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Motorvation Frame Sliders for Honda VTR1000F

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Nov. 08, 2004
So, crappy product report time.

Let's talk about frame sliders. Frame sliders are hockey puck like creations that bolt onto the frame of a motorcycle. The idea is that should you loose it in a turn, or have some over enthusiastic New Yorker try and park through your motorcycle, the frame slider takes the brunt of the impact. Its sole purpose is:

1) To save your expensive fairings (those plastic side panels that cost about $300 per panel).

2) To save functional parts, like the radiators, engine covers, etc.

So lets talk about Motorvation's frame sliders for the VTR1000F. They look like this:

Click here for the pics

What are the rest of your experiences, fellow MOrons? - MO

If you put the cursor over the above picture, you will see it is labelled FirestormLeft.jpg. That is how they labelled it. This is the right side of the bike. Be very afraid when buying safety equipment from manufacturer that can't tell right from left.

Notice the complete lack of plastic in the picture. That's because once this thing is mounted, you have to CUT A BIG FRIGGIN HOLE in your fairing so it clears the frame slider. This picture, provided by Motorvation after much cajoling from me, does not appear on their website, probably because no one would buy the friggin thing if they saw it. The website says in small print, "fairing must be drilled." Drill means to make a small hole. This hole would need to be 2.5 inches across. That is a cut, gaping hole, gash, shotgun hole, or dry well. If you don't believe me, go try and find a 2.5 inch drill bit that isn't used for OIL DRILLING, or something like that.

The second problem with their fairing "drilling" is this. Look just below and to the left of the slider. That is the mounting bracket for the fairing. That means that an inch and a half from this gaping wound put in the fairing to install this friggin thing is the mounting point for the fairing. So now you have a huge hole, weakening the fairing, with a hard point for mounting an inch and a half away. Can you say severely compromised plastic strength leading to stress cracks, boys and girls? Good, I knew you could.

Also, remember, the reason one installs these things in the first place is to protect the fairing. I fail to see how butchering the fairing to make room for the slider is protecting it.

The third problem with this thing is the bolts supplied. This slider bolts onto the center engine mount, which means you have to replace the engine mount bolt. For this purpose, Motorvision supplies bolts. Here is the problem. This bolt is being asked to do a lot. It not only has to support a motor that is vibrating like hell, not to mention accompanying temperature changes. Now, with the slider, the bolt needs to be able to take the impact of a fall and a slide, since it is the only thing holding the fairing on.

For those you you that don't know bolts (and haven't stopped reading because you don't care), bolts come in varying degrees of hardness. For high stress jobs, you want a hardened bolt. These bolts will have a number on them, showing their rated strengths. Motorvation provided some Mickey Mouse, unhardened bolt for the right side.

Not only that, but it was too short by about 6.5mm. So...they want to take an engine mount bolt, put more load on it by making it double as a slider mounting point. They decide that they should provide a softer bolt, and then have 6mm less threads holding the load. F*cktards.

Why did they do this? Because the bolt size they would need doesn't exist in over the counter catalogs. So they would have to buy a longer bolt, cut it to size, and extend the threads. That's some extra machining.

In fairness to Motorvation, they did provide a hardened bolt for the left side. I don't know if it was the right length, because after seeing how badly the right side was off, I never got to the left side, cause who only wants one slider? One interesting thing though, the fact that they provided a hardened bolt for the left side means they realized it was a good idea to have hardened bolts, and still gave me a Mickey Mouse one for the right.

But you know what? This is a pretty important bolt. This half-ass, it's close enough and will work if it's never put to the test is a really poor way of doing things when we're talking about crash equipment.

So, then, what are we left with? A product that is supposed to protect fairing and functional parts that requires you to cut a big hole in what you're trying to protect, and will shear off and not protect anything should you in fact crash.

Not only that, but they provide no instructions. Nada. And when I checked with the manufacturer and distributor, they said there weren't supposed to be any.

I want my friggin money back.
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