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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not looking for a big heavy dual sport engine guard/skid plate...just a lightweight easy-on-easy-off plastic engine guard that will keep the road grime from coating the front of the engine block. Don't really like the look of fender extenders or an exposed engine block.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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One item that can end your trip without an engine guard is the radiator. At least look at sliders. It's funny. When I went looking for a bike, one thing i wanted to avoid was a plastic covered engine. There have been a couple of lower fairings available but they are not popular options and a European company that supplied one has a bad reputation.
 

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You can see an example of what I think GW is talking about in this thread, though some of the links don't work anymore-
http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18275

I really like the look of this fairing. They're pricy though, and don't really offer any protection. Also, if you're planning to do any maintenance yourself (which can be fairly easy and quite rewarding), you'll learn to love that exposed engine. I'm so glad I don't have to spend the first and last twenty minutes of every job on plastics.
 

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Cat Herder
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So...some expensive pieces of plastic that A) don't protect you any more from the wind, B) don't allow the ability to add any crash protection (bars OR sliders), C) are expensive, D) make pretty much all maintenance on the engine harder to do...

All just to cover up the engine, to protect it from road grime? Looking at Merlin's photos, it doesn't even look like the lower fairings will accomplish that.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Some folks have adapted DL1000 or SV chin fairings but I don't see them guarding anything. Here is a DL1000.

 

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So...some expensive pieces of plastic that A) don't protect you any more from the wind, B) don't allow the ability to add any crash protection (bars OR sliders), C) are expensive, D) make pretty much all maintenance on the engine harder to do...

All just to cover up the engine, to protect it from road grime? Looking at Merlin's photos, it doesn't even look like the lower fairings will accomplish that.
Yeah, but come on, they do look cool! Kind of like plastic surgery to enhance a woman's... natural assets... :hurray:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not looking for a full lower fairing. Just like the DL1000 basically.
 

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So...some expensive pieces of plastic that A) don't protect you any more from the wind, B) don't allow the ability to add any crash protection (bars OR sliders), C) are expensive, D) make pretty much all maintenance on the engine harder to do...

All just to cover up the engine, to protect it from road grime? Looking at Merlin's photos, it doesn't even look like the lower fairings will accomplish that.
Yeah, they're 90% cosmetic, but...

- They do reduce the "wind from below" noticeably.
- They improve stability in cross-winds.
- They come off and go on in about 2 minutes.
- You can change the oil and filter without touching them.

My only real complaint is that they're not compatible with frame sliders. I have considered carefully hole-sawing openings for the frame sliders, but I can't quite bring myself to do it.
 

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would the added 15lbs or so from a metal skid plate really matter in the long run? we are riding touring bikes not crotch rockets that are built out of carbon fiber and meant to be light.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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Discussion Starter #14
would the added 15lbs or so from a metal skid plate really matter in the long run? we are riding touring bikes not crotch rockets that are built out of carbon fiber and meant to be light.
It's not a big deal, but adding 20 lbs worth of unnecessary (for my purposes) bars and guards just rubs me wrong. Adding lightness is the biggest improvement you can make to the speed and handling of any vehicle.
 

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Yeah, they're 90% cosmetic, but...

- They do reduce the "wind from below" noticeably.
- They improve stability in cross-winds.
- They come off and go on in about 2 minutes.
- You can change the oil and filter without touching them.

My only real complaint is that they're not compatible with frame sliders. I have considered carefully hole-sawing openings for the frame sliders, but I can't quite bring myself to do it.
Speaking of hole sawing, I researched this once when looking at other bikes. Saw a very clever, measurement-free solution, though maybe widely known:

1) put bike on centerstand (or otherwise square up) and strip off the plastic
2) set up a laser-level pointing at the exact place the hole should be or the device threaded or whatever
3) be careful not to disturb anything, and reassemble plastics
4) laser points exactly where the hole should be cut
 

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The plastic Hyde racing guard is (in my opinion) the best engineered skid plate for a DL 650.

NOTHING will save you if you bounce something as heavy as a DL off logs and rocks regularly - a rigid plate will damage either the plate or the bike.

The Hyde guard simply deforms on big hits then pops back into shape - almost nothing gets transferred to the mounts - and after 4-1/2 years I can say the guard itself is near indestructible and it's done a great job of protecting my DL 650.

Pete
 
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