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Carbonfiber skidplate for the 500exc/xcw.....

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So I skipped out a few hours early from work so I could get to the bus depot and pick up my new skidplate. After unsuccessful attempts try to get a P3 skidplate I cancelled my order and had my shop get a Leo-Vince one in......I wanted something that allowed the chassis to flex more. If you own one of these bikes you know they are EXTREMELY tall and in tight conditions the bike can be a handful. Running a burly aluminum skidplate makes the bike even more difficult to manage.....So as a experiment I stripped off the aluminum skidplate and WOW, what a difference it makes, everything just works better and actually makes the bike easier to ride.....

 

So on to the skidplate.....The CF plate itself is pretty thin but it has a decent amount of flex which I imagine is normal for CF? The mounting system didn't leave much to be desired either with it being a light piece of bent metal, 2 washers and two screws. Definitely not as HD as the aluminum skidplate mounting system. It looks pretty rough on the inside but quite nice from the outside with good coverage around the water pump and a nice form fit around the ignition case. One thing that does bum me out though it I cannot remove the oil filter with the skidplate on so it will have to be removed when I change filters (which is very rarely as I run a Scotts SS unit). The back of the skidplate doesn't have any bolts and just slides up underneath the frame cradle.....

 

Mounting was pretty dam simple as they supply bolt that are plenty long enough allowing you to get your hand in easy to hold the mounting plate (something that was not easy on the aluminum skidplate). After a couple dabs of blue locktite and about 2 minutes later, she was good and tight. What's really interesting it how much more ridged the skidplate became. It really felt about 3 times stiffer. I went for a quick burn and two things are noticeable right away, the motor still sounds quite unlike the aluminum one which reflects sound back quite badly AND the skid plate didn't make the chassis feel stiffer like the aluminum one did. As for durability, one time will tell. Im pretty easy on things as I am not one to bash into a lot of things but I will let you know if anything does go wrong.....

 

Here's a few pics.....

 

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Well, it's pretty. Too bad it wouldn't make it through the morning ride here. I take Flatland's plate and weld another 1/4" plate to it.

 

I'm a touch curious about this chassis bit. You've actually felt a difference due to a skidplate? I've never heard of this.

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Well, it's pretty. Too bad it wouldn't make it through the morning ride here. I take Flatland's plate and weld another 1/4" plate to it.

 

I'm a touch curious about this chassis bit. You've actually felt a difference due to a skidplate? I've never heard of this.

 

Honestly, it was a huge difference. The Scorpion skid-plate is extremely heavy duty and makes the bike feels stiff....

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What did you do with the Scorpion plate? My heavy duty plate is already pretty bashed up. Is the Scorpion that tough?

 

Its sitting on a shelf in my garage, and yes, they are that tough!

 

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Edited by originalmonk

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It does look nice. I was just shopping skip plates for my 300 a few weeks ago and I almost pulled the trigger on a carbon fiber plate also. I ended up getting the KTM six days skid plate instead for a couple reasons.

The first being I have the same version on my 450 and its been great. The quick release is really nice and I've never had an issue with the plate coming off. Its taken some hits in the past and is still holding up extremely well.

The second reason being I also have a carbon fiber pipe guard on the 450 as well. I'm on my second carbon pipe guard now. The pipe guard is tuff and its done its job, no dents in my pipe at all but the issue is over time the carbon fiber becomes more brittle. Eventually my original guard failed where it bolted to the clamps on the pipe and I had to replace it. Also carbon fiber will only endure a few good hits before it begins to let go. I did replace mine with another so don't get me wrong. Carbon is good stuff, looks great, doesn't weigh anything, and pretty strong. One thing its not is cheap.

Like you said time will tell so I would be interested to see how its holding up a year from now.

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How much did the old skid plate weigh ?    How much does the CF plate weigh ?

 

A few pounds easily on the aluminum. I have some pretty fancy scales at home so when I get back in a week I will measure both.....

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I put the moose carbon fiber skid plate on and I like it more that an Aluminum for its rigidity and memory. If I hit some thing it deflects a little and returns to it original state. its also a tighter look and feel on the bike.

 

My plate is 0.25" thick I've seen others that are only 0.125" thick. I would stay away from the thin ones

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So I have about 8hrs on the bike with the skidplate and am happy to report its still there. I haven't taken any sharp rock hits but I have pulled her over a few logs and have hit a few clunkers here and there.....

 

At first the motor noise wasn't noticeable with the skidplate but when I take a sec to listen for it, its still there. That being said its still not as loud as having a aluminum one on....

 

As for having more flex then the aluminum one, yup this one is so much better......

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