Highway bars, engine guards or crash bars as they are often called are designed for crash protection. However, while some may provide more support and bracing than others, these motorcycle oem parts are meant for only certain types of spills and crashes. Fortunately, even at high speeds, these seemingly simple metal tubes may protect your bike enough to allow you to ride home after an accident. That being said, the level of protection offered depends on the form, fit and function of the bars.
Style and Form
When purchasing guards, a new rider may be concerned by some of the labels which may warn that bars are for cosmetic purposes. Unfortunately, while bars do offer protection in the event of a fall, they are also limited in what they can do, which means that labels cannot guarantee safety for every crash. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t help.
Custom motorcycle parts or well-made bars offer benefits in both style and form. From striking colors or patterns to the materials that make them, guards are only as good as their design.
- Stainless Steel
Stainless steel does not rust, and it is rigid. This rigidity means that in a crash more of the impact energy is transferred to the frame. Also, the lack of give may make the bars brittle, leading to cracks at weld points.
- Aluminum is light and expensive. While it doesn’t rust, it is also not as strong as steel in impact situations.
- Mild Steel
Mild steel is likely the best material for bars because it is durable and yet flexible. This combination means that the material can protect your bike, and it will absorb impacts better than steel.
Highway bars are designed to protect both the motorcycle and the rider by creating a potential gap between a collision surface, the bike and you. Essentially, when installed correctly, these tools prevent a rider from being pinned under the bike.
Highway bars offer both style and function to any motorcycle, and while not invulnerable they do provide protection. Be safe and get a set of highway bars to put your mind at ease.