Proper protection is a necessity for any motorcycle traversing terrain that contains hazards capable of causing serious motor damage should an impact occur. Though oriented toward the street end of the adventure bike spectrum, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is certainly capable of all-surface road duty, but lacks a factory skid plate or safeguard of any kind. The oil filter is located low and directly behind the front wheel, and I wanted to install some protection prior to a Colorado trip that included some dirt road mountain passes with uncertain conditions.
The aluminum skid plate manufactured by Weld86 Motoparts proved to be the perfect solution to the problem, providing ample, yet unobtrusive, protection for the vulnerable lower portions of the motor and oil filter. The Weld86 skid plate is the result of a simple and functional design blended with quality manufacturing, and pricing is extremely competitive with other offerings on the market.
Constructed of top grade 3/16-inch aluminum and coated with a durable black powdercoat finish, the TIG welded skid plate mounts quickly to the bike with provided hardware consisting of a long bolt that passes through an existing hole through the bottom of the motor and a tab that secures the rear of the skid plate with a bolt under the right foot peg.
One major advantage of the Weld86 skid plate is that mounting does not require the use of crash bars, and is unaffected by center stand installations. During my research, I quickly found that most skid plates have very specific requirements regarding which accessories the plate will or will not install with. By using motor-only mounting points, the Weld86 skid plate eliminates these limitations. Installation time was around fifteen minutes, and once mounted, the skid plate is rock solid. Fitment of the skid plate to the bike was perfect.
A hole located directly under the oil drain plug allows for fast oil-only changes with the plate on. There appears to be enough room in front of the oil filter to allow for filter replacement without skid plate removal as well, although the cleanup required might offset any time savings realized by leaving the skid plate on during filter changes.
Weld86 Motoparts skid plates are available for all model years of the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. Other products offered are Suzuki DRZ400 skid plates, KTM 950/990 ADV skid plates and side stand braces, and tool tubes and brackets for the Suzuki DR650.
While riding dirt roads prior to my skid plate installation, I’d stopped several times to inspect my V-Strom’s motor and oil filter after loud impacts from rocks. It’s comforting knowing that protection is now in place to prevent any damage. The Weld86 Motoparts skid plate solves a potentially serious problem with a straightforward, aesthetically pleasing, quality product, and I’d strongly recommend this skid plate to any DL650 owner who does any adventure riding.
Suzuki DL650 V-Strom Skid Plate, Models ’04 thru ‘11