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Frame Slider Design And Installation (Part 1)

Call them crash protectors, crash bobbins, fairing protectors or frame sliders, all these products ultimately seek to do one thing - protect your expensive bodywork or the essential and often expensive structural parts of your motorcycle from damage in the event of a fall or tip-over.  The frame slider concept is as old as the proverbial 'crash bar' and today there are as many designs and brands as there are models of bikes.  The proliferation of these types of products testify to the success of the idea of providing a sacrificial item to absorb some of the damage in the event of a fall.  We are by no means experts on this concept nor were we the first to come up with it, but in this article we hope to provide you with an unbiased view so that you can make an informed decision when you're ready to put down your hard earned cash.

Cost:
Cost of the frame sliders must be appropriate to the items that they are designed to protect.  Price is not necessarily the best indicator of quality.  Poorly designed frame sliders made of the nicest shiniest materials may not serve their purpose as well as well designed but less 'bling' ones.

Mounting Configurations:
The frame slider must be designed to mount securely onto a strong enough part of the motorcycle so that impact forces can be adequately distributed or absorbed.  Here are some popular mounting configurations.

Fairing Mounted Frame Sliders
Sliders that mount onto the fairing with small fairing screws may provide some protection in a minor tip-over but offer very minimal protection in a slide.  These sliders are not generally recommended for serious riders.

Frame Mounted Sliders - Direct

The most popular and viable mounting option is directly to a selected strong point of the frame.  Sliders with this design offer the most protection and impact force distribution.  The installation of this type of slider often requires modification of the fairing and in some cases like the Honda VFR800, as extreme as requiring the modification of the coolant bottle.  For this reason, many choose the first or the third option as fairing modification can at times be quite intimidating. This option is the most popular for serious sportsriders, amateur and semi-professional racers alike as they provide the best protection for the money. One other thing to consider when choosing these types of sliders is where they will be mounted to.  Many models of sportbikes offer several places to mount them, frame slider manufacturers all have their personal reasons for choosing the mounting location for theirs and many of them make that choice for the wrong reasons. An example is cost - a location that offers a two short bolt mounting location is cheaper than one using a long through the engine bolt choice.  The former being a much weaker location.  If you own an SV650 you will know what we mean.  Another choice is the use of a bracket so that cutting of the fairing is avoided - see below (Frame Mounted Frame Sliders-Through-Engine Bolts).

Many manufacturers know that cost is a bottom line for most consumers, the second most important concern is the need to modify the fairing. To that end, many manufacturers will choose the configuration that offer to address these concerns - choosing a mounting position that is exposed and does not require fairing modification and by not using a well designed offset bracket that will increase production costs. Occasionally those exposed locations are far from ideal as they are not strong enough to support the slider during impact. As a consumer you will need to do your research. The cheapest and more convenient mounting locations may hurt you in the long run when an impact may end up cracking your frame and totaling your bike. At Motovation, we will never compomise our ideals and knowingly put out a product just to get more sales. The best mounting configuration is not always the most popular. Our frame mounted sliders are developed after careful consideration and testing to make sure that the risks of secondary damage is minimized. It is always a calculated risk to use frame sliders but the risks can be mitigated by diligent research and engineering.

Frame Mounted Sliders - In-Direct

To address some of the concerns owners may have about modification of the fairing, some manufacturers have opted for a design that allows for the slider to mount onto an offset bracket that then mounts onto the frame.  This offset introduces a whole new set of variables into the mix.  Depending on the degree of the offset, impact forces now include amplified torque stresses which will be applied to the frame mounting points.  Offset brackets will need to be of beefier construction, but not so beefy as to stay intact during an impact while severely damaging the frame mounting points.  This is often the most costly type of slider configuration as most brackets require ingenious CNC work and design. In some situations employment of a bracket is a calculated risk, in others it is just not feasible.  No cut sliders are attractive to most bikers so do your homework and ask the manufacturer questions before you buy them.

.......continue to Part 2


> Part 1<
   Part 2

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