Join Date: Feb 2013
Thanked 1,649 Times in 1,039 Posts
Sliders aren't "designed" to save fairings at all. The fact that they can at under 10 mph is a happy bonus. They're designed to save the frame and engine from "scraping" along the road during a low side and aren't designed around impacts so you're still pretty screwed if the bike high-sides or tumbles. Also, what people call "failures" is a mistake as the sliders are SUPPOSED to bend when they catch as you don't want that energy to be transferred into the engine and engine case through the mounting bolts and studs. A clear failure would be if they completely sheared off while sliding allowing the frame and engine to be ground up from the slide. Most people consider the sacrifice of tapping the engine mounting bolt holes a very small price to pay over trying to buy a whole new engine and frame (aka another bike.) They reason why you see a lot of bending from a lot of different sliders is because they're being used on public roads and not a track. They hit an imperfection or debris in the road and bent which is a hell of a lot better than what could have happened if they were super strong and rigid and instead imparted that energy right into the engine and frame. On most super sports, the soft aluminum frame and engine case would have bent and warped pretty badly totaling the bike if the sliders didn't bend when catching on that unseen lip.
The key thing is that there is no cure-all for completely protecting the bike when you go down. A slider can help in a very specific situation and can potentially cause more damage to covers and fairings in other situations. Sliders were designed around the concept that you can rebuild the whole bike so long as the main frame and engine are fine. Race teams generally only need those two components to survive as much as possible as they're limited in the amount of engines they can use per season and the custom frames can be extremely expensive and easily more than most of the other parts. Unless you are willing to replace everything but the frame and motor, I would suggest saving your money on the sliders and using it towards more rider training or replacement of needed consumables on the bike that'll do more to keep you off the ground than worry about what happens after you hit the ground. Hell, personal rider protection is worth more than the slight chance of salvaging a frame and motor. If your only real worry is about the bodywork and you aren't going to salvage your bike after a bad crash, sliders probably aren't for you. Let the bike go into the cold night and use your insurance to get a replacement. The extra cosmetic and tertiary damage a proper slider can do in some situations isn't worth it if you aren't going to rebuild the bike afterwards.
2016 Yamaha WR250R (Team Yamaha Blue)
2007 Yamaha R1 (Team Yamaha Blue)