Here’s additional information related to the design of our Ultimate Skid Plate 2.0 and our Side Stand Relocation Kit for the KTM 1190/1290 Adventures. While we regret this is necessary and typically avoid this approach, getting the correct information to our fellow riders is extremely important so they better understand the full situation.
This explanation as an attempt to create better educated consumers / riders about the specific design elements of these motorcycles and as well as our products that address this known issue.
My apologies for the long winded explanation – but for those of you who are interested – read on…
Black Dog Cycle Works has been riding and developing first class products for the large KTM adventure bikes for almost 10 years. By putting these bikes through their paces we’ve gained a great deal of experience and knowledge, giving us a unique understanding of the design strengths and weaknesses of these large displacement, highly capable machines. Because of our reputation we often get calls from KTM dealers, nationwide, asking for advice—which is another reason we have such a good relationship with KTM North America.
Unfortunately, the side stand design on the 950/990s led to countless cracked engine blocks (sadly this was a common occurrence at the many KTM event we attended). And we’ve sold thousands of our relocation kits worldwide for the 950/990 models because it eliminates the risk of damaged engine cases.
We assumed that KTM’s engineers would address this issue with the release of the 1190/1290, instead the problem was COMPOUNDED. Not only are the 1190/1290 side stands bolted to the case, they are mounted on a three inch standoff bracket that exponentially increases the risk to the engine by putting excessive leverage on the mounting points if the side stand or mount is hit, or when the bike is mounted/dismounted using the pegs with the side stand down.
For this reason, we integrated the side stand relocation into the design of our skid plate in addition to creating a "stand alone" product for riders not using our ULTIMATE skid plate. We feel it’s absolutely essential protection for every 1190/1290 on- and off-road. So much so that we applied for and were granted a patent for our design.
Occasionally you’ll hear that the side stand location isn’t an issue. Beware! We recently saw a competitor’s video touting this misinformation (apparently, their skid plate for the 1190 was the FIRST product they ever developed for any KTM).
As much as we avoid discussing competitor’s products, we are not OK with others providing false and misleading information, so we felt we had to speak up.
Let’s address several comments from the video since they’re directly referring to our product:
Competitor’s Statement: Their skid plate “provides coverage for the side stand mount which eliminates the need for additional parts and hardware to construct a side stand relocation kit that other designs require you to use.”
The stock side stand was also “designed” to be threaded into the motor—a terrible idea—making it an easy target for rocks and other objects. Yes, a flange in front of the side stand bracket can avoid a direct frontal hit, but provides NO protection from impacts from below (landing on a rock), side impacts (even when a bike falls over!), or the stress on the engine mounting points created over time when riders mount and dismount their bikes using the footpeg when the side stand is down.
Competitor’s Statement: “We do not relocate the side stand because doing this removes it further from the center line where it is designed to be.”
Actually moving the side stand further from the center line provides better stability for the bike when parked. We receive constant feedback from riders that the stock side stand position does not allow enough lean of the bike, even on a level surface, increasing the risk that the motorcycle can fall over especially when loaded with luggage. The key component we are trying to protect is the ENGINE BLOCK, not the side stand.
Competitor’s Statement: “The steel rear mounting brackets use at least three mounting points on each side to keep the skid plate from shifting to the rear when taking a large hit to the front.”
The shifting of the skid plate to the rear is only a concern when the skid plate is secured on the bottom of the skid plate as our competitors skid plate does. Ours mounts from the side of the skid plate, a far superior method. If you take a hit large enough to shift our skid plate to the rear, you most likely have bigger problems.
Competitor’s Statement: “The multiple attachment design in the rear is a design strategy not found on all competing designs and is something for you to look for. The rear mounting bracket interfaces with the frame and the footpeg mounts. The rear mounting bracket spreads the load across several mounting points and not just the footpeg mounts. The rear bracket also inserts into the frame and at the rear engine mount.”
The construction varies at the “rear engine mount” on different 1190/1290 models and years—on some bikes there is one frame tab, on others there’s none (as with the 1290), so what they’re effectively doing is mounting to the engine block. It’s unclear why anyone would consider this is a good idea.
Competitor’s Statement: “Because we spread the load across many points, not just the footpeg mounts, there is a lessened risk that a big hit will break the bolts off, unlike the other guy’s skid plate where you might be riding out with one less peg.”
The thing to be aware of here is that we use three bolts on each side to secure our skid plate to the FRAME of the bike - two at the footpeg mounts and one at the center stand mount. With our design the worst case is if the footpeg is broken off (which has never happened) you’ll still be able to RIDE out. Their design mounts into the rear of the engine so the risk to the engine case and the possibility that a ride will have to WALK home from their ride is still present, whereas our design completely eliminates this risk.
Competitor’s Statement: “The rear of the skid plate mounts to the rear bracket using six flush mount bolts which means less catching when crossing obstacles.”
Bolts on the bottom of the skid plate are susceptible to damage when crossing obstacles which is why our bolts are on the side of the skid plate. Their plate also requires the removal/reinstallation of a total of 10 bolts for maintenance—ours requires only 4.
We hope this explanation provides some clarity to our design approach. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
We greatly appreciate your support!
KTM 500EXC + 950 Super Enduro + 950S Adventure + 990 Adventure + 1190R Adventure + 1290 Super Adventure
Owner / Rider / Develop / Tester
Yes, we own and ride the bikes we develop parts for. It is much more than a “design exercise” for us!