Whether on the street or track, how beneficial are frame sliders for your motorcycle?
Let's make one thing clear, no one can predict exactly where and how a crash will occur. From weather and road conditions, to motorcycle speed and form, there are too many variables that make each crash or drop slightly different and unpredictable. However, we will cover a few points that will help you in determining if and how frame sliders are right for your motorcycle and your riding style.
(PICTURE OF WORN FRAME SLIDERS)
Quick intro to Sliders
Sliders are meant to do exactly what the name implies, slide. The smoother the pavement or tarmac, the smoother your motorcycle will slide. The major impact and damage of a crash should be absorbed primarily by quality slider. By creating points of contact on a surface, sliders lift your bike far enough from the ground to prevent damage to the body and critical components of your bike. However, the few major points of contact created by sliders create a concern on softer ground where they can potentially grab and cause a more violent crash.
(PICTURE OF BIKE ON ITS SIDE WITH SLIDERS HOLDING IT UP)
Protecting your bike
Motorcycles alone lie fairly flat on their sides. The more surface area on the ground, the better their ability to slow down in the case of a crash. The necessary damage that a motorcycle's body and chassis would have to undergo to come to a complete stop however can be devastating.
Slider are mounted on strategic points across a bike's frame and are designed to disperse the impact of drops and crashes throughout the frame and solid areas of a bike such as the engine department.
Well designed and motorcycle specific sliders will raise a bike far enough to protect crucial components such as the chassis and internals while maintaining the bike as low as possible to avoid its tendency to flip and roll.
Now, are frame sliders good or bad?
(PICTURE OF 2 LENGTH SLIDERS)
[Depending on the bike's style, our team decides on one of two puck lengths to create the ideal lift distance from the ground.]
Ideal for everyday use
Typical motorcycle enjoyment includes city commuting which consists of an average riding speed of 45 km/h and maximum 90 km/h (for the most part). These riding conditions typically do not include soft ground and therefore sliders that maintain your bike at a decent distance off the ground lead to better protection. From protecting the basics such as the engine, fairings, and levers; you will be glad you invested on quality sliders In the case of a drop or low-side crash.
Ideal for track day
Higher speed crashes can lead to more unpredictable outcomes. Sliders that protrude only slightly more than your bike's width will ensure that your bike is as low as possible (reducing possibilities of snagging) but high enough to do their job without bending or snapping.
Regardless of your riding intentions and style, great quality sliders that grab just enough surface area on the road will provide optimal protection for your bike.
Types of Frame Sliders
The ideal location for a frame slider is directly on the engine mount bolts which allows for better dispersion of shock load. Frame slider installation is fairly straightforward on many, but not all bikes. Installation becomes an issue as bike fairing on some models block this mounting point and require either a modification to the fairing or a mount for the slider itself. This brings us to the topic of "cut" or "no cut" style frame sliders.
(PICTURE OF SIMPLE ADAPTER SLIDER ON BIKE, CUT, AND MILLED ADAPTER SLIDER)
"Cut" style sliders will require a user to cut a hole on the bike's fairing to allow access to the recommended mounting point.
"No cut" style sliders include the necessary adapters and brackets that are specific for each model's bodywork and require no modification for installation. Frame slider adapters typically mount on one or two points depending on the bike model.
For those riders that love their OEM fairing, "no cut" frame sliders are the way to go. For those that love a bare-bone style bike or that are willing to slightly modify the look of their bike in exchange for higher quality protection, "cut" frame sliders are ideal. In the cases where both "cut" and "no cut" sliders are available for a particular bike, "cut" frame sliders typically offer better protection due to having a firmer mount.
98% of the sliders offered by Alpha Vitesse do not require any modification to the motorcycle while retaining premium mounting and protection.
Frame Slider anatomy
A well made frame slider is constructed from purposeful materials and a tested design. A quality frame slider typically takes advantage of multiple materials that offer distinct benefits individually and can work together for ideal protection. In order for a slider to perform as intended, it should provide rigid strength while offering enough resistant cushion. Effectiveness lies in the balance between the two, absorbing the initial impact while enduring friction punishment.
An all-metal slider will typically endure more friction punishment but will also transfer more impact directly to the frame, whereas plastic sliders will wear faster as they skim the ground but will absorb more impact and transfer less shock to the bike. Quality sliders provide motorcycles with the best of both worlds featuring a design that marries materials and components together into one working unit.
(PICTURE OF OUR FRAME SLIDER ON A BIKE)
Alpha Vitesse Approach
Our Tactique Series- frame sliders offers a patented design that incorporates the attributes of various materials into one package while conserving their integrity. To learn more about our frame sliders and other crash protection products, check out our Tactique Series Crash Protection page that explains why our products are superior to other offerings when it comes to design and performance.