Works Connection Aluminum Radiator Brace

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Tested: Works Connection Radiator Braces

Rating: Vital Review

Review and Photos by Michael Lindsay

In my group of riding buddies, bike damage seems to be a common theme. There's always that one guy who gets a flat, burns out his clutch, or destroys a radiator during a small tip over. (Actually, in my group that's typically the same guy.) A damaged radiator is one of the biggest pains. Mostly because you either have to buy a costly OEM unit, or if you're lucky your stocker might be repairable, which still results time and expense.

After I started racing off-road, I needed to do anything I could to keep the bike in one piece for the longer races. Between rocks, high Read More »

Review and Photos by Michael Lindsay

In my group of riding buddies, bike damage seems to be a common theme. There's always that one guy who gets a flat, burns out his clutch, or destroys a radiator during a small tip over. (Actually, in my group that's typically the same guy.) A damaged radiator is one of the biggest pains. Mostly because you either have to buy a costly OEM unit, or if you're lucky your stocker might be repairable, which still results time and expense.

After I started racing off-road, I needed to do anything I could to keep the bike in one piece for the longer races. Between rocks, high speed desert sections, and constantly banging into riders before entering the tight confines of a scoring loop (have to make every pass count!), the radiators would be in a bit of danger. After doing a little searching, I settled on some radiator braces from Works Connection.

Works Connection Radiator Braces features:

  • Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • Supports radiators from side impacts and being bent backwards.
  • Sold in pairs when applicable.
  • MSRP $39.99-$109.99.

First Impressions

The Works Connection Radiator Braces are fairly simple in design. For most models, they resemble an aluminum triangle that mounts to the top and bottom of the radiator and to the side of the frame. They're slim in design, following the general shape of the radiator shroud. On some models, it may take a look or two to even realize they're on.

Inside the packaging, you'll find a pair of braces (for single radiator bikes, there will only be one brace), along with mounting hardware.

In the Shop

For most models, there will be three mounting points. To install, you simply take the radiator shroud off, bolt the brace onto the outside of the radiator, then re-install the shroud. The braces use the bottom shroud mounting bolt hole and one along the side of the frame. Some models have a hole along the top of the radiator for the third bolt (such as the Kawasaki KXF models), but some need to have the third hole drilled (Honda CRF and Suzuki RM-Z models for instance).

You can bolt the braces up to the two pre-existing holes and then drill, using the open third hole as a template of where to drill on the radiator. As long as your radiators are fairly straight, these braces line-up extremely well. However, if the radiator has already taken a few hits, there are no guarantees that the braces will fit.

On the Track

Some radiator cages I've seen before required spacers because of their large size. This can cause the radiator shrouds to bulge out and widen the feel of your bike. I've tested these braces on five different bikes, and never once thought to myself that the shrouds were wider and impeding my comfort on the bike.

Long-Term Durability

The most long term situation I've spent with these braces consisted of a year on a KX450F. This bike spent its time between motocross tracks, desert races, WORCS, playing around with Endurocross, etc. Even though this bike had spent plenty of time bouncing down hills, falling in corners and rocks, and the occasional end-over-end flip, it still had its stock radiators at the end of the year. I will mention that I went through about eight sets of radiator shrouds in this time, giving you an idea of how may times it took on side impacts.

The Last Word

How do I describe these braces? Cheap insurance. A pair of these braces are cheaper than just one aftermarket radiator and around the cost of repairing your stocker. In trade though, they offer continued support crash-after-crash. They're well-priced, can save you money, and keep you from loading up early after a small tip over. As most riders are aware, you endo over a triple and your bike might be fine, but you can fall over at 5mph and rip your radiator off.

These braces will offer more protection on some bikes compared to others based off the bike's design. Personally, I've noticed these braces are most supportive for modern CRF and YZF models. The only real drawback is that some models require a small amount of drilling to properly install.

Vital MX Rating

Check out WorksConnection.com for more protective products for your bike.

About the Test Rider

Michael Lindsay- is a born-and-raised moto freak and gearhead from the heart of motocross in Southern California. First swinging a leg over a bike at the age of five, he immediately caught the racing bug, spending nearly every weekend behind a gate…and a lot of time on the couch while injured. While swinging back and forth between moto and the off-road scene, giving him a wide range of experience on the bike. Of course, all of this led to one thing: Lindsay loves working on his bikes almost as much as he loves talking about them. When he’s not in the Vital MX forum or writing his latest product review, you can find him out at the track taking dirt naps, snapping some pictures, or drooling over the latest parts for his bike. With an outspoken personality, gearhead background, and as Vital MX’s guru for product, Michael is here to share his unbiased opinion.

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Specifications

Product Works Connection Aluminum Radiator Brace
Type
Features Works Connection built their Radiator Braces out of aircraft-grade aluminum to provide a lightweight yet durable way to provide support to your motorcycle's weak radiators.
Construction
Colors
Miscellaneous Increase in strength is achieved without raising engine operating temperatures Braces are hidden by the radiator shrouds Highly recommended for knee brace wearers due to the additional stress put on the radiator mountsNote: Part# WC18-490 for RMZ450 05-06 are rubber mountedPart# WC18-492 for RMZ450 07 includes petcock relocator.Part# WC18-275 for YZ250F 06, WC18-276 for YZ250F 07, WC18-277 for YZ250F 08-09, WC18-176 for WR250F 07-09, WC18-263 for YZ450F 06, WC18-264 for YZ450F 07-09, WC18-164 for WR450F 07-09, are Radiator Cages style. Fits vehicles:2010 HONDA CRF 250R;2011 HONDA CRF 250R;2012 HONDA CRF 250R;
Price $89.99
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