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Bash Plate

The bash plate is a big plate of something that sits underneath the engine and absorbs bashes...

The Tenere (XT660Z) is sold with a plastic bash plate which sounds a bit dubious. It might deflect the odd stone but will it hold up if the bike plus rider plus luggage all comes down on a rock?

The XT660R doesn't have anything. In fact it has the exhaust pipes running underneath the engine which sounds extra not-good. More of that later.

As with anything you can get a variety of bash plates. Various thicknesses of aluminium and various amounts of protection for more than just the underside of the engine but the water pump too.

I plugged for the Metal Mule bash plate which offers 4mm of aluminium and covers the water pump. It's wide enough that I think it avoids the need for any engine bars (whose job is to keep the engine away from any pointy rocks when the bike falls).

It does require a change of exhaust.

Radiator Grille

I've had a stone go through a car radiator grille and it sort of brings everything to a halt. So I bought a grille off Metal Mule.

Kickstand Switch Protector

There are endless stories of people whose days are ruined by the bike not starting and it boils down to the switch in the side-stand.

The switch is meant to prevent you putting the bike in gear with the engine running whilst the bike is leaning on the side stand (aka kick stand). Which would make you look pretty sheepish in front of the lads on the Sunday ride out but we're hard core adventure riders here. We do that deliberately because we're 'ard!

Actually, what the real adventure bikers do is get down and dirty with the wiring and bypass the switch. What naive fools like me do is hand over EUR20 for a bit of bent metal and a longer screw.

You just know that a bit of dirt is going to get in and bugger the switch anyway...

Still, more shiny metal, more bling from Off The Road.


In practice (my practice at any rate) as I head towards the deck in a fall my hands are normally flailing around in a pathetic and vain attempt to swat away the on-rushing ground. They are certainly nowhere near the handlebars.

Handguards do one thing: they do a pretty decent job of protecting your brake and clutch levers from getting bent or broken. Either of which is a one-stop trip to biking hell. Except they won't do that unless they are made of metal. The entire weight of the bike plus luggage is going to be concentrated on the end of your handlebars and plastic isn't going to be up to the job. They don't need to be solid metal but a thick strip of aluminium should do the trick.

Incidentally, your handguards may deflect any overhanging branches and at a push might keep some of the wind off your hands.

But they're really there to prevent you busting your levers and walking home. If they've got some metal in them.

Yamaha branded handguards are actually Acerbis Rally Pros (and have proven themselves). Buy whichever you find are cheaper.

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