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Discussion Starter #1
I enjoy riding on dirt roads that occasionally turn nasty and make me want for a trail bike. But I don't want a trail bike: I am happy with the XSR700 with scrambler capabilities :)
One sticky point for me is the low clearance on the oil sump. A few times I have hit the sump with an exposed rock, luckily with no damage.
Not wanting to push my luck too much I searched for a simple bash-plate that would take care of mild impact. I have no aspiration to make the XSR into a Dakar bike ( I would rather just wait and get the Tenere700) but a simple rocked flicked the wrong way could crack the cast aluminium sump.
Not finding what I want I decide I can make my own.
I used a soft sheet of aluminium (about 1mm thick) and cut to the desired shape, bent it up front and a bit on the back and created a dimple for the drain bolt so I can change oil without having to remove the plate.

carbon bashplate by gnarlydog, on Flickr

Using the aluminium as template/mold I gradually built layers of fiberglass over it. Cured overnight and removed the (greased up) aluminium. From there I added several layers or carbon and carbon/Kevlar woven fabric. I like to work with epoxy for my composite fabrication (I used to do a bit of sea kayak mods). Final layer is twill carbon weave, mainly for aesthetics, covered with a few coats of UV resistant epoxy. I did not bother making it totally smooth since it's not visible and is going to get bashed anyway.

carbon bashplate_2 by gnarlydog, on Flickr

The tricky part was finding a way to attach this plate to the sump without having to use long brackets or additional support parts. I used Sugru to attach it directly to the sump. The silicon putty cured to a hard rubber consistency and withstands rather high temps (higher than the engine produces). After more than a 1000 Km or initial riding it seems to still hold very well.

carbon bashplate_3 by gnarlydog, on Flickr

Of course a similar bashplate could be fashioned out of a 2-3mm aluminium plate but somehow I like the look of carbon :smile2:
 

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If it works, it works. At least you had some fun creating it and hopefully it'll protect your sump in the event of a rock thrown up at the bottom. I'm not much of an off-road rider, at least with the XSR but the new 700 which doesn't look available yet may be the next good boon-docker yet.
 
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