Acerbis Skid Plate - Dirt Rider Magazine

Until recently I wasn't a big fan of skid plates. I'm used to them being somewhat heavy and, most importantly, loud. Metal skid plates can amplify or redirect sound that can make an otherwise conforming off-road bike fail a sound test. Now there are a variety of plastic skid plates, and they are light, don't rattle or ping and generally are pretty benign as far as sound goes. Plus, they don't alter the chassis' rigidity.Acerbis makes plastic skid plates for many popular machines, and the KTM EXC and XC-W four-strokes have a delicate and vulnerable ignition cover, so I like a skid plate on them. Both are models I tend to ride a long way from the truck-too long to walk back pushing a bike with a broken case.The Acerbis skid plate fits great, has plenty of coverage (even for water pumps) and is quite light. It mounts in existing holes in the cross member under the frame between the footpegs. Those threaded holes and the supplied hardware are the only drama. KTM fills them with plastic plugs, and it was something of a pain to entice them out. Once the holes were clear, the skid plate goes on easily. The bolts felt a little cheesy, but they never failed. We changed them out the first time we removed the plate.Upon hitting a massive rock hard in Moab, the top tabs pulled loose. Larger washers fixed that (no damage to the bike, thank you Acerbis), and I should have used these washers to begin with.The plate needs to be removed for oil changes, and that requires removing two bolts and loosening the front two. Not really too bad considering the available protection. We have had similar great success with a plate on our Honda CRF450X as well. -Karel