Replacing the Right Side Engine Shroud

During a trail ride at the Gas Gas Rally in Moab, Utah, I dumped the bike after a water crossing and busted up the right side fairing (engine shroud is the technical name). After many earlier water crossings that were no problem, I was probably a bit too confident and definitely going too fast when I entered the small creek.

Climbing out of the water, the front tire bounced off a rock and into soft sand near the edge of the trail. This knocked me off balance and I went down. When I stood the KLR up, it was covered in dirt and mud but, appeared undamaged. I thought my crash bars had saved me again and rode on. But, on the highway back to town, I noticed the right engine shroud vibrating in the wind and after cleaning it, I saw this...

The crack ran down to the lower mounting screw
My SW-MOTECHs were no help on this one. The bike laid over onto a sand embankment that paralleled the trail and plowed forward to a stop. The engine shroud dug into the sand, bent inward and cracked from top to bottom. I think the Happy Trails crash bars that wrap around the engine shrouds may have prevented this, but that's only a guess.

I went to the Kawi dealer for a new panel and I expressed my unhappiness that a minor dump in soft sand, could cause this much damage. He said Kawasaki had switched to the brittle plastic after years of complaints about UV damage to the "tupperware" panels on the older model KLRs. The newer plastics crack and break, but will resist sun fading. The newer bikes are less durable, but will look good longer. It's a trade-off, but I needed a new shroud anyway.

The dealer was unsure of the color when he placed the order because the computer listed two colors for the 2011 engine shroud. Lucky for me, he guessed correctly, and the part (# 49131-5359-X1) arrived a week later.  It came painted with decals installed, and was identical to the old shroud. I switched a couple pieces of hardware to the new shroud and my trusty KLR was good as new again.

Someone with the right skills could probably JB Weld or Bondo the damaged shroud and make it look almost right again. But, that ain't me! Instead, I wrote the date and location on the shroud and hung it on the garage wall as a memento of the Gas Gas Rally.

If you ever need to replace and engine shroud, here is what to expect...

Good as new and ready for the next adventure!