Went for a ride today on the '99 F650. Lots of snow on the ground but mostly clear in town with temps a balmy 33F. Decided to ride out to the lake. Bad idea. There was blowing and drifting snow across the divided highway with strong winds. There was packed snow from the drifts in the right lane as I headed west.
The prudent decision was to turn around and I did. I made it about seven feet at about 3-4 miles per hour before she went down on her left side. Two or three weeks ago I had put on some Hepco & Becker crash, errr, I mean, engine protection bars. Good idea.
With the handle bar's turning, the weight of the bike was supported on the crash bars and the H&B side racks. The snow was about five to six inches deep. Only the mirror mounting was loosened which I tightened at home.
In short, the crash bars are a must.