Brainstorm Products (BSP) SOLO II Roll Bar

[9/12/2001] Reviewed by: Brad Torok -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Black 4 point roll bar with cross brace.

Installation was described well in the directions, though photos would have been helpful, or a web site (hint BSP). Packaging for shipping left a few scratches on the bar where the padding had slipped off. This is generally a well made product. The mounting is very different from other roll bars in that it does not attach to the shock towers like the hard dog and others, it attaches all at the bottom of the sheet metal. Pictures would explain better, but basically the 4 points of the roll bar attach to two metal plates about 3 by 8 inches (very roughly), one on each side attaching to 2 points, kind of like a sled. This mounts deep in the chassis.

I am 6 foot 1, probably too tall to safely be in a Miata. I shopped around and read reviews, and this one sounded like a good product, and generally it is, but one of the reviews mentioned that it does not interfere with seat travel. This is correct when talking about the lower part of the seat, but with the seat bottom all the way back, you can't lean the seat all the way back--the headrest hits the rollbar. I ended up mounting the driver side more rearward than it should be, the top catches on the bar when I put it up. I would have put both sides back further to make it even, but the passenger side mounts have a cutout for a wiring harness, and the wiring can't be moved.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: Jim Creer -

This bar from BSP is advertised as SOLO II approved. It contains additional rearward and diagonal bracing. Installation procedures were contained in the 1996 Tech Issue of Miata Magazine. Was advised the unit would work with the hard and the soft tops on a 1990 Miata.

The welding appears substantial and the black powder coating is functional. All needed hardware was included. The magazine article provided excellent guidance, except completely omitted the part about replacing the carpet. I installed the unit without help and took about 6 hours. Several trips to the bench grinder were needed.

Installation requires removal of the rear wheels, well liners, removal and trimming of the rear bulkhead carpet and the metal covering. A few rear bulkhead attachment points must be chiseled out and 6 holes drilled in the car to attach the base plate to the base of the roll bar. All went smooth until time to test fit the bar. The base would not set flat in its designated location. A few trips to the bench grinder to trim a few areas on the base of the bar provided a good center and forward fit. Fortunately, prior to drilling the holes, a test fit was made with both tops. The ribs of the soft top struck the top passenger side of the bar and the hard top would not fit. Examination found the top passenger side of the roll bar to be approximately 3/4 inch further back than the drivers side. A few longer trips to the bench grinder on the base plates and a slight off center placement corrected the problem. Holes drilled, the unit bolted together fine. I had to remove the bar to trim and install the carpeting as it would not slide under the bar spanning the rear bulkhead.

The rear diagonal brace does not hinder rear vision much, and the bottom edge of the top bar is higher than the rear widow of the soft top. With the soft top down vision is increased. The rear window will not lay flat and can only be made a little more comfortable by unzipping and smoothing around. It seems possible to cut the top fabric or remove stitches to install an additional zipper or other fastener.

When the RB chrome style bar installed, many other drivers just wanted to race from the red lights. The real bar looks too serious. They don't want to race now but seem to take delight in cutting me off or riding up on the back bumper. The new bar did open up a few more tracks for me, but unsure if it worth the hassle. I should feel safer, but it seems to draw more mental midgets with points to prove.

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