We recently installed a set of Twisted Engineering Flex Bars on a 2002 RM250 2 stroke dirt bike. The bike is used primarily for twisty woods and mountain riding but also gets a fair amount of time in the wide open desert. The RM 250 is a naturally “vibraty” bike so seemed a good candidate to try out these composite bars and their vibration damping qualities.
Due to the composite construction it is not recommended to use traditional bark busters with these bars. Twisted Engineering does offer their own bark busters that have more protection than “flag style” hand guards. Our RM already has Cycra Primal Composite flag style hand guards so it didn’t concern us that we could not use traditional bark busters. We’ve had great luck using the Cycra hand guards for the past six months. While they don’t offer the protection from hard impacts on trees they do a great job keeping the small manzanita and other brush from smashing the knuckles. But that’s another review!
First impression of the Twisted Engineering Flex bars was “wow, they’re expensive!”. Anytime you put a carbon composite piece of equipment on your bike you can be sure it will cost a premium as the molds to make a carbon product are very expensive. Spoil alert: they are worth the $359 price tag!
Initial ride impressions:
First few rides I was very impressed with the damping properties of these bars. I was able to hold a line through rough,rocky sections better than I ever have on the RM250. I was impressed with how much faster I could go and point and shoot through the technical rock sections (STOKED!). I believe this attribute of these bars will be most noticed on older bikes that have a lot of vibration and that lack the suspension technology of newer bikes being produced today. If you put these on a brand new 2017 KTM300XCW I don’t think you would be as blown away by the benefits of these bars as I was on the RM in a short period of time.
Well, I am sad to report that this test was cut short due to a high(ish) speed crash which resulted in breaking the Twisted Engineering Flex Bars. The impact was sufficient enough to separate the join between the carbon fiber and aluminum sleeve shattering the carbon where they joined. I do not believe this crash would have damaged aluminum bars…maybe it would have bent them these bars are have now been rendered useless. This being said, I do believe these bars will be perfect for many riders out there who aren’t riding extreme terrain, dual sporting or who maybe dont crash like I do….as these bars will NOT take the frequent abuse dirt bikes see when riding technical terrain…as the nature of the beast is you crash…and carbon fiber cannot take and recover from any hits from sharp objects. You will want to consider where you ride and how much you tip over or crash. For me they are not a practical option as the terrain where I mostly like to ride has an abundance of sharp rocks everywhere.
Cons: cannot use traditional bark busters