Three design approaches:
So what's the fix? Well, that's where the aftermarket comes in. But before we jump into that, let's look at the various options for bar mounts. There are three different ideas: individual mounts (right and left side bar mounts are independent of one another just like the original rubber mounts from long ago), a solid lower mount (like the 2016 KTM design), or a solid upper mount (like the 2017+ KTM design):
The individual mounts act just like the original rubber mounts. They will twist in a tip over or minor crash as rubber mounts typically do. This is caused by the bars actually slipping in the clamps. The bike will be rideable and typically everything can be straightened out by loosening things up and re-torquing. In a huge crash, you might end up snapping the bolts or bending the main studs through the top triple clamp, but in a huge crash you’re not likely to ride the rest of the day/race anyway.
Solid Lower Mount
A well designed solid lower mount won’t twist in a tip over or minor crash at all, but can bend in a big crash. So obviously an advantage over the individual mounts as it’s always straight unless you have a big get-off, and in that case you’re probably done riding anyway.
Solid Upper Mount
The solid upper mount lies somewhere in the middle of the two. For a tip-over, it likely won’t twist as it helps to stiffen up the whole assembly. But for a minor or medium crash it probably will twist, possibly permanently twisting if it bends. And for a major crash, it’s the same story as the above two options.
Another point to keep in mind: a solid lower mount makes installation a breeze. Separate lowers, regardless of solid top mount or not, are a pain to align to one another and straight when installing the bars. A solid lower mount is always aligned.
So in summary, they’ll all bend/fail in a major crash. But the solid lower won’t twist in a tip-over or minor crash. We feel the solid lower is the best compromise. The twisting happens as the bars themselves twist in the clamps. Individual mounts allow this to happen easily. Solid top mounts allow this to happen as the solid part is on top, above the bolted interface. But the solid lower mount doesn’t allow this to happen as there are no interfaces to twist through between the clamp and bars. If the crash is big enough, though, it could bend the solid lower.