MO Tested: Evotech-Performance Accessories
Crash protection and a tidier brake light assembly
I first learned about Evotech-Performance products when I was searching for a radiator guard in my first installment of KTM 790 Duke upgrades. I was so impressed with the quality, fit, and finish of the radiator guard that I started scoping out other Evotech-Performance pieces – particularly some that either offer crash protection or clean up the back of the bike’s lines.
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Whether you call them crash bobbins or frame protectors, their job is the same. The Evotech Crash Bobbins are designed to hold your bike’s delicate parts off the ground in a slide. Although there are several companies that offer this type of crash protection, the Crash Bobbins caught my attention because of the bar that connects the bobbin on one side to that on the other. Since the slider portion is slightly cantilevered away from where it is bolted to the chassis, having it connected to the mounting hardware on both sides of the bike should make it twice as strong.
On the right side of the bike, the billet aluminum mounting plate attaches via two bolts. The bobbin (or bung, if you prefer) then bolts the plate to a rod that passes through the frame to the left side of the bike where a similarly beefy machined aluminum bracket resides. Once everything is torqued into place, the whole assembly looks to be sturdy enough to withstand a slide from speed. The aluminum parts have a heavy, textured powder coat that should keep its clean appearance for years without corroding.
Even working at a methodical pace, the installation took just 45 minutes. The Crash Bobbins retail for $226, and Evotech-Performance says replacement parts can be ordered in the event of a tip over.
Front and Rear Spindle Bobbins
Although these are two separate products, their only differences are those required to which axle they are affixed. However, their goal is the same as the Crash Bobbins discussed above. In the event of a crash, these sliders sacrifice themselves to keep more expensive parts of the motorcycle away from the abrasive pavement.
The visible parts of these sliders are made from injection molded nylon that is mounted on the outside of both axles. Backing and strengthening each slider is an aluminum base that is machined specifically to fit its mounting location. For example, the front axle has a wide opening on the right side and a narrower one on the left. The spacers each tuck neatly into the appropriate side, holding the slider in place. On the rear axle, the spacers wrap over the end of the axle itself on the left side and the axle nut on the right – all very neat and easy to remove come tire change time. Finally, a rolled stainless steel rod with threads on both ends passes through the hollow axles to hold each assembly in place. When secured by the included nylock nuts, the bobbins can still rotate on the rod, which should help facilitate sliding instead of catching on the pavement.
The Front Spindle Bobbins and Rear Spindle Bobbins both retail for $44 and are purchased separately.
Shop for Evotech-Performance Front Spindle Bobbins here
Paddock Stand Bobbins
After installing the Rear Spindle Bobbins, I couldn’t abide the cheap rear stand pins I’d previously mounted on the 790. After their first use, the black surface color began to scrape off, leaving the bare aluminum to show through.
That’s impossible with the Evotech Paddock Stand bobbins. They’re machined out of nylon with an inner aluminum core for strength. With just a dab of Loctite and a couple turns of a ratchet, they are good to go – all for $32.
KTM 790 Duke Tail Tidy
Leave it to the Brits to come up with this cute name for a fender eliminator. No matter what you call it, though, this upgrade takes the ugly OEM brake light, turn signal, and license plate assembly and tucks the components eight inches closer to the back of the bike, mounting directly to the tail section. This is the way the 790 Duke should have looked in the first place. However, it does create a problem for the U.S.-spec right turn signal, which is now in the blast of the stock exhaust’s hot gasses. So, you’ll need to install smaller aftermarket turn signals. (I wrote about my choice of Rizoma Leggera turn signals here.) I think the majority of people installing this tail tidy would do this anyway.
The tidy itself is a quality piece of kit, constructed of satin black powder coated billet aluminum with its own LED brake light that Evotech claims is “100% road legal.” The light itself is plenty bright, and I have no worries about it being seen in daylight. One complaint I have about the kit is that the brake wiring is a little long, which means that I either need to put up with the extra wire taking up space in the tail section or I need to cut the wires down to a more appropriate length. So far, laziness has won out, but at some point, my soldering iron and I will take care of the excess wiring.
Another issue is the license plate bracket for U.S. users. Since our plates are different dimensions than the European ones, the holes on the plate and the Evotech bracket don’t match up. The kit comes with a pair of adapters, which gets the job done but doesn’t look as elegant as the rest of the setup. Fortunately, it’s mostly hidden behind the plate itself.
To my eye, the Evotech-Performance Tail Tidy is well worth its $177 retail price and the hour-long installation process.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably interested in the KTM 790 Duke. However, in case you’re not, Evotech-Performance has a huge catalog of accessories for a wide variety of motorcycles on its website. You might find something you want for your bike.
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I have a couple of questions about those "frame protectors."
First question: Do they make things worse for the frame?
I can imagine that by keeping the frame off the ground, they prevent it from getting scratched up. On the other hand, the force of impact must be concentrated at the location of the bobbin. Isn't this concentrated impact more likely to bend the frame?
Second question: Do they make things worse for you?
No one wants to take a handlebar to the ribs. Why would anyone want a bobbin to the knee, or ankle, or kidney, etc.?
Do you think it changes frame flex appreciably having added another crossbar side to side?