Updated February 2020
Frame sliders have been around for a while, but they are the subject of some misconceptions. With the exception of when you drop your bike in your garage, they most likely won’t keep your bodywork from getting scratched up in a slide. Once the bike leaves the relatively smooth surface of the pavement, other things, like gravel and sticks, come into play. Because of their roots in racing, frame sliders are designed to minimize the damage to major components, making repairs that much easier so the rider can get back on the track in time for the next race.
However, bring up the subject of frame sliders, and you’re almost certain to get a little controversy. Some riders swear by them and put them on every bike they own, while others think that they are the tools of the devil and will cause more damage to your bike. Well, which is it? Are frame sliders good or bad? The answer is that there are good frame sliders and bad ones. Also, no frame slider can protect your motorcycle from every type of crash. In a tumbling crash, like in a high-side, you can’t beat the laws of physics. Similarly, the higher the speed of the crash, the more likely it is that the slider could catch and send your bike tumbling. But then again, so could the handlebar. There is no 100% perfect solution for protecting a motorcycle sliding on its side. You just need to decide where you stand on this game of odds.