Tested: TM Designworks Extreme Full Coverage Skid Plate 2

We test the TM Designworks Extreme Full Coverage Skid Plate

For this installment of Tested TM Designworks has sent us a Full Coverage Skid Plate for our 2023 Kawaski KX450F. We recently tested their Factory Edition FX Rear Chain Guide with nice results and we expected the same from their skid plate.

TM DESIGNWORKS EXTREME FULL COVERAGE SKID PLATE

  • Developed for Enduro, Baja, Motocross, and off-road.
  • Suitable for all types of riding.
  • Composite impact absorbing plastic with silicone additive to reduce friction grab.
  • TMD skid plates are designed  to allow maximum frame flex.
  • Skid plates are 30-40%  lighter than aluminum and reduce the amount engine noise bounced back to the rider. 
  • Tested and used by KTM-RPM Off-road, Coastal Husqvarna, KR4, AmPro Yamaha, and Honda Canada.
  • All hardware and linkage wear pad are 100% replaceable.  
  • M.S.R.P. $169.95

First Impressions

The TM Designworks skid plate comes in a bag with mounting brackets and hardware and appeared to be made well of a lightweight, hard plastic which means no welds that can break. The design of the skid plate covers the ignition cover, frame, and water pump and has vent holes and an opening to get to the oil drain plug. The model for the Kawasaki comes with two aluminum brackets and requiring a total of five bolts for mounting. It looked fairly simple to install and I was stoked to try it out.

Photo
Jamie Guida

Installation

Installing the Full Coverage Skid Plate was a breeze. I first laid the bike on its side and held the plate up to get an idea of how the brackets fit the frame. I then pre-mounted the rear/side bracket to the plate loosely. I set the upper bracket on the forward part of the frame and then slid the skid plate into position. The rear/side bracket slid over the lower frame rail and I snugged it with a 4mm Allen wrench. Next, I lined the skid plate up with the forward bracket and threaded the two bolts in. There are two slotted holes at the back of the skid plate that line up with two pre-tapped holes on the frame of the motorcycle, but the supplied hardware was a different thread pattern. I decided to not use any hardware there and it seemed fine. Once I had the skid plate where I wanted it I simply tightened the three Allen head bolts and I was done. Easy peasy.

Photo
Jamie Guida

Durability

I have had the TM Designworks skid plate on the bike for close to 15 hours of riding, which included a significant casing of a triple at ClubMX. The skid plate is undamaged and has held up. I haven't done any off-road riding on the bike with it on as of yet, but I'm confident it will do it's job and last. With it being plastic there may be a slim chance of the wings that protect the ignition cover and water pump breaking if you were to get a rock or large stick wedge in there, but no skid plate is beyond the possibility of damage. 

Photo
Jamie Guida

Final Thoughts

I think this is a quality skid plate and will certainly keep the bike protected from damage in most situations. I'd say it's more beneficial for off-road riding than motocross, though. I like how easy it is to install and remove when washing the bike or for any other reason. I do have a couple of negatives, though. One, when comparing prices to other skid plates the TM Designworks one is significantly more expensive. That would most certainly play a factor in a consumers choice of purchase. Two, I found it a bit annoying after riding, especially in the morning when tracks are fresh and wet, to have the skid plate pack with mud. I know all skid plates will do this to some degree, but after a day of riding on a muddy track I decided to remove it. I couldn't get all the mud out between practices without doing so, and it was adding a lot of weight and heat. Again, for off-road purposes I would put it back on and trust it to protect everything without question. For motocross, I do think it could be useful in some instances, but it has a couple drawbacks. All in all, if you are looking for a durable skid plate the TM Designworks Full Coverage option gets the job done.

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