like seatbelts and airbags, bumpers and crumple zones on cages, guess you really wont know how much protection you need until after you need it.
looking at the frame just behind the front tire and along the bottom of the bike... oh wait, there aint one, the TCI concept made complete sense, as it provides what i saw as a huge missing link that the Yamaha engineers felt was unnecessary beyond just a tin can skid plate and a micro nut. (same guys that decided to remove the kick starter?)
on the other hand, thousands of bikes had survived millions of miles with the stock unit. how much protection? guess thats a personal call.
regarding oil change, not sure any of us need nascar speed oil changing, if we did, would we really be riding a TW. Changing the oil require an additional step or two, that are NOT hard at all, and can be done with everyday tools! (how often do you do this anyway? once a day, week, month, year? takes 2 extra minutes) Actually changing the oil is more work than removing the skidplate! guess what I am saying is two extra minutes for an oil change shouldnt be the reason to select a plate.
IT JUST LOOKS DAMN COOL! (again maybe not the reason to buy the plate and guards)
for me.... appreciated the design and thought, and decided id pay up for the extra insurance that i may never need (like does anyone ever plan on driving into a rock at 10 mph that stops dead their bike? maybe i should be upping my medical insurance too?)
and did i say, it just looks damn cool?