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..
Years ago we found with the KLR650 skid plate that we could go from 3/16 inch to 3/8 inch aluminum bottoms but direct impacts on the skid plates could bend them and potentially crack the case. The better solution was using rubber matting on the floor of the skid plate and having preload with the bottom of the case. This approach the impact would cushion and disperse the point of impact so the skid plate does not dent, bend or flex causing destruction of the case. This was an in-shop service we have provided for years for local customers at Happy Trails and on our own personal bikes.
We had a request for “Tougher Than Hell” skid plate so we decided to to blend all our past remedies into one kit and this what we have to offer.
The tipping point for us to do this was a request from a customer:
Dear Happy-Trail engineers & fabricators,
I ride a 2016 KLR650, and want to purchase one of your kick-ass take-no-prisoners skid plates (the awesome one with extended coverage, "water" bottle opener, the rubber impact kit, etc. Here is my issue and a HUGE request for You folks:
I've been a crazy Jarhead for the last 19+ years on active-duty with three combat tours in Fallujah, IRQ and "Bangin' Sangin", AFG. I manage to destroy everything "skid plate or protection-related" in no time flat, and I tear stuff up quicker than my wife or my beloved Corps can replace it!
Please folks, I'll pay extra if You can use 5/16" thick (vice 3/16") aluminum alloy to build me the ultimate "MAD MAX" skidplate. I need something Marine-proof that can take a lickin' 'n keep on tickin'. It's gotta be tougher than hell (imagine spending an evening staring at Hillary!) and 5/16" is what it'll take (heat-treated & all). Please tell me we can make this happen as I do my daggonest to buy everything I can "Made in USA" to keep our families and friends employed. I don't mind spending a few extra greenbacks for a "TO HELL & BACK" skidplate.
Based on customer feedback above we took the following actions;
The rubber for the isolator is cut at our factory in Boise. The aluminum plate is cut, bent, fitted, and welded at our factory in Boise, Idaho. We then have an ultra-stylish, durable Black color powder coat finish applied that you really have to see to appreciate.
All Happy Trails products are crafted in Idaho
Check out the installation video below on the Tougher Than Hell KLR Skid Plate.