike in case of an incident?
Is it worth the investment for something that expensive and could look awkward on my bike?
Are Motorcycle Crash Bars Worth It?
Crash bars are expensive but usually cheaper than paying for a restoration bill for a dropped bike without crash protection. From a financial standpoint; Yes, crash bars are worth it.
Bars are also beneficial to prevent a tipping-over motorcycle from crushing their rider’s lower limbs.
Crash bars are worth their weight in gold for newcomers rider who tend to drop their motorcycles more often.
Consider crash bars as a form of investment and insurance for both you and your bike.
Comparing Crash Bars Price To A Repair Bill
So here is what I do to persuade myself and my friends that installing crash bars is a good idea.
I call a motorcycle shop and ask for a rough and quick estimate to fix the damage that dropping a motorcycle usually does. (Average price; Parts + Labour Cost)
- A dented and scratched gas tank (150-450$)
- Replace damaged fairing (100-400$)
- Craked engine cover (200-600$)
- Bent handlebars (100-300$)
- Trashed mirror (50-100$)
I then compare the estimated price to what crash bars would cost…
Even if you drop the bike only once, chances are the crash bars will already have paid for themselves.
If you drop your bike twice and the bars are still going strong, I call this a massive victory.
You won’t win anything, but you got all the chances to lose way less.
The Limit Of Crash Bars
Of course, crash bars won’t turn your motorcycle into an immortal being after installation.
It’s one thing to drop your motorcycles at a stop or snail-pace in your driveway; it is another thing for a bike to slide on its side.
Crash bars or not, motorcycle accidents on the road are unpredictable.
When sliding, your bike’s crash bars might “grab” or dig on the surface it is sliding and cartwheeling over due to a lever effect, making it worse.
Yet, crash bars will do more good than harm in most incidents, so they are still worth considering.
Expect damage mitigation, not miracles.
Should I Put Crash Bars On My Motorcycle?
Here is what I propose to figure out if crash bars are worth it for you, depending on your situation.
If You Are A Beginner
If you’re a newcomer to motorcycle riding, you have the best reasons to install crash bars on your bike.
Sorry to break it down to you like that but;
Statistics say you are at your highest probability of dropping your motorcycle in your first riding year.
That normal. Motorcycle riding isn’t easy to master, and mistakes are easy to make while learning.
For newcomer riders, crash bars make sense.
Even if your motorcycle is not that expensive, I would still consider crash bars to avoid having your legs crushed by your bike if you drop it.
If You Do A Lot Of Off-Roading
Dropping a motorcycle on rugged off-road terrain is frequent.
Anti-crash hardware shines in this environment but in that case, consider engine guards instead.
The difference is that crash bars usually are larger and mounted lower on the bike.
On the trail, the bars might hit and hang up on something.
Engine guards sit higher and closer to the motorcycle frame to keep the bike narrow and easier to ride on harsh surfaces.
If You Do A Lot Of Big-City Driving
Most cities include tight turns and a lot of unpredictable road users.
These conditions increase the chance for motorcycle riders to drop their bikes.
Yet outside of USA and Canada, I would advise against large crash bars since they widen the lateral size of a motorcycle.
The better anti-crash option would be engine case covers, frame sliders, and axle sliders to keep a motorcycle thin and low profile.
The reason is that you want your motorcycle to be as small as possible to make it easier to lane filter between stopped lanes of cars.
Of course, this advice stands only where lane filtering is allowed where you plan to ride.
Since lane filtering is not permitted In most of North America, the larger and bulkier crash bars are a decent option for American city riding.
If You Bought A Brand New Bike
Riding a new bike you are not used to yet increases your chance to mess things up.
The value of a brand new bike is at its highest, so it makes sense the protect it and avoid a high repair bill.
If You Just bough A Used Bike
That is a tricky one since it depends on a lot of factors
- How old is the motorcycle?
- Is it already damaged?
- Is the bike heavy and easy to drop?
- What is the price for crash bars for this specific motorcycle?
- Are spare parts for this model cheap and easy to come by?
- What is the estimated value of the bike?
- What is your experience as a rider? (beginner or advanced)
Long story short; It might not be worth installing crash bars on a beat-up and old as dirt motorcycle.
Yet it boils down to you making a judgment call.
If crash bars for your older model are expensive or hard to find, look for a motorcycle scrap yard.
Look around for the model of your bike; you never know you might get lucky.
If You Are A Veteran Rider
That is entirely up to you for similar reasons when considering installing crash bars on a used bike.
If you feel experienced enough that you won’t drop your precious bike, all the power to you to make a hard pass on crash bars
For me, If the bike I ride still has decent resell value, I will install anti-crash protection no matter what.
I am a very anxious person, and if I can reasonably reduce stress, I usually take the option.
Crash bars give me a sense of security that if I mess it up, it most likely won’t be that bad.
A Little Story Of How Crash Bars Saved My Bike…The Day After I Installed Them
I was broke as hell back when I bought my first bike, so I delayed buying crash bars for it until the following year.
True to my word, after a couple of riding sessions at the next riding season, my bike was now equipped with proper anti-crash hardware.
Little did I know that I would accidentally drop my motorcycle the very next day.
I stopped in a parking spot at Mcdonald’s and I began losing my balance on the bike.
Then with all my strength, I tried preventing my motorcycle from tipping over.
No luck, the bike hit the ground… then realized holy s#$% that right I got bars now.
I just raised both my hand in the air and roared in a victorious “YEAN!” when it was obvious the bike was ok even if tipped over.
Now picture all the rest of the McDonald’s customers in the drive-through who saw the whole thing…
I bet I didn’t look like the sharpest tool in the shed to them. XD
Don’t care, the bike is ok; big win in my book.
Conclusion Are Motorcycles Crash Bars Guards Necessary?
No, and you might never need them…
but remember to see crash bars as a preventive measure.
Expect the best, prepare for the worst.
Wish never to need the protection of your crash bars but be glad to have it if you need it.
When in doubt, I recommend you do buy and install anti-crash hardware.
Ultimately the final judgment is yours to make based on logic and how comfortable you are riding motorcycles.
Take care. Ride Safe.
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