I have the HT bars. They're easy to install as long as you're careful around the voltage regulator. It took about an hour to get mine on. Fit and finish is iffy. Even if you are methodical and do everything right, some of the "joints" don't quite fit flush when bolted together. I think they could improve the design and strength of these bolted-together joints and the U-Bolt type clamp that secures the "crossbars" to the frame under the tank doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.
I think it would take quite a blow to penetrate their defenses enough to crack one of your fairings, but am not sure how much force would be required to actually damage your radiator since the "crossbars" are actually bolted together and not one solid piece and the frame clamp they both bolt to seems to be the weak link.
I chose them because I'm cheap and got a good deal on a combo of the bars, skidplate and highway pegs. I use the highway pegs a lot and I like carrying stuff forward and low, so that kit allowed me to incorporate a tool tube and also "pannier" bags on the bars for stuff I carry all the time.
I can't vouch for their durability during spills. From what I've read, the SW Motech bars have a better, more solid attachment design. I've never seen any in person, though, so can't verify that. I've read reports of riders with both designs who felt they worked good when they were tested.
I use the HT bars, but if I were shopping today and money wasn't an object, I'd probably go with the SW Motech bars. I think they're superior in the looks department, too.
I've read reports of the HT bars either doing their job or not doing their job, depending on the circumstances and severity of the spill, but I don't think I've ever read a report where the SW Motech bars didn't live up to their reputation.
Surely there are some more folks on this forum with first-hand experience on how either of these brands performed when needed. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess) I'm not one of them.
It would be nice to see a side-by-side comparison with photos of how both kits install, or at least attach. You can only tell so much by reading about them online. I may be wrong about the SW bars having a better design to transfer loads to the frame, but from what I've read and seen, this seems to be the case.
Last edited by planalp; 06-28-2011 at 08:56 AM.