Happy Trails Blog

  1. Riding A KLR 650 4600 Miles Through Southern South America

    Robert Runyard used to be a test rider for Yamaha Motors (and Yamaha Parts Distributors) back in the 1970s.  In 1977 he borrowed an XS650 and rode it to Tierra del Fuego.   He decided back then that he really liked southern Patagonia and that one day he’d return and stay there.   He made good on that in 2008 when he...
  2. Happy Trails SL Rack & SU Rack Comparison

           How are Happy Trails SL Rack and SU Rack different? The SL Rack is designed to carry soft luggage, while the SU Rack can carry soft or hard luggage of any kind. In construction the SU Rack differs in that the loop tubing is 3/4" square steel as opposed to 5/8" round. But even more important every...
  3. Optimal 1000 Adventure Motorcycle Ride Day 2

    Imnaha Oregon to Orofino Idaho via the Zumwalt Prairie.   Starting the morning out in a deep canyon has its benefits. You have the sunshine but not the total brightness of the light. I guess you can say it is like a having a great stretch in the morning. You know the kind where you wake up easy, nothing harsh, no alarm clock, just start that easy wake up process and in the midst of it get a great stretch in. Arms stretched wide and head turned a bit,waking up from the inside out, nice and easy. The sun hitting the ridges, Imnaha Oregon The sun hitting the ridges, As the bright sun hits the ridges and starts illuminating them,  you feel the day as a new beginning. Continue reading →
  4. Konkolville

    The Konkolville Motel is located in Orofino Idaho. Orofino Idaho is located just off of Highway 12 on the Clearwater River in Northern Idaho. Orofino is Spanish for “fine gold” and was originally a trading post set up in the 1890’s. The expedition of Lewis and Clark along the Clearwater is well documented in the book Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West. Authored by Stephen Ambrose the book is a must read for exploring Idaho. Another resource is Discovering Lewis & Clark. In 1805 Lewis & Clark stayed nearby at what is now called “Canoe Camp” and built five dugout canoes for the trip downstream to the Pacific Ocean. They departed from Canoe Camp on October 7,1805. Continue reading →
  5. Optimal 1000 Adventure Motorcycle Ride Day 1

    Optimal 1000 August 2016 Day 1 The adventures of two men on their KLR’s as they travel through Idaho, Oregon, Washington and back into Idaho. Day 1 would take us from Boise To Imnaha Oregon. I had traveled this route quite a few times and every time was a unique experience, some good and some bad. I had not traveled the true route since July 18 2011. day-1-route-overview Continue reading →
  6. How HT Panniers and Crash Bars Prevented A Serious Injury

    When our designers and engineers set out to create equipment or accessories for an adventure motorcycle, they start with the desires of the rider in mind – after all, all of us here at Happy Trails, are motorcycle enthusiasts ourselves.  We want to create products that we would want to use, products that are functional, reliable, easy to install, and...
  7. Happy Trails Panniers 101

    Happy Trails manufacturers panniers at our shop in Boise Idaho. We have five families of panniers and various Top Boxes. We also make custom aluminum panniers and boxes as well as some custom aluminum tanks. The five families of panniers are: Teton 15" H x 18" L - Width options: 7.5" 33 liters, 9" 39 liters and 10.5" 45 liters Cascade 18"H x 18"L x 7.5" width and 38.5 liters. Denali: 20"H x 18"L x 7.5" width and 47 liters Imnaha 12"H x 15"L x 5" width and 13.8 liters Owyhee: 21.5-31.5L - 14" H x 16" L - Width options: 6" 21.5 liters, 7.5" 27 liters and 9" 31.5 liters Note: A 3/4" lip makes the opening on all boxes 1-1/2" smaller than box measurement. This lip provides a watertight seal and the strongest in the industry pannier. All of the Happy Trails Panniers have a Canyon Cut on them. See description below. The Teton Panniers have two other options, Clif Cut and Exhaust Cut. The Clif-cut (shown below) is a term describing a 1.5" - 45 degree cut-out on the inside (tire side) of the pannier. It is designed for bikes with wide protruding exhaust  to create a more symmetrical weight distribution when panniers are mounted and loaded. For bikes with asymmetrical racks it keeps the load on the exhaust side box as close as possible to the center of the bike. This also allows for a wider lid opening.  For bikes with symmetrical racks the Clif Cut option can also be used on both sides. The Exhaust Cut  is a term describing a 1.5" - 90 degree cut-out on the inside (tire side) of the pannier. This option is used on BMW Oilheads. Continue reading →
  8. Happy Trails Adjustable Centerstand

    Who builds an adjustable centerstand for an Adventure Bike? Better yet is to ask the question "Why you would want one.?" That was the question we asked ourselves at Happy Trails quite a few years ago. The bike we were looking at was the Kawasaki KLR650. The KLR has two models since 1987; the “A” Model from 1987 to 2007 and the “E” Model from 2008 to 2017. We soon found through our R & D that the same centerstand did not fit the both models of the KLR, it was close but just would not work out. img_0034 You can see in the picture above the built in adjustability. Continue reading →
  9. Travesilla Adventure

    Travesilla: trav-a see-a. A very old vaquero (va-qa-ro) meaning to take a different or some other route. A Tale of two Motorcyclist driven by passion and fueled by a spirit of humanity using tools such as motorcycles to accomplish a calling. You can call it an adventure. Adventure defined by Dictionary.com Noun an exciting or very unusual experience. participation in...
  10. 09 KLR Project Bike, the Doctor makes a “House Call”

      I recently received an email from Dr Gregory Frazier. The Doctor and I had been corresponding about a trip he was planning through the Northwest on his 09 KLR Project Bike. One the stops on the trip was the Rally in the Gorge in Hood River Oregon. Well the Doctor had a need,“I put a new chain and sprockets on...

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