So the unfortunate has happened, the dreaded crash. I wrecked my 2005 r6 the last day of the season in turn 3 at Blackhawk Farms Raceway. Fortunately it wasn’t a high side, just a low side around 40-50 mph. My front tire lost traction, gave out and the whole bike fell to the pavement. I thoroughly expected to see the side cover leaking it’s vital fluid. To my surprise the Woodcraft billet aluminum side cover with the replaceable stainless insert was intact and just showed a little rash. This particular side cover has been through 3 low sides and I haven’t even had to replace the insert. With top quality comes a top price though. Good isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t good. So the first questions you have to ask yourself is, how much protection do you need, is it for the street or track and how much do you want to spend.
Chad had a low side on his ex650r that sent it over some nasty curbing on turn 4 at Blackhawk Farms Raceway this last season. He uses GB Racing side covers that fit over the stock side covers. Aside from some scratches the side cover did it’s ultimate job and that was to keep the oil in the motor and off the track.
There are a couple different options you have if you are looking for some protection for your bike. They range in price from $20-$400. Chad and I have had some luck finding used parts on Ebay if price is a deciding factor. Sometimes you can find premium aftermarket parts for half the price of new. The cheapest are frame sliders. These are just plastic pucks that stick out from the frame of the motorcycle that hit the pavement first. They protect against drops off the kickstand and tip overs in a parking lot. The down side to frame sliders are that I have seen them catch on the track and actually flip the bike onto the other side resulting in damage to both sides of your motorcycle.
Next is the GB racing cover that Chad personally uses on his track bike. They protect the whole case unlike a frame slider. They are a bit more expensive than frame sliders, but he didn’t want to be “that guy”. The one that oils the track down and makes everyone forfeit a session because of cleanup. The covers bolt over top of the stock case covers providing extra strength and abrasion resistance. They are made out of a composite injection molded plastic. For more info visit their website http://www.gbracing.eu/
Finally there are billet aluminum replacement side covers. I personally use Woodcraft. My experience with them has been pleasant except for the price. They are more expensive because they are made of one piece of cnc machined aluminum. These are high quality and used by many top racing teams. These feature a replaceable skid plate that you can get in stainless steel or double thick aluminum. Woodcraft offers a bunch of different color combos so you can mix and match for your unique style and taste.
All these featured products can be found on Amazon, Ebay, and the manufacturers websites. With 3 different styles, 3 different product weights and 3 different price ranges to choose from I hope this helps you decide on some protection for your street or track bike.