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We've been making hard parts for bikes for 11 years now after starting with big bikes like the GS, KTM 1190, and 1290.  After getting a 500 we started building hard goods for it so we could explore our way through Baja during the winter months.  While we've fabricated and now offer what we've built for our needs we need some input as other riders likely have very different priorities than ours.  With this in mind can you share your thoughts on the following?

 

After you bought your bike what did you upgrade and in what priority?  

Has your factory skid plate been replaced?   If not, why?

When you upgraded a component what made you decide to make the upgrade?  Better fit, crash replacement, product failure, etc.

 

In what order would you rank the following? (1 being most important to 3 not being important):

  • Fit and finish
  • Made in America :usa:
  • Materials used
  • Cost
  • Availability of replacement parts
  • Shipping
  • Company reputation

Thanks in advance for whatever feedback you can share!

 

Black Dog Cycle Works
www.blackdogcw.com

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I really admire your products and company ethos, but i can't pay double the going rate for a skid plate. 250 bucks is really outrageous. I guess you keep selling them and the well heeled Euro bike market makes that price point viable. But yeah, no.

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Welcome Black Dog, to TT! I was unaware you are a new 'Insider' and supporter of our little family. Please feel free to call on me if I can be of help.

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I didn't replace mine, the 300 XCW didn't come with one. I did end up getting a KTM branded plastic skid plate. It was plenty expensive and doesn't have the coverage I would like but seems to be a quality product. I prefer plastic as it glides across rocks and logs instead of digging in. Also less reverb from them. Cost is a big factor in most things I buy. Place of manufacturing is important from a patriotic standpoint as well as a general guide to quality (not always but a GENERAL guide). Fit and finish fits somewhere between the first two so swap it around however you want. 

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1 hour ago, HeavyRotation said:

I really admire your products and company ethos, but i can't pay double the going rate for a skid plate. 250 bucks is really outrageous. I guess you keep selling them and the well heeled Euro bike market makes that price point viable. But yeah, no.

Heavy, I have one on my 690. I'm close to finishing my review. I too was initially taken back by the price, but I'll tell you, it's probably the finest skid plates I've owned period. The materials, fit, and finish are flat out amazing. I almost felt a little guilty getting it dirty and scratched up. ;) I really feel like they didn't set out to build a plate to hit a price point. They built the best plate they could, then figured out how to make a few bucks. I could be wrong of course. No question that there are cheaper plates, but if price isn't a huge concern but having the best is, this product seems to fit that bill. I was pretty surprised when I pulled the plate out of the box. I actually said to myself, "Dayuhhhhm!" I'll pm you a link to my review when I'm done if you're interested. Not only does it cove all vital engine bits, it covers the linkage,  and the bottom is nice and flat with countersunk hardware so it doesn't snag. Also, the flat bottom is nicely sized for my lift stand to get the heavy girl offer her wheels. 

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Once my bike was broken in, I added a Tonn's Racing skid plate. I didn't like the bare aluminum look so I painted it with Hammerite to match the frame and cases.

10+ years later I bought a TM Designs polymer skid plate.

The metal skidplate did its job well, but it catches and drags on rocks.

I really like the fit and finish of your skidplate, but I can assure you that your logo would be missing after my first ride.

1) Fit

2) Price

3) Weight

4) Durability

5) Origin of manufacture

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Heavy, I have one on my 690. I'm close to finishing my review. I too was initially taken back by the price, but I'll tell you, it's probably the finest skid plates I've owned period. The materials, fit, and finish are flat out amazing. I almost felt a little guilty getting it dirty and scratched up.  I really feel like they didn't set out to build a plate to hit a price point. They built the best plate they could, then figured out how to make a few bucks. I could be wrong of course. No question that there are cheaper plates, but if price isn't a huge concern but having the best is, this product seems to fit that bill. I was pretty surprised when I pulled the plate out of the box. I actually said to myself, "Dayuhhhhm!" I'll pm you a link to my review when I'm done if you're interested. Not only does it cove all vital engine bits, it covers the linkage,  and the bottom is nice and flat with countersunk hardware so it doesn't snag. Also, the flat bottom is nicely sized for my lift stand to get the heavy girl offer her wheels. 
I'd appreciate the review. Plates for that bike start about 175. Just a symptom of owning a Euro bike, I'm adjusting slowly from a parts cost standpoint. Remember when you were a kid you could get 4 candy bars, a 40 of Olde English and a pack of Best Value filters for 5 bucks?

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10 minutes ago, HeavyRotation said:

I'd appreciate the review. Plates for that bike start about 175. Just a symptom of owning a Euro bike, I'm adjusting slowly from a parts cost standpoint. Remember when you were a kid you could get 4 candy bars, a 40 of Olde English and a pack of Best Value filters for 5 bucks?

As you know, I played in the ADV bike world for a bit, so I'm somewhat less shocked by prices of stuff for the 690 and 701s. One could certainly complain about the price of the Black Dog stuff, but I don't see many feeling short changed once they pull one out of the box. Bike are 'spensive these days, so no doubt we're all looking to meet our needs with the least amount. It took me a while to work up the courage to spend what I did on my 690. I love the bike and while I've not looked back or have any regrets, when I wrote the check, it was painful. 

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I'm with Heavy, looks like a great product but just too rich for my taste. I can get a decent workable plate quite a bit cheaper. Would it be made and fit as good? Maybe, maybe not. As long as it does it's job is more important that precise fit or how pretty it is. Price is also a big factor when considering upgrades for my bikes. I ride and race a lot so I have to be price conscious to stay within my budget.

Quote

After you bought your bike what did you upgrade and in what priority?

First is always suspension. Then jetting. As far as armor is concerned the first add on will be wraparound hand guards. After that it's just a matter of what doesn't work for me or whether something can do the job better for a, IMO, reasonable price point.

Quote

Has your factory skid plate been replaced?   If not, why?

Yes.

Quote

When you upgraded a component what made you decide to make the upgrade?  Better fit, crash replacement, product failure, etc.

All factors are considered.
 

Quote

 

In what order would you rank the following? (1 being most important to 3 not being important):

Fit and finish

Made in America 

Materials used

Cost

Availability of replacement parts

Shipping

Company reputation

 

I ranked in order of importance with one being the most important, seven the least.

1 Fit and finish

2 Cost

3 Company reputation

4 Materials used

5 Availability of replacement parts

6 Made in America

7 Shipping

 

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7 hours ago, BlackDogCycleWorks said:

 

 

After you bought your bike what did you upgrade and in what priority?

 

  2018 ktm 300 xcw 6 days. Came with polymer plate. I upgraded skid plate as one of the 1st major pieces. Small things here and there but it was a month later I bought emperor racing. 

Has your factory skid plate been replaced?   If not, why?

When you upgraded a component what made you decide to make the upgrade?  Better fit, crash replacement, product failure, etc.

night and day difference in protection. I paid $350 for my plate and I'd do it again. If the quality and craftsmanship is there to fetch the price and the market says you're priced appropriately (no stock more than 10-13 months old, selling out of certain models, consistent metrics, etc) then I wouldn't worry too much about cost. If youre giving away stock to write it off at the end of the year perhaps some targeted research into that space by a reputable firm could shed some light on that. 

Before this post I had not heard of black dog. But I'm on a dirtbike. From the rest of the comments it appears you make stuff for adv bikes. That would make sense why your product never hit my radar. If you make a competitive plate in the dirtbike space I would ask why? No one can buy something they dont know about, regardless of value. 

 

7 hours ago, BlackDogCycleWorks said:

 

In what order would you rank the following? (1 being most important to 3 not being important):

  • 1.     Fit and finish
  • 3.    Made in America :usa:
  • 4.    Materials used
  • 5.     Cost
  • 6.     Availability of.       replacement parts
  • 7.     Shipping
  • 2.    Company reputation

 

 

Black Dog Cycle Works
www.blackdogcw.com

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Just bought a TMD linkage version skid for my 18 TE300... Looks like a quality piece.

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I put your plate on my 2018 500 EXC-F, within weeks of getting the bike. Already familiar with your great products... otherwise I may have gone with a less expensive & lighter option on the 500.

1. Fit and finish (including material used)
2. Availability of replacement parts
3. Made in America :usa:
4. Cost

In my case Company Reputation played a key role as well... as I have BDCW products on my 1290 and I know Kurt & Martha are some great folks.

Ya can’t go wrong with Black Dog!

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1.  fit and finish

2.. made in Murica

3.. shipping. I dont care how good you think your products are if you cant ship in a timely manner. 

Price is negligible,  people who know and expect quality, also understand that it cost more. 

Leave the price whoring to the bottom of the barrel companies like TMD shitworks and others,  there will always be buyers for higher end items.

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On 8/6/2018 at 12:48 PM, HeavyRotation said:

I'd appreciate the review. Plates for that bike start about 175. Just a symptom of owning a Euro bike, I'm adjusting slowly from a parts cost standpoint. Remember when you were a kid you could get 4 candy bars, a 40 of Olde English and a pack of Best Value filters for 5 bucks?

 

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I don't mind the stock skid plate on my 2016 500EXC. Already have a EE skid plate in stock ($130) for when needed. I hate ordering stuff, but your product looks A-1. 20180807_170832.jpg.471ff85d0fd79a058e4d7297b70c303b.jpg20180807_170857.jpg.ffe3c6c3501dbbd406be64ced3f9a27b.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I replaced my skid plate first thing, before I even took it out riding. Same with my radiator guards. 

Fit and finish are important to me followed by price. 

This is an expensive sport, and adding all the little gizmos gets to be really expensive. I’d like to find a brand that is reasonably priced, that makes good stuff, and has good customer service. If I could find that, I’d be loyal for life. 

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