Do "Crash Bars" really protect? (Highway Bars/Engine Guards) - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-15-2006, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Do "Crash Bars" really protect? (Highway Bars/Engine Guards)

Wingerline Highway bars
Q: "Rob" wrote: I am looking for both protection AND a place to stretch out on those long rides. It seems as though these are better for protection than Kawasaki's and I would like to buy a set to put on this winter.
A: I must point out that the idea of "protection" from these bars is not really that sound. If you drop your bike in a parking lot, they MAY help protect the bike, not you, from some damage. However, at cruising speeds, there is no proof that they offer the bike better protection, or offer the rider protection at all. Matter of a fact, some studies have shown that they actualy increased the dollar value of damaged parts in an accident, and in a few cases, make the injuries to the rider worse. The idea of using them to hold some pegs to stretch your legs out on a trip is a good one however..but expecting the bar to "protect" you is in many cases not. The larger bars like the wingerline have shown that in higher speed falls they tended to let the bike flip over, damaging both sides of the bike...if you had been silly enough to hang on at this point, you likely would get hurt much worse. Those that do let go when the bike falls had a higher incident of upper body trauma, as compared to those without these type of bars. Of course you can not make any predictions on what type of accident you may have in the future, but thinking that these bars will afford you "protection" is not a safe mind set to ride with. Proper clothing and a good helmet will do a much better job... KM

A: They do give some protection for your clutch lever (and thus the shaft) should your bike get laid down on it's left side. The Limey

A: Yes, likely they will. but as I said, you can not predict the kind of "crash" you may have, nor it's severaty. The Kaw "engine guards" are more likely to protect the shifter and a low speed (under 35mph) dump..or if the bike just falls off it's sidestand at rest. Same possible with the larger wingerline bar. But of course there is no way to tell if the shaft would have sustained damage in the first place without the bars. Please understand that I am not in anyway saying that in some circumstances these bars will not provide some protection..either to the bike or the rider. My point here is one should not be installing either of these bars if they only reason is the belief that they will. A displaced shifter shaft clip is an easier fix than a bent frame...and a broken ankle is better than a broken hip. Under the right circumstances these bars can afford protection, but again, we don't get to pick those circumstances in real life. The study by the California Highway Patrol showed that the highway bars installed on their bikes actualy seemed to make things worse..but they still use them, because they simply need them to carry the lights and sirens. Their officers are trained extremely well and know the limits of their equipment. The obvious solution here of course is, to just not crash. KM
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