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How to install the Luna Sur-Ron Bash Guard

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    How to install the Luna Sur-Ron Bash Guard

    The following uncensored review/article was written by Mark Kitaoka (a Luna Cycle customer, Sur-Ron owner, photographer, blogger and friend) and he accepted that we use his article on our forum Knowledge base.
    Note: Mark paid for the item so he can say whatever he wants ;)

    You can checkout his fantastic blog and work here: http://www.markkitaoka.com/latest-ne...by-luna-cycle/
    He has plenty of ideas, tips and tricks for the Sur-Ron and some nice stories to tell.


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    I recently purchased Luna’s custom fabricated bash guard for my bike. In the old days when I raced motocross and desert, in some of my bike’s configurations the exhaust header exited downward. In other cases they exited upward. So when I would land ‘wrong’ the bash plate would dent the header pipe and never crack the cases. Sure a bent header pipe is crummy, but much better than a cracked case with oil spilling out all over. As well as the inevitable wrenching and money.

    But with the Sur Ron there aren’t any exhaust headers! But there is a bash plate. The stocker is made out of steel and by my mic measurements is 2.16mm thick weighing 0.8 pounds. It is also easy to flex both laterally and horizontally by hand. As of this writing I have NOT hit the stock bash guard hard enough to severely dent or bend the unit. What concerns me was just on the other side of the bash guard is the electric motor. And unlike the dirt bikes I’ve owned in the good old ‘vintage’ days bikes had double cradle tube frames which would somewhat protect the engine cases along with their bash guards, the Sur Ron does not. There is one tube that runs laterally under the engine, but that’s it.

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    So a direct hit with enough force onto the bash plate ‘may’ crack the engine case. I say ‘may’ because I don’t know for sure and certainly don’t want to test that theory! I am not an expert on stressing metal, so I have no expertise in that area. And how/where/what one strikes the bash plate with, along with how much force/weight will also determine a failure rate. That much I do know.

    Luna’s custom stainless steel bash plate is just about the same thickness as the stocker in my measurements, 2.13mm. The weight is significantly different at 1.93 pounds, a full 1.13 pounds heavier than the stocker. Some of you may think “Well sure they added the right side engine protection panel.” True, but even though I didn’t measure its thickness, the side panel is definitely thinner than the actual bash plate. I’d estimate about half the thickness.


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    I was NOT able to flex the Luna guard at all by hand like I could with the stocker. I would estimate that the Luna model could easily take twice the impact of the stocker without bending. I have no idea how much force it would take to dent the Luna guard enough to damage the engine. Again that would depend on so many factors; the speed of impact, the concentration at the point of impact, the weight of the rider, on and on and on.

    The welds are well done and the shininess of the unit is less than I had anticipated. I contemplated painting the Luna guard black to match the bike, but after installation I’m not so sure. So I’ll leave it its native stainless for a bit and decide later


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    Which leads me to…

    Installation

    You must reuse the fender nuts that are attached to the stocker. (Fender nuts is one of the terms for those types of nuts with housings) The bitch of the installation is the Luna guard is NOT extremely accurate in alignment with the attachment points. I installed three of the four bolts into the frame/fender nuts and DID NOT TIGHTEN THEM DOWN. I simply started the threads in each to hold their places. The first one was easy. The second on the same side (I started on the cool engine guard side, the right side) took me having to use an awl to line up the holes before inserting the bolt.

    On the left side of the bike I had to do the very same awl alignment to insert the top screw. And then came the bottom left bolt…..resulting in Mark’s 6/10 cussing level of frustration. Huffing and puffing, cussing at Eric, cussing at the Sur Ron, cussing at life and FINALLY I lined up the holes and rushed to put the final bolt into the hole. Guess what? It slipped back. Fuck! But I finally got them all in.

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    I would have liked to see both sides of the engine protected. This side, the left side is where I often ground down the cases on my racing bikes. But heck I guess if I didn’t fall, I would not have needed a guard…LOL.

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    So do I think the Luna guard is worth the 85.00 plus shipping and tax? For me it is because I ride on paths, roads, off-road and in OHV parks. Considering a new stock engine for this thing is currently 650.00, 85.00 insurance is worth it to me. Would I buy the guard if I only road in the street or on paths…nope. Sure you can always hit the plate on a curb, but that seems unlikely.

    I’m glad they made this, as I feel the engine has a better level of protection. Will I paint it black or remove it again? Doubtful…unless I feel like cussing some more! Hahahahaha.

    #2
    I too am glad I got the Luna Cycle guard to replace the factory one. But it is not holding up to use on rocky trails. Mine has been badly dented, and it doesn't really cover the exposed parts of the frame. Wondering if there are any plans to make a REAL bash guard that would cover everything and would take a hit??

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      #3
      My recently purchased guard must have had better tolerances when welded together. It took me about 5 - 10 minutes to install. Removed all four bolts and four clips from the original, put the front two clips onto the new guard and installed those bolts loosely without tightening all the way (important to install the front two bolts first as those holes are round. The rear two guard bolts go through slots, like the stock guard, so those two rear bolts go on last). Installed both clips on rear of guard and hinged it up into place. riders-right bolt went right in. Riders-left bolt I had to flex the guard slightly to get them to line up, but only took two tries to find a good place to pry to flex it in the correct direction. Go back around and tighten them all down. Done. Haven't tried it yet.

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        #4
        I had almost the identical experience as Mark. It took 2 tries. The second time I installed the misaligned front left hole first and played around with a steel punch for alignment. A 5 minute job took 30 minutes. I feel I can always weld on 1/4” steel plate to this stainless “skid plate” at a later date, but not looking forward to ever reinstalling it, $85 was not worth it and if I could do it again, I wouldn’t. The gauge is the same as the aluminum skid plate and I can’t imagine the additional protection of the same gauge SS is significant.
        Last edited by evnut; 10-27-2019, 11:43 PM.

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