So, let's get to the bash plate.
The Ricochet's part number is 290M for the 2008-2016 model KLR650. MSRP is $109 and I noted that it was $129.99 on Twisted Throttle. I landed it for $98 with free shipping from an eBay Vendor.
Construction is 5 mm brushed aluminum and has 5 frame-based mounting points: one u-clamp on the down tube and four brackets on lower frame.
The lower bracket bolts have T40 Torx heads, which I was aware of when I purchased the plate, and knew I'd be replacing. I try and minimize the types of tools that I carry and Torx heads ain't making the cut. The bolt size is M8-20 with a 1.25 thread pitch.
The hardware provided also includes new front motor mounts (the triangular plates) so that the stock mounts with the butterfly wings for mounting the stock skid plate can be removed.
The bash plate alone weighed in at 4 pounds and the hardware was another 1.25 pounds, for a total of 5.25 pounds. The stock skid plate and the stock motor mounts that are removed weighed 2.25 pounds, so the net increase was 3 pounds.
Installation of the bash plate itself is as easy as 4 bolts on the base and 2 nuts on the u-clamp. However, the installation was complicated by my previous Nomad Crash Guard installation and it exposed a problem I had with the fitment of the Ricochet plate.
On the Nomads, the Ricochet package provides new front motor mounts to replace the factory mounts that have butterfly wings to which the factory skid plate attaches. That's where the Nomads connect as well so I had to loosen all Nomad points, and that involved removing side panels and lifting the tank. That was an issue that was caused by the Nomads, not the skid plate.
Here are some photos of the installed bash plate after I got the engine mounts installed:
As to the design (fitment) issue, while the Ricochet plate provides for some left-right adjustment, in its farthest left position it was far too close to the left engine case. So close, in fact, that you couldn't get a business card between the plate and the case. That's a problem as a sudden shift in the plate could cause damage to the engine case.
On some advice by other KLR owners, I drilled out the forward slots in the plate to provide for another 4-5 mm of adjustment to the left. There was plenty of room on the right side to accommodate this additional adjustment.
Even at that I could only get about another 3 mm of gap/clearance, but it's about 5 mm now and I'm okay with that.
Another bit of advice I followed was to insert some rubber strips between the lower clamps and the u-clamp to buffer vibration. Good tip. Done.
Lastly, I wanted to provide a photo of the skid plate oil drain hole as installed. I have an Eagle Mike low profile drain bolt that comes down to the top of the skid plate. The factory oil drain bolt would poke through, which would be a big problemo!
Lastly, lastly, as mentioned above the Torx bolts were replaced with some allen heads. The bolt size is M8-20 with 1.25 thread pitch.
Overall, the Ricochet is probably going to do the job. However, there were two problem areas:
- Torx bolts shouldn't be used to mount the plate. It's not that they're bad; rather, using them would result in having to carry another tool to remove the plate if that became necessary. The number of tools carried is something serious riders work hard on "minimizing." To do that, I spent some more money and replaced the torx with allen heads.
- The plate didn't fit and required modification. I reported this to the manufacturer along with pictures as can be seen below. The manufacturer's advice was to do what I did. drill out the slots. That may work for me, but I can tell you that the vast number of consumers expect $100+ accessories to fit and have no interest in modifying them to make them fit.
Communication with Ricochet:
I'd separately sent a note into the manufacturer on the tight left side issue along with photos. They also wanted and I provided measurements. After drilling the slots yesterday, I got a response back from them suggesting ...
"My suggestion if you are not comfortable with how close it is, and you have some room on the right side you could dremel or die grind those slots up front a little longer so the plate will come left a little more."
... there you go!
Additional photos for comments below:
These photos show clearances between the Ricochet Skid Plate and Nomad Rider Crash Bars from the front (first photo) and from the sides (second photo).
The plate provides a hole for accessing the oil drain plug.
I am able to get to the chain tensioner bolt on the left side with an 8mm open end wrench.