The Complete Guide to Dirt Bike Protection Parts
Dirt bike protection parts are optional for motocross and enduro racers, however there aren't many who skip out on protecting key components of their motorbike, as the cost of not doing so can mean putting an early end to an epic weekend of riding, or worse, cost you hundreds of dollars to replace damaged OEM components. In this guide, we cover every aspect of dirt bike protection.
What are dirt bike protection parts?
Dirt bike protection parts can range from the plastics (bodywork) to additional accessories like frame guards, bash plates and radiator braces. They're designed to give your bike another level of protection, preventing damage to key components in the event of a crash so you can keep charging through your motos.
Are aftermarket plastics the same as OEM plastics?
Aftermarket plastics are designed to fit their respective model, and they're essentially a replica of the standard OEM kit. Some brands will make tweaks and design changes, such as Cycra Plastics, however these are away from the main area where you would apply your graphics - so regardless of the brand you order, as long as they are designed for your motocross or enduro bike, they will fit your dirt bike and your graphics kit will suitably apply to them.
Do I need a bash guard or skid plate?
Bash guards and skid plates are two dirt bike accessories every rider needs to consider, as they offer protection to your frame and engine. A bash guard is typically used by enduro and off-road riders as they provide superior engine and frame protection below the bike, which is essential when you're charging through and over rocks, hopping logs and just generally putting the bike through gnarly conditions.
Skid plates are typically used by motocross riders as they're a more lightweight, slimline protection accessory. A skid plate will sit underneath the engine, and some will extend beyond the frame, while others will sit neatly within the frame. This helps to protect the engine from dirt and debris, and potentially any other impacts.
Both bash guards and skid plates come in aluminium and plastic options - the latter being a more lightweight offering that is highly-popular amongst riders and racers.
What's the difference between radiator braces and radiator guards?
Radiator braces and radiator guards both provide protection for your radiators, although they both do it in different ways. Radiator braces generally sit behind the radiator and provide them with extra support and strength- this helps prevent bending your radiators in the event of an accident, allowing you to keep riding and while also not destroying an expensive pair of radiators.
Radiator guards are designed to offer protection from roost and debris, as they sit in front of the radiator. They also offer added support and strength, although not on the level of braces - radiator guards are mainly to prevent any dirt or objects from penetrating your radiators.
Some brands, such as Force Accessories, offer a radiator guard that is designed with a rear brace, giving you the best of both worlds and the maximum in radiator protection.
Should I get frame guards?
Frame guards offer two benefits - they protect your frame from getting all scratched up (increasing your bike's resale value when it's time), while also providing additional grip for the inside of your legs.
Frame guards are becoming more and more common amongst the world best riders, and the offering from Acerbis can be seen on the bike of Supercross champion and factory KTM's Cooper Webb.
It's a wise investment to equip your bike with a pair of frame guards for the added protection and enhanced grip while riding and racing.
[INSERT IMAGE: Orange frame guard on KTM]
Do I need handguards, and which ones should I get?
Handguards are one of the most common dirt bike parts that both motocross and enduro riders will fit their motorcycles because they protect the controls of your bike, yet also prevent any roost and debris from injuring your hands.
There two types of handguards - a traditional plastic handguard, and an aluminium wrap-around handguard.
The traditional plastic handguard is the most common and is typically used by motocross riders, as they're lightweight and offer adequate protection.
Enduro racers will also use the traditional handguard, but the wrap-around style, such as Barkbusters, are very popular for off-road riders. They have an aluminium bar that wraps around from the bar-end to the mount on the handlebar, along with a plastic guard. This prevents things like trees and bushes from accidentally engaging your front brake, as well as ruling out the possibility of breaking any levers.
If you're riding motocross, the traditional handguard is the type for you, and if you're riding off-road, the wrap-around style is what we would recommend.
What other dirt bike protection parts should I consider?
While the above dirt bike accessories are the key protection parts, you can fit out your motorbike with additional protection, using components such as engine case guards, exhaust guards, disk brake guards, case savers, fork shoe protectors, swingarm protectors, and seat covers.
All of these dirt bike protection parts will give you extra peace of mind when riding your pride and joy, and they'll keep it looking as fresh as possible despite the elements it's bound to be thrown through.
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