SW-Motech Engine Guards
WHY? Just a little more protection for the engine cases and the fairing. Many aftermarket manufacturers produce these "crash bars" for the little V-Strom, and there is a large and varied number of options. Though I like the looks of the SW-Motech engine guards I elected to go with them primarily because they are the only guards that work with the SW-Motech skid plate I'd planned to install. I've had pretty good luck with the folks at Twisted Throttle so I decided to place the order with them. Their web site is clean, easy to navigate, and placing an order is simple; I paid via credit card, about $140 plus shipping.
SERVICE. Pretty darned good. Immediately after placing the order I received an email confirmation; I received a shipping notification the next day, the shipment arrived at my door via UPS a week after placing the order. Since most of that time was spent in shipping transit I consider that to be good service. The bars were packed very well and arrived with all hardware and instructions included; they looked to be very well made and sturdy. Edges were finished nicely, the welds were straight and clean and the finish was flawless.
INSTALLATION. Installation of these engine guards and the accompanying skid plate could probably be done by the average home mechanic with a good set of metric tools. Working carefully, it took me about 20 minutes to get the bars in place. The dual-language instructions were just so-so, but did provide enough information to get the job done. It is important to identify and inventory all of the hardware first, matching it to the numbers on the installation illustrations. All parts fit well and required no modification. Torque specifications were provided for each fastener, and I used blue Loctite on each one before tightening it to spec.
RESULTS. So far, so good. I really like the appearance of these bars; they are substantial-looking but not bulky. I can say from experience that they won't offer much protection in a slide, but they look like they will do a good job of protecting the bike in case of a tip-over. I also like the way they integrate with the SW-Motech skid plate.
WORTH THE MONEY? Yep. Unlike the skid plate, this SW-Motech item is competitively priced and could well pay for itself if the bike is dropped.