Anyone Crash Tested the PD Nerf Bars from Happy Trails - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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  #1  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:49 AM
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steferf steferf is offline
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Default Anyone Crash Tested the PD Nerf Bars from Happy Trails

A little background. Over at Hotfoot's KLR Page, this guy has water bottle holders mounted near the headlight faring thusly:



(Look for the red Fire Extinguisher thing if you can't find it) Of course, this instantly got me jealous, so I set out to do the same thing. He has
the waterbottle holder the waterbottle holder
mounted on his nerf bars, which appear to have a striking similarity to the ones found here at http://www.happy-trail.com/KLR650/PD-Nerf-EG3-Skid-Plate-05-KLR650.aspx


Now I want to buy crash bars, but these nerf bars look a little bit flimsy for the weight of the KLR. Does anyone have experience with these? Any field testing/crash testing?

I think it'd be cool to get the skid plate, highway footpegs/engine guard, nerf/crash bars, and a cupholder for around 300 bucks. I just worry about a crash. My radiator is already bent, and dropping 300 on a new radiator is less fun than crash bars. What I really don't want to do is put down 300 on nerf bars that arn't sufficient, only to drop it and find that the nerf bars were inadequate and my radiator busts.

Thoughts? Thanks!


Also, what is that thing on his front fender?



EDIT: fwiw, I emailed him, and it bounced back. He probably doesn't have the email listed on his webpage anymore.

Last edited by steferf; 05-07-2012 at 12:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:04 AM
LoneRider LoneRider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steferf View Post
Now I want to buy crash bars, but these nerf bars look a little bit flimsy for the weight of the KLR. Does anyone have experience with these? Any field testing/crash testing?

I think it'd be cool to get the skid plate, highway footpegs/engine guard, nerf/crash bars, and a cupholder for around 300 bucks. I just worry about a crash. My radiator is already bent, and dropping 300 on a new radiator is less fun than crash bars. What I really don't want to do is put down 300 on nerf bars that arn't sufficient, only to drop it and find that the nerf bars were inadequate and my radiator busts.

Thoughts? Thanks!
I've HT PD nerfs, engine guard, highway pegs, bash plate on my '07.

YES, I've crash-tested 'em. The assemblage has protected my radiator, tank, and plastics, the purpose of the augmentation.

The PRIMARY purpose is trail survival, in my case--you can limp home with cracked plastic, but . . . NOT a broken radiator or crankcase.

Now, "flimsy?" If you're after unbendable/unbreakable, go somewhere else. The nerfs, etc., are in a way SACRIFICIAL parts in my view, offered up in lieu of a radiator, lets say. Most usually, the parts can be bent back into neo-decent shape, or . . . Happy Trails offers price consideration for purchase of replacement/repair parts.

A bent nerf beats a broken radiator, in my book. Highway pegs? Seldom use 'em; don't like to give up vigilance and control; YMMV.

Excellent customer service from Happy Trails; instruction sheet competence? Not so much! But, you can figure it out.

One installation tip: On Generation 1 nerfs, insert the left upper nerf bolt through the frame on the RIGHT side; that way, you have only one 10 mm nut to remove to free the left nerf for folding it away to reach the radiator cap.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:38 AM
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I love my set on my 08. Saved the farings and gas tank more than once. The bars can get tweaked in a good off but can be bent back. I've found it to be a great product.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:55 AM
planalp planalp is offline
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I use the HT "combo setup." I can't quantitatively compare it to any other guard packages because I've never installed or ever seen anything else so, I guess what follows is purely opinion and not based on comparison testing.

I've tipped my KLR over several times since installing them and would say it's highly likely it kept my larger plastic pieces intact.

That being said, I really don't like the way the flat support bar passes close to components above the engine like the radiator, the voltage regulator and other wiring.

The last time mine tipped over, that bar wound up smashed up against my voltage regulator and I'm probably lucky it didn't crack it.

I was able to bend/pound everything back to where it should have been, but I think if I hadn't noticed the shift in the bars, another drop to the right would have damaged the VR.

I use my highway pegs all the time and the engine guard/highway peg setup is the perfect base on which to install a PVC tool tube and I've got my auxiliary headlight mounted on them.

My opinion is that the HT bars are a pretty good product (especially for the price) and are certainly better than nothing, but it seems like the critical part of any setup is going to be how it mounts/secures to the bike's frame and other guard packages seem to have better designs/provisions for attaching to the bike.

That being said, I'm still using mine and have no plans to replace them, but if replacement was ever necessary, I would switch to another setup, mostly likely the SW-Motech guards.

Another consideration for the HT skid plate is that it makes it difficult to access the engine balancer adjustment bolt. Good news is that the metal is really soft and you can easily grind away some of the material with just an electric drill and grinding wheel so you can get a straight-on shot with a socket to that bolt.

Some skid plates have a cutout here just for that purpose, but the HT plate doesn't.

If you don't do that, you have to try to loosen/torque that bolt with your socket extension at an angle and rubbing against the skid plate so you're not really sure you're torquing it properly.

If you go with the HT plate, I would highly recommend grinding a "notch" in it for unimpeded access to that bolt.

Also, if you choose this brand (or probably any other) skidplate, before you remove your oil drain plug, take paper towels and stuff/wedge them up inside the skid plate access hole between the skid plate and the bottom of the engine.

That way, when the flow of oil slows down, it won't cling to the bottom of the engine and flow over somewhere else and drip down and fill your skid plate up with oil that's then impossible to get out unless you take the thing off.

Last edited by planalp; 05-07-2012 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for the experience everyone, I'll keep it in mind.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:42 AM
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A few things:

1) Thanks to everyone again.
2) Those red "water bottles" are actually gas cans. I saw them on amazon while looking for a cheaper Kolpin C.A.R.B. Fuel Pack. I think they are for a stove or something. Still, I'd put a water bottle there.
3) I'm now interested in luggage to mount on the happy trails nerf bars. I am currently pricing out some tank pannier and tank bag luggage. I've found alternative to the wolfman stuff I was looking at for literally less than half price. You can see pictures here and here if you are interested. Now I just need to find a bag to stick on the side. The happy trails ones cost too much for the size of the bag. Any ideas on good search terms? I'd like something that covers most of the exterior of the crash bars, but is only 2-4 inches deep. Any ideas?
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:15 AM
wnc/mtn=klr wnc/mtn=klr is offline
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hey,,have same model bars w/highway pegs,,been laid over coulpe time no damage as i could tell,,paint scratched..

but the solo bolt in neck of bike = i put bored out an put larger (stronger bolt) in then came with kit....

never had a problem!!!
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:40 PM
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I don't think mine are the HT ones, but they are similar. No issues from the few nap times.

Actually I think my tool tube has taken the brunt of the impact a few times.
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Last edited by Cabrito; 05-20-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:52 PM
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Default Crash Tested Bars.

Good Afternoon Sterferf,

I have the SW Motech Crash Bars, I can tell you from multiple lay overs and a "Spiderman" dismount that they are strong. At no time has the bike been damaged. They are easy to install and take a beating. I have never found them to be in the way of regular or irregular maintenance. I suggest that you take a look. Many brands for many uses and personalities.

Snakeboy66
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2007 KLR 650
Renthal Bars, Happy Trails Racks, SW Motech Crash Bars, Center Stand, Bash Plate, Yana Shinka HID headlight, Rigid LED Spots, Leo Vince X-3 Pipe, 20mm Ammo Can panniers, Cryca Brush Bars, GPS Ram Mount, Truck Air Horn, LED Brake Light Bar, Tool Tube, Done the "Do", Winner 2012 Mark B (4) Bolt award..
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:18 PM
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I like the design and value of the happy trails bars more, but the strength of the motec ones.


I think I will go with the happy trails ones because I feel like the probability of me laying my bike down on concrete or asphalt is very low. It is much more likely that I'll dump her over in the dirt (ideally far away from large boulders and highly compacted dirt).

Thanks again everyone. And the pictures are great Cabrito. What is that red thing you've got dangling out of the air vent?
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