Skid plate suggestions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 66
Skid plate suggestions

The last time I washed my '09, I noticed that my plastic skid plate is cracked, badly. I'm not planning on riding in excessively harsh conditions, but would like to get a decent plate ... not necessarily the most expensive, or the most heavy duty one, but one that is better than the stock plastic, and a good value.

I'd guess that there are quite a few options, and I figure you guys will know which ones are more highly recommended. Thanks for any info.
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Spring Grove, IL
Posts: 107
I have the JNS Engineering skid plate on my '13. Certainly an upgrade over the stock, plastic skid plate. I'm very happy with it. Not sure how it compares in price or heavy dutyness (I know that's not a word) compared to other options. It just shrugs off the things I've banged against it. I don't worry at all when riding. It makes a pretty satisfying 'ding' as it deflects things that get thrown against it while riding. I also like that it extends and protects the oil drain plug. I've dragged it over a couple of logs and rocks that would have ripped the drain plug out if it had not been protected, so it's doing its job well.
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
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Look for one that is designed to allow easy access to the doohickey adjustment bolt. I think most of them do, but I had to do some grinding on my Happy Trail plate so I could get an extension and socket in there straight-on to make sure my torque was right.

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Old 07-01-2015, 07:26 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1
I also have the JNS Engineering skid plate on my '15 and am really happy with it.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Colorado mountains
Posts: 76
JNS here, too, and happy too. I'd heard about aluminum skid plates "ringing", so I added some thin rubber washers between the plate and the mounts. Seems to work well. I haven't really "tested" the JNS, but it looks like a good piece of kit.

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Old 07-01-2015, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ashland, NH
Posts: 285
I have a Ricochet skid plate on mine.
Kawasaki KLR650 Aluminum Skid Plate | Ricochet Off-Road
So far so good. I did have to file it a little so my wrench could access the doohickey adjuster.
At the time Ricochet had some stuff listed as "scratch & dent" sale. I do not see anything on the site now. Might be worth a call.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Hampshire
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Skid plate

A consideration, If you have a jack that lifts from under the engine.
A nice flat "under-surface" is nice to have on the plate of choice.

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Old 07-01-2015, 07:27 PM
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The lift (or, "jack," if you prefer) shown has a pawl, I think, to hold mechanically (not hydraulically) the height of the lifting surface at a minimum level. Useful, if you want to raise the bike for an extended period of time, such as overnight.

The stopping mechanism, actuated by raising a metal bar loop above the foot pedal, prevents lowering beyond the set limit from hydraulic cylinder bleed-down. Pressing down on the metal bar releases the lifting platform to lower normally; may require a pump stroke or two to relieve friction on the pawl mechanism to manipulate the pawl.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 66
Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I was checking out the Happy Trails plate. It seems to have some nice features. Has anyone tried this one?

KLR650 Skid Plate, Skid Plate, Engine Protection - Adventure-Proven Motorcycle Gear and Aluminum Panniers
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,234
Originally Posted by K650 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I was checking out the Happy Trails plate. It seems to have some nice features. Has anyone tried this one?

KLR650 Skid Plate, Skid Plate, Engine Protection - Adventure-Proven Motorcycle Gear and Aluminum Panniers
No need to put a particularly fine point on your choice of aftermarket bash plate; as posted above, anything you get is better than what you've got--the factory plastic number.

I have a Happy Trails skid plate of 2008 production, design may have changed since then. Fully serviceable product. Expect the current one to be, also. Just keep in mind; if you install Happy Trails products, some compatibility issues may surface if you mount other manufacturer's accessories (e.g., engine guard, highway pegs, nerfs). You might want to stay with the same brand.

Happy Trails makes quality products and stands behind them; outstanding customer service, in my experience. Could use some help on installation instructions, IMHO, but . . . none of this is rocket science, can be figured out or clarified by a phone call to the manufacturer.
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