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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, just got a 22 ATAS ES DCT and working on outfitting it. Right now I'm on crash bars. I know there are alot of threads on bars and I think I have read most of them plus what's on Facebook, etc. It seems the 'perfect' (style, protection, install/fit, etc) does not exist :-( I was kind of torn between Heed and Givi but it seems now I'm at a stalemate again. Here is a summary of everything I've come across, then I'll discuss where I'm at...

Heed
Pros
  • Best looking. Subjective but I think they have the cleanest lines to leave bike looking best
  • Price/Shipping is good
  • Protection seems mostly very good
  • Install - don't have to drop exhaust but also see cons below
Cons
  • Durability of black. Killswitch on another thread indicated black scratched very easily. It sounds like a think coat of paint and not powder coated (can others confirm)?
  • Install - While exhaust doesn't need to be dropped it sounds like a tough install still plus it sounds like several ENGINE connections rather than FRAME
  • Appears to be a vibration issue on many of them - possibly due to engine connections
  • Right side bar is close to brake pedal, possibly necessitating pedal extension

Givi
Pros
  • Price/Shipping is pretty good, 2nd to Heed
  • Protection seems mostly very good
  • Install - don't have to drop exhaust
  • Seems to use frame mounts, not engine
Cons
  • I think my biggest issue is looks. There is just ALOT of metal and cross pieces and really takes away from looks of bike
  • I've read the steel is not as good quality as others but seems like its same 2mm thickness as most others
  • Horrible install instructions, just Ikea like pictures and no good videos found
Alt Rider
Pros
  • Made and sold in USA
  • Supposedly solid performance but I've seen mixed results in practice
Cons
  • Price - more expensive than others but not by much unless adding skid plate
  • Install difficulty - most drop exhaust but appears to be frame mounted, not engine
SW Motech
Not considered if for no other reason than the bolt by riders ankle - very poor

Outback Motortek
Pros
  • Made and sold in USA
  • Supposedly excellent protection and only one actually crash (really drop) tested
Cons
  • Most expensive
  • Install difficulty - most drop exhaust but appears to be frame mounted, not engine
  • Ugly like the Givi - there is just alot of bar and other metal taking away from aesthetics

Ok, so I hope that is a pretty accurate summary. For me, I will probably be doing 80/20 paved with some non demanding off road like dirt/gravel etc. I won't be doing any sophisticated trails etc. So I'm most concerned about protection from simple drops and low/medium speed falls. A high speed or serious crash and the bars are least of my concern. I think ANY of the bars would meet my protection criteria.

The next things are ease of install / maintenance and looks. I'd rather not drop the exhaust and take half the bike apart but I do prefer frame attachment points instead of engine. As for looks, I know these are crash bars and many would argue it doesn't matter as long as it protects well but hey, these are great looking bikes that we spent alot of $ on so I don't really want to cover it all up with a bunch of steel bar. I think the Heed wins this one hands down. And last is maintenance - I would really rather not have to remove and re-install the bars each time I want to do maintenance on bike, remove tupperware, etc.

So - thoughts on above?
Heed - is the paint on them really that bad - they are not powder coated??? Is there really vibration die to engine mounting?

Givi - do they really look as bad as thought? Does anyone have good pictures of them in black on your bike?

Thanks for following along and providing your thoughts (of course based on your actual experience)!
 

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2022 CRF1100 ATAS ES DCT
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Heed - is the paint on them really that bad - they are not powder coated??? Is there really vibration die to engine mounting?
...

The Heed bars I had seemed to have a decent finish and I would say it was powder coated. (still for sale if anyone in the UK has a 2020. DCT AT ;) )
Don't recall any engine mounts but then it was an AT rather than an ATAS so maybe they are different unless you mean the bolt at the front that goes through the bracket that also goes through the engine?. I never suffered from vibration but have seen one or two mention it.

I took them off and replaced with AS3 Performance (really CrossPro) not so much protection but aluminium so lighter and won't corrode like the steel Heed will as I live on the coast and everything steel rusts :D Also stainless brackets and fixings.
 

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I believe Outback Motortek is Dutch and my set came from Australia! They are great bars. You only have to loosen the exhaust if you do it wrong (which I did initially). Install was not difficult once I figured that out. No arguing with the price. But they are super solid.
 

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I am pretty sure neither AltRider nor Outback Motortek is made in the USA. If that is your main pro to either one of those, I would move on. But they do have nice products.

As for Outback Motortek, from their own website "Our products are designed in Canada and manufactured in the European Union (Hungary/*Czech Republic."

My wife and I have used the Outback Motorteks on a few different bikes. Very solid product.

AltRider... don't ask :)
 

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I literally fished with my heed bars 18 min ago on my 2021 as dct. It was wayyyy easier than what it seemed online. From opening the box to putting my tools away was exactly 2:37. The only thing I will say is the instructions are good but you need to not be distracted. The translation from pl to English is not the best. As far as the engine bolts go, mine actually pushed out from one side to the other quite easily. I was planning on having to unthread them all the way out and fight them back in. I did it 100% by myself in my gravel driveway if that give you any contexts. I will say don’t if the nuts and bolts can be a little close quarters but I have large hands so I blame most of it on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the replies so far.

Mega33: They look pretty good on your bike - the black kinda blends. I don't mind the lowers so much but I just kind feel there is alot on the uppers and would cover alot of the paint? The lowers don't interfere with DCT filter, right? I assume the uppers would have to come off to remove the tupperware/side panels for service? I may have them off more than thought - wiring, air filter, etc. How difficult is it to remove just the uppers?

TM44 and 11x: Thanks for the great pictures. In THIS thread, killswitch talked about crappy paint on the Heeds and scratching.
  • TM44, what is your opinion of the black - is it a matte finish powder coat or just a thin coat of sprayed on paint that scratches very easily?
  • The bolts that go 'on the engine' - do they go through like the motor mounts where motor attaches to frame or bolts that are on the motor only?
  • I guess you have to remove the whole side for maintenance since top/bottom are combined - that seems like alot of work over tops only?
Cuchulainn: Its seems like Altrider is made in and ships from USA, but no, that is not really a criteria. Why don't ask about Alt Rider?

Thanks again for the replies!
 

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2022 CRF1100 ATAS ES DCT
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  • The bolts that go 'on the engine' - do they go through like the motor mounts where motor attaches to frame or bolts that are on the motor only?
  • I guess you have to remove the whole side for maintenance since top/bottom are combined - that seems like alot of work over tops only?
They go through the mounts as well as the engine.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Vehicle brake Automotive exhaust Bicycle part


On the standard AT you can certainly remove everything with them in place but don't know about the ATAS.


Fuel tank Wheel Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Automotive tire
 

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Thank you for the replies so far.

Mega33: They look pretty good on your bike - the black kinda blends. I don't mind the lowers so much but I just kind feel there is alot on the uppers and would cover alot of the paint? The lowers don't interfere with DCT filter, right? I assume the uppers would have to come off to remove the tupperware/side panels for service? I may have them off more than thought - wiring, air filter, etc. How difficult is it to remove just the uppers?
I am going to the dealer this Saturday for the year revision. What they say is that they put a cloth or something to protect the panels from the bars, just open then and slide the tank to make the job... The lower don"t interfer with the DCT filter., but i don"t now about to put a new one. I will inquired...
 

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Heed
Cons
  • Durability of black. Killswitch on another thread indicated black scratched very easily. It sounds like a think coat of paint and not powder coated (can others confirm)?
  • Install - While exhaust doesn't need to be dropped it sounds like a tough install still plus it sounds like several ENGINE connections rather than FRAME
  • Appears to be a vibration issue on many of them - possibly due to engine connections
  • Right side bar is close to brake pedal, possibly necessitating pedal extension
Can chime in on this portion at least.
  • Was a bit alarmed at the paint quality too...why it's so weak is beyond me especially considering I've not heard or read anything similar from others.
  • Install wasn't tough on Heeds part...the only issue I had was with the bikes own bolt upfront where the bars connect to the frame but delicately applied heat fixed that. The only mounting point where the engine is involved is the long bolt that runs through the rear of the engine. Easy to get out and back in. The problem I had was getting the brackets the wrong way round so had some grinding to do to make one fit. That's a user error not a Heed error as far as I can tell and I will switch the brackets around when I next remove them for paint.
  • No vibration issues to report
  • Right side of the bar is a problem but dependent on the boots you wear. Having said that, I've gotten used to it now but pedal extension is on order.

Overall I'm happy with them. Going to see how they hold up to scuffs etc and then decide what to do about additional paint.
Like you, I prefer the lines and now can't qualify the additional costs associated with getting the OM bars which is what I originally wanted.

I'm not video tutorial person, but if you do go for them, I'm happy to make a short video explaining the install for you. It's simpler than you may think, or I made it sound :ROFLMAO:
 

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T-Rex
The finish isn't real durable. I would would say it's paint. I have no problem with that as it makes it easy to match and touch up. Any crash bar will scratch if dropped on gravel even stainless steel bars. The mounts share some bolts with the engine mounts but none are bolted to only the engine. The picture Hood posted shows the front mount in which the left lower bolt is frame only, the upper right passes thru the Heed bar plate, the plate in the photo, engine boss and the same on the other side. There is no problem removing the fairings with the bars installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, thanks guys.

Killswitch: glad you jumped in, I was very concerned about paint from your other post I was going to comment in. I think I still would prefer a good powdercoat but TM44 you make a good point - even a good powdercoat can scratch and when it does would need to strip down and redo them - regular paint is easier to touch up on bike.

Thanks for clearing up the mounts. I suppose sharing a frame mount with engine is ok, I was concerned about some other parts where I've seen them take out engine case bolts to attach things then wind up with oil leaks, etc not to mention just the danger of ruining the engine in an impact.

Still torn between Givi and Heed but think I just like the cleaner looks of the Heed better. OM is all out of stock, much more $$ (at least double) and honestly looks as bad or worse than the Givis. I realize for some the ultimate protection is the reason for the bars but I just want something 'good enough' for a tipover or light fall in the dirt and prefer the bike stay looking sharp and not like an armored tank.
 

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Went through similar trials and tribulations in choosing the bars. Think everyone does. Went with Heed due to strength, aesthetics and mounting style being the main points. Have seen a few bikes with Heed bars that have taken some falls, knocks and crashes even, and they held up quite well considering. If it's a bigger crash...as you say, crash bars are a none issue. By no means a pro off-roader even though at times I like to think I am...want to improve on that side so this bike will see plenty of that and no doubt, the bars will get tested too.

I have emailed Heed asking about their coating method as I'll need to know for sure when it comes to applying more paint. I'm 90% certain it's painted but then it could be a poor powder coat application. Who knows, I'm not an expert.
 

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Went through similar trials and tribulations in choosing the bars. Think everyone does. Went with Heed due to strength, aesthetics and mounting style being the main points. Have seen a few bikes with Heed bars that have taken some falls, knocks and crashes even, and they held up quite well considering. If it's a bigger crash...as you say, crash bars are a none issue. By no means a pro off-roader even though at times I like to think I am...want to improve on that side so this bike will see plenty of that and no doubt, the bars will get tested too.

I have emailed Heed asking about their coating method as I'll need to know for sure when it comes to applying more paint. I'm 90% certain it's painted but then it could be a poor powder coat application. Who knows, I'm not an expert.
Heed claims on their website "everything is powder painted in black (most of the range)

Assuming "most of the range) includes their crash bars, maybe a poor process that they use?

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