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Discussion Starter #1
One of the first things I would like to add to my Mini-V is some kind of engine guard. The OEM, of course, is guaranteed for fit and function. But after looking for aftermarket items, I really like the guard from T-Rex (T-Rex Racing 2017 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Engine Guard Crash Cages). It appears to have the same ability to support LED lights as the OEM, but looks like it would provide better protection - especially with the optional pucks.

Has anyone installed the T-Rex version or their skid plate yet? If so, what is your impression of the fit and coverage?
 

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I do have the T-rex skid plate and it probably has already saved my exhaust system at least twice. We ride off road quite a bit and I have hit logs, stumps and rocks. Holding up very well so far. This time of year, I have to keep an eye on the dead leaves accumulating inside the skid plate. My buddy was riding behind me and told me he could smell burning leaves. They were not on fire yet, but were smoldering. I just make sure i keep them cleaned out during our rest stops now and all is good.

t-rex did not have the upper cage at the time I bought mine, so I went with the Kawasaki guard. It works just fine, my bike has been down offroad at low speed a couple of times with no damage. The t-rex one does look like it offers mor protection though.
 

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One of the first things I would like to add to my Mini-V is some kind of engine guard. The OEM, of course, is guaranteed for fit and function. But after looking for aftermarket items, I really like the guard from T-Rex (T-Rex Racing 2017 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 Engine Guard Crash Cages). It appears to have the same ability to support LED lights as the OEM, but looks like it would provide better protection - especially with the optional pucks.

Has anyone installed the T-Rex version or their skid plate yet? If so, what is your impression of the fit and coverage?
You should probably use the same brand crash bars as skid plate as they are usually designed to fit together. Not sure about the 300, but for the 650 SW-Motech makes the best product. Their stuff is well made. I would also consider a rad guard if riding where crud is getting thrown at the radiator. Kawasaki brand accessories are not usually made by Kawasaki but are rather rebranded stuff from an assortment of aftermarket companies like Givi, Shad and others. Price wise it is usually best to buy the aftermarket brand as there is a huge markup in price once Kawasaki gets stamped on it. For example Oxford heated grips are $89US vs $200+ for the Kawasaki brand. Quality is as good or better with the Oxfords.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the input. Glad to hear my first impulse to avoid Kawasaki brand accessories was correct. Their plastic hand protection looks like a joke.

I'll take a look at the SW-Motech stuff. I have until late spring to decide on the brand engine guard and skid plate. Won't be off road until then anyway. But I am looking forward to getting stuff installed on the bike.

Right now, I am already looking at the Oxford heated grips (Baby it's COLD outside!) to pair with some BarkBusters I bought for another bike and never installed. Need some wind protection and warmth for my poor hands. I don't have far to go to commute, but when it's in the 20's to 30's, it doesn't take long for the fingers to feel frozen.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just purchased the T-Rex skid plate. Hope to see it come in by the end of the month. If I'm lucky, the snow will be gone by then too and it will be warm enough to get outside and actually install. I'll take pictures and do a review when it arrives.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:surprise: Aww man! Sil3ns, how did you even find that?! I've was looking for alternatives to the T-Rex because I don't like the self-advertising cut-outs. But they seemed to be the only ones available. After watching the video posted below, I must say I definitely like the Ricochet's beefier coverage and stouter mounting points!

<sigh> Note to self: I just need to be more patient: this model is only a year old after all! :rolleyes:

But to be honest, my purposes, the T-Rex will be more than adequate since I'm new to the whole adventure bike experience and have very few opportunities to be off-road. When it's time to go cross-country, then I'll worry about upgrading to the better skid plate.

In the mean time, for those who haven't seen this yet, here's a cool video showing installation of the Rocochet plate:
 

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I have the Richocet skid plate. Its great. However, compatible crashbars are limited. The Richocet uses the upper motor mount as a mounting point. The SW Motech crashbars will not work. I have resorted to use the OEM bars which are adequate in my opinion. As far as I know, the OEM and T-Rex bars are the only one available at this moment that are compatible. Rumors are out there that SW Motech is working on a skid plate that should work with their bars. Givi is working on stuff too, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Since I didn't want to wait until spring when everyone and their brother is trying to get ready for the season, I went ahead and bought the T-Rex engine guards. Although it's another case of lack-of-patience, I figure better to go ahead and spend the money now while the bars are available, rather than wait until spring when everyone and their brother will have the same idea and risk them being sold-out. The skid plate came in this week. If the weather clears I'll install it this weekend. If it keeps raining, though, I'll just wait until the engine guards come in and install everything all at once.
 

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From what I can tell, all of them are compatible. The OEM is just the least complicated to install. I have the Ricochet skid plate and the Givi crash bars. I had to go to the Fastenal store and purchase a 1/2" longer socket bolt for the upper motor mount. Other than that, everything went together fairly easily.
 

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I have the Ricochet skid plate and Kawasaki crash bars and they work fine together.

Here’s my issue with the Ricochet skid plate, however. There 13 fasteners involved and not one mention in the instructions of recommended torque. This is especially important for the upper and lower mounting bolts which are replaced with new longer bolts. And, they supply split lock washers which were proven back in the 70’s to be detrimental to bolted joints.
 

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...Here’s my issue with the Ricochet skid plate, however. There 13 fasteners involved and not one mention in the instructions of recommended torque. This is especially important for the upper and lower mounting bolts which are replaced with new longer bolts. And, they supply split lock washers which were proven back in the 70’s to be detrimental to bolted joints.
I believe that there's a page in the SERVICE MANUAL that gives recommended torque values for different fasteners BASED ON THEIR DIAMETERS.

Pretty sure IF you "Google" it you'll come up w/ a similar page.
 

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In my humble opinion, the supplier of the skid plate should have provided the recommended torques.
That would be in their own best interest. If they don’t recommend the torques, then I can just tighten everything finger tight and then sue when the thing falls off and destroys my crankcase or causes a wreck.
 

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And, standard torques are not relevant in this case. Five of the bolts thread into odd nuts pressed and swaged into the brackets. Too much torque and the nut spins in the bracket. No way to know how tight to go absent useful instructions.

Four of the bracket bolts screw into blind holes in the crankcase. Again, this requires a lower than standard torque to avoid stripping the aluminum threads.

And two bolts screw into inserts in rubber insulators. You can’t look that torque up anywhere.
 
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