Un-Happy Trails Skid Plate
A few weeks ago I ordered a skid plate from Happy Trails. At first everything went well as the kit arrived in a reasonable amount of time (about a week). But then things went quickly downhill.
I don’t need to have instructions for something as simple as a skid plate installation, but I did read them. I’m not quite sure how to describe the “language” the instructions were written in. The best I can come up with is that they sounded much like what a poorly educated 10 year old would write if describing the installation process. But that was ok.....I could live with that.
I was next disappointed to see that the bottom and front plates do not have the holes, which attach to the rails, pre-drilled (8 holes total). You must do that yourself. Why they are not pre-drilled is a mystery to me? But again....I could live with that.
Where things totally fell apart was when I tried to mount the rails to the engine mounts on the bike. Both the left and right rails were off (basically too big from not being bent properly by about Ĺ inch). And to make matters even worse, one of the mounting holes, instead of being horizontal with the engine mount bolt, was twisted by about 20 degrees.
I suppose I could have borrowed my friend’s torch and bent and hammered and twisted the rails to make them fit, but why? I didn’t pay $200 to do my own fabricating......and I knew there was no guarantee I’d be successful in my attempt.
I next e-mailed Happy Trails to tell them I’d be returning the skid plate (they charge a 25% “restocking” fee by the way). About a week and Ĺ later I did receive a reply and return mailing label, but by this time I had already mailed the plate back to Idaho.
It’s been over a week since I mailed the plate back and I have yet to receive a refund. I’ve e-mailed them once again, but have not received a reply. At this point I’m now out $200 for the skid plate + $14 shipping (to me) + $18 shipping (back to Happy Trails). $232 total..............for nothing!
I now have a very bitter taste in mouth when it comes to Happy Trails. The only thing they seem to be professional and adept at doing is taking money......they certainly don’t have any fabricating and customer service skills.
This story does have a happy ending of sorts, however. The day after I tried to install the Happy Trails plate, I bought a "gravel guard" (he insists it not be called a skid plate) from fellow forum member Tinner. His instructions are well written. The guard is very well made and went on the bike easily. And it looks fantastic on the bike! Thanks Tinner!
Last edited by Bluegenes; 08-10-2011 at 01:55 PM.