Do Frame Sliders Work?
Do Frame Sliders work?
What about Axle Sliders and Fork Sliders?
If you own a motorcycle, at some point you have seen or heard about frame sliders. Sometimes called engine guards, case savers, bobbins, etc. The point of these parts is to minimize catastrophic damage in the event of a drop, spill or slide.
1. Frame Sliders
The most popular form of protection. Typically frame sliders are made of a nylon or delrin blend. These are a type of plastic material that can not only absorb impact, but are also able to scrub off speed during a slide. There are some uneducated manufacturers out there that make their sliders out of metal or other solid materials. These are typically the brands that cause the forums to explode with horror stories of "frame sliders causing additional damage". The reason that a solid material like metal is bad for sliders, is that they dont offer any relief to a sliding bike. The rigid material can actually grab the pavement and cause the bike to flip, causing additional damage. Ideally, you want a nylon blend material that is strong, but is also able to wear down the slider material as it slides across asphalt. A proper slider will do exactly that.....slide.
The primary goal of a frame slider is to keep your frame from being damaged during a drop or slide. A common misconception is that a frame slider will protect the bike from ANY damage when dropped. A frame slider should stick out just enough to protect the main frame and possibly the engine, any further, and the slider becomes obtrusive. Frame protection is vital in keeping your bike rideable home, and to keep your bike from being totalled out due to frame damage.
2. Fork Sliders
Designed to fit into the front axle opening of your forks, Fork Sliders are an important piece of the protection package. With motorcycle forks today being high tech and adjustable, the cost of replacement forks is extremely high. With the added chance of scratching a wheel during a drop, the fork slider is an unsung hero. Typically an easy part to install, a good set of fork sliders is peace of mind that your bike deserves. Basically if the bike tips over, you dont want the fork lower or the wheel lip to be able to contact the ground.
3. Axle Sliders
Very similar to fork sliders, the rear axle sliders are designed to offer protection to the rear axle area of the bike. Swingarm, Wheel, etc. While its true, that in an exhaust side crash, it is most likely going to be the exhaust that keeps the rear wheel off the ground, a rear axle slider can add valuable protection to the bike. Especially for bikes that have high mount exhausts. If you are going to protect the frame and forks, the rear axle, brake rotor and swingarm need protection as well. Minor damage to a swingarm could cost you your entire bike.
4. Bar Ends
Aren't those just for looks? Well, take your bike out and drop it in the parking lot....see if your bar end makes contact first! Obviously dont do that, but you get the idea. Bar Ends will make contact with the ground in just about every possible crash scenario. While a bar end may add to the look of the bike, it is certainly an important contact point for protection. The added bonus of a nice set of bar ends (see Motovation Bar Ends) is that the added weight can drastically cut down on handlebar vibration. For the best protection, look for a bar end that has a nylon or delrin slider puck on the end of it. This means you can replace just the tip!