American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God

17 Mar

That’s right, we will have a motorcycle with us.  It’s a Yamaha XT 225.  It’s a light enduro bike that will allow us to travel without having to break camp.  But I have already written as to the many uses and versatility the bike will give us.  This post is about how we will carry the bike.  The carrier is on the rear of Skyhorse and is made entirely of aluminum.  The aluminum makes it lightweight and it does not rust.  Weight is an issue since we have 70 gallons (584 pounds) of water already in the back of the truck.  The bike is 300 pounds.  The truck can handle the weight but I don’t want to necessarily place that amount of weight all in one place.

There were two design aspects to make the carrier functional.  The truck is high off the ground so we need to lift the bike up onto the carrier.  It is not feasible to drive it up.  Also, we did not want to lose the ability to open the rear doors.

We solved the height issue by installing a winch above the carrier.  I purchased a Superwinch Terra 25.  This was recommend since it has a brake and would not free spool.  It easily handles the bike and came with a remote control.  As the winch lifts, I have to pull the bike out a bit until it is above the carrier so it doesn’t scrape against the carrier.  It took more time to install the electric and of course added costs to have the winch but it makes deploying the bike so effortless.  If I had gone with a hand winch, I probably would get less use of the bike because of the effort required just to take it off the lift.

In order to easily access the rear doors, we made the carrier with two hinges, one on each end.  The two hinges allow us to swing the carrier open from either side.  Now we can open the rear doors by swinging the carrier out the way.  It is not necessary to lower the bike to open the doors.

We accomplished both design goals and the carrier works like a charm.  This project required lots of designing and quite frankly it was a project I left till the end since it was an unnecessary luxury.  I am proud to have completed this final job and how cool it turned out.  Looking forward to having the wind in my hair.  Yes, I know I have no hair and I was born in Egypt.

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