No one plans to crash on a ride – is it inevitable that we will at points lay down or drop the motorcycle? Of course. Do we sometimes take a bad line and topple over? Yes, I do all the time. But a full-fledged wipe out can be a scary ordeal for adventure motorcycle riders, and consequently, do unwanted damage to your bike. More recently, I had an experience with this myself, and holy shit was I glad I had Outback Motortek crash bars on my adventure motorcycle.
At about 65 mph, I crashed on a gravel road heading out to the Alvord Desert in Oregon, and it was GNARLY. I had been out in the area the previous weekend and rode the route at a steady 55 mph, with no issue whatsoever, and being the boundary pusher I am, chose to send it on this second round. I rode like a banshee, and was having the time of my life, until about 7 miles from our turn into the desert, I hit a deep pool of gravel and completely lost the front wheel.
I went down in a blaze of glory and felt my ego get put right into check. Despite being in full gear myself, I had a minor concussion, road rash, bruises everywhere, and severely strained left ribs and a left shoulder sprain. It was humbling for me. But as soon as I caught the breath which had been knocked out of my lungs for almost a full half hour, my concern was my adventure motorcycle.
Because Lorraine is my world.
With the bike upright, engine killed, I reluctantly inspected the damage, and to my absolute astonishment, other than the handlebars leaning a touch left, a broken blinker, a loose windshield, and some scratches to the side of the tank, my adventure motorcycle was ready to rock.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Outback Motortek, baby.
So, let’s talk about the build out on my 2021 Honda CB500X adventure motorcycle.
First up, the crash bar kit.
Pictured here are the crash bars on Lorraine, as well as a close up of the very minimal damage done to the kit upon impact. If I hadn’t had these crash bars, I am certain the bike would have been totaled, if not close to it. The Outback Motortek design is pretty impeccable – it is sleek, it is easy to install, and as proven during my Alvord crash, it is STRONG.
Other benefits of the crash bars for your adventure motorcycle? Other than being a protective shield for the engine and fuel tank when it comes to crashes, they additionally make lifting a down bike immensely easier, as well as offer a safeguard for parking mishaps or drops which can oftentimes cause more than just cosmetic damage to any motorcycle.
Second? Your adventure motorcycle needs a skid plate.
The skid plate is essential for any adv rider, as it protects the soft underbelly of the motorcycle, aka the engine, and especially comes in handy in cases of bottoming out, water crossings, and of course, loose gravel on the roadway.
However, not all skid plates are created equal. Some are loud when debris hits, some are flimsy in more extreme terrain, and some truly do not align well during installation.
In the case of Outback Motortek, you will not be let down. Just like the crash bars, their skid plate is top of the line: it fit Lorraine like a glove, it survived my crash without any wear and tear, and I don’t hear shit from that skid plate unless I am chewing threw some gnarly stuff on my adventure motorcycle.
Third are a dynamic set of three I will throw together: the pannier racks, the rear rack, and the exhaust heat shield, a trifecta of perfection for anyone wanting to do any kind of travel on their motorcycle.
The pannier racks are sturdy, and steel – once again, I put those to the test in my Alvord crash, and while my Giant Loop Round the World pannier bag was shredded and left a yard sale in its wake, the pannier rack didn’t even have a scratch on it. How that’s possible is beyond me. With multiple tie-down points and secure, functional mounting frames, they are an ideal travel system with your bike, especially when paired with the rear rack.
A rear rack is, to me, an essential addition to any adventure motorcycle, for any kind of luggage or tie-down needs. Outback Motortek goes above and beyond with chamfered edges to reduce the wear on straps and the mounting and attaching holes are meant to be as effective as possible with any kind of attachment. It is remarkably easy to tie down of my Giant Loop bags before a day long ride with friends or a quick weekend getaway, and straps? Fully intact, no degeneration whatsoever.
They are also aluminum, sandblasted, and powder coated. RAD.
Last up – an exhaust heat shield, also aluminum, and if you are riding your adventure motorcycle with virtually any type of luggage, highly recommended. It’s an easy bolt on system and if you don’t want to have your bags or belongings melting onto the pannier racks of your bike, I suggest you grab one. While riding through Baja this last spring, I didn’t have an exhaust heat shield and burned a hole through my Giant Loop Great Basin saddlebag.
Conclusion? Outback Motortek is making one hell of a good product. Tested (by OM and yours truly) and proven to be both reliable and strong, you can bet any product you purchase from them will be quality protection for your adventure motorcycle.
To see which products are made for your bike, click here!
For more information about Giant Loop, click here to read my article about which GL luggage bags I carry with me, and why!