Happy Trails or KLR650.com Pannier Racks for KLR?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by GSBS, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

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    I need advice from those who may have used either or both systems.

    Just got a new KLR and need luggage. Initially I'm planning to go the 20mm ammo box route but later may opt for aluminum boxes. I have found only two mount systems - Happy Trails ($239 for their "SU" heavy duty version or $199 for their "NW" lightweight), and KLR650.com's ($233).

    The NW rack seems a little lightweight especially for the ammo cans, so I'm really only looking at the two more heavy duty ones.

    The KLR650 mount price includes shipping but the HT would add $18 shipping for a total of $257 vs. $233 for the KLR650.com. So, do the HT models have features to make them worth the extra $24?

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    The HT racks are made in the USA... the other ones are HT copies from China, probably. I have the HT racks for mine and they are holding up well. Before you order from KLR650.com, be sure they have them in stock. Since the price is this close, I think I'd give my business to Tim at HT.
    #2
  3. Dirtysouth

    Dirtysouth Stud fee waived for noobs

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    Happytrails gets my vote. While I have had neither, the happy trails that I've seen are beefy and I know that atleast one of the guys that works there is a member on this site and was willing to talk to me one day on the phone about my DR.
    #3
  4. DRZmaui

    DRZmaui Been here awhile

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    Go with the Happy trails panniers/Racks. Money well spent. From what I’ve seen in my travels, they are the sturdiest system available, not pretty, but very stout.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Presently I’m preparing a DRZ for an around the world trip next year. My choice for panniers is Happy Trails. Money is not a consideration; I want the best money can buy.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The Photo below is a shot taken on the Siberian Highway.

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    Mongolia

    [​IMG]
    BTW, be sure to beef up your Sub frame, and get extra high tinsel strength bolts for the sub frame.
    <o:p></o:p>
    #4
  5. HPJeep

    HPJeep Owner of a pig iron bike

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    After shopping around myself I got the HT SU rack and panniers. They are very well built. I was going to go with ammo cans too but they are so heavy versus the HT panniers which are very light. The quality is quite high too. Just be very patient when ordering from them because they took over a month just to paint the panniers even though they were already built and in stock. Took way too long in my book.
    #5
  6. Dirtysouth

    Dirtysouth Stud fee waived for noobs

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    I thought about the Happy Trails rack with pelican cases. I had a similiar setup on my weestrom and like it alot, especially considering I had less than $300 for the whole setup. I did find the pelicans on fleabay though.:deal
    #6
  7. mikerd400

    mikerd400 Long timer

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    I agree. Happy Trails has treated me well. One of my racks developed a crack. I called them on the phone and two days later I had a new rack, no questions asked. Excellent customer service.
    #7
  8. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

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    http://packratadventuregear.com/

    Price is certainly good, and the ammo cans are supposedly brand new, but not a lot of other info on the website. My two concerns are 1) whether the relocated blinkers (below the tail light on the pannier mount cross bar) will be vulnerable when the cases are removed and 2) just what is involved in mounting/dismounting from the racks. Looks sturdy though.

    If anyone with first-hand experience with this system I'd apprecicate hearing your comments.

    Thanks,
    David
    #8
  9. Wesley

    Wesley n00b

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    I bought Happy Trails racks for my '00 KLR. Installed perfectly and once tightened felt like the frame was extended - couldn't have been happier.

    Since then I've bought HT racks for a F650 Dakar, a Transalp, and most recently my DR650. Not a misaligned piece in the bunch or any need for tweeking (good thing too - they're stout!). Friendly and quick service. Highly recommended!
    #9
  10. klrcarl

    klrcarl Poser

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    I've a PR rack on my KLR. I "relocated" my blinkers by removing the stalks & using hollow threaded lamp rod in the original holes. The rack is great, but Mark has no quick disconnect system at the moment, so you gotta bolt 'em(as I did) or come up with your own system. His rack also has only 4 mounts whereas the HT ones have 6. In N Mexico I lost a bolt due to vibration(yes, it was loctited & I lost it anyway). Thank God one of the mermite bolts fit!
    I'm not sure I'd go with ammo cans--everyone says they would be too heavy. On the other hand, I have NEVER heard of someone getting & then returning them!
    Email me w any more Q's about the rack

    #10
  11. klrcarl

    klrcarl Poser

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    PackRat racks are strong enough. I proved that a few times on the last trip thru Mexico. :eek1
    #11
  12. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

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    I ended up with the KLR650.com mounts and their rail-job luggage rack, as well as their box mounting hardware. Works great with the 30mm ammo boxes, which are 14x17x9 inches and have about 35L of displacement each.

    After mounting the hardware, I painted the boxes with rattlecan Rustoleum hammertone black. The paint has a somewhat textured "look" which hides small imperfections in the surface and can be used without primer and sprayed over rust (according to the can). We'll see.

    Long term I plan to get some of the stuff used in pickup bedliners - Herculiner? - for a more durable finish.

    I weighed the ammo cans and with lids they are 18 pounds each. The Happy Trails are almost exact half that. So, I'm paying a total penalty of 18 pounds for both boxes, but they cost only $20 per box. The HT or similar would've been $300 plus.

    Here's some pix of the finished project:

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    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    Those look great! I've got the HT version of that rack, with the same ammocans and like the setup a lot. Put lots of reflective tape on them though, or some idiot might clip them trying to pass you too close.

    John
    #13
  14. nooner818

    nooner818 eX-nOOb

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    Happy Trails. You won't regret it.

    Avoid the chinese knockoffs! :topes
    #14
  15. mrfix

    mrfix Adventurer

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    I have the HP NW rack with GIVI E-36 side cases and there're great, I have over 10, 000 miles on the and load the crap out of them without a problem. The rack fit perfectly and cases have held up well. I also have a happy trails set back rack and a GIVI E-45 top case that has done a really great job for me. Happt Trails makes a great product, they are worthy of your business.
    #15
  16. emmettken

    emmettken Long timer

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    Happy Trails!
    #16
  17. tuumi

    tuumi KLR -> Sprint

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    Get the Happy Trails. I got a second hand set of the klr650.com racks and they were horrible. I had to bash the muffler to get clearance. The bolt holes didn't line up and I had to not use one bolt. It was sturdy nonetheless, but if I had a choice I would have picked something else.
    #17
  18. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    Just saw this set up in another thread. Already having the Pelican 1450 that I use on my KLR as a top case, bolted onto the luggage rack, I can see how this could be the way to go if I decide to add luggage. Not trying to disuade you from your intended choices - just tossing out options for your consideration.

    www.adventure-motorcycle.com
    #18
  19. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

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    Those look great!

    I plan on painting my mermites with the Hammered Finish silver.

    Good job.
    #19
  20. dirty dave

    dirty dave Banned

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    happy trail box's, and mounts. love 'em
    #20