When SW-Motech first started as a company, it was to make motorcycle luggage, but they had an ulterior motive. Their humble beginnings in 1999 were in fact because a group of German students were desperate to do more motorcycle travel in Africa and thought it may be a useful way to equip their own bikes and raise some travel funds at the same time. What could be more honest and honourable?
Now nearly 15 years old, they continue to grow and have branched out, offering GPS holders, hard and soft luggage for just about everything, light kits, bash plates and crashbars.
It was a set of crashbars that I ordered for the editorial NC700X. To date I’ve only ridden it on tarmac and gravel roads, but I have plans to fit some TKC80 tyres and get it very dirty, so better safe than sorry!
Although constructed from heavy-duty steel, SW-Motech crash bars are tough, lightweight, unobtrusive and add minimal width to the bike as you can from the pics. The mounting points are all main engine mounts and there’s a front crossmember too. To be honest I’m not planning to crash, but the design of the bars and the pickup points that have been chosen do give me a lot of confidence.
The ‘bars are sandblasted and powder coated to help prevent corrosion and the finish certainly appears robust. The welds are all very neat and clearly any weld ‘splatter’ has either been cleaned off in the sand blasting process or the care and attention of the welder was exceptional. Either way, it fills me with confidence that they’ll last and won’t start rusting with the first sign of the British winter.
SW-Motech provide fitting instructions and all the necessary fasteners, even some little rubber bungs for the front cross-member, lest it should ever rub against the engine, which is a nice touch and further demonstration of the thought involved in design. But do they actually fit?
Well from start to finish they took me about 45 minutes to fit and I must confess that for some of that time I was having to use a pry bar to get the front hole on the left hand side to line up. But it did fit and the longer allenhead bolts that are provided for each specific mount, weren’t forced or cross threaded. My only concern is that the greater depth of the head of the allen bolt at the rear on the right side, means the fuel pipe is now resting on it. It may be nothing, but I’ll monitor it to make sure the fuel line doesn’t chafe.
I think they look very smart and even though they don’t protrude very far – and you certainly won’t notice if you use hard luggage – with winter coming I may use them to add some wind deflectors to keep my knees warm. And perhaps for the next trip I’ll attach some small waterproof bags to carry easily accessible tyre changing stuff, or my cooker, or a lock! The founders of SW-Motech would be proud I’m sure.
You can find your local supplier online or get them direct here for £135.46 : motohaus.com