In the beginning there were not a lot of choices for axle sliders for the XR1200.  I'm not a big one for lifting the bike by the slider spools, but the sliders give a nice finished appearance to the axle ends, protect the axle thread ends in a crash, and give just enough standoff to protect other critical parts and let the bike slide on an expendable button if it goes down.  Darkhorse made some of the early rear axle sliders for the XR1200, but at the time noone was making a set of front axle sliders.  I contacted Darkhorse about the possibilty, sent them some measurements of the axle ends, and worked through a round of prototypes to come up  with these.  Personally I like the fit, function, and appearance - although Darkhorse has unfortunately gone out of business and transferred their rights for making the parts to other sources.
Regardless, the below are some pitures of the Darkhorse axle sliders and  what goes into installing them...

Installing the Axle Sider

Front Slider Rod

To install the Darkhorse slider (and several other brands of  axle sliders) the internal hole must be enlarged to 1/4".  While the right side opening of the axle is over-sized, the hole necks down to a small diameter mid axle.
To enlarge the hole neatly on center, I drilled through the axle from the left end using an extension, like below.  The axles are hard and so I did this in three steps using carbide bits - first using a 5/32" bit, then a 3/16", and finally a 1/4" bit.


After drilling, the left end of the axle opening looks like the picture to the right.
As manufactured though, the inside of the large axle opening on the right side of the front axle has burrs in the holes that are used to hold the axle in place during installation.  As can be seen in the below picture, a few passes with a round file will knock the burrs down so that the right end slider button will fit inside the hole.


After the burrs have been knocked off the internal ends of the cross drilled holes in the right end of the axle, the slider button will install smoothly inside of the axle, like below.


When installed, the shoulder on the right end slider button will insert inside of the larger axle opening, and the opening in the left end slider button will tighten down around the axle threads, fitting smoothly against the axle nut.  The end result is neat looking, secure, and very strong.


Here is the full view.


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The front (and rear) Darkhorse Moto axle sliders are aluminum buttons on a threaded steel rod.  On the front slider the left end aluminum button is fixed on the rod.  After preparing the inside of the axle, the rod is inserted from the left side of the wheel and the right side button is screwed on and tightened snug.
The hole inside of the front axle is necked down internally and under-sized.   The below is a picture of the left end of the axle before being drilled out.


After drilling, the left side of the axle will look like the below, and the hole will be 1/4" at its smallest point


After the internal axle hole has been enlarged, the Darkhorse slider rod can be inserted from the left side of the wheel like below.


The right end axle button is inserted into the larger opening and threaded on the rod.  Once the rod is tightened far enough that the buttons touch the axle ends, the right end button is tightened an additional quarter turn.  A round screwdriver or an allen key can be inserted in the hole in the side of the button to help finish tightening it.




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