Mirrors? Check. Headlamps? Check. Motorcycle crash bars? … Maybe not.
Arizona motorcycle laws are crystal clear about the legally-required motorcycle equipment. However, there are a ton of additional accessories that can make your riding experience safer and more enjoyable. Crash bars for motorcycles are a great example.
Crash bars are an optional addition to your bike that could potentially save you thousands in medical bills in the event of an accident. Plus, they can improve the quality of your time spent on the road.
What is A Motorcycle Crash Bar?
A motorcycle crash bar goes by many names, including a motorcycle highway bar, a freeway bar, and an engine guard. Regardless of what you call it, a crash bar is a chrome-plated, stainless steel loop that’s mounted to the lower frame of a motorcycle. Each motorcycle typically sports two crash bars, with one on each side of the frame.
Motorcycle crash bars typically stick out a few inches wider than the bike. They’re designed this way to prevent the motorcycle engine and frame from scraping the pavement if the bike drops or crashes. The placement of crash bars can also protect the rider from grazing the ground in the case of an accident.
What Are Motorcycle Highway Bars Used For?
Crash bars for motorcycles are essentially like airbags for cars: They won’t stop an accident, but they can protect the rider from the brunt of the impact. Most bikers prefer crash bars for motorcycles. If your bike goes down in a motorcycle accident, crash bars prevent your legs from getting pinned under a hot, 80-pound motorcycle engine. If your bike tips over while idling or parked, motorcycle highway bars can also protect it from excessive damage. Plus, crash bars make it easier to pick up your motorcycle after it falls down.
Are Motorcycle Crash Bars Effective in an Accident?
Lower extremity injuries are among the most common motorcycle accident injuries, but crash bars can help. Motorcycle crash bars help protect bikers from leg injuries during motorcycle accidents. The placement of the crash bars prevents the biker’s leg from being crushed between the pavement and the side of the motorcycle. This additional protection can be especially helpful in instances when a rider turns too hard or too quickly and slides along the ground. During collisions, freeway bars have also been proven to limit the damage to both the motorcycle and the motorcyclist at speeds of up to 30 mph.
Crash bars also provide a few inches of wiggle room when the bike is in motion. Motorcycle highway bars jut out a few inches farther than the bike, which provides additional space between a rider and another vehicle or pedestrian moving alongside them. However, this doesn’t mean motorcyclists with crash bars should be lane splitting simply because they have a bit of extra room. Crash bars are most effective when a motorcycle is operated safely, with respect to the law. Likewise, they are only beneficial if a motorcyclist’s legs remain in the leg space. This means feet on foot rests or foot pegs instead of propped up or rested on the bike.
So, even with motorcycle highway bars, you still need to ride responsibly.
If a Retailer is Selling an Engine Guard, Is That the Same Thing?
Yes! An engine guard is the same product as a motorcycle crash bar or highway bar. Many popular motorcycle manufacturers advertise “engine guards” as part of their accessories.
Common brands that market crash bars as engine guards include:
- Harley Davidson
- GIVI Motorcycle Accessories
In addition to their safety purposes, you can use your engine guard to mount extra accessories. Engine guards are most frequently paired with auxiliary lighting and speakers to improve visibility on the road and provide background music for the ride. When it comes to engine guards, be sure to shop around. The lowest price may not always be the best value.
Additional Motorcycle Safety Accessories
In addition to crash bars for motorcycles, there are several other accessories you can purchase to super-stylize and safety-guard your bike. Some of the most obvious include footpegs, footrests, and highway pegs. But while you’re on the market for safety accessories, more notable mentions include bars and plates that can both bulk out your motorcycle and shield it from an accident.
Aside from freeway bars, frame sliders are often added as fairing protectors to further shield a bike’s frame from damage. Much like how engine guards protect a motorcycle engine, frame sliders prevent vulnerable (and expensive) areas of the frame from harm. Taking a multibar approach and installing both crash bars and frame sliders can save you a considerable amount in repairs if you crash your bike.
Upper Crash Bars
Upper crash bars, which are made of the same durable stainless steel as highway crash bars, help keep your radiator protected during a tip-over. As opposed to being two small loops, upper crash bars consist of one large chrome-plated bar that extends across both sides of the bike. Upper crash bars also add a few inches of diameter around the bike and can help you feel a bit safer on the road.
Lastly, a skid plate attaches to the underside of your motorcycle to prevent damage if your bike slides across the ground. Skid plates are especially helpful during a low side crash, where both the motorcyclist and the motorcycle connect with the pavement. While a skid plate won’t protect the biker from leg injuries, it will safeguard the bike’s frame.
Protecting Yourself in an Arizona Motorcycle Accident
You’ll never be able to predict when an accident will strike. This is why it’s imperative to prepare your motorcycle with additional safety accessories, like highway bars. By using motorcycle crash bars, you can ride knowing you’ve taken additional steps to protect your wellbeing.