Crash Protection + Tank Sliders - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-05-2020, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Crash Protection + Tank Sliders

I'd like some of your opinions on some crash protection ideas.

After lowsiding the honda 919 4 times since i've owned it (monday most recently), I've noticed that there are two expensive points of contact that consistently get damaged. There are other things that nick the ground as well, like brake levers, shifters, clutch levers, bar ends, wind screen, ect.... everything gets nicked but the two points that'll stop you from riding home are typically the tank and the engine case. Wear through the case and you'll leak oil, but they can be replaced for under 100 bucks, and hit the tank good enough and you can leak gas as it slides down the pavement, waiting for a spark to create a nice fireball. A new tank is like 700 bucks, and I've never found one in good condition on ebay. They all have massive dents in them.

Frame sliders are what people typically put on, but I've seen them either rip a chunk of the motor off, or they can even tweak or crack the frame. Worst, they'll catch and send the bike into a tumble. They seem to work best for <15mph drops, not 60 mph lowsides. I'm also worried that a frame slider would raise the case off the ground and protect that, but put more weight on the gas tank in certain types of slides.

As it is, the 919 slides pretty darn well in a lowside. I've been able to ride it home every time I've gone down, even when I lowsided on a track 500 miles away from home. I'd like to retain it's safe sliding characteristics, but mitigate the case and tank destruction if I can.

I just want to be able to go down, and reliably just pick the bike back up and keep going. It's a pain in my butt to strip the tank down, bondo it and repaint it every time I go for a good slide. It'll look brand new, but it takes a lot of time. At this point, aesthetics for my bike are at the bottom of the list of things I care about. My 919 is now a tool to commute, and to have fun and learn on. I was thinking about getting some case protectors, and fabricating some DIY tank sliders. Certain sport bikes bikes have tank sliders designed for them, but for obvious reasons, there aren't any for the 919.

My idea was to try some of these

As for the DIY tank sliders, I had some ideas. They'd all look pretty dumb, but not nearly as dumb as a tank cheese grated flat and leaking gas from sliding 80 feet across the ground. My first option is to just use some robust rubber tank grips and cut them to size and stick them over the contact point of the tank. In my opinion, they'd have the best shock absorbing capabilities to prevent dents while also providing enough material for abrasion resistance, and would be very cheap and very easy to install or replace.

Another thought was to shave down the inside of some knee sliders, make them pretty thin, trying to replicate what R&G makes, and stick em to the tank with some 3M doublestick adhesive. I feel like they'd work really well for sliding, but would look pretty weird and have a potential of getting ripped off or denting the tank on impact. But, you could make jokes about leaning so hard you drag the tank on the ground.

Lastly, and the option I've seen others do, is to make a mold of the tank and create a slider out of epoxy similar to the ones R&G manufacture for other bikes, spray paint it black and stick that on. It'd probably look the best, but I can't even imagine how much work would go into making a set of those.

What do you guys think? Anyone have any better ideas?

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-05-2020, 05:30 PM
(Quintus) Pilus Prior
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I had an idea for this but I was working off of motorcycle boots. If you look at some motorcycle boots, they have what looks like a resin puck, similar to racing outfits that have resin pucks at the knees.

The same kind of material used in the peg type engine guards.

These are designed to slide and with boots you want your boots to slide at the outer edges so that they don't grab into the asphalt.

With the take, what you can do is take mold release and clay/plaster and make a model of the edges. Once you have a positive model, you use that to make a fiberglass mold, then make a fiberglass or nylon edge that works as a slider.

Some kind of plastic would be best, but even fiberglass can do the job. You could even take ABS and mold it to fit.

One of the key things is to get it to fit and stick when being hit. It's not so easy to get something to stick to the tank and still be removable without falling off under impact.

I saw a video online of a guy that took plastic milk cartons, melted them in a pan on the stove and then molded them to fit into a tire iron remove tool tip so that his rims wouldn't get a jacked up when changing tires.

You can reshape the plastic to the shape of the tank edges, then find a way to attach it.

I don't know enough about adhesives to know that would be best. If you never care about removing it, you can scuff up the paint and epoxy it. Maybe the stuff they use for tank grips or those 3M pads they use with GoPros on your helmet.

I think if it wraps all fully around the edge, then they would stick a whole lot better.

You could then blend into the tank grips.

I like the idea of a fiberglass based that is molded, but that's a lot more work. A thick pad of nylon or ABS with strong glue should do the job.

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-06-2020, 01:04 PM
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Tank sliders and crash bars.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-13-2020, 12:12 PM
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Tank slider will not stop your take from getting dented though.
I have had great luck with crash bars and proper bar end sliders, like woodcraft bar ends.

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-13-2020, 12:54 PM
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The T-Rex frame sliders have done their job well. Went for a low side ride at 25mph. Saved the frame, but the clutch cover did not survive.
Again, frame sliders are for protecting the frame. Having used a higher grade all thread rod through the frame on my last bike that went down at 68mph, low side slide, hit 2 mail boxes (side by side), the frame did not even crack! It saved a good amount besides the handle bars and rear tail section.
Never put the frame sliders on the engine casted mounting points! They will crack the engine casting.

The gas tank outside edge was indeed crushed, but it wore very very thin due to the prolonged slide.
Having a slider on that surface would allow the tank to perform it's duties safely without the worry of a punctured tank after a low side accident IMHO.

The protection from T-Rex on the clutch and generator side are well worth the $120 seeing the materials they use, and the purpose they serve.
If I can ride away without loosing oil is well worth the extra dough.

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-13-2020, 08:58 PM
(Quintus) Pilus Prior
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Originally Posted by Fonque View Post
Tank slider will not stop your take from getting dented though.
I have had great luck with crash bars and proper bar end sliders, like woodcraft bar ends.
That's not really true. It's really an issue of how thick it is and how it distributes the force of the impact. It's the same thing as my knee/shin guards that are plastic/foam... I had an impact and it scuffed up the plastic and caused a mild bruise on the knee. It distributes the impact.

If it spreads the impact around enough, it can stop a dent.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-17-2020, 11:13 PM
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If you're interested, I have a set of red sheet metal that is in very good condition. The tank has never been down. PM me with your email for pics

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
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