What Should You Look For in a Quality Skid Plate?
The more you ride off-road, the pickier you need to be when purchasing a skid plate.
The first thing to look for? The type of metal.
The optimal choice is aluminum, which protects but will also dent if needed instead of cracking or being so rigid that it’ll damage the mounting points. Aluminum also won’t add much weight to your ride.
Speaking of mounting, that’s the second thing to look out for. Skid plates should install in solid locations along the frame, and be simple to install. In addition, the mounting brackets and hardware should all be quality steel.
A bonus would be a skid plate that provides quick and easy access for oil filters and drain plugs. A few, like the Touratech RallyeForm, pivot out of the way by removing only a few bolts.
I installed the RallyeForm on my KTM 1190 Adventure R, and oil changes are easy. Just remove the two bolts at the bottom of the frame, and the entire 4mm aluminum plate pivots forward, allowing quick access to the oil filter and drain plug.
Another thing to look for is optimal welding. Skid plates take much abuse, and the last thing you want is a weld to bust. This was another thing that attracted me to the RallyeForm. It contains now welds and is built from one sheet of rounded aluminum pressed with 500,000 pounds of force.