What does R&G stand for? Motorcycle protection. Well, actually it’s the very unimaginative Richard & Gene, but R&G are truly the global leader when it comes to products designed to guard a cherished bike.
Originally formed by Richard Taylor (the ‘R”) in the 1990s as a precision engineering company, R&G made components for the aerospace industry and Formula One.
Back in nineties, crash protection ‘bungs’ had a reputation for actually causing frame damage to some bikes in the event of a crash. Richard, a keen biker, knew friends who had experienced this ‘protection-gone-wrong’ and saw a gap in the market for high-quality crash protection for motorcycles.
After studying the damage to bikes after a crash and looking at what was available on the market, Richard was confident that his company’s engineering prowess could create a product that really worked and so ‘R&G Racing’ was formed in 1999.
The original product offering began with Suzuki’s GSX-R750 with a round-shaped protector constructed from high-density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is designed to wear and not shatter in the event of a spill. With this initial ‘bung’, R&G introduced two industry firsts; by adding a thin metal sleeve into the bung it increased strength and allow the fitter to torque the protector. The second was to use a particular grade of steel bolt that helps absorb an impact by bending, rather than snap or twist its mounting point on the bike (usually an engine mount).
Rather than a one-size-fits-all philosophy to keep profits high, all of R&G’s main crash protectors are specifically made for the bike, meaning that in some cases the fairing needs to be discreetly drilled in order for it to be mounted in the optimum position to do its job properly – small sacrifices for big gains and not an issue on race bodywork.
Today and now known simply as ‘R&G’, the company employs 15 people, plus six field-based agents, and is based in Hampshire, England and has importers and distributors in 30 countries on all continents.
The product range consists of hundreds of separate products, made largely of protection products but R&G has also diversified into styling bolt-ons and other motorcycling essentials.