Crash Bars and Skid Plates and Center Stands, Oh My! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-07-2013, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: PNW
Posts: 241
Crash Bars and Skid Plates and Center Stands, Oh My!

I've been doing a lot of research for my upcoming 2012 V-Strom that I pick up next Friday or Saturday. Reading a lot here and Googling in general. And I'm probably more confused them before I started.

I'm trying to find the right combination of crash bars, skid plate, and center stand.

I thought I had settled on the SW-Motech Crash Bars with the same center stand and the Narcosis Junky skid plate. But wait... the skid plate only works with Givi or OEM crash bars, both of which I've read are not as strong as other options, like SW-Motech or Happy Trail. The Happy Trail ones are nice except they stand out from the bike by at least 6-8" and look obnoxious.

The Givi skid plate looks to be too thin and only comes in silver. I'll powder coat the thing if I have to, but I want black.

The Touratech skid plate is a joke (IMO) because it leaves the exhaust pipe exposed. And their website has been down more than it's been up for the last week so it's hard to do any research there anyway.

So now I'm considering the SW-Motech skid plate, but I don't like that it DOESN'T attach to the crash bars, I'm a bit concerned about it attaching to the engine side cases, which to me is asking for cracked cases.

Then there's the issue of some center stands not working with some skid plates.

So it seems if I want a good skid plate, I need to run the Givi crash bars, which are (IMO) a bit inadequate. I'd like to know why specifically the Narcosis Junky plate won't work with the SW-Motechs. I bet with a little work and my welder I could make it work just fine. But I shouldn't have to.

What have you guys figured out?


'17 Triumph Tiger 800XCA
'17 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
'04 Triumph Sprint ST
'96 Suzuki DR650
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-07-2013, 06:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 103
I have the SW Motech of all three. Granted, my travels aren't going to be what the guy with the smashed Givi skidplate did, so they should be adequate for my needs. I will say though, that I did go off a tall curb and coming off it, I smashed he rear of the skidplate sheering off one of the 4 rear bolts that secure it on place. I ended up replacing all 4 with a stronger grade steel to help prevent that again. I also won't be smashing it on a concrete curb again. But, for rocks, sticks, and other road debris I encounter out on the road, it should suffice. My needs was to primarily protect the oil filter.

The crash bars are robust and seem to be able to take a decent beating. I coupled those with the Barkbusters to help protect the bike when it goes down. I don't get any vibration that others have reported.

Center stand also seems strong, trouble free, and easy to manipulate.

Hopefully you find this more helpful than other useless replies you've received.

[B]2012 Vstrom 650[/B]
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-07-2013, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: PNW
Posts: 241
Thanks, yeah that's very helpful.

I spoke with Yann in email and he's going to explain to me why his plate doesn't fit with the SW Motech crash bars. If it's something I can easily correct, I will. Otherwise, I'll be asking where the cheapest place is to get the Givi bars.


'17 Triumph Tiger 800XCA
'17 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
'04 Triumph Sprint ST
'96 Suzuki DR650
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 80
A Story of Two Skidplates

When looking for a skid plate for my 2012 V-strom I felt somewhat trapped in a dilemma, as you have, and nothing seemed perfect. I did not want crash bars and haven't mounted a center stand, at least not yet.

I did not plan to ride the V-strom off-pavement on anything more difficult than a maintained gravel road since I have two more dirt-worthy bikes for that.

I've had both the SW Motech and Givi skidplates on my 2012. When I had the SW on I got lost and blundered into some extremely difficult terrain, way beyond what the bike was designed for and what I'm capable of riding on a 470 lb. machine. To make a very long story short, I had great difficulty in extricating myself from that situation and wound up high centering the bike on the skidplate three times (once at enough speed that I almost went over the bars), dropping it hard once, and a couple of other tip overs.

A lot of folks have expressed concern about the SW Motech plate mounting via brackets to the engine cases, as you did, and I was also concerned about this when I bought it. I can report that in the situation described above the mounting brackets were not bent and there was no damage whatsoever to the engine. The skidplate itself was heavily damaged, the bottom being bent and nine of the rivets that attach the black "wings" to the bottom plate were torn loose. So I don't know if it can really be called a bash plate but despite the heavy damage it sustained it did do it's job and protect the engine, pipe, etc. from any damage. I think the rivets could be replaced and the black "wings" (or whatever they are correctly named - side plates?) reattached, making it functional again.

Before I was able to repair the SW Motech plate I needed a skid plate right away for a planned 3K+ mile tour, all to be on pavement. I also didn't want to pay any more than necessary, and again didn't want crashbars, so the choices were quite limited. I settled on the Givi plate. This is a very light weight, non-rigid device that I don't think can correctly be called a skid plate as it won't take skidding over something, as I will describe. It will protect the oil cooler and other parts from debris flying off the road, and should be adequate for a maintained gravel road. I purchased one and resolved to abide by my original plans for the V-strom, northing worse than a maintained gravel road.

On the above mentioned tour one evening I rode over a curb that I could not see in the dark, going over it from the high side to the low side. The Givi plate lightly scraped over the curb. The four mounting bolts on the bottom of this plate are not recessed whatsoever (the bolt heads are rounded) and the bolts did obviously catch on the curb as they were quite badly damaged - I had to put a vise grip on two of the bolt heads in order to unbolt them. There was slight bending of the skidplate itself, very easily bendable back to normal shape due to the lightness of the aluminum, and also one or two of the brackets, also easily corrected. I've continued to use the Givi and have powder coated it black. The "Givi" logo on the plate is plastic and was damaged by the heat of powder coating, but perhaps that just adds some character? I also cut a whole in the bottom below the oil drain plug and I hope I can do oil and filter changes without having to remove the plate (haven't tried it yet), as I could with the SW Motech plate.

As already mentioned, the Givi is made of too lightweight alumnum to be called a proper skidplate. I tried to measure the thickness of the metal on the three plates I have. Unfortunately I can't find my caliper and had to use a tape measure, so the measurements are approximate.

Givi = 1/16" throughout
SW Motech = bottom 3/16, wings 1/8
Dirtbike Skidplate on my Kawi KLX 250 (don't know the brand) = 3/16 throughout

Compared to the other two the Givi feels flimsy and very lightweight, even more so than the measurements would suggest. But, as long as too much isn't expected it will do the job it is designed to do, IMHO. And it does appear to provide the most coverage area of any of the skidplates designed to be used without crash bars.

Sorry to ramble on so long. I hope my experiences with the skidplates will be helpful. Photos of both are attached.

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Last edited by liketoride2; 07-08-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 09:33 AM
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Location: Eureka, Calif
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I can't offer a ton of insight here, but I have the SW Motech bars, OEM stand, and the Weld 86 skid plate.

The plate does not attach to the bars. I was originally concerned about the skidplate mounting through the engine, but after talking with the guy that makes the plate, and thinking about it myself, I do not believe this will be an issue for me. I don't do "off road", but I do ride rocky gravel. On my old 2007 Strom, I never ran a skidplate, and I had no issues with the engine or filter in 72,000 mi (though I did damn near pinch the header shut :mrgreen: ).

My interest in a skidplate is for looks (I'll be honest) and for oil filter protection from road debris and gravel and header protection. For those purposes a plate that mounts to the engine should be more than adequate.

The skidplate and OEM centerstand work fine together.

SW Motech does not protrude too far, just enough to cover the blinkers and radiator and plastics:

"How rare that we can point ourselves inevitably west and go, go, go. Run out the highway and the hills. Slide our fingertips over the creases and the valleys of the impossibility that is America. You canít grasp its vastness from a plane. Itís diversity from a map. You have to put your feet on the ground. Your hands in the dirt." - Zach Bowman

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-08-2013, 05:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bluffton, South Carolina
Posts: 453
I have the GIVI. It's light and is alloy. However it is doing exactly what I wanted. I run gravel and fire roads plus pavement. The plate has taken quite a beating from rocks thrown from the front tire and loads of road gorp. I scrubbed it yesterday after a two day 500+ mile West Virginia mountain ride. It was black from tar and crusted with dirt & road oil . Looks like new. I was going to spray with bed liner but decided the natural alloy finish would be easier to clean. It looks almost new save for some oil stains. Rocks just pinged off. I didn't buy this to GIVI plate to bash rocks with nor did I buy a V-Strom to do a dirt bikes job............Mike

Last edited by TinMan2; 06-17-2015 at 09:28 PM.
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