Posts Tagged ‘Happy Trails’

Lube your chain…

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Farckles, How To...

Happy Trail centerstand makes me happy when lubing my chain...=-)

Happy Trail KLR650 centerstand…

I don’t have a motorcycle lift at home and I like being able to work on my bike anywhere I find myself on tour.  A centerstand makes many maintenance jobs much easier – like fixing a flat tire or lubing the chain. I know that the easier I make it to take care of my bike the more likely it is that I’ll do the regular maintenance that she needs.

The stand mounts using the two footpeg bolt holes…

So I ordered up a Happy Trail KLR centerstand. I’ve been pleased with the quality of the other Happy Trail products I’ve bought and they are very easy to deal with when it comes to getting stuff shipped to Canada.

Step 1 – remove footpeg mounting bolts…

The instructions provided were dead easy to follow and the whole process took under 15 minutes.

Don’t forget the Loctite!

The centerstand bolted right on. All the mounting holes lined up without any hassles.

You’ll need:

  • 13mm & 14mm socket
  • 13mm wrench
  • 6mm allen key
  • blue Loctite
  • beer [optional]

Doesn't lift the rear wheel in deep gravel...

Once you bolt the stand on the bike you have two adjustments you can make:
  1. bike height – higher or lower depending on tires and if the suspension has been lowered
  2. side to side adjustment to clear swing arm if needed
I didn’t bother messing with either adjustment as the stand worked fine as setup from the factory. You’ll notice the rear wheel isn’t off the ground in deep gravel, but it does get lifted on a hard surface which is great for lubing the chain.

Underside view from the right...

The KLR rolls up onto the centerstand fairly easily. Happy Trail offers a lifting handle to provide a handy spot for lifting the bike onto the stand. It’s not essential, but I can see that it would be useful and I’ll grab one next time I am ordering from them.

Underside view from the left…

The stand works fine with the Happy Trail skid plate as you’d expect. You have to deploy the sidestand to put the centerstand up or down. The centerstand can handle the weight of the bike and luggage, but don’t do anything goofy like trying to ride your KLR off the stand or jumping up and down like a madman while sitting on the bike on the stand. ALthough Happy Trails doesn’t suggest it’s a good idea I think the centerstand can handle the weight of a rider and bike as long as you are just sitting still.

I’ll report back with a long term review of this stand after my winter trip to Baja.

No longer stock...

I figured a thread that lists all the farckles done to my Kawasaki KLR650 dualsport motorcycle would be useful. I’ll keep this post updated and move it back to the top when I add something new to her.


  • stripped decals
  • custom decals
  • Bajaworx Dakar windscreen [pulled off]
  • Happy Traill Rallye Kit + stock KLR windscreen
  • 30mm bar risers
  • Happy Trail highway pegs
  • Blindspot mirrors [fail!]
  • JNS large side stand plate
  • Moose Racing Offset foot pegs
  • KTM Super Moto fender
  • Happy Trail centerstand
  • Barkbusters Storm hand guards
  • Happy Trail engine guards
  • Happy Trail crash bars
  • Happy Trail skid plate
  • rear master cylinder guard
  • JNS radiator guard
  • rare earth magnet on oil filter
  • magnetic drain plug
  • 16T sprocket
  • fuel filter
  • maintenance free sealed battery
  • Happy Trail fork brace
  • Garmin Vista CX GPS
  • Touratech GPS mount
  • SPOT Messenger
  • RAM SPOT mount
  • Happy Trail soft luggage racks
  • Aerostich large tank panniers
  • Ortlieb motorcycle panniers
  • Seal Line 70L dry bag
  • Rok ajustable MC straps
  • small bungee net
  • Joe Rocket Ballistic 10.0 jacket
  • Olympia Moto-X jacket and pants
  • Icon Interceptor visibility vest
  • Aerostich heated vest [not installed]
  • Five MC gloves
  • Oakley sunglasses Gascan large
  • Buff neck warmer
  • BMW Santiago boots
  • Respro Hump reflective backpack cover

Happy Trail Sub-Frame Bolt Kit

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Maintenance
Some love for your sub-frame…

Both you and your luggage/passenger are hanging off of 4 bolts on a KLR. If you carry a lot of weight way back at the rear of your bike that’s a lot of leverage on those poor bolts. Now throw in some rough roads and/or no roads at all and Huston we have a problem!

The stock KLR hardware…

Kawasaki beefed up the top two sub-frame bolts when they redesigned the KLR650 in 2008 so these top 10mm bolts are up to the job and can be left in place. The two lower 8mm stock bolts still need some love on 2008+ KLRs and for older bikes all 4 stock 8mm bolts need to be upgraded.

New on top – old on the bottom…

The Happy Trail KLR Bolt Upgrade Kit comes with four 8mm bolts and 2 washers. For my 2010 KLR I just used two bolts and both washers for replacing the lower sub-frame hardware.

The new stronger 8mm bolt installed…

I used Loctite when I installed the new bolts and I kept the two stronger 8mm bolts as well as the two stock bolts. I’ll throw all 4 in my tool kit as spares. This isn’t a sexy mod, but it’s cheap and will let me ride with more confidence in my bike. Hopefully this is one of those products that makes for a crappy review since nothing ever happens you can write about…=-)

Happy Trail rear brake cylinder guard...

This rear brake master cylinder guard from Happy Trails bolts on in 20 seconds and offers this important part of your KLR650 a bit more protection for fall and kicks from your boots.

Moose Racing Offset Footpegs

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Farckles, Gear Reviews
Moose Racing 1/2″ Offset Footpegs…

I ordered up some Moose Racing footpegs from Happy to give myself more traction with wet winter weather coming up fast.

Stock KLR rubber footpeg…

The stock footpegs on my KLR650 work fine when it’s dry, but they get slippery when wet.

Moose Racing footpeg installed…

Swapping the pegs took all of 5 mins. You’ll notice the Moose pegs are much wider front to back and have a convex surface to grip your boots better when standing on the pegs offroad. This model is offset 0.5″ to the rear for my big size 12US feet.

Top view…

The Moose pegs look well made and are a definite upgrade for my KLR. I’ll post a full review after the winter is over and I have some wet weather miles on my bike.

New and old…

Happy Trail marketing blurb:

“Update your pegs with Moose Hybrid 1/2” offset footpegs. Made from hardened stainless steel these pegs give you better positioning and great grip without feeling stuck.

  • Each footpeg is cast from stainless steel and age hardened for superior strength
  • Width (57mm) and length (90mm); slightly convex platform for better boot positioning and grip when leaning forward or back
  • Dual plane teeth provide traction without the stuck feeling
  • 1/2″ rear offset to allow more space
  • Use your OEM springs, unless otherwise noted in application chart
  • Made in the USA”

Happy Trail Skid Plate

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Farckles
OEM skid plate left – HT skid plate right…

One of the first farckles [accessories] I put on my ’97 KLR650 was a Happy Trail skid plate. The stock unit is thin plastic that won’t do much to protect your bike. So for my 2010 KLR it was a no brainer to order up another skid plate from HT.

Side view…


  • Constructed of 5/32″ aircraft quality 5052-H-32 aluminum
  • Attached to the frame with strong, reliable heat treated steel clamps
  • Plates are custom fitted to each model
  • All plates have an opening to allow easy oil changes
  • Designed to be compatible with centerstands

Color: Anodized bright aluminum or anodized black finish.
Weight: 4.5 – 5.1 lbs.
All necessary hardware is included.

Top view…

One thing I like about Happy Trail is they ship to Canada via USPS which is [reasonably] fast and fairly painless unlike FEDEX/UPS which charge $50 on top of shipping costs just because the parcel comes to the Great White North.

Bottom on my KLR with OEM skid plate removed…

Pulling the stock skid plate takes only a minute or two. You can tell I’ve been keeping my KLR off the dirt until I get all the protective farkcles installed by how clean it looks!

HT skid plate and engine guard installed…

Since I was going to install Happy Trail crash bars I installed the engine guard first so I could use it to help guide where I positioned the skid plate. Installing the skid plate requires one u-bolt at the front to go on and 4 clamps from underneath. The result is a very secure attachment. As you can see the engine guard and skid plate provide lots of protection from rocks for the front, sides and bottom of the engine. I will be installing a metal radiator guard as I’m not stoked about the plastic OEM unit.

KLR with HT skid plate installed…

Note that you can get this skid plate from HT in black anodized finish or bright silver aluminum finish. I got mine powder coated to match the side racks.

Oil change with skid plate on…

The stock oil drain bolt is fully protected with this skid plate and there is an access hole so you can easily drop the oil when needed without messing with the skid plate. I’ll post a follow up review in a year or so.

Happy Trail side racks…

I like soft panniers for a dualsport. They deal with crashes better than hard boxes and are easier to keep waterproof – not to mention they are lighter. On my ’97 KLR650 I used Happy Trail side racks to keep my Ortlieb bags off my muffler and protect my plastic side panels from damage. They also provide a useful place to strap stuff onto the seat behind me. Since I like supporting folks that make good stuff I didn’t hesitate ordering a new set of Happy Trail Original Side Racks [OSR] for my 2010 KLR.

Right Happy Trail OSR Side Rack…

The box with the racks was delivered to me in Canada quickly and without any hassles. I had the black racks powder coated white just for some contrast with my black KLR. They bolted on in a minute or two using the supplied hardware and are very secure.

Left HT OSR…

It was a quite nostalgic installing these racks on my KLR as they reminded me of all the good times I had with my ’97 bike. Like the Happy Trail racks on my ’97 KLR I expect I’ll get many years of trouble free service from these units. I’ll post a long term review after I have used them for a while.

Happy to be done Part 1 of the Farckle Party!

There were a few accessories [aka farckles] that I wanted to add to my KLR650 before I took her onto the dirt. It took a while to get them in from the US, get them powder coated and installed, but she’s [mostly] ready to rumble now.

What she looked liked fresh from the dealer...

I’ve still got a few things I want to add to the bike:

  • magnetic oil drain plug
  • Barkbuster hand guards
  • Continental TKC80 tires
  • Progressive springs
  • Happy Trail metal top box
  • Master cylinder guard
  • 16T sprocket
  • Uni air filter
  • Doohickey & spring upgrade
  • Headlight rock guard
  • Centerstand
These will all get added slowly before next summer.

Thank you Farckle Fairy!

Here is what I’ve done so far:

  • Happy Trail skid plate
  • HT engine guard and highway pegs
  • HT crash bars
  • HT soft luggage racks
  • Bajaworx Dakar windscreen
  • Ortlieb saddle bags
  • Aerostich tank panniers
  • Custom decals

I’ll post details of each mod to this blog as I get time.

Happy Trail fork brace...

A stiff front end on a KLR is a good thing. I ordered up a Happy Trail fork brace to add a bit of precision to the KLR’s vague front end. It’s cheap it’s effective and it’s easy to install. First let’s look at some dual sport fork brace porn…=-)

Happy Trail logo...

Clamp detail...

Bottom view...

End view...

Side view...

Stock fork setup...

Getting ready for the install...

Step 1: take off the end caps and loosen the centre bolts.

Expose the top of the fork...

Step 2: lift the fork boots to expose the top of each fork leg.

Put brace in place...

Step 3: put brace loosely in place and ensure it’s sitting level on the top of each fork leg.

Install end caps...

Step 4: install end caps and tighten evenly [no torque specs provided by Happy Trail]. Then tighten centre bolts evenly. Work suspension through full range and ensure there is no binding or interference.

Go ride your KLR...

I’ll provide a review of the Happy Trail KLR650 fork brace after I get some miles on my bike.

Skid plate and engine guard...

So I’ve had my 2010 KLR650 for less than 1hr and I’ve already ordered the first farkles to mod the bike. I’m sticking to what I consider the essentials for the time being to keep my budget in check. It started with a set of engine guards and a skid plate.

Side protectors for my Ortlieb soft panniers...

The next thing I needed was some side pannel protectors to work with my Ortlieb soft panniers.

Fork brace...

The final thing I ordered was s fork brace to add some precision to the front end of the KLR.  There are of course more things from Happy Trails that I would like and could use, but for now this will have to do…=-)