SW-Motech Crash Bars Review [Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike]

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What does your riding partner hear in his helmet when you drop your bike? I think it’s safe to say that it’s not “Oh, gosh!” I know what I’m saying and I remember it well because I say the same word every time. I dropped the Ultimate motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike at least 10 times on the track since I picked it up from Yamaha in August. Without the bumpers, I know there would have been damage. Well-designed crash bars protect expensive parts that can snap or break, even with a simple tip-over. In more severe crashes, your crash bars need to bend before your engine, gas tank, or radiator is damaged.SW-Motech Crash Bars Review: For SaleUnfortunately, not all of the major manufacturers of quality aftermarket products for the Ténéré 700 discuss fitment among themselves. This results in parts that do not fit together with other parts. This is what led me to crash bar assemblies from SW-Motech. SW-Motech manufactures a set of 12-pound, all-steel, powder-coated engine crash bars and an eight-pound top crash bar extension set. Both sets of crash bars retail for $265 (MSRP) each, and SW-Motech has local distribution worldwide.SW-Motech Crash Bars Review: PriceThe lower bars attach to two engine mounts on each side, while the upper assembly attaches to the lower bars and steering head. I have several SW-Motech accessories and the printed instructions from the Czech company are always easy to follow and clearly detailed.Installation of the lower and upper assemblies is an evening project. I tried to time the installation process, but was interrupted by important “emergencies”, like running to the store to buy diapers and helping family members with computer problems. There aren’t many games, so it was easy to pick up where I left off, multiple times. Because the left and right assemblies interconnect, I left the fasteners installed, but not tightened, so I could make any necessary adjustments. The mounting holes on the bars are lengthened to accommodate production differences at the Yamaha factory.My assembly went smoothly with no readjustments needed. The lower parts were installed first, followed by the upper parts. I ended up with threadlocker and a torque wrench on all the bindings.SW-Motech Crash Bars Review: MSRPThe most time consuming sub-assembly is the center connection brackets for the top bars. The problem is that there is only hand and finger accessibility to the two bolts and their sockets stay in place while long bolts are pushed through. I finally put a minute of instant glue on all four rings to hold them in place.SW-Motech Crash Bars Review: Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project BikeAfter reading the fitting instructions before ordering the whole setup, I discovered that my low beam headlights were conflicting with the top bar mounting bracket. I picked up some 22mm tube holders and strapped my walk-through lights to the top bars, tucked inside their protective cocoon.SW-Motech Crash Bars Review: Adventure MotorcycleThe next step in my review was to drop my precious sideways and see that the SW-Motech bumpers keep the ground away from expensive Ténéré 700 parts. It’s one thing to accidentally drop a bike on a trail, and it’s another to purposely drop it in my front yard. It was a strange experience, but an important test.Checking under the Ténéré, only the bumpers, footpegs and bar ends touched the grass. It can happen that if you empty in a rockery, a rock is positioned just and escapes the steel bars. It’s the chance we have to take so we don’t wrap the whole bike in a skid plate. With the lower crash bars constructed from 27mm diameter steel tubing, not much will bend them.In a seated riding position, my knees are about five inches from the rearmost edge of the crash bars. I’m 5’10” and a 30″ inseam. Standing as far back as I would on the track, my knees are nowhere near the crash bars. They were designed for function and aesthetics. I love appearance of the SW-Motech crash bars and I expect them to protect the Ultimate motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike during the inevitable tune-ups.

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