Most stock plastic skid plates slide over logs and deflect tiny rocks as needed – until I needed mine to deflect a small jagged boulder on top of a hill in Hua Hin. As my front tire rolled over a nasty stone and stood it end on end, the rock crashed through the plastic skid plate, tearing it in half, smashing into my oil pan, almost puncturing it, and breaking my O2 sensor. Not a good way to start a weekend adventure riding.
A chink in the belly armor on an adventure bike can be detrimental. Hepco-Becker’s skid plate for the Triumph Tiger 800 is attached with four rubber mounts and two solid bolts. The four very beefy impact-isolating dampers included are a massive improvement over the weak stock rubber mounts. The stock mounts are designed to shear upon impact in a sacrificial seppuku to protect the oil pan but do so far too easily.
To my knowledge, only one other manufacturer supplies new rubber mounts, but at a 68% premium over the Hepco-Becker skid plate’s cost, and theirs is not even welded.