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Old 04-20-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
lowflyer OP
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Happy Trails tail rack and plate installation on Uly

I just almost finished installing this tail plate and rack thing from Happy Trails. This in preparation for one of their top boxes due to arrive next week.

Clockwise from top: The bill, rack, flat bar support, tail plate, and instructions


Not all the holes were drilled for mounting the plate to the rack.


Start by removing the grab rail mounting hardware. Also remove the inner two screws between the grab rail screws shown here. These inner screws secure the seat latch to the subframe.


The triple tail mount bolts are difficult to reach.


Remove two screws that hold the under-tail plastic and fold it down to access the triple tail mount bolts.


These bolts require a lot of torque to get out.


The triple tail comes off in four pieces; the tail, two grab rails and a spring.


Attempt to mount the flat bar.


I say attempt because the screws provided are about 0.5 inches too short. Edit: I selected the wrong screws from the kit for this particular job.


This is how far the 1-inch screw comes up through the bottom. It doesn't even clear the plastic. Edit: Use the right screws from the kit and you won't have the same problem.


Drill the damn holes Happy-Trails overlooked.


With the rack partially mounted because you can't fully mount it without the proper hardware for the flat bar, mount the plate to the rack and watch the screws that are too long gouge your tail casting.


Not having countersunk hardware to mount the plate is really piss poor if you ask me.


Attach the flat bar support to the rack. The bolts for this were about 5mm too short for my taste.


All that is left is to go to the hardware store to pick up some longer bolts so that the flat bar support can be bolted up through the seat latch mount. Edit: I used the wrong bolts from the kit here. There are two bolts that fit included in the kit.


It will be very sturdy once I can attach the flat bar to the subframe.


Stupidass button head screws.


I reckon the button heads are fine for now. I am going to add a top box next week.


Overall, I am happy with the Happy-Trails tail plate and rack system, but for the price, the quality of the kit could be improved slightly. My biggest complaint with the finished product is the lack of countersunk hardware. These are relatively minor annoyances however. The folks at Happy Trails have been very attentive, were quick to ship the product, and they did offer to send me a pre-drilled tail plate. I didn't call them on the short screws since it will be quicker to pay the $0.50 at the hardware store .9 miles from my house.

lowflyer screwed with this post 04-21-2007 at 09:51 AM
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:07 PM   #2
Stretch67
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Awriiiiight!

Glad to see farkles developing for the Uly.

-------------------------------

Love the burnout marks on the garage floor.

-------------------------------

Anybody ever notice that Uly turn signals are the same as a Girlie Tiger's?

Ah jes' might have to breeze back down to the Buell place and git me a set of those smokey lenses...
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Stretch67 screwed with this post 04-20-2007 at 11:13 PM
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
lowflyer OP
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Those turn signal lenses only cost about $2.50 each. Not bad for a HD dealer.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:55 AM   #4
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Edits to the original post should indicate that I inadvertently selected the wrong screws from the kit to mount the flat bar support. All the hardware was correct, except for the screws that mount the rack to the flat bar. They were just a little too short and did not show any threads on the nuts. The only other thing I might critique is the instructions for this kit. They could include some better pictures and a little more detail. Otherwise, I should make it clear that I am very happy with the installation as a whole. Most of my problems were self-inflicted.

To sum up my critiques for this kit:
  • Shorter screws and countersunk hardware should be included for mounting the plate to the rack so that the plate provides a completely flat surface for strapping things down etc...
  • Longer screws needed for the rack to flat bar mounting
  • Better, more detailed instructions needed
  • Drill and countersink the mounting holes for the plate so that the customer does not have to
What I liked:
  • Happy Trails folks were courteous, helpful, and generally pleasant to talk to on the phone
  • Product was shipped very quickly
  • Fit and finish was flawless
  • VERY sturdy and rock-solid design - I wouldn't recommend it, but I have no doubt that this assembly could support more than the hanging weight of the bike
  • Looks better to me than the triple tail
As far as an ADV rating, I give this rack and plate set up from Happy Trails

lowflyer screwed with this post 04-21-2007 at 10:40 AM
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:19 AM   #5
debueller
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Nice job on the photos and such LF.

The 4th photo shows the new location for the bank angle sensor very well. I hate that it now occupies the area in the tail section where I used to put my tire repair kit.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debueller
Nice job on the photos and such LF.

The 4th photo shows the new location for the bank angle sensor very well. I hate that it now occupies the area in the tail section where I used to put my tire repair kit.
Thanks. I hope somebody finds it useful since the instructions that came with that kit has only four blurry pics and some marginally vague steps - not that I read instructions much.

I miss that extra little bit of storage space too.
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Old 04-21-2007, 01:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this, lowflyer. I've been considering putting one on my bike too. I have to have a backrest of some sort though..or I'll have some angry female passengers and I generally try to keep the wimmen in my life happy. It looks like I could build something and bolt it to the plate pretty easy.

The plate is aluminum, right? Do they paint it or did you? I think I'd rather have it flipped over so I could throw a milk crate on it and have the edges keep it from sliding off and just somewhat tie the crate down.
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Old 04-21-2007, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Thanks for posting this, lowflyer. I've been considering putting one on my bike too. I have to have a backrest of some sort though..or I'll have some angry female passengers and I generally try to keep the wimmen in my life happy. It looks like I could build something and bolt it to the plate pretty easy.

The plate is aluminum, right? Do they paint it or did you? I think I'd rather have it flipped over so I could throw a milk crate on it and have the edges keep it from sliding off and just somewhat tie the crate down.
It comes powdercoated as you see in the pics. That was the only reason I was concerned about having to drill my own holes.

As for the plate, it is aluminum and you can indeed mount it either way.
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