AltRider Radiator Guard Installation (Pics included)

208rider

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I ordered the AltRider Radiator Guard in black from Amazon for $77. It arrived slightly bent (bowed might be a more correct description), but was easily straightened by hand. The aluminum used is on the soft side, but considering its task is to absorb the shock of a fast moving rock, this is likely preferable to being too hard and brittle.

Installation was a bit challenging due to tight spaces and inaccurate instructions. The included information from AltRider called for a 12mm socket and a 5mm allen wrench. They were correct on the allen wrench, but incorrect on the socket. For my 2015 Honda NC700X DCT at least, a 10mm socket was the correct size. (Incidentally, 10mm is also the needed size for the nylock nut supplied by AltRider, but more on that later.)

Step one according to AltRider is to "remove the radiator support bracket," but that should be step two. While removing this bracket is theoretically possible with the front plastic fairing in place, doing so requires using a socket extension and taking the job one to two clicks of your socket driver at a time. Do yourself a favor and take an extra 60 seconds to remove the front plastic fairing first. (For those unfamiliar with this process, it requires removing a bolt from each side using a 5mm allen wrench. The bolt used on the left side is shorter than that used on the right.)

Once the fairing is removed, the radiator support bracket can be removed and the lower tab of the radiator guard inserted as per the instructions.

For the top two tabs, there are two attachment points, but only one (the left one from the perspective of sitting on the bike) has a bolt in it. The other is empty. AltRider supplies two M6 x 25 bolts which use the 5mm allen wrench; the one on the left inserts without trouble and tightens into the existing fitting. (The original bolt is not reused.)

On the right side, the new bolt requires the use of a washer (or two, three were supplied) and a supplied nylock nut. While the instructions are not clear on this point, I found it unworkable to use the bolt with the head facing out to mirror the left bolt. Instead, I inserted the bolt from the back of the hole (from the center point of the bike) with a washer toward the outside where I added the second washer and the nylock nut. Using the 5mm allen wrench to hold the bolt in place, I tightened the nut using the 10mm socket. (The allen wrench barely fit and was difficult to remove once the bolt was tightened down.)

Once everything was tightened down, three of the four rubber pads on the back of the radiator guard were touching the radiator housing while the fourth (lower left) had a few millimeters of gap. I rode the bike for about 15 minutes to test for any strange behavior or noises and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. The radiator guard was hot to the touch after that amount of time.

All in all, I believe that the guard will perform its rather mundane job adequately and in an unobtrusive manner. While the price may be a bit high for what you're getting (value is subjective), I'm not complaining about anything other than the instructions.

2016-05-13 15.58.54.jpg
The left side attachment

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The right side attachment

2016-05-13 15.59.53.jpg
The finished product

P.S. Excuse the dirty bike. I haven't had an opportunity to clean it since taking a 100-mile ride on Wednesday.
 

davidc83

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I installed my alt rider a couple of weeks ago. I was able to install both top bolts as directed. The directions do have a misprint of the size of the bolts (10mm, not 12mm)-no biggie to me since I have both sizes. I have about 400 miles on the bike since the install: I took the below pics last night:


 

supertux1

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That sounds like a PITA to install. The R&G one is held by two bolts on the top and a zip tie that loops around that vertical support beam at the bottom center.
It took me longer to cut and place the foam padding strips that go behind it than to actually install it. :)

Oh but I do like the murderous looking fins/spines on the front, sure to slice and dice any small critters you end up running over.
 

davidc83

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I did mine in like 10 minutes max. 2 bolts at the top and no zip tie at the bottom, there is actually a metal hole tab at the bottom that slides up and over the bottom centered radiator tab nipple (the same nipple that holds the vertical support beam). It comes with 4 padding strips (one at each corner) to reduce vibration (if any), but as I previously mentioned, it sits off of the radiator by 1/2" and the only 3 points of connection are the 2 bolts and the bottom tab.
 

GregC

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Are the fins close enough together to protect from small stones? From the pics it looks like the gap between fins is rather large.


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Deckyon

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if a stone gets through, it would damage the radiator no matter what. there is a fine line between coverage/protection and breatheability. pick your poison.

besides, at the angle of the fins, the rock would have to come from a very specific angle to get between without hitting anything, and not really an angle that the tire would throw up. Add in a fender extender, and it would not matter anymore.
 

Socrates

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Installed same (Alt Rider) radiator guard on my 14 NC700X last week - similar experience. Easy enough to install, but it seems quite odd that Honda doesn't install a bolt in the second mounting point at the top of the radiator mount - the hole for a bolt is included from the factory, but no bolt is installed. Bizarre.

Shipping packaging for the radiator guard was pathetic IMHO. It was delivered via UPS Ground in nothing more than a padded manila envelope, so the guard itself was bent out of shape just a bit (I do believe all 4 pads on the guard are intended to touch the radiator at all times).

Overall the guard seems like a reasonable value, but I'm hoping the guard itself is strong enough to withstand an object like a screw being kicked up from the highway from some vehicle ahead. I've replaced radiators on Honda autos twice before due to screws on the highway, and yes - that is an expensive repair.

Overall I do love my NC, seems to be a decent price-point value. However it seems like Honda chose to cut a few corners that seem questionable.

And I can't help but think that once I've added things like this radiator guard, a center stand, rear rack, etc. that the total cost for this bike will be roughly equal to the cost for a similar Premium bike (BMW) that comes from its manufacturer with all the requisite safety/protective equipment already installed.

Time will tell!
 

Nortwestrider

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Installed same (Alt Rider) radiator guard on my 14 NC700X last week - similar experience. Easy enough to install, but it seems quite odd that Honda doesn't install a bolt in the second mounting point at the top of the radiator mount - the hole for a bolt is included from the factory, but no bolt is installed. Bizarre.

Shipping packaging for the radiator guard was pathetic IMHO. It was delivered via UPS Ground in nothing more than a padded manila envelope, so the guard itself was bent out of shape just a bit (I do believe all 4 pads on the guard are intended to touch the radiator at all times).

Overall the guard seems like a reasonable value, but I'm hoping the guard itself is strong enough to withstand an object like a screw being kicked up from the highway from some vehicle ahead. I've replaced radiators on Honda autos twice before due to screws on the highway, and yes - that is an expensive repair.

Overall I do love my NC, seems to be a decent price-point value. However it seems like Honda chose to cut a few corners that seem questionable.

And I can't help but think that once I've added things like this radiator guard, a center stand, rear rack, etc. that the total cost for this bike will be roughly equal to the cost for a similar Premium bike (BMW) that comes from its manufacturer with all the requisite safety/protective equipment already installed.

Time will tell!

Not even close on the price,the closest BMW is over $10,000 and doesn't come with very many extras.


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