Frame sliders, crash bars give bikes extra protection

Publish Date: 
Apr 30, 2014
By Beth Dolgner

BIKES GET DROPPED. Let's face it. It happens to riders of all sizes, so spare a thought for shorter riders that face precarious tiptoe situations all too frequently. The resulting damage is never good for a rider’s ego, confidence or wallet.

To help preserve all three, crash protection is something that every rider should consider adding to their machine as quickly as possible.

While not a guarantee against damage in a tip-over, frame sliders are the most common form of crash protection for sportbikes. Derived from racing, these hard plastic bumpers project past the bodywork in order to absorb any potential impacts or abrasion during a drop. And if the sliders get destroyed in such an incident, they are often easy and affordable to replace.

Examples include R&G Racing Aero Sliders, available for most late-model sportbikes, roadsters and sport-tourers. Retailing for as little as $119.99 per pair and featuring a slick teardrop profile, these sliders are cheap insurance for any bike. Protective sliders are also available for front and rear axles, handlebar ends and similarly exposed points on a bike.

For naked roadsters and adventure-style machines, minimal plastic means less fragile panels to damage, but exposed frames, engine covers and other expensive components need protection, too.

While plastic sliders can still provide protection, metal crash bars are often used instead. In addition to providing stronger protection and extra coverage, the tubular bars are often styled to better match the aesthetics of the exposed frames and powertrains on these types of machines.

SW-MOTECH builds crashbars for a range of machines from retro roadsters, naked sportbikes and adventure-tourers. Retail pricing begins at $144.99 per set, but just as with sliders, the insurance against more expensive damage is well worth the investment.

Both R&G Racing and SW-MOTECH products are available from Twisted Throttle, along with all sorts of protective accessories for a huge range of machines.