I have the T-Rex Engine and Luggage Guards. I LOVE them. I've seen some complaints about them from a couple people, and I've noticed a lack of representation of them in the forums, so I'd like to dispel those negative opinions one complaint/question at a time. NOTE: It looks like I have the newer version of T-Rex's Gen 3 Versys crash bars. Some people have been reviewing the old ones, and these questions/complaints have been about those--they WERE a poorer design. I'll add to this post once they reply to my email about whether this is the final version.
"They don't seem sturdy."
They are VERY sturdy, beefy, heavy steel (really surprisingly heavy... probably adds 20 pounds to the bike?) with generous welds. If you look at the primary structural bar, it bends back around and is welded to itself, which seems much stronger than welding separate bar structures together on the same side (looking at you, Givi). One of the complaints I've seen is that there are too many weld points, but I think the actual product is an extremely well-designed structure that looks and feels sturdy from all angles. I've also seen and read about quite a few people taking asphalt naps with these engine bars on, and all of them said the bars and bike both held up wonderfully.
"They're only attached by the engine bolts and some dinky frame clamps."
So the engine bolts are obviously one of the strongest mounting points on the bike and they can withstand a lot of shear force--several reputable crash bars use them as their only connection point, in fact. The problem with that is the bars are likely to twist and bend around that one point in a crash. T-Rex Racing addressed this--and solved it, I'd say--with some seriously sturdy frame clamps on either side. The engine bolts are plenty capable of keeping the engine guards attached
in any reasonable-speed crash, and the clamps are plenty capable of keeping them in place
. The effect is that the bars will perform as designed from beginning to end of the impact and subsequent slide. Furthermore, the right and left guards are attached to one another in the front at the top and at the bottom. This looks like a way to let both bars absorb and distribute an impact that occurs on one side. Let me tell you, having grabbed and shaken the bike by these engine guards with all my might, I'm convinced. They're a part of my frame now--they are beautifully overengineered and they aren't going anywhere.
"They don't seem well designed."
I actually chose the T-Rex guards BECAUSE they have a clever design. There are removable aluminum skid plates at the contact points at the bottom of each guard (and the contact points on the luggage guards) and there's a high-density plastic puck on the third (and hopefully final!) contact point halfway up. If the bike gets dropped and slides, it will chew up these sacrificial components and likely leave the bars themselves relatively unscathed. Then you can order new aluminum sliders and plastic pucks, and the bars will be good as new, assuming they didn't bend too much. With Givi, etc, you'll wear the scars of any drop for as long as you have the bars installed. It's two levels of protection--one level protects from cosmetic damage in minor falls at the cost of a couple aluminum plates, and at the second level, the bars themselves protect from structural damage in more serious falls.
Well... aren't all crash bars? Better to pay for quality in this category.
"How hard is the installation?"
Easy peasy. Just need a torque wrench that goes as low as 8 ft/lbs and as high as I think 35? Don't remember the exact number. If you're careful but deliberate and you're doing it for the first time, it's a 30 minute install for the luggage guards and maybe 45-60 for the engine guards.
"But they get in the way of removing the plastics."
No they don't!! I just had my fairings off today and it was a breeze. I was worried about this too at first, but all the bolts are accessible and while you may need to do a little more finagling than you used to to slide the big pieces of plastic out from behind them, you certainly do NOT have to remove the engine guards for any plastic removal or oil changes. It would need to be some pretty invasive maintenance for them to be in the way. The luggage guard doesn't get in the way of anything either, any more than the LT bags do already. No complaints there, except that the bike might look a little silly if I take the bags off.
"Don't they get in the way of the OEM light bar?"
Yeah, but they also offer you lots of options for new mounting points... I don't have the OEM light bar, but I've personally never really understood this complaint.
"I don't know that company--how's the customer service?"
Really good. There was actually a manufacturing error on the luggage guard that prevented one of the frame clamps from lining up, and they sent a replacement that arrived just a couple days later. Very painless. They were also really helpful by email about all the questions I had before purchasing. 5/5.
Here are some pictures below.
Hope this is what you guys are looking for. Let me know if you have any more questions or want to see any closer angles of something in particular.