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Happy Trails Blog

  • Tougher Than Hell KLR Skid Plate

    Happy Trails started manufacturing skid plates for the KLR in 1991, inspired by fellow adventure rider Damon Powell of Team Dual Dogs. In fact, some of those original skid plates can still be found on a few early model KLR's. Our latest skid plate incorporates 20 years of customer feedback and experience to create what we think will be another industry leading design properly named the Tougher Than Hell KLR Skid Plate.

     

    One of those long-standing options for the Happy Trails Skid Plates has been the Impact Isolator Kit to incorporate noise reduction to reduce reflected noise to the rider. But even more important is this Impact Isolators Kit design to promote a soft mount and impact dissipation rather than transferring all energy to the floor of the Happy Trails Skid Plate and to the mounts..

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  • Elk City Wagon Road Lookout Loop

    This is a 126 mile loop starting and ending at Lewis & Clark Resort near Kamiah. The Elk City Wagon Road is picked up at Clear Creek and is followed to Elk City with the exception of two detours to Corral Hill Lookout and Pilot Knob Lookout.

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  • Kamiah Adventure Ride for the motorcyclists that likes a mix of riding

    When we are on Dual Sport ride or Adventure ride we have the opportunity to meet many people. There is something about meeting someone that has something to offer to you. In motorcycling we are always looking for a great ride that meets our needs and when someone takes you on  a ride that keeps a constant smile on your face you know you have a winner. One day I had the pleasure to meet Tom. Continue reading

  • Happy Trails Heart of Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Ride

    Heart of Idaho Adventure Motorcycle Ride

    September 8-11 2016

    Hopefully you have made reservations at Challis Hot Springs and you have your Adventure Motorcycle or your Dual Sport ready go. 

    The first stop you want to make in the Challis area is the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park information located near the intersection of Highways 93 & 75. Visit the museum and visitor center, for guided and self-guided tours of Yankee Fork dredge, Sunbeam Dam, Challis Bison Kill Site, travel the Custer Motorway Adventure road and explore ghost towns of Custer. They have plenty of printed of material about the area.

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  • The Ride: Boise Front and the Boise Back

    This 'Adventure Motorcycle Ride' is in the area of what is called the Boise Front and the Boise Back. The Boise Front consists of the foothills and the mountains that are on the edge of Boise. Rocky Canyon Road starts in the City limits of Boise and is one of several routes to the Boise Ridge. The Boise Ridge has four main peaks; at the south end is Lucky Peak at 5904 feet, Boise Peak at 6490 feet, Doe Point at 7057 feet and Shafer Butte is on the north end at 7572. Doe Point and Shafer Butte are part of the Bogus Basin ski area.

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  • Motorcycle Ride Information - GPX Files and Maps

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    Boise Front & Boise Back GPX - (NEW - 06-13-16) Continue reading

  • Back In The Saddle - Boise Basin

    This ride was 155 mile (my odometer showed 160.6) round trip from Boise, total time for the trip was 9:07 hours. This day trip would take us from the Boise Valley through the ‘Boise Basin” and Back.

    The Boise Basin is just over the ridge and consists of the Gold Rush mining communities making up Boise County.  The elevation ranges from 2750 feet in Boise to a high of 6050 feet at mile 44. You can see from the vertical profile in the chart below that the day consisted of a medley of valleys, basins and ridges.

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  • Canada The Rockies to Vancouver Island

    By Alexander Tolchinsky

    alex bike in rockiesFrom Lethbridge I took Hwy 3 west to Hwy 22 north, before connecting with the TCH west into Banff National Park. The road was no longer straight, in fact a straightaway of more than a couple of miles would not come again for a very long time. As I climbed ever higher into the Rockies, my little 4-cylinder Honda made no complaints regarding altitude (I wish I could say the same of my KLR).

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  • Canada – Atlantic Coast to Lake Country

    Part 1 of 3 By Alexander Tolchinski

    Trans Canada Highway Trans Canada Highway
    Crossing the world’s second biggest country felt like a daunting task: more than 4000 miles through at least 6 climate zones, the inevitable rain, wind, and snow, and incredible stretches of solitude. This was certainly no “easing into” my journey around the world. But I had to start somewhere, so off to the Great White North I went with the hopes that succeeding would mean a great beginning rather than an end. From Eastport, Maine, the eastern-most point of the United States, I, and my '99 Honda Magna VF-750, caught a ferry to Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada. It was getting late, and as usual I was planning on catching the last ferry out. I pulled up to the dock just in time to witness the boat pushing back from the dock! I crossed a time zone, a half-hour difference, without knowing it. I had but a moment to be distraught before I witnessed something I never thought happened in the “Screw you, the doors are closed, you cannot get on the plane which is still sitting 30 ft. away” society we live in – the ferry started coming back - for me! I was only a few days into my journey and had yet to learn the magic of the road, and the kindness people have for travelers. The ride was quick and surprisingly painless. This was my first time putting a motorcycle on a boat, and I imagined every wave knocking it over. But the boat was steady and the steel horse didn’t even tremble. By the time we arrived on the island, dusk was upon us in earnest so I made my way to the closest campground. I pitched my tent facing the water and the sun setting over the bay. The time passed easily with whales, porpoises, jumping fish, and whirlpools. It was a stark northern beauty softened by the colorful warmth of the setting sun. It is exactly the kind of place one would come to to write in peace and breathe the crisp, clean, inspiring air of the north. But I was still new at long-term travel and felt eager to get back on the road. Sadly, I could not make myself stay for more than a day.

    Click photos for larger image

    . .
    The rain fell steadily, and the fog horns kept me awake for most of the night. In the morning there was a brief lull during which I rushed to pack everything and race around the misty isle, losing my bike cover in the process, to the northern ferry to mainland New Brunswick. And just like the one coming to the island, the ferry, which had already departed, reversed engines and came back for me – saving me from having to wait another hour in the rain. The rain picked up after we arrived on land and stayed with me for the next 8 hours – soaking and chilling me to the bone. I decided to take the shorter route to Montreal by way of Northern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (as opposed to riding north and switching back south-west by way of Quebec City). I took the uneventful Highway 1 to Saint Stephen and crossed the border back into Maine, where I caught Highway 9 to Bangor. Fog rolled heavily along hilly, sparse, granite plots of farmland. There was a deep smell of pine from the endless sea of evergreens through which the road cut long, sleepy curves.  It was easy to see why most of the population lives along the coast – where the sea shares its bounty more rapidly than hardened northern soil. I passed few people on the road, there was no hint of traffic, not even in the towns, unlike the coastal road which came to a halt every 30 miles.  The rain I was hoping to escape further inland only continued to intensify the closer I got to Bangor. From Bangor I took Highway 2 to Highway 26 which brought me to tiny Errol, New Hampshire, 300 miles from Deer Island. I was still a few hours out of Montréal, somewhere between the White Mountains and Northern Woods, when I simply had to get off the bike. It was hard to see anything, the road was curvy and slick, and I was wet and freezing. Though it was August, this was not a warm summer rain wet, this was a suck the heat straight from your heart wet. So I pulled into a gas station across from which was a diner, and made my way, if not to warmth, then at least to food and a precipitation free environment. It was already late in the day so I couldn’t afford to stay too long, lest I would have to ride to Montreal in the dark. But as it turned out I would spend the rest of the day and night in Errol, thanks to the kindness of a stranger. You can read that story here. The following morning the rain continued, but thankfully was much lighter than the day before. I kept to HWY 2, which skirts the White Mountains. The slickness kept my speed down, and the mist and clouds kept me from seeing the beautiful mountains. On a clear, autumn day this is one of the most beautiful rides in New Hampshire. Eventually I had to get onto the interstate in order to cross the border back into Canada. Those few minutes on Int. 91 reminded me why I never take interstates: they are straight, impersonal, and with the exception of a few stretches, very ugly. Once past the border, the ride to Montreal, on HWY 10, was a pleasant jaunt through European looking country side – smaller farms, wooden fences, small groups of cows grazing peacefully. There was nothing breathtaking, but also nothing jarring like the sight of massive feedlots. On the approach to the city I was quickly thrust back into the realities of city riding: the final 20 miles took almost as long as the ride from the border. I spent only a day in Montreal, long enough to dry everything that was wet, which was everything I had. I was too eager to keep going and was already late for the couch surfing I had foolishly set up beforehand. I had lined up almost all of the couches I would need before even setting out from New York. I was too novice to know that plans inevitably change, that time takes on a different meaning on the road.
    . .
    To those unfamiliar with Couchsurfing.org, this is an on-line community of over 3 million people across the globe who open their homes to travelers. It is free of cost, and full of gain. The people I have met from Couch surfing have been some of the most incredible in my life, and I am friends with a good number of them to this day. There is no better way to learn about a place, its people, history and culture, than by staying with people, not tourists, and learning from them. Using Couch surfing has changed my journey completely, using the website and becoming part of this community was the single best decision I have made so far. At Montreal I hopped on what would become my guide for most of Canada: the Trans-Canada highway (TCH). This is Canada’s great artery. Though mostly not interesting, it does have its breathtaking stretches, and serves the invaluable purpose of bringing people to the smaller roads which lead to Canada’s great natural bounty. At first, between Montreal and Ottawa, the TCH was as most interstates are in the U.S, long, boring and riddled in traffic. But as you emerge from the ugliness which is city and suburb riding, the grandeur of lake country embraces you into its vast and glorious self.
    . .
    I got off the TCH near Renfrew, and caught Route 60 which cuts through Algonquin National park and heads straight for the shores of Lake Huron where it meets with the Route 69 branch of the TCH. Most of this 300 mile day was spent cruising along the shores of small lakes and swaths of pine forest. The road had few straightaways, the weather was cool and conducive to riding, yet always threatening with ominous clouds in the distance. The following day I began my ride along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Superior on my way to Sault Ste. Marie. I started on the 69 and then joined the main branch of the TCH, Highway 17, heading east. East of Thunder Bay the Trans Canada is a beautiful road that curves and hugs the landscape. Her wide, windy lanes beg for speed, but the earthly granite sculpture garden, the vaporous heavenly one, the silvery endless waves of the great lakes and the deep green waves of pine and fir, arrest the throttle and calm the growing adrenaline. Time has little meaning along this road. The 350 miles passed quickly, as they always do when you are surrounded by beauty. I wanted to stop frequently to just sit and stare at the great expanse of the lake, but night riding is cruel to the biker and the sky was no less threatening than before. If it were possible, the road from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay was even more breathtaking:  450 miles of Lake Superior falling away into the horizon to the south, and endless forest, undulating on the wavy hills left by receding glaciers, to the north. The road was in exemplary condition: well-marked, smooth, free of debris and potholes, full of curves from 30mph to 80mph, with plenty of shoulder space and scenic outlooks to stop and gaze. The shore, with countless little, rocky beaches, begged for my tent.
    . .
    As I approached Thunder Bay at dusk I was treated to a fiery performance of the sun’s battle with the cloud’s futile attempt to block its last hurrah. It was one of the most moving and memorable sunsets I have ever seen – the perfect end to 800 miles of awe-inspiring, lake country riding. Trail Dust is a publication of happy-trail.com

  • New Product Announcement Happy Trails SL Rack for Kawasaki KLR650 (all years)

    Congratulations to our Fab team for producing a remarkable product at an even more remarkable price. We're talking about HTP4-1-2M, the new Happy Trails SL Rack for the KLR650 (all years) priced at only $99.99. This rack provides protection for the expensive plastic side panels when running all manner of soft luggage. It is perfectly designed for the Happy Trails Mojave Luggage and works equally well with the Ortlieb Quick Release System, the Wolfman Dry Saddle Bags and the Wolfman Rolie Bags using the "other" straps. The new SL rack is shown on the E model and the A model below.  

    The new Happy Trails SL rack pictured on the E model KLR650.
     
    The new Happy Trails SL Rack shown on the A model KLR650.
      Trail Dust is a publication of happy-trail.com

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