First Impression: 2×2 Cycles Motorcycle Bicycle Rack

By Justin Steiner,

I’ve written previously about the extensive crossover between cycling and motorcycling. The logical extension of these shared passions is combining the two. Like many, I’ve often daydreamed about being able to commute to and from a mountain bike ride on my moto.

Apparently the folks at 2×2 Cycles felt the same way, so they chose make this dream a reality. Their Motorcycle Bike Rack is a made in America, bolt-on solution for a number of makes and models of motorcycles from Suzuki, BMW, Triumph, Kawasaki, Ducati, Buell, Honda, and many more. They’re constantly developing fitment kits for additional bikes, so please do contact them for specific make/model fit questions.

Installation on my 2002 Suzuki V-Strom was pretty straightforward thanks to its large and robust rear cargo rack. The base plate simply bolts onto the rack with provided hardware. Though basic, the 2×2 instructions are clear and comprehensive, providing a smart additional tip of placing a piece of bicycle tube between the moto’s cargo rack and the 2×2 base plate. With the base plate in place, you simply slide the telescoping arm into place to support the rear of the bike.

One downside to the placement of the bicycle is the extent to which it may cover up your moto’s taillight. My bike’s taillight is somewhat obstructed, though not entirely covered up. Fortunately, 2×2 provides a nice looking LED light kit to supplement your stock taillight. Said light mounts underneath your license plate, operating as both a running light and brake light. Installation involves fussing with wiring to ensure the appropriate wires are matched up, though 2×2 includes wire connectors to splice into your factory wiring.

I’ve procrastinated the LED install thus far as I simply haven’t had the time to install. It’s not a difficult task, just a mild inconvenience on my specific bike to the inaccessibility of the wiring. If you perform your own maintenance, this will likely be a reasonable task. If you’re not one to change your own oil, you might want to seek professional installation.

Loading the bicycle is akin to using any fork-mount tray. Install the fork—QR15 and 20mm thru axle adapters are available—and adjust the telescoping crank cradle to support the rear of the bike. 2×2 also includes a safety strap that should be used to stabilize the bike and transfer a majority of the bike’s weight forward to the base plate. This strap is simply slung over the stem and triangulated forward on the moto.

The front wheel then attaches via a quick release—supplied with the thru axle kits, or use your existing QR for non-thru axle wheels—to a designated slot near the bike’s crankarm.

Once in place and rolling down the road, I certainly notice having a bike on board, but it does not affect the ride to quite the extent I thought it might. Obviously, the heavier the bike, the more you notice it. Or, conversely, the heavier the moto, the less you notice it, while the affect on smaller, lighter motos will be more pronounced. Bikes below 25 lbs. aren’t terribly noticeable, anything nearing 35lbs. becomes more pronounced. Overall, I’ll liken the experience to that of carrying a passenger, requiring a brief adjustment period but will soon become second nature. I did notice an increased crosswind feedback, though nothing I’d consider unpredictable or unsafe.

At this point I’m continuing to dial in my system and get into the routine of bike-on-bike riding. I’m also curious to see how this setup will ride with my DH bike strapped to the back! Look for a long-term review in issue #166 of Dirt Rag. Subscribe by August 6, 2012 to have that issue, along with all of our great magazines, delivered to your mailbox or digital device.