After two incidents I went through, I decided to take precautions and secure the plastic parts of my bike from any other potential damage. I read up on them a little, looked through some photos as well as slider reviews. I chose sliders as crash bars wouldn’t look too good paired with the plastic. It took me a while to find sliders that didn’t require cutting the plastic at all, most of them required drilling some holes in fairings.
It reminded me of how content an acquaintance of ours was with his sliders – which, by the way, have saved his motorbike from major damage and looked good while they were at it. I determined my plan of action and that’s how I came across T-Rex Racing. True to its reputation, the sliders’ design is quite diverse: not typical ‘mushroom heads’ sticking out on the side, but rather two solid pieces of material with the matching F800GT logo.
Going off of the description that suggested installing the sliders did not require modifying the fairings, I ordered two sets for both me and Kinga through a site on eBay. Even after adding in duty fees this was the most convenient option. The sliders cost £189.51 + duty fee of £76.10, totalling in £265.61 GBP for two sets of sliders for both of the bikes. I waited about a month for the package – well, it’s quite a distance from the USA.
Finally! A well-packed package included two sets of sliders. The pictures on the side led me to believe that they were more slick than in reality, so after unboxing them I began doubting my choice as the sliders looked like two massive blocks of plastic… What will that look like on a bike?
The one thing I really don’t like about my motorbike is the fact that I need to unscrew approximately 500 screws just to remove the blue side panels, ideally with the inside black panels. Oh well, I guess that’s the beauty of plastic bikes and so I got to work, it wouldn’t magically get done. 🙂
Installing the left side went rather swiftly: I had a bit of trouble with unscrewing the main large screw for actually attaching the main mounting plate for slider in place. Luckily, my irreplaceable neighbour has all of the tools I’m in need of. Installing the right side was not the most enjoyable thing. Not only did I have to match it with the cross bar that connected both sliders together (a small pipe that went through the systems throughout the bike), but also the right side mounting plate went just about under the cooling pipes.
Trying to take off the hose clamp off of the cooling pipes ended up in a small puddle of the cooling liquid under the bike, so I gave up rather quickly on that convenience of the mounting process.
However, with the great help of lots of obscene language I somehow managed to stick the mounting in the right place, screw it all back together and I was almost done, only left with the inside black as well as the blue side panels to put back on and then put the pucks on their respective mountings.
Left side went smoothly, all of the plastic came back onto its place and I could install the puck. By the time I got to the right side, things got complicated. Original mounting for the black plastic got effectively blocked by the slider mounting. A 1-centimetre thick mounting plate was set in place so tightly in between the cooling pipes that there was no way anything else could fit in there, certainly not the black inner fairing. I was really pissed off, after all I went through all of that effort importing the sliders from the US to avoid interfering with the fairings, no cutting or drilling. If that wasn’t enough, I got the exact set for Kinga too.
Some smartass would probably suggest checking out reviews and the installation method. Of course I have. I check those sorts of things with most of my online shopping. Unfortunately one of the bigger F800GT forums had just one post about those sliders which just ended up being a heated discussion on whether or not sliders are a good idea at all. My only option was to contact the seller.
Daer T-Rex what do I do??
I wrote them an email illustrated with photos, I described where my problem with installation lied and I asked politely for any suggestions, perhaps I just mounted something poorly and have to do it some other way? The email exchange went well, even if it was delayed by the time zone differences. Finally T-Rex Racing decided that for some weird reason the bike that they have is different from mine and that their model does not require modification. Of course, if I’d like to do so then I can return their product.
Great. I had a way out – send back the sliders, order different ones and then go through more installing, cutting, drilling and God knows what else. Option number 2 was to leave the sliders I practically installed and just cut off a piece of the inner fairing to screw everything in place. Well, I chose the second option.
My multi-functional “lidl dremel” proved very useful, a woman’s best friend really.:) I cut off the excess part of the inside black panel and therefore I could screw it all back into place. I didn’t lose any fingers in the process which honestly is a big success.
After mounting all of the panels I could finally screw on the pucks in place. Well, they aren’t exactly plastic, but rather very hard and friction resistant artificial polymer which finally looked pretty decent after screwing them onto the metal mounting.
In conclusion, I think that T-Rex own the previous model of the bike, the F800ST, which would explain the difference in panel mountings. It would be nice of them to change their description of the website (which I have asked them for), however they haven’t done that as installing their product to the F800GT ‘14 requires modifying the panels.