27 views at this point and not one comment. I can't address your question as to best sliders but want to discuss what I consider something more important and that's the abilities of this motorcycle and inabilities of it.
First- My riding experience on something like this is a 1980 CBX 1000. almost 100 lbs lighter than the KZ1300 but very similar in stature. Same size tires, top heavy and not what I would consider agile. I rode Kawasaki triples prior to the CBX and threw them through all kinds of twisties. I liked riding the wheels off of those triples and when I got the iconic CBX, I was back to my habits of riding the wheels off of it as well.
CBX's were known to get into high speed rear end kick out and I experienced it on many occasions. Throw the bike into a tight turn at high speed and you were asking the tires to keep grip in the corner. That's a lot to ask of a set of tires and a 600 lb ride + the rider. Once the rear end wobble starts, there's absolutely nothing you as the rider can do to correct it and all you can do is hang on and try not to shit your pants. Lots of reviews would tell you that the swingarm was fluttering and needed to be reinforced but the bottom line is that the major contributor was the weight of the bike and people trying to ride it like a 450 lb bike.
The KZ1300 is a touring bike period. Sure you can drive it with a certain amount of aggression but it's not a bike to be thrown around because a mistake is almost certainly not recoverable. You need to drive it with authority, stay in control and be prepared for unwanted consequences like some idiot in a car doing something stupid. Always have a way out in the back of your mind. Be aware of target fixation and take training on target fixation and how to overcome it. So many people get trapped in target fixation rather than quickly thinking of how to avoid and making that split second decision to avoid the incident area. Target fixation cost a dear friend of mine his leg. He was about to be T boned by a car while he was sitting at a traffic light waiting to make a left hand turn. The car was coming and he sat there staring at it as it ran over him. He was in awe that anyone could just keep coming and run over him. Rather than being prepared to "do something", anything, he just sat there with his mouth open in shock.
I write this because reading between the lines, you want to be prepared for the inevitable and that's really scary to me. More effort needs to be placed on risk management and not getting into trouble rather than accepting the risk and trying to mitigate a fatal outcome.
I also fear that relying on frame sliders on a 700 lb bike to save your life is not a wise idea. I would think that the frame slider or the down tubes it's attached to would collapse so in my mind a frame slider would be a false security. Just not a good idea in my mind.
I couldn't agree with you more on this bike, Kawboy. I get a kick out of Internet articles classifying this bike as 'Sport Touring'- it is not. Though I ride like an idiot on some of my other bikes, not on this one short of pouring on speed at times. I ride VERY defensive and factor in the extreme weight when calculating stopping distance should I need to lay on the brakes. I remember when I got it running, put on new tyres, and decided cautiously to, '...see what this thing can do" on the first curve I came to and was disappointed. However, it makes a comfortable tourer that I can load lots of luggage onto and turns heads at petrol stops.
I had a Gold Wing and despised it. The handlebars actually flexed, my feet kept hooking on the Opposing Four as I removed them from the pegs, and it was SO uncool and cliche'd contrary to the KZ1300.
I've never considered sliders nor highway bars so I've never looked for them.
1981 KZ1300, '98 Suzuki GSF1200S, '80 Honda CT110, '11 Honda CBR250, '75 Honda CL360, '00 Honda XR100R
Speak softly and mount a fast bike.
I'll play devils advocate. They guy just want's 'extra insurance' to protect his parts-unobtanius classic bike should there be some sand in the corner, should the water have a little moss, should he toss it off the center stand while in the sanctity of his garage.
Having said, if that's he's noobie new to motorbikes, the kz is Not the bike to start with. But, hey, I bet the youngest age of anyone on this forum is far north of 50 years old... and most likely had a gaggle of bikes along the way...
Only four street 'proof of gravity works' in over million ridden miles here. All my fault, 100%.
The KZ was same color sand in the corner I cut in Cambria, Ca. Down before I could say '#$#'. The lower engine guard folded up and did absolutely no good.
I still have the part hanging on shop wall as a reminder..
Wanna have some fun? Go to any old BMW motobike forum and search 'engine guards, good or evil'?
Thank you guys very much for sharing your comments, advice, and experiences. I’m a pretty conservative driver. Sure i’ll turn it up on a straight away every now and then, but I’m more of a country side cruiser aka boring haha. I’m just looking for a little extra protection in the unlikely but possible event of a slow-no speed tip or if it gets knocked over or for whatever reason. Thank you again guys for sharing your thoughts and stories.