Just finished reading this whole thread after finishing the Transalp Mod thread.
There's been some mention of skid plates, so, here's an option. I first made one of these in 1975 when I noticed our trials bikes hanging up on big rocks...instant "5" (bad trials thing). So went to the Plastic place and related the problem to the plastic guy and he came up with this stuff. It's called "High Strength-Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethelene". Kind of like the old "unbreakable" combs from long ago, or cutting board material. You can get it in large sheets in different thicknesses. It cuts, drills and shapes easily. It's tough, fairly ridgid at normal temps, and slides over rocks. I've made many of these for all kinds of bikes, and no regrets. Enough for a bike costs about $25.00. I use a heat gun (usually get impatient and get out the plumbers torch---be careful, it will burn) and heat till pliable---bend to shape and let cool. It's not as easy as it sounds though. I use Jacks, tie downs, gloves and any thing else I can think of to hold the stuff while it cools. With the KLR, used some blind nuts and added a thinner piece on the right side to cover the pump. It's relatively cheap (klr friendly) and you don't need a welder.