FORCE ACCESSORIES BASHPLATESPOSTED: 14 Apr 2010 @ 12:08 pm 1369 VIEWS
Going into the 2010 A4DE, my bike was perhaps more prepared than any other bike I'd entered in the previous eleven 4-day's I've competed in - simply because it had less than 500km on the clock and has full rego. However, the one outstanding item was that I had no bashplate. Why? Because during those 500km spent running the bike in, the standard bashplate had piece-by-piece smashed off like it was made of biscuit. Definitely the most crap standard item fitted the Husky.
So, as I was wheeling the bike into the pit area on the day of scrutineering, I rolled straight past the boys at the Force Accessories tent and asked if they had made a bashplate to suit the 2010 TE250, yet. Luckily, their very first prototype was sitting in their workshop, so Brian Finn of Force Accessories called his boys and had them parcel post the thing up to a nearby bikeshop in hope that I'd have it the next day and could fit it in my morning work period at the start of the event. Unfortunately it didn't arrive the next day, so I was forced to teeter through the first day of the event without punching a hole in my engine cases.
At the end of day one, I've rolled into my final work period (engine cases in tact) and sure enough, Brian breezes over with a brand new bash plate in hand. Now, in a workshop environment you'd gracefully take your time inspecting the intricacies of the product and fit it with care and attention detail. Not today. The fact it was a prototype model and had to fitted to a mud-caked under-carriage by a rider with a bung-wrist - in under 15-minutes - was going to be a real test of its engineering and build quality.
So under the verbal guidance of Brian (who's not allowed to mechanically assist a rider in competition) I basically chipped and scratched away as much mud from the frame and engine as possible, then located the necessary brackets to mount the plate. At the rear underside of the frame, the Force Accessories bashplate incorporates two alluminium blocks, which sandwhich together around a cross-member in the Husky frame and act as a shoulder for the plate to lock into. Getting the two countersunk allenhead screws through the first block was easy, but getting them to grab onto the threads in the second block was the tricky part. It took about 5-minutes, but I got them to bite and screw down. The next challenge would be to fit the stainless steel mounting bracket at the front of the frame below the header pipe. This was a little difficult as you have to insert it at the base of the frame (sideways), then slide it up the frame rails until it meets the original bolt position for the standard plate. Given it was the prototype, she was a tight fit and needed some assistance from a hammer to get right up to the top. Anyway, another five minutes and I had it lined up and screwed in.
From there it was as easy as inserting the rear of the bashplate onto the sandwich blocks at the back of the frame, then raising the plate until it aligned with the stainless mounting bracket. Some torsional taps with a rubber mallet helped the plate align, then a final allen head bolt pulls the plate home and locks it into the frame like it was made for it!
On track, the best thing about the bashplate is that you don't know it's there, and the three main reasons are simple.
1 - it adds minimal weight to the bike.
2- You don't catch or snag your boots on it anywhere during aggressive riding.
3- You don't hear loud ricochets from rocks hitting it and it doesn't amplify engine noise.
I'm guessing the thick polymer coating is actually a really good sound deadener, not to mention an anti-vibration medium as well. I didn't so much as look under the bike once I fitted it and didn't have to retighten the bolts after 3-days racing - without using Loctite.
The other thing I like about this bashguard is that it doesn't stick out from your engine like a bullbar. It's sleek, has a nice curved underbelly to help the bike skim during those big case-outs and it basically looks like it was meant to be there from the factory.
Brian Finn also gave me this insight into the production of the TE250 bashaplate.
"We have already made the change to the front bracket to make it fit easier.
We do tend to find a millimetre or two of variation in the frames from some
of the smaller European manufacturers and obviously hadn't allowed enough on
So what can I say, it's more than proved itself in pretty tough conditions ...
Definitely a 5-star rating for quality.