/ Tips & Advice

Are frame sliders any good for your motorcycle?

Worried about dropping your bike? Sliders might just be your solution.

R&G Frame Slider

Purchasing parts for motorcycle protection is among one of the first few things motorcycle owners do for their two-wheeled machines. After all, dropping a motorcycle is inevitable and ensuring the safety of your machine will pay dividends in the long run—but what exactly are we protecting in the first place? Some of the most vulnerable parts of your motorcycle include the engine side cases, the plastic fairings, the wheel axle bolts, and the exhaust. While crash guards are a great and heavy-duty protective accessory for your motorcycle, bulky and heavy crash guards won't always work for your motorcycle, especially if your two-wheeled machine is a fully-faired sport bike or a compact naked bike.

This is where sliders come in. Sliders come in many different shapes and sizes but all seek out to do the exact same thing: prevent your motorcycle components from kissing the asphalt or concrete—in most scenarios at least. If you’re looking to protect your motorcycle without having to invest in the weight and bulk of crash guards, sliders may be the perfect option for you. Here’s why.

Slider options

R&G Fork Bobbins

As mentioned previously, sliders come in many different shapes and sizes, but are often made out of the same material. Sliders are almost always made out of a plastic material which protrudes out of a motorcycle in order to allow your bike to slide on the road surface in the event of a fall. Sliders are meant to absorb the slide impact instead of having your precious and expensive motorcycle components take the hit. Because of this, sliders protrude outwards from the frame of a motorcycle and are designed in such a way that if you were to damage a slider from a fall, it could easily be replaced by swapping the damaged plastic component out for a brand new one—making it not only cost-effective but practical too.

If you’re considering to mount sliders on your motorcycle, there are a few types of sliders you may want to consider for installation:

  • Frame sliders are typically mounted on the frame of your motorcycle in front of your legs, and are the most important sliders to get as these sliders protect your fairings and engine cases.
  • Exhaust sliders are mounted on the exhaust bracket of your motorcycle and protrude further outwards from where the exhaust hangs which seeks to protect your exhaust from absorbing too much damage in the event of a fall.
  • Fork bobbins or axle sliders mount on the axle bolt of your motorcycle wheels and aim to protect the axle bolts from being damaged or wearing out during a crash or slide.
  • Swingarm spools serve the primary purpose of being a mounting point for a paddock stand, but can also act as a swingarm slider in case of a fall. They will protect your swing arm from scraping the ground and wearing thin.
  • Handlebar bar-end weights or sliders also serve the primary purpose of reducing vibrations on the bar, but will also protect your handlebar grips and levers to an extent during a drop.

When not to use sliders

Off-road Riding

As much as sliders seem like the go-to solution for motorcycle protection, it’s important to know that sliders work best when a motorcycle falls on a flat surface. This is good news for riders who ride mostly on road, but riders who venture off-road will find that sliders may not make a great case when rocks, ruts, and mud are thrown into the picture. Your motorcycle is a heavy machine, and when a heavy machine with a protruding slider falls off-road, the slider can very easily dig into the dirt or loose surface and land your motorcycle plastics and engine case on the ground anyway. On top of this, off-road riding typically presents very unpredictable and bumpy terrain which means that rocks, dirt, and other debris on the road can still find their way to the components of your motorcycle and cause damage.

If you’re riding off-road or in unpredictable terrain, the best protective equipment for your motorcycle is probably a heavy duty crash guard. Make sure to get one that is sturdy enough to take the abuse of an off-road environment, and a large enough guard to protect not just the engine, but your precious plastic fairings too.


KTM Frame Sliders

Frame sliders truly are one of the best protective items you can purchase for your motorcycle. They are affordable, easily replaceable, and they do not drastically change the look of your motorcycle. While frame sliders may not be the best application for off-road riding, they certainly make a strong case for the road-going rider. When purchasing frame sliders, make sure to purchase one from a reputable brand as these components will need to take the weight of your motorcycle during a fall. Make sure to also purchase sliders that are specifically designed for your motorcycle so as to prevent issues with installation and reliability. No matter your choice of protective equipment, ensuring the safety of your motorcycle will go a long way in saving you expensive repair costs down the line, and installing sliders is just about the most practical and affordable way to make that happen.

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