Greatest Grime Bike Upgrades

I assume producers know that you simply’re going to swap on aftermarket components from the get go, nevertheless it doesn’t make it any much less annoying that machines like KTM’s 500 EXC-F, which retails for $12,549, don’t include even probably the most fundamental engine safety. Within the rocky terrain I discover myself driving within the western U.S., a skid plate is a necessary employee. However that’s not the one little bit of safety I prefer to get my machines outfitted with earlier than hitting the path. We already talked about the acquisition value of a brand new pumpkin, so spending a number of extra {dollars} to guard elements earlier than they’ve the prospect to get smashed looks as if a worthwhile funding.

For me, and the kind of driving I love to do with a dual-sport bike (virtually no pavement with loads of technical driving), a skid plate, rear disc guard, wrap-around handguards, and radiator guards just about units up a brand new bike for withstanding some severe abuse. Fortunately, there’s a firm making all of that right here within the States that I’ve relied on to guard my dust bikes for years now: Enduro Engineering

Prepared for abuse.

Primarily based in a small Michigan metropolis with a inhabitants lower than 10,000, Enduro Engineering has been headed up by proprietor Alan Randt for the reason that late 80’s. Alan’s title could sound acquainted to these in off-road racing circles, not solely due to his personal accomplishments in racing, but additionally as a result of he now heads up the NEPG-AMA Nationwide Enduro collection. Randt purchased the fledgling Enduro Engineering in 1984 and stored it going whereas persevering with to race and run a dealership. Within the 90’s issues ramped up considerably for Enduro Engineering because it started making merchandise for the likes of Moose Racing and MSR whereas doubling down in growth and manufacturing of its personal merchandise as properly.  

At present, Enduro Engineering affords a myriad of elements for shielding enduro riders’ machines, components to make them work higher, a rigorously curated collection of components from different manufacturers, and even suspension companies for these trying to have their setup refined. EE affords one thing for everybody, from the informal path rider, to sponsoring the Manufacturing facility Beta USA group and supporting a whole bunch of different racers all through the years.

With all that mentioned, Enduro Engineering is a model I’ve relied on to guard my machines from myself for a few years, and with the numerous racing historical past to assist them develop elements, I really feel assured in recommending their product. Let’s take a look at what I’d contemplate some important safety to put in earlier than getting began down the path.

Enduro Engineering Excessive Skidplate

Enduro Engineering Extreme Skidplate

Enduro Engineering’s Excessive Skidplate is accessible for KTM, Husqvarna, GasGas, Beta, and Sherco bikes. This covers every thing from motocross bikes to off-road racing machines, and plated dual-sports. The corporate’s customary skidplate, which doesn’t wrap fairly as far up across the motor, could be had for a lot of different manufacturers together with Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha in addition to the aforementioned OEMs.

As talked about beforehand, the Excessive skidplate is predicated on EE’s customary skidplate, the one distinction being the extra “wings” that come up greater on both sides to raised defend the engine. The aluminum design covers the body rails and is angled barely on the outer fringe of the rails to guard footpeg mounts and offer you a greater probability of glancing off of obstacles. 

As you can even see in among the photographs, EE contains cut-outs for accessing drain plugs for oil modifications, however on the Excessive model, it’s going to be sort of a ache (if it’s potential in any respect, I haven’t tried) to switch the oil filter. So, it’s extra seemingly that you simply’ll must drop the skidplate for oil modifications. The usual plate shouldn’t have any concern staying put throughout oil modifications. For me, I’d fairly have the additional safety, and for the reason that skidplate is simple to take away and reinstall, I’m nice with doing it. Plus, I all the time are inclined to make extra of a large number with my oil modifications than I imply to. 

Take Enduro Engineering’s customary skidplate, weld on some further peak on both aspect, bam! Prepared for excessive use.

Set up is straightforward with a hook within the rear securing the again of the skidplate to the body’s crossmember and two bolts up entrance securing the plate to the body. Earlier than you mount up the skidplate, EE gives a protracted strip of adhesive backed foam to run alongside the body rails the place the skidplate covers. This ensures you received’t have any metallic on metallic rattling do you have to take successful onerous sufficient to trigger the metallic to the touch. The entrance of the plate could be secured with the provided crossmember becoming on the again aspect of the higher body rails. The EXC line has pre-drilled and tapped holes that you simply’re ready to make use of the provided longer bolts for. I used each. And it’s undoubtedly not as a result of I put all of it collectively earlier than realizing it was one or the opposite…

General, I actually like the additional safety that the Excessive mannequin offers, significantly as a result of I exploit my dual-sports primarily for lengthy journeys that may have some pretty technical driving interspersed in the midst of BFE – the final place you wish to have a problem. Given my expertise (see: abuse) with different Enduro Engineering skidplates, I’ve no cause to assume this received’t proceed to supply safety for a lot of 1000’s of miles. 

Store for the Enduro Engineering Excessive Skidplate right here

Enduro Engineering Evolution 2 Handguards

Enduro Engineering Evolution 2 Handguards

Handguards are like buttholes, everybody’s acquired one…er, wait.. Opinions, these are like buttholes. Regardless of the case, I want wrap-around fashion handguards. That’s in all probability as a result of it wasn’t that way back that I used to be falling over rather a lot, and now, properly, I nonetheless fall over, simply not fairly as a lot. Within the means of studying how one can keep vertical, I misplaced a handful of levers. Whereas I’ve nonetheless managed to interrupt levers with wrap round fashion handguards, most had been with the “flag” sort which can be solely linked to the handlebar on the inboard aspect. 

This fashion of clamp makes set up and management setup a lot simpler.

Enduro Engineering’s Evolution 2 particles deflectors include a reasonably fundamental aluminum bar that attaches on the finish of the grip (the grip and throttle tube have to be drilled/minimize out) with a taper lock after which to the corporate’s specialised bar clamps towards the center of the handlebar. The clamps themselves are manufactured to offer extra room for grasp cylinders and contours to be routed over them. I’ve had expertise with different model’s bar clamps which have been troublesome to arrange as a result of they didn’t supply the u-shape of EE’s clamps.

Once more, set up is as simple because it seems, drilling out the grips might be the toughest half. Due to the KTM’s ODI grips which can be made to simply have the ends punched out, even that was a simple job. If you wish to have a look at the directions, EE gives detailed ones with full colour footage and every thing. 

The plastic EVO2 deflectors are bought individually for $25 per pair and set up simply with two bolts into the threaded holes within the aluminum bar. So, in the event you’ve acquired your deflectors all scuffed from studying how one can not fall over, swapping in a brand new set will clean up the have a look at a low value. Fitment of the Evolution 2 handguards just isn’t mannequin particular, as EE has clamps and taper locks to suit bikes with ⅞-inch or 1-⅛ inch handlebars. 

Fortunately, I’ve managed to maintain the bike upright to this point whereas operating the Evolution handguards from EE, however I’ll attempt tougher subsequent time we’re out.

Store for the Enduro Engineering Evolution 2 Handguards right here

Enduro Engineering Billet Radiator Guards

Enduro Engineering Billet Radiator Guards

Ask ol’ Brascannons how simple it’s to tip over and crack a radiator (in your coworker’s private motorbike). I’ve busted my justifiable share out within the rocky SoCal terrain. Whether or not toppling over, or just smashing the decrease portion on an sick positioned rock, cracking your radiator is pretty simple. Heck, the one Brasfield managed to smash was alleged to be a “heavy-duty” racing sort. [Sigh… – EB]

Though changing a radiator isn’t terribly troublesome, I’d fairly not must do it (even when my boss pays for the substitute). Swapping the OE plastic louvers for the Enduro Engineering guards is one other simple course of. EE’s web site claims lower than 4 minutes is required for either side. I spent a little bit longer than that as a result of I wasn’t in a rush, however not a lot. One level to notice – one thing you need to do with any set up actually – make sure that to hand-tighten the bolts into the guards initially to stop cross threading.

The Enduro Engineering billet radiator guards are considerably new from the corporate and give protection to the entrance, backside (to an extent), and aspect, whereas a regular radiator brace solely protects from aspect impacts. Fortunately, most of my driving is within the southwest the place packing up with mud isn’t a problem, so I can’t converse to that potential, however blocking air just isn’t one thing that I actually wish to do since I find yourself driving in pretty sizzling temps. It appears EE has carried out its finest to steadiness safety and airflow. Fitment of this new fashion guard is accessible for choose KTM/Husqvarna/GasGas, Beta, Sherco, and Yamaha fashions.

The guards are made of three/16-inch aluminum with the perimeters measuring as much as virtually an inch at their thickest level and are constructed with a curve on the periphery to permit for a little bit of cushion do you have to have an effect onerous sufficient to really trigger them to bend in. The properly routed holes for airflow look good and match the skidplate and brake disc guard in design (in the event you care about such issues). The entrance of the guard stays simply over a half-inch from the entrance of the radiator and makes use of two rubber bumpers within the nook to damp noise ought to it handle to get bent in. The decrease portion of the guard extends ¼-inch under the underside of the radiator.

For these questioning if the guards trigger the shrouds to stay out additional, my guess is they could be protruding as much as 1/16 of an inch additional than inventory, so it’s negligible.

There may be one factor to notice with the EXC-F mannequin these had been put in on. As a result of this can be a street-legal motorbike, it has a closed loop evaporative canister system to maintain gasoline and its fumes throughout the motorbike always. Two of the hoses for this technique route between the body and the radiator. When these guards are put in usually, it pinches these hoses fairly tight, virtually to the purpose of clamping them off completely (in my set up). If you happen to had been to dam airflow via these hoses fully, on the excessive finish, you run the danger of collapsing or inflating your gasoline tank. If air can nonetheless go via, you’ll seemingly be nice, however routing them up and over has additionally been carried out, I’m instructed. In fact, in the event you’re some sort of felony who plans to take away the evaporative system anyway, this doesn’t actually matter. 

You possibly can see the evaporative hose being pinched right here.

To place it bluntly, these guards are Stout. I hope that I don’t handle to destroy them, as a result of there’s probability I’ll have destroyed myself within the course of. 

Store for the Enduro Engineering Billet Radiator Guards right here

Enduro Engineering Rear Disc Guard

Enduro Engineering Rear Disc Guard

The rear disc guard is the one Enduro Engineering half right here that I seemed up a Youtube video to verify I did every thing accurately. Sure, they embody directions with colour pictures, however not solely am I a person, I’m additionally a millennial. Seems they made their very own Youtube video of the set up too. Rating! Within the video, EE worker Logan walks you thru the process on a Husqvarna (which might be interchanged with a GasGas or KTM with the identical rear Brembo caliper). If every thing included on this article was simple by way of set up, the rear disc guard will get a straightforward +, that means it takes a little bit extra work and understanding than merely threading a bolt right into a gap. Nonetheless, not a troublesome factor to do.


If you happen to’ve modified your brake pads, you’ll be capable of deal with this. The EE unit replaces your complete OEM brake provider with a shiny billet aluminum one which the protecting fin is connected to (substitute fins could be bought in the event you thrash the unique). The fin itself is about ½-inch thick and extends previous the vanguard and under the rotor by about ½-inch additionally. 

I opted just for the rear disc guard because it’s tougher to maintain observe of whereas driving than the entrance, and maintaining unsprung mass to a minimal on both wheel is often the purpose. 

Store for the Enduro Engineering Rear Disc Guard right here


As you’ve in all probability put collectively by now, all of those protecting bits are simple to put in and supply masses extra safety than any bike comes with off of the showroom flooring. After spending 1000’s of {dollars} on a dust bike or dual-sport, throwing $500 (retail value for every thing included on this article is $516) at it in safety looks as if a sensible funding to me, as OEM components are costly and, as of late, onerous to return by. I waited to trip this 500 EXC-F till all of those components had been put in simply to verify I wouldn’t be kicking myself if one thing occurred. 

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The astute reader could have observed that this text is the start of a collection of ongoing tales the place I share my decisions and causes for constructing out a dual-sport motorbike the best way I do, for the sort of driving I plan on utilizing it for. Like cult chief, I’m not placing an finish date or a cap as to what number of of those there will probably be, however belief that I’ll be persevering with to check these merchandise for the length and can replace the articles with any failures or new discovered observations discovered on the path. Keep tuned.

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