Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nomad Rider Crash Guards

This post serves to summarize my experience with the Nomad Rider Crash Guards.

I purchased a set of Nomad Rider Crash Guards in December 2015 for installation on my 2016 Kawasaki KLR650. The Nomads have a history of fractures that the company reported had been resolved by using thicker tubing. I specifically discussed this with the salesperson at Nomad before agreeing to purchase the bars. I received and installed the guards in early January 2016. See Nomad Rider Crash Bars.

In early March 2016, the right guard fractured at the frame downtube mount point during the Annual Dixie Dualsport Rally. Nomad Rider Promptly replaced the damaged right side guard. See Nomad Rider Crash Bars Broke/Cracked.

In mid May 2016 I suffered a leg injury in a trail fall and was prevented from riding motorcycles until late July and I was unable to ride serious trail (or rally) for the remainder of 2016.

In late December 2016, I noted that the left Nomad Rider Bar had fractured at the left foot peg mounting point. Similar to the first fracture, it was the mounting plate that fractured rather than the tubing. See More Nomad Woes.

Again, I contacted Nomad Rider (providing photos) regarding the damage. They offered me a choice to (i) replace the left guard with a matte black guard (even though my right guard was gloss black) or (ii) a discounted price on a complete set of gloss black guards. I chose the first choice of free replacement of the left bar.

Going a month and a half later, the left Nomad guard has not been delivered to me as promised. I have purchased and installed a set of Tusk Guards. As we embark upon the 2017 Rally Season (first rally in three weeks) I have much bigger things to deal with than the missing Nomad Rider Bar and do not plan to pursue the promise.

To summarize, the Nomad Rider Crash Guards had acquired a reputation of fracture (see KLR650 forums .com and .net and Facebook Group). Nomad Rider represented on their website and to me via a phone conversation that the defect had been corrected. Yet each of my two guards sustained a fracture. Nomad Rider promised to replace the second damaged bar and they did not replace it causing me to spend money to purchase a replacement set of bars. In all honesty, at this point I'm glad to move onto a set of crash bars that (based on customer reviews) will likely be more reliable to a serious dual sport rider.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Tusk Crash Bars

I've decided to discontinue using the Nomad Rider Crash Bars. Given my experience, I think that they have issues whether inherent or how I'm using them; design, metal, I don't know, but I don't trust them any more. To replace them I have purchased a set of Tusk Guards. These guards have a fairly decent following from watching the boards and they are certainly priced the lowest plus I had credits to apply making them even more attractive. They fit with my Ricochet bash plate.

The new Tusk Guards were purchased from Rocky Mountain ATV. The price was $169.99, but I had over $25 in RMCash credits to apply to the order, plus I picked up another $8.50 in RMCash credits from the guard purchase itself. They are yet to be installed, but I'm starting the post upon delivery and will update with the installation.

Each side (bar only) weighed in at 8 pounds (16 total pounds). I was quite surprised that they weighed more than the clearly beefier Nomads that weighted a combined 15 pounds. The hardware that accompanies the bars was another 1 pound. However, that's probably a net wash or only a small bump against the stock hardware weight.

The product came with two pages of nicely printed installation instructions that seem to be clear and concise, although installation actually looks fairly intuitive.

Stay tuned for an update of the installation...


The Tusk Guard installation is not, in any way, interfered with by my Ricochet bash plate. There are two mounting points on the down tube and another at the upper subframe bolt. I didn't have to remove the bash plate to install the guards.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Armor FZ-09

As if I didn't have enough blogs already, I've started a new blog: Armor FZ-09. I'm about three days from taking delivery on a 2016 Yamaha FZ-09 from Barneys in Brandon, Florida. It's a pure nekkie sport bike with an 847cc in-line triple (with crossplane technology). After a 2016 on only dual sports, I was jonesing for small (and cheap) road bike. Here we go...

The "Armor" is in reference to the armor grey color of this particular model.

UPDATE 1/4/2017:

The FZ-09 has arrived....

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

More Nomad Woes

I have a set of Nomad Rider front crash guards on my 2016 KLR650. I purchased them in December of last year and by March the front downtube mounting plate on the right guard snapped clean. It wasn't the guard tube itself or a weld; it was the thick metal mating plate...and it's quite thick! Ultimately, Nomad had me a replacement in a week.

Fast forward to yesterday and I was at my dealer having some work done. They noticed that the footpeg mounting plate on the Nomad left guard has snapped. I hadn't noticed it.

I don't know anything about metallurgy but there really must be something wrong with the metal that this outfit is using. On the other hand, I note that SW Motech changed their design relative to the lower mount from the footpeg mount similar to the Nomad to a frame mount. Perhaps there's some design issues at play.

Well, at first I was kind of angry about the break and telling myself I was just going to get another brand set of bars. But like the last time, Nomad has quickly responded by shipping out a new guard. There was really no harm in this incident and they're promptly replacing the defective part. No harm no foul and I'm not out any money. I suppose for some the install might be a pain, but I actually enjoy working on my bikes so I don't have a problem replacing the part. Maybe I'll find some maintenance thing to do while I'm at it. :)


As of February 11, 2017, Nomad Rider has not replaced the fractured left guard as they promised. Not only did they agree to replace it, they got me to agree to accept a matte black bar which did not match the right gloss black bar. I have since installed a set of Tusk bars.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dunlop D606

I've been running Continental TKC80s on the KLR650. They are a great 40/60 tire. However, as we start to think about the 2017 Dual Sport Rally Season, I decided to go with something more aggressive ... specifically the 10/90 Dunlop D606.

Interestingly, I normally find the best prices on tires at RevZilla. However, this go-round, Rocky Mountain ATV beat out RevZilla and Motorcycle Superstore even had a great price, but they don't offer free shipping.

RevZilla priced the D606, Front=$97.61, Rear=$100.03. That's $197.64 with free shipping. Rocky Mountain priced the tires, Front=$84.88, Rear=$87.88. That's $172.76 with free shipping and a savings of $24.88. I purchased two sets...

When picking your dual sport tires, remember that you never get stuck on the road.


The two sets of D606 have been delivered. I'll be deferring installation until a week or so before our first rally which is currently scheduled March 3-5, 2017. Then we can take a weekend to test them and be ready to roll. I can't wait to take on Devil's Creek with these bad boys!!!!!

Update 2:

I just ordered a set of Tusk Side Crash Guards from Rocky Mountain ATV and found that I had a $10.38 credit from purchasing the tires. Sweet!