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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Crash Bars (again - again) - I doubt my HB bars will actually protect my bike

I was at an ADV rally last weekend - part riding, part lectures. One of the lectures I attended was on "The Science of Crash Bar Protection". This was a talk given by Jeremy LeBreton of AltRider. After listening to his explanation of good design principles to be followed in crash bar design (while I am not a mechanical engineer, I do have a solid grounding in mechanics and physics - and his points all made sense to me) I went to look at my Hepco Becker bars that I have on my AT. They violated a couple of good principles:
the bars are partly flattened where they join - this makes production easier, but lessens their strength any time the round tube is flattened
designing the bar so that distance between solid attachment points is at a minimum and that any extensions that are not directly tied to attachment points are at a minimum

I gave my lower engine bars a soft kick and was disturbed (actually I was pissed off) to see how much they flex with just a relatively gentle tap - the bars on the right side actually hit the engine casing with this tap from my foot. I took a slo-mo video (not allowed to upload videos, so if you are interested, you can see them at the link below) to show the flex of the bars. I was giving them a pretty gentle tap with my shoe - nothing like the force they would get when your 525 lb bike hits the ground. There are 3 videos - AT left side, AT right side, and AltRider bars on the BMW GS.

Since there were a lot of other bikes around, I went to find some AltRider bars - the ones I found were on a BMW GS. The same tap did not budge that bar. Note the BMW engine bars are 1.25" vs the 1" of the Hepco Becker, but I noted on the AltRider web site that the lower bars for the AT are also the same 1.25" design as the BMW, so I would expect similar strength.

I am putting my order in for the AltRider bars today. I'm mad that I wasted so much money on the HB bars that won't really work, but I would rather pay out another $600 for bars that will work, than have to pay tons more than that to fix a damaged engine casing that is taken out by the very bars I bought to protect it.

I have no relationship to AltRider - I am just trying to help others not make the same mistake I made.

You can see the videos here: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0h5aDWbrGMmsOS
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nope - nothing loose. I have double checked installation and fastener tightness. I think the main culprit is just the way the bar "loops" up and away from the attachment points - just not enough rigidity in the bar itself given the distance from the frame attachment points.
 

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That's disgraceful. I think you have a definite case for your money back on the grounds of them being 'not fit for the intended purpose'.


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Just cancelled my order of HB upper bars and handle bar gaurds. Thanks for the heads up

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