Crash Bars (or is it Crush Bars?) - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-25-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Crash Bars (or is it Crush Bars?)

Love them / hate them / indifferent?

I made this post sticky so that all the new members can find it easier.

Let's let them know what we already know about crash bars / crush bars.

1985 CMX250 ... 1986 CMX450 ... 2005 Ruckus 50
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-25-2019, 08:31 AM
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Beware the MC Enterprises crash bar for the 250. Due to its configuration, the bar will contact the pavement well before the pegs scrape or the bike gets anywhere close to maximum lean angle. Other bars, including the one sold by Jacks Rebel warehouse, won't do this. Having the bar catch on the pavement could cause a crash.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 12:04 PM
 
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For the most part, the bars made for metric cruisers are little more than copper tubing when it comes to durability. The domestic OEMs seem to have more durable manufacturing in this regard, even from the aftermarket supporters...but the metric market might was well be offering bear traps because that's how they work: they fold over and pin your foot to the peg.

Put into perspective, let's say you weigh 200 pounds. Let's say your bike is 400 pounds. In a normal lay-down the bike will slide farther and faster (i.e. it has more momentum) than the rider will, thus "clearing a path" for the sliding rider. Worst case scenario, the bike impacts a solid/immovable object while the rider continues shedding energy, and if the rider impacts the same he/she is carrying less energy by the time that happens.

Same scenario but the rider's foot is trapped between the folded bar and peg. Now the combined mass is 600 pounds, with 50% more energy over the bike alone or 300% over the rider alone. Now when the bike/rider impacts that same object, it is carrying more energy when that happens and the damage is more severe...both to bike AND rider.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bear Trap 1.jpg (156.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bear Trap 3.jpg (114.8 KB, 5 views)
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 12:13 PM
 
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Part 2 of the problem: the "more durable" construction. Back in the 1970's these bars were made of much thicker material, thicker than the modern "more durable" bars in production today (which, in all fairness, are more durable than the aforementioned bear traps above).

However, this should not be construed as "better" in any way, shape, or form. Why? Source the Hurt Report which was a study from 1976-1981, specifically #39:

"Crash bars are not an effective injury countermeasure; the reduction of injury to the ankle-foot is balanced by increase of injury to the thigh-upper leg, knee, and lower leg."

So let's say your domestic bar is of similar construction, all it is doing is "relocating the injury" assuming the rider remains with the bike during the slide. Assuming "middle of the road construction", meaning somewhere between 70's grade durability and modern metric copper tubing, well...roll the dice and take your chances here for one or the other scenarios to play out.

"Ride Safe, Chop Safer" Motorcycles are not unsafe. However; they are extremely unforgiving of inattention, incompetence, ignorance, and stupidity.
Dismantling, sawzalling, and rattle canning does not make a bobber.
Those are STEPS toward customizing, not customizing unto itself.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 12:28 PM
 
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In the end, I simply see no advantage and many disadvantages for equipping a bike as such. My personal experience with a bar:

1995 1500A Vulcan w/Fire & Steel (Kawasaki's in-house line of accessories) mini-guard manufactured in the mid-90's. AKA somewhere in between copper tubing and 70's durability. Front brake locked up at approximately 35-40mph causing a capsize to the right. The mini-guard folded over and pinned my foot to the peg. Myself and bike slid in unison into the back of a car.

Other facts taken into consideration:

> The bike weighed 600 pounds.

> I weighed 200 pounds.

> Together we had 800 pounds worth of mass factored into the momentum of the resulting slide and impact...25% more energy on behalf of the bike by itself and four times the energy on behalf of the rider if separate from the bike.

> My injuries were a dislocated shoulder and hip along with a sprained wrist and ankle. Road rash was minimal due to gear.

> The folding engine guard/crash bar (whatever nomenclature anyone wishes to tag it with) punctured the radiator (along with an expensive chrome grill covering the radiator) which was otherwise safely sandwiched between a pair of frame tubes and never would have been damaged otherwise as the forks were intact (i.e. no front wheel collapsing into it).

Plausible theories:

> I'm convinced that if I was not on the bike when the guard folded over, the lower case cover would have been rashed anyways. The bar was folded over, as was the peg...not much more clearance from there to "protect" the case cover.

> Separate, the bike would have cleared a path for me (i.e. me with 1/3 the momentum of the bike and 1/4 the momentum of bike and rider together) and my injuries would have been less severe. Carrying less momentum, the bike would have enjoyed better odds at not impacting into the car. Odds of me impacting the car would have been much more slim.


Facts and theories together: in the end it caused more harm --- both to myself and the machine --- than what would have transpired without it.
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File Type: jpg Vulcan Mad Kaw Disease.jpg (23.3 KB, 47 views)

"Ride Safe, Chop Safer" Motorcycles are not unsafe. However; they are extremely unforgiving of inattention, incompetence, ignorance, and stupidity.
Dismantling, sawzalling, and rattle canning does not make a bobber.
Those are STEPS toward customizing, not customizing unto itself.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 03:04 PM
 
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I believe if they were proven effective to reduce rider injury, like a crash helmet does, they would be mandatory by law.

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 07:55 PM
 
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Now a lot of folks seem to use crash bars for highway pegs.



I've always wanted highway pegs and kind of figured a crash bar was the way to go. I've never really looked into anything else because I haven't spent much time on a cruiser.



What can be an alternative? Ideas on the safest highway pegs for cruising?

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 10:26 PM
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I've got pegs mounted on an engine guard. Allows me to extend my legs a little, put not as much as I'd like on the superslab.

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

'01 & '09 Rebel 250, '06 Ninja 250, '89 VN 750
Putting your bike year and model in your signature helps others help you!
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 11:51 PM
 
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Actual highway bars offer the feet forward stance without a crash bar/engine guard.



Personally, I'd rather have the control capabilities of forward pegs complete with the corresponding control bits attached to them --- AKA "forward controls".

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"Ride Safe, Chop Safer" Motorcycles are not unsafe. However; they are extremely unforgiving of inattention, incompetence, ignorance, and stupidity.
Dismantling, sawzalling, and rattle canning does not make a bobber.
Those are STEPS toward customizing, not customizing unto itself.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-08-2019, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
Actual highway bars offer the feet forward stance without a crash bar/engine guard.



Personally, I'd rather have the control capabilities of forward pegs complete with the corresponding control bits attached to them --- AKA "forward controls".

Could you provide a link to find those particular forward controls, please?
Thank you

Grace + Peace, Bob
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I'm 84 and still riding
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