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Waking up this old thread - Finished installing the rear bracket of the Happy Trail skid plate last night on 18 650XT - will finish the install of the plate today - maybe - What a task taking the kick stand bolts out then re-installing then into the kick stand with the bracket in place. After trying breaker bars and all the other garage implements - I broke out a a torch (making sure to protect the safety switch and wire) and the bolts began to turn and finally liberate them from the bonds of yellow thread locker.

I think the other skid plate brands (someone add insight here) that utilize the kick stand mount only use one bolt as a mount which I think is more than enough -making it an easier removal of the bolt and a easier install without worrying about the kick stand flopping around - my 2 cents.

Looks like great protection although you do loose an inch+ of valuable ground clearance - but all it takes is one stray rock or root to ruin you day - so I'll deal with the install.

I think if Suzuki meant for this bike to have a plate they should have provided a place for it - a simple cross bar under there with some welded in nuts - would have been awesome.

Again anyone attempting this at home - a center stand helps with the balancing act - but does limit the swing of your ratchet - and a torch will set the bolts free.

George
 

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I have a totally different plate (Enduro Guardian) on a different Vstrom (K7 Vee) but I sure get where you're coming from.

Installing the bracket for the rear attachment points was a royal pain. Especially so on the DL1000 of the time, with its lower exhaust run in the way.

Using both kickstand bolts is probably intended to help fight any twisting forces on the bracket. One bolt may be "enough" but given it only has to be done once, I think it's the better approach.

Suzuki seems to be all over the place with protection on these bikes. My '07 Vee came with an absolute joke of an "engine guard." Truthfully, it was no more than a feeble plastic bumper. Zero protection from the bottom, questionable protection from the front/side.

Newer Vees got better coverage, or at least it looks that way, but still short of an actual skid plate.

If it's any comfort to you, I've not seen evidence that the slightly reduced ground clearance did any harm on my Vee. I've ridden some very rocky fire roads since getting the plate, but not found any gouges on the bottom of the plate.

I did have the kickstand bolts back out and the kickstand almost fall off a while later, but that's another hilarious story. :p
 

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Those kickstand bolts are a pain in the *$%. Only had to remove one for my T-Rex Racing skid plate, but simply could not get the leverage. Sad to admit that I took it into the dealership and had them install the bracket.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Waking up this old thread - Finished installing the rear bracket of the Happy Trail skid plate last night on 18 650XT - will finish the install of the plate today - maybe - What a task taking the kick stand bolts out then re-installing then into the kick stand with the bracket in place. After trying breaker bars and all the other garage implements - I broke out a a torch (making sure to protect the safety switch and wire) and the bolts began to turn and finally liberate them from the bonds of yellow thread locker.

I think the other skid plate brands (someone add insight here) that utilize the kick stand mount only use one bolt as a mount which I think is more than enough -making it an easier removal of the bolt and a easier install without worrying about the kick stand flopping around - my 2 cents.

Looks like great protection although you do loose an inch+ of valuable ground clearance - but all it takes is one stray rock or root to ruin you day - so I'll deal with the install.

I think if Suzuki meant for this bike to have a plate they should have provided a place for it - a simple cross bar under there with some welded in nuts - would have been awesome.

Again anyone attempting this at home - a center stand helps with the balancing act - but does limit the swing of your ratchet - and a torch will set the bolts free.

George

Update - Installed the plate as per instructions - and it looked like it was to far away from the engine and just looked wrong. Then I flipped the mounts supplied by Happy Trail and was able to slide the plate back quite a bit and it looks a heck of a lot better in my opinion. - I'll send an email over to Happy Trail and see what they think. Hope to take the bike out today for a ride to check fit and any vibes/noise etc. both on a mild dirt road here locally and a high speed spin on the slab.
George

Mounted as per instructions:



Mounted with brackets flipped behind the crash bar:
 
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