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Old 04-23-2019, 09:26 AM   #1
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Front mounted motorcycle rack? Issues?

I'm looking at a solution to carry my motorcycle with me on the bus.

The rear of the bus is getting a hitch installed but that will be used for pulling a toad.

I considered also building a platform back there but Im worried that when turning sharply the toad is going to jacknife on the motorcycle rack. In addition, I want to retain use of the emergency door, and having a motorcycle back there is going to prevent if from opening.

So my other solution was to go to the front.

I threw together a mock up to see what it would look like and where things need to be mounted.











Looking at this setup does anything jump out as an apparent issue?

Things i'm not too concerned about
-Blocking the headlights. (Ill come up with a solution for this, be it snow plow lights up front, or pod lights or something )
- Will it be too ricketey? No that aluminum plate is some semi truck flooring thats doubled up and seam welded. It's been used as a ramp to drive jeeps up onto a trailer. It's plenty strong enough. Underneath I will weld together a bracket from 1/4" square steel and bolt it directly to the frame.

Things I am concerned about.

-Is it legal?
-Will blocking the radiator cause overheating issues? What can i do about this?
-Weight? This assembly with the bike on it will weight about 380 lb. Hanging off the nose of the bus. I'm not too familiar with weight distribution issues and how much the front of the bus can be loaded. Is this a concern?
-Loss of tow hooks on the front. ( bolting location interferes with tow hook location )

Again, It really cant go on the back because of the toad and rear exit door issues.

Any other solution ideas welcome!
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Put the Bike on the other way around so you don't have to stare at the Handlebars IMO
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:12 AM   #3
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You're essentially blocking the entire radiator and intercooler doing it that way. The ram air effect is what does 90% of your cooling at speed. I don't think blocking that off is a wise choice seeing how easily I see people on here overheating their skoolies all the time.

Maybe you can build some sort of deck off the back of the bus and then attach your hitch to that?

If not, build your platform above the toad hitch and roll with it.

I wouldn't put it how you have it IMO, there are better ways to do it, especially if you have fabrication skills.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:13 AM   #4
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IIRC dredman had a bike with him when he travelled. Look him up and see what he did to haul the bike.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:47 AM   #5
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I considered doing this so that my scooter wouldn't block my rear (garage) door. Ultimately I decided against it because of the headlights and cooling system blockage. I may end up putting something there in the future (generator maybe?) that doesn't cover important things.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:18 PM   #6
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Will you always be pulling your toad? just attach the rack onto the toad, if that is feasible (depending on the vehicle being towed)
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:43 PM   #7
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I wont always be pulling the toad.

The toad is a suzuki sidekick.

I am hesitant to even put the motorcycle on the back of that thing as the whole truck only weights in at about 2300 lb.

It would lift the front wheels off the ground!

A rack above the pivot point of the toad is an option, like high up. like mid windshield elevation of the toad. That sounds silly and dangerous to load a bike 5 feet up off the ground. Not sure how I would even manage that alone...
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:45 PM   #8
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There is about 1.5 ft of room in front of the radiator to the bike. Air also can pass under the bike to the radiator.

Is that not enough airflow?

The fan roars on my bus like a monster all the time. Lifting the doghouse while it's running is like bringing an EF tornado into the cab. Is that not enough airlow?
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsneeb View Post
There is about 1.5 ft of room in front of the radiator to the bike. Air also can pass under the bike to the radiator.

Is that not enough airflow?

The fan roars on my bus like a monster all the time. Lifting the doghouse while it's running is like bringing an EF tornado into the cab. Is that not enough airlow?
If your fans run all the time you already have a cooling issue and obviously not enough air flow. It's hard enough to keep these things cool. Your idea of the bike in front is a bad idea.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:29 PM   #10
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It is covering a lot of important stuff.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:26 PM   #11
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Instead of a tow bar can you use a car trailer and put both the car and the bike on it?

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Old 04-23-2019, 03:48 PM   #12
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If you do end up doing that make sure you wrap up your bike. We had a front bicycle rack on my old rv and the bikes got covered in smooshed bugs.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:44 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone.

The car trailer is not an option I want to consider. Loading the car on and off the trailer, dealing with storing it when Im driving the toad, and having to buy another thing at a time when Im downsizing my stuff is not worth it.

In terms of keeping it covered, It's an offroad bike. The bugs will quickly be covered by a thick layer of mud and dirt and no longer be visible.

I do want to keep rain and snow off it when it's stationary though.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:46 PM   #14
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What about ideas to improve the cooling if I run into an issue with it as is?

The front mounted rack works very well for what I want to achieve.

I would rather deal with adding a auxilary radiator than having to pull an extra trailer just for the bike or have to hoist it 5 feet up in the air to put it on the back.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:26 PM   #15
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You already have cooling issues that needs to be addressed.
Fix those and add a better fan or add some sheetmetal to direct air from either side kinda of like the ram air induction theory to get around the bike motor blocking the engine air
You don't normally weld aluminum to steel?
You can braze them together but galvanic corrosion is still there.
I would bolt them with heavy duty rubber in between each piece and they make. Dielectric washers for the bolt isolation of dissimilar materials. And it ain't the little fabric ones you might have seen
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:16 AM   #16
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Well I was excited to get a PM from yet another moto-skoolie guy, but rather than discuss privately I figured it would be more interesting and productive to discuss here.

My thoughts:
1 - forget a front-mounting solution on THAT bus - period!
on a rear engine, rear-cooled bus, no problem, but not that bus you are
asking for a bus-load of issues
2 - not sure why you won't consider a rear mount solution? Seems much more
rational, given suspension and handling issues, not to mention cooling?
Guessing you got the idea from city-bus bike racks, but they are all rear-
engine machines.
3 - the rear will be higher off the ground, but you could build a sliding, tilted-mount, operated by a small winch. Should not cause any problems with the toad? If you want access to the rear door just unload the bike?
Problem solved!

Here is a picture of the tilted winch

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Old 04-24-2019, 11:01 AM   #17
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I say go for it. I have my spare tire mounted on the front directly in front of radiator, and have NO overheating issues.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:28 PM   #18
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I say go for it. I have my spare tire mounted on the front directly in front of radiator, and have NO overheating issues.
Did you read where his fans run hard all the time? He has cooling issues right now, don't compound it by blocking the air coming in. Issue may be different on a bus unlike yours.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:52 PM   #19
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Thanks,

The consensus seems to be that it won't work on the front.

But I really see too many challenges with it being on the back.

Notably the toad and the emergency door.

I intend to live in the bus as well as travel with it and my moto on the bus.

If it is up high not only is it a pain to load and unload, likely unsafe, as dropping a bike 5 feet from the ground is different than it just falling off of that front platform.

In terms of the back door. I sleep in the back, and I'm not O.k with the emergency door being blocked while i'm sleeping. Especially with a wood stove, gas appliances, DIY solar electric setup, etc.

At that point I would have to unload the motorcycle every night and re-load it in the morning.
If that involves a winch, tilting assembly, etc it's just too much.
Again, I won't sleep soundly if that door is blocked.


Here is what I think I can do.

Step 1:
Get the rear hitch receiver mounted.
Step 2: Borrow someones hitch mounted motorcycle carrier.

Step 3: Build the front rack as shown, well aware of possible impact on cooling.

Step 4: Take a road trip, including mountain passes, and see how it does. If I overheat 1 mile up the pass or cant even go freeway speed without the temp gauge climbing, then pull the bike off the front and re-load it to the back.

Step 5: If it works, great, if it's close but overheats a little bit, then I can look at cooling improvements, if it overheats bigtime then I abandon the front rack entirely and start figuring out the much larger list of issues with it on the back.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Did you read where his fans run hard all the time? He has cooling issues right now, don't compound it by blocking the air coming in. Issue may be different on a bus unlike yours.
Do your fans not run all the time?

it's a fan mounted to the cranshaft output. It spins all the time, even the second the engine is started.

It's not like the electric fans on my car that have a relay to engage them.
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