Happy Trail Rallye Windscreen System Review

Posted: September 18, 2011 in Farckles, KLR650 2008+
Happy Trail Rallye System with stock KLR screen…

Like a lot of KLR riders I wanted better airflow/protection than the stock windscreen could offer. First I tried a Bajaworx Dakar taller screen and was glad for the improvement, but I still had a lot of noise and turbulence up at the top of my helmet [I’m 5’11” with a 33″ inseam]. So I was looking around for something else and found the Happy Trail Rallye System and decided to give it a shot.

The Rallye System Kit…

Here’s what you get:

  • steel windscreen bracket [comes in black I made it white locally]
  • optional dash that mounts above stock KLR instrument cluster
  • plastic trim pieces x 2
  • all hardware needed
  • instructions

Screen bracket and option dash mounted...

The installation instructions are easy to follow and mounting the bracket takes only a few minutes. You’ll noted that the upper stock screen mounting holes are not used and Happy Trail suggests cutting the extra fairing material off. Keep in mind if you do that you can never  [easily] go back to using a normal windscreen in the stock location. I had already removed the sharp points that were there when I installed the Bajaworx Dakar screen so I left everything as is.

Optional high dash installed...

I installed the optional dash part of the kit. Eventually I’ll mount my GPS there and a 12V lighter socket. For now it just makes the install look nicer. If you have some DIY skills you could build a handy storage compartment there as well.

Bajaworx Dakar screen mounted on the Rallye bracket...

Mounting your screen back on the bike is as easy as it would be for a stock KLR. Happy Trail provides 4 plastic bolts to use so that if you hit your screen in a crash it breaks free. That’s a nice touch, but it would have been great if they included 4 extra bolts so you can reattach your screen if it comes off on a tour. The extra cost would be minimal and the convenience of having the spares would be nice. As you can see the rear of the screen is raised higher than the front [2.5″ vs 1.25″] tilting the whole thing forward. How this will work with a particular screen and rider is hard to say.

The Dakar from the front...

I tried my Bajaworx Dakar first and took a highway run to test out the new position. I was wearing my motorcross helmet with sunglasses. This is my least protective setup and it does little for debris or noise with the stock KLR screen. It also has a big visor which doesn’t like turbulent airflow. Overall there was a noticeable improvement in airflow and protection. I was effectively shielded from debris and the noise levels were reasonable. I didn’t have any issues with the visor catching wind at all. This would be a good setup for long distance highway rides – especially in bad weather.

Dakar from the rear...

One issue I had with this screen and the Rallye System was that it bounced quite a lot on rough roads. I assume that’s because of the extra weight and rearward bias of the screen’s weight. It wasn’t a huge issue, but I wouldn’t want to take that setup on a long gravel road tour. I’d be afraid it would eventually fail at one of the attachment points.

The stock KLR650 screen mounted...

I figured I should test out the stock KLR windscreen back to back with the Dakar on the Rallye System to compare them while things were fresh in my mind. So I bolted on the stock unit [the swap took 2mins] I covered the same route with this setup.

Stock screen side view on the Rallye System...

I was quite impressed with the way the stock screen worked in this new position. Although I didn’t get as much protection as the taller Dakar it was still excellent and the airflow around my helmet was really smooth.

Stock KLR windscreen from the rear...

The lighter screen didn’t bounce on rough roads and I could see totally over it which was nice. I came away liking this setup the best for most of my riding. It adds enough improvement over the stock position of the screen to make me happy without any of the negatives of having a tall screen you have to look through. I liked it so much I left the stock screen on.

Surprised to be loving the stock screen so much again...

Overall my initial impressions of the Happy Trail Rallye System are quite favourable. The cost is similar to buying a quality tall windscreen and besides the extra protection you get from the higher mounting position you also get a bunch of really useful dash space. As a bonus I think it makes the KLR look pretty sweet!

In terms of improvement I am having one issue with the Rallye System. At higher RPM/speeds [~4K and 90kph+] I get a very loud annoying vibration noise. Loud enough it’s all I can think about. I have been playing around with trying to identify what is causing it and have some ideas, but haven’t nailed it down 100% yet. Two likely culprits are the optional dash [which is only supported at the very bottom] and the outside plastic edge cover [which is not supported at the very front]. I’ll try some DIY solutions to resolve this issue and figure it shouldn’t be too hard to ride in silence again…=-)
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Comments
  1. Dan Jones says:

    I was wondering if you solved the vibration problem?
    I have the Kawasaki tall windshield and I get some buffetting at 60+ mph, have you noticed any with the Happy trail set-up with the stock windshield? I am considering this system for my 08.
    BTW Nice Bike
    Dan

    • thelazyrando says:

      @Dan – I haven’t worked on the vibration issue much. I will in a month or so. It’s not terrible and I’m pretty sure I can figure it out.

    • Brent says:

      Dan,
      Did you try this with the Kawi tall? I have the tall on my 2009 and am considering this as well, as the tall didn’t give me much improvement over stock. How’s the protection, and any vibrations problems?
      Thanks,
      Brent

      • thelazyrando says:

        Brent – tried on the Kawi tall on my last KLR, but that was so many years ago I can’t comment on it. No vib problems on the Rallye Kit. Nice thing with the kit is you can use it with different windscreens to tune the protection to your ride.

  2. Brandon says:

    I wonder if your stock mirrors are contributing or causing the noise? Maybe remove them and go for a test ride. BTW, great blog. I check it all the time.

  3. Phil says:

    Did you have any trouble mounting the bottom of the framework to the bike? I am finding they do not line up very well and was wondering if it was just the kit i got. -Phil

  4. Motosapien says:

    I’m trying to locate the same rallye riser set that you show here. Unfortunately, Happy Trails doesn’t make this style any longer. Are you still using the same setup or did I notice you’ve changed over to an entirely different fairing? If so, would you consider selling your kit?

    • Vik says:

      @Motosapien – yes it works well with the stock screen and with aftermarket screen. I’ve got a whole new front end so I would be willing to sell.

      • Motosapien says:

        I’m interested!!! Let’s see if we can make this work. I get the rallye design I’ve been looking for and you get some cash back for take-offs!

        rlecates2@gmail.com

        Thanks,
        Rich

      • Rich (motosapien) says:

        @Vik… second thoughts or decided against it? If you don’t mind and could let me know either way I would be appreciative. I’m going to do riser and dash and would prefer it was the Rallye that you have… otherwise, I’ll have to go with the klrdash product.

        Hope to hear back from you. rlecates2@gmail.com

        Thanks,
        Rich

      • Vik says:

        No for sure. I’m just on vacation and sick. Great combo. I’ll be home tomorrow and can get back to you with a price and shipping. Where are you located?

      • Motosapien says:

        Sorry to hear about feeling sick… and especially while on vacation. That just sucks. Hope you recover quickly and get back out there on 2!

        I’m located in McDonough, Ga 30252

        Would like to move this thread to email so I’m not putting any more personal info out there than I absolutely have to.

        rlecates2@gmail.com

        Thanks again!

      • Motosapien says:

        ???? any thoughts?

  5. Joby says:

    I have this system on my bike and love it! Im having a problem finding a new well nut that goes onto the long hex bolts that are on both sides of the dash. Any ideas where I could find one!????????????????????? please and thank you! Happy endings!

    Jurofoby@hotmail.com

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