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Black Dog Cycle Works Skid Plates Reviews

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  • Retail Price ~$249.00 Shop Now
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Bryan Bosch

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

There’s always a market (albeit smaller) for uncompromisingly built products, where buyers rank both function and form over price. If that describes how you buy parts for your motorcycle, Black Dog Cycle Works (BDCW) products might be right up your alley.

Up front, this a relatively expensive skid plate at $249.00 US, but when I pulled the product out of the box, I audibly said to myself, “Damn guys!” It’s that nice. I jokingly thought, “This thing is too pretty to beat up!”. The hammered black/gray powder coated & cleared finish looks amazing, and it’s proven to be durable so far. But to be fair, there isn’t much rock on the trails & forest service roads in central Florida.

Unlike a natural aluminum finish, the welds on the Black Dog unit are covered by the powder coating. But, from what I can see, they look uniform, clean, and almost seamless. There are also no sharp edges, corners, or anything that looks unfinished. Attention to detail is abundant.

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Black Dog Cycle Works Skid Plate mounted on a 2017 KTM 690 Enduro R

Installation was self-explanatory and took less than 10 minutes with basic hand tools. BDCW uses a burly, powder coated front mounting bracket that shares the front engine mount and once everything is tightened down, the skid plate is rock solid. Fitment accuracy was OE perfect and the skid plate can be removed for routine maintenance in less than a minute by removing two countersunk allen head bolts.

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Mounting bracket is beefy and allows for easy removal for maintenance

The skid plate is made from 3/16” (4.76mm) 5052 aluminum, a material that BDCW says will absorb impacts, not transfer the force to its mounting points. I’m no metallurgist, but I can report that installing the skid plate didn’t make the bike feel more harsh. Outside of a bit more engine noise being reflected back to my ears (common w/ aluminum), the skid plate is transparent when riding. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but the trade off is that it appears to be bullet-proof. Considering that the KTM 690 trellis frame means no lower frame rails, I’ll trade a bit of extra heft for peace-of-mind that engine vitals are superbly protected.

Speaking of protection, the coverage of the skid plate is solid from the front, sides, and bottom. Not only does it fully cover all engine vitals, it also extends to cover the shock linkage and rear master cylinder. The bottom of the skid plate is completely smooth, with no holes or exposed hardware to snag. I’ve slid it across a number of downed trees and it does glide nicely.


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Full protection of engine vitals, linkage, & master cylinder

The skid plate fits well with the lines of the 690, but it maintains enough stand-off from the engine to allow mud and water to drain. If you ride a lot of thick mud, there’s enough room to stuff in foam. The skid plate also has strategically located machined slots for airflow and I didn’t experience any heat issues post installation. The 690 heats up in slower terrain with a lot of clutching and I also ride of lot of deep sand in high temps and humidity.

Pros :thumbsup:

  • Uncompromising finish, fit, & build-quality.
  • Comprehensive protection of engine vitals, linkage, & master cylinder.
  • Smooth bottom doesn’t snag when sliding over obstacles.
  • Easy on/off for routine maintenance.
  • Made in the USA.

Cons :thumbsdn:

  • Stings the wallet a bit.

Bottom-line :prof:

I really like my Black Dog Cycle Works Skid Plate. I ride with confidence that trail hazards or the occasional crash aren’t likely to inflict any damage to vital components, it doesn’t add any measurable time or effort to maintenance tasks, and it really looks good on the bike. If you’re looking for a high-quality skid plate for your ktm 690, Husqvarna 701 enduro, or other off-road motorcycle, Black Dog should definitely be on your shortlist. I suspect that mine will last the life of the bike.

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