Protective qualities: A Guide to Crash Protection
Strange but true, the subject of crash protection doesn’t crop up in every day or even every other week conversations. More often than not, “crash protection” is only discussed when a motorcycle’s crash protection components bare obvious scars of an incident, and usually when somebody is trying to sell a bike. It’s true because it has happened to us. We can still hear those conversations now: “Look mate, the left side crash bung has a scratch mark on it, so it’s been over at some point and…”
That scratch might only be the size of a mouse’s inner ear hair, but it’s enough to set off mental alarm bells in the buyer’s head about the motorbike being (potentially) slung down the road at high speed… and as quick as that its resale value is worth less than half the advertised price. All that grief from one tiny scratch! Good job, then, Evotech Performance stocks and retails individual replacement crash protection components.
As well as providing protection via precisely designed and manufactured components, EP products will not instantly stand out; EP accessories are made to extremely high standards, beyond most factory-fitted parts, and blend in to the aesthetic of a motorcycle as if fitted as standard. This is just one of the highlights of EP products that are the end result of engineers who also happen to ride motorcycles.
What is EP Crash Protection?
Crash protection (aka frame sliders/crash bungs) is a generic term for components that safeguard various areas of a motorcycle in the case of an incident. An “incident” doesn’t necessarily mean a big off on gravel or diesel covered roads, or even at a track day. Dropping a motorbike while turning it around (pushed or while the rider is sat upon it and paddling it to a new direction) is common. Not as common, mind, as dropping a bike while trying to get it out of a garage or narrow shed door.
Types of Crash Protection
The most sought-after crash protection accessory is the engine protectors cum middle of the bike protectors, especially if the motorcycle is fully faired – those plastic panels are still expensive. Different engines and styles of motorbike demand different forms of crash protection. Big trailies like BMW’s R-GS flat-twin range require wraparound engine protectors that will enable the cylinders to clear raised surfaces while travelling in deep ruts. They also need to be resilient enough to survive high-speed impact on rocky trails or the B660 or similar.
Sports bikes require engine area protection that is sleek but solid enough to do the job. It is worth noting that Evotech Performance will not produce crash protection for any motorcycle if it means any bodywork has to be cut or drilled in order to enable crash protection components to fit. We go a long way to ensure EP crash protection mounting kits fit precisely and with substantial load-spreading mounting points. Some kits involve bolt-through mounts (one side of the motorbike to the other) and some need intricate CNC’d brackets that could easily draw crowds if exhibited at Tate Modern.
A wheel spindle protector is a description most will have heard but they actually protect more than the end of a wheel spindle shaft or locking nut. They can also prevent damage to the fork lowers and calipers by keeping these areas off the deck. And yes, Evotech Performance does manufacture brake caliper protectors for certain models. Of course, single-sided swingarms (we’d like to thank Ducati for still producing bikes with such works of art) are also prone to knocks and scrapes especially on the outer hub and, unfortunately, are a damn sight more expensive to replace than a wheel spindle. We are rather proud of our unique, machined and often anodised single-sided swingarm protectors.
Bar end weights serve two purposes: 1) the weight can change / eliminate handlebar vibrations, and 2) take a fair chunk of abuse if the motorcycle slides or, is dropped when moving it about. There’s also the matter of manoeuvring your motorcycle down a path alongside your home.
EP replacement bar end protectors / weights are imperceptibly larger (read heavier) to further reduce the effects of high frequency vibration and are aesthetically more pleasing. Used in conjunction with our latest range of lever protectors, the end result is stylish protection – as is the case with all EP Crash Protection systems.
Of course there is more to crash protection than meets the eye. Design detail is all-telling. A perfect example of Evotech Performance design ingenuity is the way the bobbins of EP Crash Protectors are made. To look at they are simple lumps of plastic. Oh no they are not!
EP Crash Protection bobbins consist of injection moulded nylon bobbins with anodised aluminium cores to achieve an ideal mechanical connection to the chassis via CNC aluminium or equal quality mounts that are then powder coated black for durability (standard finish with all EP accessory lines unless optional variants of bare aluminium or stainless steel are available). In-line polyurethane washers (between the bobbin and mounting bracket) enhance the overall shock resistance.
Another point about crash protection that needs discussion is will they totally protect a motorcycle in the event of “an incident”. In our experience – the same as most folks who have had the misfortune to drop a bike – crash protection is not like a force field that will shield a motorcycle from damage. No incident, accident or crash is ever the same.
No one can foresee and take into account the angle or speed of a bike hitting ground, the amount of roadside furniture (signs, trees and fences) that could be encountered, grip resistance of tarmac, placement and height of kerbs, point of impact from another vehicle etc. So many variables are involved that a list could provide a motorcycle magazine enough content for a couple of months.
Crash protection is, therefore, an aid to reduce damage where possible and protect your investment. Any form of protection will help in the same way armoured, resilient performance riding gear protects rider and pillion – especially if it is made to a high standard… just like accessories from Evotech Performance. But don’t just take our word for it, read our customer reviews here.
Next time, we’ll talk more about protection… of the mechanical sort. From engine guards to headlights to toes. Yes toes.