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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to write out the pro's and con's due to recent interest but there is already a very good article written at Life at Lean. Here it is:

Are Crash Bungs Worth it? Pros & Cons of Crash Bungs and Which to Buy

Crash bungs are specially designed stoppers that bolt onto the outside of your bike. The idea for them is to protect the bikes body work and engine in the event your bike ends up going down the road on its side, as such they could be considered one of the more important bike accessories.

They stick out a fair way so when the bike tips or falls over the first thing to touch the ground are the bungs. Sounds like a no brainer, but there’s a reason some people choose not to use them.

If you’re considering whether or not they are worth it, here I’ve gone over points For and Against crash bungs, and also provided a few tips on what to look for if you decide to buy.

Crash Bung Pros

  • Saved fairings — With crash protectors installed, they protrude out enough that when the bike is on its side, only the protector, bar end, pegs and wheels should touch the ground. This then keeps your shiny fairings relatively untouched if it goes down on tarmac.
  • We all know fairings aren’t cheap, so for the sake of £50-£60 on bungs you could be saving £200-£300 for fairings. Also if you don’t carry spare fairings it means you need to try and bodge your broken ones to get it acceptable to carry on riding.
  • Save engine casing — As with above, the bung stops the engine cashing touching down. A cracked or broken engine casing could very much mean the end of your day.
  • Smaller crashes leave next to no damage — With crash bungs installed, you’re more likely to be able to just pick the bike back up and ride back in after a small, slow speed ‘get off’.
  • Theoretically, there’s fewer costs long term — If every time your bike goes down it lands on the engine casing and fairings, unless you’re a master of fairing repairs (or you’re happy to just Gaffa tape it up), you’re going to be looking at new fairings every time, and that’s not considering possible peg, lever and tank damage etc.

Crash Bung Cons

  • Possibility of catching and flipping bike — In higher speed crashes, the crash bungs could end up catching on a kerb or digging into the ground if you end up on grass which could cause the bike to flip. If the bike starts flipping you could see all sorts of damage all over the bike.
  • On the other side of this, I’ve seen many a MotoGP bike flipping and battering itself into a scrap heap and they don’t use them. While they could cause the bike to flip, it’s not the only thing that can.
  • Possibility of damaging engine bolt and thread — Given enough force, the crash bung and bolt could be ripped right out, meaning more awkward and potentially costly repairs to get the engine mount rethreaded and fix any frame damage because of it.
  • They become almost irrelevant in gravel or soft earth — If you happen to slide into the gravel or soft/marshy grass, the effects of the bungs will be almost wiped out and fairing damage is pretty much a dead cert.


Summary
There is definitely the potential to cause more detrimental and costly damage to a bike in higher speed crashes with crash bungs fitted if it catches and sends the bike tumbling. However, looking over the long term and assuming everyone doesn’t have bottomless pits of money and spares then surely they make good financial sense.

In the end though there is no definitive rule to how a bike crashes as so many variables come into play, so just think about your personal circumstances and how each point would affect you.

If you do decide to buy, then it is a MUST that you invest in a set where the manufacturers reputation hangs on how good their product performs. Use the following tips to help you get a set of bungs that stand the best chance of keeping your pride and joy safe.

Buying Good Quality Crash Bungs

  • Where are they positioned? — Around the middle of the side fairings using one of the main engine bolts through the frame is the best place. If they are fitted using the same bolts that hold on the fairing, when the time comes that they’re needed it is highly likely they’ll simply snap off or be bent to the point they’re unusable.
  • Are they good quality plastic? — This is a hard one to determine, but the price is actually a good gauge of how good the quality of the product is. If you see bungs online for £10, you can be sure they’ll be made from goats cheese or similar.
  • Even more so if it’s a popular brand whose reputation is as good as their product, you can be sure the quality of materials are going to be some of the best on the market.
  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is — As mentioned above, if you see a supposed “great quality” set of crash bungs at an unbelievably low price I would exercise caution. You will pay a premium on brand name products as with anything, but it’s what they do for their business so if they didn’t work they wouldn’t be in business very long.
  • For peace of mind I would suggest spending that little bit more for a branded set made by people whose business it is to keep your bike safe. Ebay has narrowed the gap now between the branded and garage made stuff anyway, so you don’t need to be spending a hell of a lot more.

--------------------------

Additionally, here is a test article from Performance Bikes Magazine that was done sometime around 2010.



 

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That is awesome. Woodcraft for the win
Except that I contacted Woodcraft and they verified in an email to me that on the '09-'12 Zx6r (when I contacted them that was the latest model) that there had been issues with broken frames when using their sliders.

I still have a new, never mounted set sitting on the shelf due to this. I think on bikes with cast aluminum engine cradle spars that having quality fiberglass bodywork that allows the bike to slide is a safer proposition.
 

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The best answer I've even heard to this question is, "Tell me what kind of crash you're going to have and I'll tell you what kind of protection you need."

Basically, the protection that might be great in one crash could bend/crack your frame in another. There is no good answer to this question. You low side and the bike just slides down the road and viola, a frame slide is like magic. You low side and the slider catches a crack in the pavement or a pothole and viola, bent frame.

Personally I agree with the answer above, it depends on the crash. My one crash where the bike actually went down I ended up with $400 worth of damage simply because I refused to let go of the bars and held the bike up preventing the fairings from hitting the tarmac. (Replaced the rear spool, peg, brake lever, engine cover, and brand new lower fairing piece + custom paint.) If I hadn't held on to the bike it would have cost me a windscreen and a couple more fairing pieces.

Anyway, as much as I like my bike, I've resigned myself that I'm going to throw it down the track at some point and I'll have to replace the fairings. That's the cost of of going on track and learning. I accepted that fact with my Ninja 650 and I accept that with my ZX6R. (I never crashed the 650 but I did have some interesting slides on the front end that got my attention.) Now, the question is what do I do to best protect the rest of the ZX6R? To that end I decided on GB Racing covers for the vulnerable engine components. I might end up with scuffed fairings but I mitigate the risk of bending or cracking the frame. I'll protect the engine and other critical components but that's it. The rest is on me and I'm ok with that; and I think that's the real answer.

From this basic question I get the feeling that most people are looking for that magic solution that leaves their bike undamaged when an oops happens. There is no 'magic' solution. IMHO the only thing you can do is accept that there's going to be some out of pocket cost to a crash and pick which risks you're willing to take. You have to decide what risks you willing to take and protect your bike as best you can against the other risks. There's no 'magic' protection solution that will save you bike in every crash. You have to accept the fact that you will take damage. The only question which bet do you want to place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From my personal experience I have benefited from using frame sliders on motorcycles. I two crashes on my Ninja 300, two low sides, with and without frame sliders. The crash without frame sliders sustained more damage than the one with frame sliders. I have additionally had two tip overs and one with my 636. With frame sliders installed I sustained zero damage.

My logic is frame sliders will prevent damage with tip overs and low speed falls and track crashes as long as it doesn't go into the travel trap/ grass (where it can flip whether or not you have frame sliders but is more likely to if you do).

I currently use GB engine case covers, Motovation sliders (which are low profile), and woodcraft rearsets. I don't expect them to save the plastics or other components considering the enormous amount of variables there are in crashes but I do think they have the potential to minimize crash costs in case it were to happen.
 

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Except that I contacted Woodcraft and they verified in an email to me that on the '09-'12 Zx6r (when I contacted them that was the latest model) that there had been issues with broken frames when using their sliders.

I still have a new, never mounted set sitting on the shelf due to this. I think on bikes with cast aluminum engine cradle spars that having quality fiberglass bodywork that allows the bike to slide is a safer proposition.
Don't know about that model. The 13+ all mount in the same spot. Fiberglass bodywork doesn't guarantee the bike will slide in any way shape or form. Bikes with Fiberglass bodywork go for rolls and tumbles and break in half all the time.
 

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The best answer I've even heard to this question is, "Tell me what kind of crash you're going to have and I'll tell you what kind of protection you need."

Basically, the protection that might be great in one crash could bend/crack your frame in another. There is no good answer to this question. You low side and the bike just slides down the road and viola, a frame slide is like magic. You low side and the slider catches a crack in the pavement or a pothole and viola, bent frame.

Personally I agree with the answer above, it depends on the crash. My one crash where the bike actually went down I ended up with $400 worth of damage simply because I refused to let go of the bars and held the bike up preventing the fairings from hitting the tarmac. (Replaced the rear spool, peg, brake lever, engine cover, and brand new lower fairing piece + custom paint.) If I hadn't held on to the bike it would have cost me a windscreen and a couple more fairing pieces.

Anyway, as much as I like my bike, I've resigned myself that I'm going to throw it down the track at some point and I'll have to replace the fairings. That's the cost of of going on track and learning. I accepted that fact with my Ninja 650 and I accept that with my ZX6R. (I never crashed the 650 but I did have some interesting slides on the front end that got my attention.) Now, the question is what do I do to best protect the rest of the ZX6R? To that end I decided on GB Racing covers for the vulnerable engine components. I might end up with scuffed fairings but I mitigate the risk of bending or cracking the frame. I'll protect the engine and other critical components but that's it. The rest is on me and I'm ok with that; and I think that's the real answer.

From this basic question I get the feeling that most people are looking for that magic solution that leaves their bike undamaged when an oops happens. There is no 'magic' solution. IMHO the only thing you can do is accept that there's going to be some out of pocket cost to a crash and pick which risks you're willing to take. You have to decide what risks you willing to take and protect your bike as best you can against the other risks. There's no 'magic' protection solution that will save you bike in every crash. You have to accept the fact that you will take damage. The only question which bet do you want to place?
Well said. I used to be a strong believer in frame sliders because on my 1198 I had very good experiences with them. I crashed at almost 60 and suffered only typical cosmetic damage, even though it did flip over once right at the end of the slide when it was off the track in the dirt. I also had a tip-over in a driveway and sustained no damage. But now that I have my zx6r and the cbr500 I realize there's a big difference in the design of frames and frame sliders and how they mount. On my 1198 because it has a steel trellis frame, the frame sliders are attached at the end of a steel bar which goes all the way through the frame, replacing one of the engine mounting bolts. That's it, just a straight bar, no brackets of any sort that can bend or break. They were really fuckin solid and it showed. But just by looking at my 2 current bikes I can tell there is no good way to make sliders work as well as that. My zx6r came with a repaired frame spar on one side, which presumably happened due to a crash with frame sliders on. So it ended up being cut and replaced with a piece of aluminum that was welded on. On my cbr500 I put frame sliders on and it ended up doing more damage than good when I crashed it. Flipped the bike over, and the sliders and brackets and bolts bent like noodles! Thankfully the frame is ok from what I can tell, but the fairings and other things were destroyed.

No now my opinion of sliders has changed. I realize their best use is for tip-overs at less than 10 mph or so, and the chance for me to dump it at that speed is significantly lower than the chance of me to crash at higher speed since all I do is track riding, and because of that I'm going with no frame sliders for now on. But with that said, I agree with you that there isn't a magical solution to solve it all and other solutions might work better for other people, so I don't believe there is a right or wrong in the discussion of frame sliders. It's just a matter of "what works statistically better for you based on the riding you do and the bike you ride".
 

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Of all of the crashes my ZX6Rs and ZX10Rs have been through so far I believe the sliders have helped in all cases (I use the Shogun no-cut frame and swingarm sliders).

Here was one about 6 months ago:







Only damage was to left frame and swingarm slider, left rearset footpeg and toe peg, and left Chinese lever guard. Oh and a set of Cycle Gear Frog Togs. :) If the bike had stayed on the pavement it wouldn't have even taken out the lever guard. In fact I picked the bike back up and got back in the race without going a lap down. Was too excited about leading and took turn 4 too hot. :)



That stupid track is like ice when wet. They're repaving it now so hopefully we'll actually be able to get some traction on it when wet on the new pavement.
 

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I guess the frame sliders probably didn't help in the one I had this spring. But they didn't hurt either. That is, the bike didn't flip over and it didn't break the frame. I laid it down about 30 feet before a tire wall. Slid into it at somewhere around 65mph top first after getting bumped off the track by a guy coming out of hot pit (100+ at bump point). I didn't lay it down until I was well off the pavement:



 

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My woodcraft's broke the frame on my 09 zx6. Like someone mentioned, just because you had good luck with one brand on one bike in one crash, it doesn't mean it's good for all bikes for all brands in all crashes. The 07+ zx6s? Wouldn't do it.
-Cody
 

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Sliders repeatedly saved my SV650 from several horrific crashes. They were by far one of the best protective devices that I could put on that bike.

That said, I DO NOT run frame sliders on my ZX6R. Not because woodcraft sliders are bad but because Kawasaki has a really poorly designed frame which is very weak. It is that same weakness that causes front end chatter :--(

Anywho, on the ZX6R I run front axle sliders, rear spool sliders, engine case sliders, and bar end sliders because those are all of the points that hit the ground when it falls over.
 

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My woodcraft's broke the frame on my 09 zx6. Like someone mentioned, just because you had good luck with one brand on one bike in one crash, it doesn't mean it's good for all bikes for all brands in all crashes. The 07+ zx6s? Wouldn't do it.
-Cody
I had woodcrafts on my youngest kid's 2008 R6. The broke off when he went down; though he went down pretty hard. Bike was totalled because the scraping went into the engine block, the very damage I'm looking to avoid by using sliders.

Going forward I've installed T-Rex sliders on my newer bikes, though I've yet to test them. FWIW they are huge and fat if that makes a difference.
 

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I had woodcrafts on my youngest kid's 2008 R6. The broke off when he went down; though he went down pretty hard. Bike was totalled because the scraping went into the engine block, the very damage I'm looking to avoid by using sliders.

Going forward I've installed T-Rex sliders on my newer bikes, though I've yet to test them. FWIW they are huge and fat if that makes a difference.
I had a T rex slider on my Cbr1000 spin on its mount and it totaled the side fairing(which would have been fine if the slider did not spin in it's mount). I use Woodcraft now. Mounted to the frame of course. Haven't had a get off with the woodcraft but I had the bike tip over in the garage and it didn't get a scratch. I am on the fence about using sliders. I think they are good for minor slides and tip overs.
 

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I had woodcrafts on my youngest kid's 2008 R6. The broke off when he went down; though he went down pretty hard. Bike was totalled because the scraping went into the engine block, the very damage I'm looking to avoid by using sliders.

Going forward I've installed T-Rex sliders on my newer bikes, though I've yet to test them. FWIW they are huge and fat if that makes a difference.
Yeah the ones on my 500 were the big and fat T-rex sliders too. Never again! That probably was the reason it was worse than it could've been. Lot of material to dig into the ground and flip the bike. The bolts and brackets that came with the sliders were worthless too...like spaghetti and silly putty! T-rex is a hit and miss IMO. I like some of their stuff, like their bike stands, but other things they make are crap.
 

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Yeah the ones on my 500 were the big and fat T-rex sliders too. Never again! That probably was the reason it was worse than it could've been. Lot of material to dig into the ground and flip the bike. The bolts and brackets that came with the sliders were worthless too...like spaghetti and silly putty! T-rex is a hit and miss IMO. I like some of their stuff, like their bike stands, but other things they make are crap.
Weird. I crashed tested the Trex on my '13 Zx6r a little over 3 years ago when I hit a patch of black ice while riding with a buddy and low-sided the bike at about only 30mph. Bike slid a good deal down the road, as did I. They held up great and personally thought they did exactly what they are suppose to do, protect the frame from damage.

The thing with frame sliders I can't press enough is that they are FRAME SLIDERS! Not fairing protectors/sliders. In addition to the frame sliders on the bike I had fork axle sliders and just the spools on the swingarm.

Here's some photos btw.
 

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Every crash is somewhat unique. If you get the no cut sliders they can move around a bit. They wrecked my fairing. Maybe they won't wreck yours. Who knows.
 

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I personally think on the track it is a no brainer not to use them. Put case covers on and carry spare clip ons. On the street it's a coin toss.
Agree. On my track bike I have case sliders and rear axle block sliders. I'm not concerned with the rear axle block sliders flipping the bike over at the track. It is definitely a toss up using sliders on the street because of each accident being unique to it's own situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Yoshimura slider worked remarkably well with my 300. I had a lowside going about 35-ish in the rain. Here's a pic of the damage and sliders replaced since it bent back with the impact.





I've dropped my zx6r in the garage front standstill and had no damage. I plan on getting the GB or woodcraft sliders that are flush with the fairings for the track.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Crashed a couple of months ago at the track. I was using the 1399 short racing pucks and had no frame damage. Here are the results.



I'm switching over to the 1599 domed frame slider pucks now. They are shorter and have a better shape.
 

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