This will be a review of the Outback Motortekís stainless steel crash bars and Langar Skid Plate. This is a very thorough review and turned out longer than I expected. You can find their website here:
For full disclosure, I was given (as in free) these prototypes to beta test them. If you're curious how that happened see this thread: https://www.stromtrooper.com/west-sou...-s-needed.html
I was stoked to be chosen to test some equipment even though I already had Givi crash bars and a Touratech skid plate which comes with the oil cooler relocation kit. I was not happy with either of these as the TT plate didnít provide protection for the header and was not strong enough for the way I ride. Iíve already replaced one rear mounting bracket I broke and the replacement was already bent. The Givi bars crated a lot of vibration and the mounting plates were showing signs of cracking. I have 42,000 miles on my 2007 vstrom and am not sure when these products were installed.
Iíve given Lorry Gombos, the owner of Outback Motortek a lot of feedback on the products. Some of them strong criticisms and he has listened to everything, made a number of changes and still encouraged me to write this report, and didnít ask me to hold back.
So, there were some delays in manufacturing the beta products I received so I wasnít able to test them on a 4,000 mile ride I just took on some really technical offroad stuff on the BC portion of the TCAT and 4 sections of the WABDR. But Iíve finally gotten the products installed and got some miles on them. Hereís my impressions:
Crash bars likes:
Welds and finishes are amazing. Welds almost look molded they are so clean. You wonít find a single fleck of welding slag or imperfection in the finish.
The front of the bars are a blunt end and I think many would just put a plastic plug on them, but OM took the time to weld a plug in and it looks great.
I love the design and look of the bars. I like the way the top of the bar has a bend in them to match the lines of the faring. Cool
The way the two sides connect in front of the motor is the cleanest, best looking design of any bars Iíve seen. No ugly clamps, just a very slick connector tube that slides into the tubes and has bolts that go through the outer tube into the inner tube which has threaded rods welded in for the bolts. Iím sure this is time consuming to manufacturer, but really a great and clean looking solution.
The reduction of vibration from the Giviís is absolutely amazing. Didnít know just how bad the Giviís were vibrating until I installed the OM bars. Gone are the 4,800-5,500 RPM vibrations!!!
Crash Bar dis-likes:
Bars took some tweaking to align the mounting bolts on the bike frame. Not sure why this was, but Lorry states heís installed several of the new shipment and they all line up just fine. Never the less it wasnít a big issue and didnít take much but I did have to tweak a little none the less.
The bars come with a longer bolt to replace the upper motor mount through bolt. OEM bolt is fine threaded and the one supplied with mine was coarse threaded. I complained about this and they are now shipped with a fine threaded bolt like the factory one.
Because my bike has the oil cooler re-locator kit from Touratech the bars touch the mounting ear of the oil cooler. I doubt too many others have re-locator kit so this is probably a unique problem to my bike that Iíll have to figure out a fix.
I struggled with one of the connector tube bolts, so much so that I broke it off in the connector tube. My bad as I forced it and should have figured out why it was being difficult to get in. Now riding with only three bolts in and will have to pull the bars apart to get the tube out and extract the bolt.
Overall: Love the bars and would purchase them if I was in the market. Really good look and great quality.
Langar Adventure Skid Plate likes:
The skid plate bolts to the front of the bars using the same slick connecting system. Like that. No ugly u-bolts others use.
Rear mounting bracket is well designed using the two kick stand bolts (longer ones provided). This is so much better than the flimsy aluminum TT one which only used one bolt and allowed the TT plate to get forced back breaking the mount...ask me how I know that. The OM mounting bracket is strong steel and the two bolts on the one side keep the bracket from rocking back in a strong hit. Also the OM has threaded inserts welded to the bracket so there is no fumbling with trying to fit nuts in there again like the TT.
The bottom of the skid plate has embossed ridges to make it stronger. I really like this and have not seen this idea on any other skid plate. I think this idea will probably be copied by others in the future as itís a great idea.
Where the rear bolts go through the plate additional aluminum was added to make the holes stronger and keep the plate from bending with a strong hit. Another sign of the quality of the product.
Skid plate dis-likes:
The bolts supplied to replace the kick stand bolts are longer to allow for the additional thickness of the mounting bracket. The front bolt was just a fraction too long and bumps into the back of the kick-stand switch. I ground mine off. Lorry is looking into the issue and will probably be coming up with a solution.
My biggest issue is that the skid plate isnít as close to the header pipe as it could be. I think OM could probably get an inch more ground clearance. Lorry is making manufacturing changes and states the next plate will address this issue. For a lot of riders this may not be an issue, but to me I ride really technical areas and need all the ground clearance I can find. Iíve even added raising links to my vstrom to gain clearance. So for me this is a deal breaker for this plate and if he wasnít making a change, I would question his thinking. But he knows this needs addressed and has a new design coming out. I anticipate I will purchase the second generation plate...if the next problem is also addressed.
OM designed the plate for good cooling. However to me there is not enough material at the front of the plate and small rocks and mud can get in there and make a mess.
Overall: I really like these products. I think OM is going to be a great new manufacturer in the motorcycle accessory market. His design work is really great and the quality of the manufacturing is the best Iíve seen. The way he has listened to my criticisms and made changes tells me he wants to make the best products possible. I hope he can survive his start up. Iím hoping to purchase his radiator guard soon. If I didnít already have a center stand Iíd snap up his as itís a great price and after seeing his other products, Iím sure it is super well designed and manufactured.
Feel free to ask any questions. Lorry gave me cart blanch to not hold back in my review.