Besides the obvious engine guards and skid plates, out bikes are equipped with other protective equipment, either to avoid bigger damage in case of a fall, or to protect some vital parts that are fragile on the motorcycle.
We know many riders will go for overkill and put every available protection on their adventure bikes, even if they never leave the pavement, thus lightening their wallet significantly and also adding significant weight to an already heavy bike. But then again, who doesn’t want to look like Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor?
In 2019 our fleet covered over half a million kilometers all over Morocco. Off-road and on tarmac. We crossed the desert on several occasions, have ridden on fast flowing dirt tracks and trial type rocky sections. Our riders have different level and we all fall at one point or another. You break levers and mirrors, scratch fairings or valve covers, mess up the windshield, but we have never seen why one needs protection on a rear brake fluid reservoir for example.
There are a couple of things we find to be necessary or useful though.
At every off, the handlebar will inevitably come to contact with the ground, hence a solid protection for your levers is essential. We use the handguard system from SW-Motech. They are made by Barkbusters, but the brand is not directly available in Morocco. The metal frame ensures that your levers stay protected and even is the plastic covers brake, they are easy and relatively cheap to replace (€50 for a pair).
Since we ride off-road quite a bit, and usually in a group, we often have stones flying around on rocky terrain. Throttle happy riders like to drift and slide on the fast flowing tracks, while a close distance on a rocky uphill can have the same effect.
Our bikes are equipped with plexiglass headlight guards from SW Motech. Again, there are plenty of options out there and everyone is free to choose. We opted for Motech as the availability and service in Morocco is unparalleled.
Side stand kill switch protection (R1200GS/R1250GS)
An unusual item, one would say. Based on our experience, the exposed kill-switch is rather fragile. We’ve had issues as a result of flicking stones on gravely terrain but we also had a case where one of our riders wearing 47+ size enduro boots broke the relay with his foot. As far as we are concerned, Touratech is the only company that provides a solution in Morocco. Hence we use their very easy to mount solution and have had no issues since.
Although unsure of the correct terminology, our bikes are all equipped with sliders. On the chain driven bikes (F700GS/F800GS, F750GS/F850GS) we mount SW Motech’s rear axle slider to protect the swingarm from scratch and damage in case of a slide or fall and they are very useful.
On the boxer engines, we mount the sliders that protect the driveshaft as that can be expensive to repair and ugly when scratched.
As we cover many miles off the tarmac roads, we also spend lot of time standing on the pegs. As most of the time, riders would wear proper off-road boots, over time they tend to scratch the frame and paint would fade or disappear. Although more a cosmetic damage, we like to take care of our bikes. Unfortunately, we have not found an available solution for the smaller bikes, but our big boxers all boost the plastic frame protectors sold by BMW Motorrad. They are not expensive and go a long way in keeping your frame in mint condition, mounted easily and held in place with the supplied small rubber straps. Don’t forget to take them off when you give the bike a good cleaning after a muddy ride as dust and dirt can get behind easily.
Last but not least, we use these cool products (no pun intended) as they come in very handy in the Moroccan sunshine and heat as well as on the occasional rainy days.
Cool Covers is a British company making seat covers for motorcycles. First of all, you’d rather rip one of those than the expensive factory seat. On the other hand, they make the trip much more comfy as they will avoid your seat getting burning hot when you leave the bike under the sun during a coffee or lunch break. Another advantage – luckily less of an issue in Morocco – is that the slightly elevated pattern will make the water run down below your seating surface, thus you can sit back on the bike in the rain, without the uncomfortable soaked feeling on your bottom.
As usual, the above items are from the list of things we use and/or we find useful. They are a result of our choice, mostly based on experience and tested in the environment we ride in. We are not paid by any of the above companies for sharing our opinion or using their products.
These posts are not judgments, purely a shared experience. Everyone should select the items he/she deems best for their ride. The important is that you enjoy your bike and the ride.