Reviewing the motorcycle protection options from AltRider.
First I want to apologize for taking so long to provide an update on our Ténéré project. Stay tuned as a lot has happened in the last few months!
READ MORE: 2014 Yamaha Ténéré Update
We have detailed several items from AltRider previously here at RideApart. The Seattle based company continues to turn out top notch American made products for your adventure needs with the belief that riding is not a hobby, it's a lifestyle.
Several months ago we received those wonderful brown boxes from UPS that come with new parts! We love new parts day and wish it could happen more often.
Inside the boxes were Stainless Steel and TIG welded crash bars, a beautifully powder coated aluminum skid plate, and several guards for various switches that are prone to smashing off road.
READ MORE : AltRider
Full disclosure: I have not crashed with these items installed. Much like a Redneck with a gun, I would rather have the protection and not need them versus need them and not have them.
The crash guards are made from 1 inch T-304 stainless tubing. There are two sides and a hidden link that connects them. This allows any impacts to be spread across the entire mounting system and adds strength to the system. On the Ténéré the side panels cover the ECU, battery, and radiator. That means you need access often for maintenance. You don't want to be constantly taking your guards off for simple tasks. The guards are designed with enough clearance to remove the covers, with some finesse, and leave the protection in place. This has been super helpful with all of the other upgrades and programming that we have been doing. The bars are also an excellent GoPro mounting point, can be fitted with bags, and are great points to pull on when stuck in the mud.
The skid plate for the Ténéré had to be redesigned this year. Minor changes to the kick stand switch, the catalytic convertor, and the kickstand itself made for some clearance issues. The nice thing about working with AltRider versus some other manufacturers is instead of sending some spacers or some other "fix" - they tweaked the skid plate to fit properly and adapted the entire system to offer better fitment and protection.
Made from 3.175 mm aluminum and powder coated with a matte finish there are design touches all around. Made to be easily removed for oil changes the brackets, once aligned initially, stay on the bike. With a few bolts the plate comes off to allow unfettered access to the oil filter. The Ténéré's maintenance interval requires a filter change every other oil change meaning 9000 miles between filter changes and skid plate removal. The drain plugs have holes under them to allow for draining the oil pan without removal. The oil filter is front mounted and clearance to the wheel would be compromised if they tried to make it easy to change the filter without removal. In this case convenience takes a back seat to protection. You can clearly see in the picture how sturdy the plate and mounting is.
Switch Cover and Exhaust Guard
This little cover may be one of the most important. Most modern motorcycles have a kickstand safety switch. This means if you shift into gear with the kickstand down the bike shuts off. If that switch takes a hit off road you either make a haphazard road side jury rig, or protect it before hand with a cover plate. The AltRider cover provides full protection, prevents accidental damage, and provides a complete mount to protect all sides of the switch. Peace of mind in crafted aluminum.
There was also an exhaust guard but with the switch of the exhaust system that no longer can be used. Designed to protect the stock mid pipe from impact damage it bolted where the stock unit was located and offered significantly more coverage.
The Wrap Up
Why talk about all of this protection to ride to Starbucks? Sometimes all of that caffeine gives people the jitters and you could drop your pride and joy. Plastic parts are expensive to replace and well you don't want to not have the proper protection!
READ MORE: 2015 Triumph Tiger Updates – EICMA 2014
Truthfully if you plan to take an adventure bike off road you are going to drop it. Why is that? Because off road riding is fun yet difficult. Uneven terrain, rocks, branches, wet ground, and sand all make it easy to tip over. That happens no matter what bike you are on, from a 250 to a 1200. The parts on these bikes are expensive to replace, hard to field repair, and break every time they hit something. Good protection is a must have in these conditions. AltRider offers better than good protection systems for your adventure motorcycle that all but guarantee a safe return to base camp.