Why are Skidplates Aluminum? Isn't steel tougher?

9 replies to this topic
  • xrsforever

Posted December 03, 2002 - 11:32 AM


I have noticed that all the skidplates I have seen for sale seem to be made of Aluminum. I have one on my bike and it seems to be prone to bending with any sort of impact.

Are they always aluminum cause it's easier to construct, or looks better, or lasts longer, or rust resistance,or lighter, or what?

I would be happy to have a tougher, steel plate, even if it was a bit heavier and I had to paint it once a year to prevent rust. It just seems like it would be stronger.

  • plasticweld

Posted December 03, 2002 - 12:21 PM


Believe it or not, you don't want anything that does not have some give. your skid plate is mounted to the frame, there is no give in the mounting of it, so the impact is absorbed in the plate, if the plate did not have some give all of the energy would be transfered to the frame, you can straighten bent alum, you can not steel.. this has been my understanding of it, any frame has to have some give or it will just crack, any sub frame has flex to it...I am sure there must be someone who can give you some short cuts to straightening the pan, I have yet to find any, heat will ruin them by making them soft.. I found this out the hard way..

  • xrsforever

Posted December 03, 2002 - 01:15 PM


The problem I have had with mine is too much give. I have hit rocks that bent the skid plate and also indented the frame underneath the skidplate. This is too much give for my liking.

  • Danco

Posted December 04, 2002 - 03:44 AM


A steel skid would weight a ton! I also agree on the giving part. What brand do you have the bends so easily? I have a Utah Sports Cycle and it's tougher than sh#t. Best protection you can buy for $56.

  • AZ Thumpdaddy

Posted December 04, 2002 - 07:09 PM


Baja Designs sells a very beefy aluminum plate and I would defy anything to bend it. Weight is the answer, but when you have 300 lbs. between your legs - what is a few extra going to matter?

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  • Dutch

Posted December 05, 2002 - 03:25 AM


The thing to do is go down to the hardware store, buy the shovel that fits your bike,(XR650R a large coal shovel), saw off the handle and there you are!

  • Mainjet2001

Posted December 05, 2002 - 04:27 AM


You need to ride around those rocks, not into them. :)
Those rocks are tougher than your skid plate (and you) no matter what it's made of.

The shovel thing.....you must have ridden a desert Triumph in the 60's to know that trick.

  • Dutch

Posted December 05, 2002 - 07:34 AM


Bullseye!! :) :D :D

  • Rokatt88

Posted December 05, 2002 - 10:42 AM


In response to...

"but when you have 300 lbs. between your legs -"

Now we know why you go by 'ThumpDaddy'! You must be very popular with de wimins! :)

  • FooBarr

Posted December 05, 2002 - 11:00 AM


Hey XRsForever,
Have you gotten your suspension resprung and revalved? I was bashing my skid plate alot in the whoops until I had my suspension redone by Dick's Racing here in Vegas. Now instead of plowing through the whoops, I float over them. It's alot easier on the body as well.

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