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ACD Racing Parts Adventure Skid Plates Reviews

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  • Price Range $189.00 ~ $349.00 Shop Now
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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

The adventure bike’s skid plate, or bash plate as the metric-types call it: it's not a terribly complex piece of equipment, one would think it would be easy to make an effective plate. Yet there are many different designs out there ranging from comically ineffective, to overweight overkill. Since it’s such a simple bit of hardware, one would think there’s not a lot of reason to charge more than, say, $300 for a really good one. Why then is it so difficult to find a good skid plate for the big adventure bikes, that effectively covers all  the vulnerabilities under the bike, whose cost doesn’t leave you feeling like your wallet is the thing that needs armor plating?


When XLADV asked me if I would like to review the new ACD Racing Parts skid plate for the BMW R1200 GS/GSA, ‘06 - ‘13 bikes, I was quite interested as I had done a little looking around and decided on a very expensive product. That was when XLADV came calling. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.


First Impressions

A couple days later, the skid plate was in my hands. As soon as I had the package open, I knew that ACD was onto something. the aluminum was thick, the welds looked strong, and the rear mounting looked solid. Some might argue that the back side of the welds could be more robust, but the pragmatist in me is only concerned with depth, coverage, uniformity and (for aluminum) that there is no obvious contamination. My first impression was that this was exactly the plate for which I had been searching. It came with the plate (a two- piece affair), a small goodie bag of mounting hardware, but no instructions for installation. At $280, I was very excited about this quality at this price.



Before the product arrived the folks over at XLADV mentioned something about probably wanting to install the bracket first (ed. turns out ACD recommends it be installed as one piece.  oops). At the time that comment didn’t find traction in my mind, but now that the parts and the bike were sitting side-by-side, it made perfect sense. What passed for instructions had been emailed to me. It was a PDF of an engineering drawing of the skid plate with some annotations added here and there to show where the hardware goes when installed. The instructions didn’t mention this, but the rear part of the skid that mounts to the bike’s frame, can be removed from the plate. This will also come in handy later for oil changes and other under-the-engine service that requires the skid be removed. The instructions were almost passable and I managed to figure out some critical details from them, but they could have been much more comprehensive.


Since the rear of the skid plate mounts on the same bit of frame that mounts the center stand, the installation has to be completed with the bike on its side stand. Overall, installation was a bit fiddly, but nowhere near the level of making one crazy. I spent just short of two hours getting it all hooked up, but with better instructions that allowed one to understand all the steps involved, not have to figure a few things out, and perhaps a few tricks thrown in, it could have taken an hour. If you’re even moderately mechanically inclined, you should have no trouble doing this in the comfort of your own home. The rear mounting bracket went on first. The left side was the most difficult and here is my only real complaint about the design. The right side is very easy to get bolted in with the center stand bushing as the nut, while the left, for a reason I can’t see, uses a very long bolt that threads through the center stand pivot bushing and into a nut provided by ACD that has to be precariously held in place on the back side of the mounting bracket. I would be interested to see if ACD can explain this better with proper instructions or if they can change the design to have the left side match the right.


Once the rear bracket was sorted out it was time to bolt up the plate attach it at the front. This was pretty straightforward until I got to the front bolts. For some reason, BMW made their forward skid plate mounting bracket with elevated ends such that any flat skid plate will need spacers to bolt up firmly. As a result, there is a gap at the bolting locations of a flat plate like the ACD, and those gaps are different on the right than on the left. ACD fills these gaps with two washers as spacers on the left, and one washer on the right. They fill the gap correctly, but they are very difficult to get in place while you get the bolt through, aligned and then threaded. There is not a lot of room to work between the plate and the bottom of the engine. Again, not a deal-breaking problem, but worth mentioning. I would have liked to have seen the appropriate width spacer for the right side. One spacer would have been easier to get in place than two washers.



Get the side that needs two washers done first, you’ll have more room to work.

Use a telescopic magnet to slide the washers into place.



Once the front bolts were in place and secured, the two rear bolts were were tightened and torqued and it was ready to ride. The ACD Racing skid plate looked great. Its design is a full tub, wrapping up around the engine and the exhaust at the front and both sides. It looked great and added the needed coverage that the stock plate doesn’t even try to provide. First rides were around town. I had deliberately not used any thread locker on all the bolts on the bottom of the plate to see if they would begin to work their way out. The all held fast in about 300 miles of city freeway and 200 miles of dirt, but you should always use a good thread locker.


Out on trail, I ran a few very rocky, fast sections of trail. On several occasions there was the familiar twitch of the front wheel as I hit some loose rock, but instead of the flimsy prang of the stock skid plate, there was the satisfying heavy ring like a big bell. With the stock skid, when I heard or felt those same hits, I would cringe and spend the next few minutes making sure the bike still ran right, now I just smiled inside my helmet and kept on chugging down the trail. It took some pretty good shots and has only a couple little nicks to show for it.


All told, knowing what I know about this skid plate now, I would absolutely buy one. The price is unbeatable. Any difficulties I had with installation are minor for the quality of this skid plate at this price. In fact, remember that super expensive skid plate I mentioned earlier? Nevermind.


Jim Gary (Blue10), XLADV Contributor


Edit:  Super important installation video here will help you figure out how to properly install the rear bracket.  We didn't have the benefit of one when we di this earlier

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Ian Schoenleber

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I have ridden 3500 miles with my stock AT skid plate. I applaud Honda for actually putting on a half decent metal plate from the factory. However, as we know it is not strong enough for how some of us use these bikes. Mine was already dented and banged up.

ACD Racing and XLADV were kind enough to send me one of the new ACD racing plates to try out.

Here are a few photos showing the much thicker ACD plate compared to the stocker. And the vastly increased coverage. I would say this plate as twice as thick as the stock one?






Removing the stock plate took me 5 minutes, installing the new one took less than one hour. Would have been much less if I had paid attention to aligning the bracket. The ACD plate comes with a bracket attached that you must remove and attach to the underside of the bike first. Very simple, uses all stock hardware. Once you get the bracket bolted on, you may need to adjust the position slightly while installing the skid plate itself. Leave all bolts loose until final tightening.



Once you have it aligned, get all the bolts tightened down. Pretty simple process. Please note this plate utilizes one of the engine mount locations instead of the little “peg” the stocker uses.

It did not interfere with my OE Honda center stand or my SW-Motech crash bars. Nice job!

I feel this plate is very well priced compared to the others I have looked at online. On past bikes I have had everything from motech, to black dog, to altrider etc. This seems to stack up with any of those if not nicer?


This first pic shows the stocker compared to the ACD plate, note how the new plate covers the exhaust.






Thanks again to XLADV and ACD racing for this opportunity. And my bike thanks you!

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

This skid plate offers significant protection beyond the stock version provided by BMW and looks great.   If you’re going to be anywhere beyond a mild dirt road, or just want a better looking belly, it something to seriously consider.   Written installation instructions are strangely missing (including torque specs, etc.) but there are two install videos online.  One is done by ACD (on the ACD website) and another by @Eric Halland @SeaWolfe of this forum.  I referenced both videos during the process and you should too.  My notes below are meant to be highlights and not a step-by-step guide.   Installation is fairly easy but did off some minor challenges.

Required for install  (not a complete list of tools but the others are very typical)
a.    Can be installed while on the stock kickstand 
b.    Torx bit set
c.    Bit extension (6-8”)
d.    C clamp remover (recommended)
e.    A second set of hands (recommended at final step)
f.    Use blue Loctite instead of red.  Other folks have had a hard time removing the skidplate with the latter.



1.    Opening the box:   The skid plate looks great and does a great job of protecting the rear of the exhaust.  Unfortunately, the long side mounts were lightly scratched during shipping.   They did ship me a replacement for one side, but it was also scratched.  They definitely need to improve their packing strategy.   




2.    ACD provides a unique system to the release the spring on the center stand since the two center stand bushings are replaced during the install.  




3.    It’s nice if you have a C-clamp puller in your tool box to remove the C clamps on the center stand bushing.  Other tools can help here, but you want to avoid any damage since they will need to go back on.


4.    After removing the C-clamps on both sides, the bushing on the right (muffler) side of the bike wouldn’t come out easily due to contact with the catalytic converter.  This is not mentioned in any of the two videos.  Official BMW maintenance guides also do not mention this challenge or require the muffler to be loosened or removed when removing the center stand.   However, with the spring and both bushings removed, it possible to move the center stand enough to create space for the bushing to be removed.  


5.    Removing the stock bolts for the top of the brackets is fairly straight forward but there are no torque specs when installing the new bolts.  


6.    Once I had the front mounting brackets and the rear of the skid plate installed (but loose), I found it almost impossible to get the two front bolts (front of skid plate to brackets) threaded in without another set of hands.  I needed someone to compress the parts in order to feed the bolts properly.    With four hands this was easily done though.  

7.    Everything fit very nice and looks great!  I’m hoping the black powder coat finish stands up well against all the rocks thrown at it off-road.   However, since it’s flat black, repainting the front periodically would be simple.   




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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

The best skid plate you can buy in Europe. Very similar to the BDCW one, as it attaches to the frame on the rear (using a special steel item). Really tough, you can abuse it in confidence that it will protect your bike.

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By Thornybeard, XLADV Contributor


The Yamaha XTZ Super Tenere is known for having a vulnerable sump. I remember watching a review of all the big adventure bikes on YouTube and the Tenere was out of the running right away because the wimpy stock skid plate allowed the sump to be damaged during some high speed riding on a very rough road.

If you're like most owners of this great, all-around beast, your off-road excursions are fairly limited. In contrast, I spend a fair bit of time riding these conditions. Having ridden the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route and several other rough/goat road excursions, I need good sump protection. The exhaust on the right lower side of the engine and the crossover near the rear of the motor can be easily crushed by a high spot in the road, dented by a stray rock or stick, and they are very expensive to replace! By appearance, the ACD Racing Parts Skid Plate should offer far more protection than the stock unit, giving off-road oriented riders more piece of mind.

How It Works
ACD Racing Parts claims its skid plate to provide a higher level of protection to the engine and exhaust from stones, shock, and crashes during "intensive use". They also claim prevention of damage to the frame, water pump and ignition system while not blocking airflow. To me, this sounds like the right recipe for shoring up the big ten's tender underbelly.

My initial impressions of this skid plate after taking it out of the box and protective cardboard packing (said it out loud to an otherwise empty room) was, "This thing is huuuuge and beefy!"

The supplied instructions with the skid plate were lacking. I knew of a YouTube video on this, but I wanted to give it a go without watching and the supplied parts breakdown drawing looked pretty basic. I can be stubborn this way. I timed myself and it took right at 45 minutes because I had to reinstall it after removing spacers that weren't needed because the gap at the top/front was occupied by previously mounted crash bars. Without the crash bars, you will need these spacers.

Since the rear mounting points are on the center stand pivots, a small pry bar was necessary to push them into alignment, allowing for the installation of the two bushing sleeves that accept the new mounting bolts. This was the most challenging part of the installation. Now that I have installed the skid place once, I expect subsequent installations (such as oil changes) to be at least half the drama. No hardware torque values are supplied.

My field testing was done in the hills around Mt. Adams, located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in my home state of Washington. The first thing that I noticed was the reduced noise coming up to me from the ACD Racing Parts Skid Plate in comparison to the previous unit that I had been running. It does a better job of isolating internal motor noise and other sounds because of its design. There is no direct mount to the motor, there is a thin sheet of foam that keeps the skid plate from touching the bottom, and the mounting brackets are fore and aft.

Although I didn’t case the bike or roll over any big rocks, the typically encountered stuff was no problem. I did have the opportunity to roll over and break a number of arm sized limbs that popped loudly against the skid plate. It’s nice to have that much metal between what the bike is traveling over and engine vitals. I've heard of complaints about having your right boot contact the skid plate when using the rear brake pedal, but I didn’t experience this wearing an averaged sized riding boot. There is plenty of water when riding in the Pac NW and this skid plate does a good job of draining upon exiting large mud puddles. As the saying goes, "self bailing".

Lastly, I'm somewhat concerned about how close the head pipes are to the plate up front. Although I didn’t hear any vibration or harmonics, it looks like the pipe touches the skid plate when it goes hot. I'll need more time to see if this is any sort of an issue.


  • Nice fit.
  • Solid & secure mounting (no rattles).
  • Quality construction.
  • Lots of engine coverage, all the way back under the center stand.


  • Added weight. Lots of coverage means lots of metal.
  • Sharp edges on the exposed sides of the skid plate (could slice your knuckles doing maintenance).
  • Must be removed for a complete oil change (filter and oil). Oil drains only can be done with plate in place.

The ACD Racing Parts Skid Plate for the Super Tenere offers a very sound design and while not inexpensive, it does offer a lot in terms of build quality and overall protection. If you are serious about taking your Super Tenere off-road, I can recommend this rugged bit of kit to protect it underneath.

I will say, the aesthetics of the product are sort of love/hate. This centers around the can shaped protrusion that covers the oil filter. To me, it looks like a bit of a design after thought. It’s kind of like that chive stuck on someones tooth; you just can’t stop staring at it! But, this skid plate does its primary job quite well, so you be the judge in the looks department.


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