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-   -   How to strap a bike to the back of a unimog? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-tech/how-strap-bike-back-unimog-27875)

Overlandin 27 Jun 2007 12:01

How to strap a bike to the back of a unimog?
Hi There,
We are planning a 2 year trip up west africa and around South America in a uimog.
The plan is to strap a motorbike to the back for day trips etc.
Has anyone come accross a good system for doing this and what bike would you recommend. It needs to carry a pillion and day trip supplies.
Many thanks in advance for your help.

mattsavage 28 Jun 2007 16:25

1 Attachment(s)
Hi. You need to make a sort of frame that slides in channel. The channel would be attached to the back of your vehicle, and the frame would slide up and down the channel. Have a little winch at the top (hand or elec), and a shelf on the frame to put your bike on, and that's it! It all has to be VERY strong though, and you'd need a mechanical way of holding the frame up securely.
Matt Savage

Here's a similar thing for a spare wheel..
(Wow! I've figured out how to attach images!!)

cedar 28 Jun 2007 16:50

Day bike
Matts plan would work, but a bit complicated, just bolt some channel to the chassis members, with another channel accross, right distance out to fix the bike upright. Then get a plank to run the bike up onto the "shelf" from one side, and put it the other to run it down again.
Any little trail bike would do, or a Honda 50.
Just my thoughts.

Quintin 28 Jun 2007 19:18

1 Attachment(s)
I've done virtually the same as Matt suggests on my Merc 917af. I have a channel section fixed to a cross member which bolted to the chassis and onto this cross member is bolted a vertical channel section which runs up to the roof braced as per the photo (which is hopefully attached!). The whole structure can be easily unbolted too. The wheel and the bike-in my case an ancient Solex-can both be raised/lowered by a detachable (and dead cheap) Champion winch. I have to say the whole thing works brilliantly and is entirely pain-free unlike my second spare which sits in a lowerable cradle behind the rear axle and in front of the genny/rear bumper.

Incidentally the Merc is known as Group 4 on account of it's resemblance to a prison transporter-UK residents will understand!

Time for a beer i feel Matt............


Walkabout 28 Jun 2007 20:57

& here is the bike answer!

nigel_all 29 Jun 2007 11:40

I saw the same truck at Bad Kissingen, Matt, and was also impressed with the neat sliding mount for the spare wheel ( I took the same photo as you did!). However I would point out that to mount a bike as well may be overdoing things as it's mounted on the box, not the chassis. As the box is mounted on the chassis with pivoting mounts to allow for chassis flexing this may overload them, and you also have to consider that these modern boxes are frameless, being made of sandwich panels bonded together, so there is a limit to the weight you can bolt to them without some sort of load carrying frame being added. I think I would be happier with a bike mount which was in the form of a solid chassis extension, but don't forget to leave room for the box to move as the chassis flexes. Is your box solidly mounted to the chassis, Quintin? You seem to have fixed your mount both to the chassis and the box, so any movement between the two would lead to fatigue cracking. Solid mounted boxes are fine but you do lose out on the extra suspension travel afforded by 'bendy' chassis.

Another point, Overlandin: watch the gross vehicle weight and also the loading limit on the rear axle (shown on your vehicle plate). Don't forget that the further a heavy load like a motorbike is from the axle the greater the load leverage will be on the axle so it's easy to overload a rear axle even on heavy trucks. Unimogs are usually around a 7.5 tonne MGVW but I have seen some overloaded campers in the desert and they weren't carrying bikes as well! If you want to carry 2 spares as most overlanders do the problem gets worse.

I think a simple system like Bruce suggests would suffice, and mount the spare wheel(s) independantly.

Well, that's my twopenny'sworth, time for a cup of tea while my brain recovers!


PS always wanted a bike on the back of my Iveco but the 4.5 tonne MGVW put paid to that idea.......

Walkabout 29 Jun 2007 12:06

Lots of options
Do you want one of these:-

eBay.co.uk: Mottez Motorbike Scooter towbar mounted carrier tow bar (item 110134777670 end time 03-Jul-07 23:00:44 BST)

Or one of these:-

eBay.co.uk: MOTORBIKE TRANSPORTER,CARRIER,TRAILER TOW BAR MOUNTED (item 320130692493 end time 30-Jun-07 22:21:14 BST)

Whats wrong with chucking the bike into the back while you are travelling and taking it out while you are stopped? :confused1:

Quintin 29 Jun 2007 12:37

Yep Nigel the box is fixed rigidly to the chassis and I know this severely limits the truck's capabilities. I did investigate re-mounting it using 3-point links but it was next to impossible. Incidently, the box in my case is built around angle section frame so it's not a monocoque structure like modern overlanders.

The only problem with Bruce's suggestion (which has the great benefit of simplicity) is that I'm not too sure I'd be happy trying to wheel a bike up a plank. Apart from anything else, you've got to store said plank somewhere. Much easier (and safer) to lift it on and off with a cheap winch.

Right, coffee time............


mattsavage 29 Jun 2007 15:19

I've done quite a bit of research in to the GRP sandwich bodies, and they are pretty strong. However, to mount anything on the back (like a rack or whatever) you would need to have something on the inside to bolt to for strengthening, like a big flat piece of metal going from floor to ceiling.
I do agree that Bruce's idea is very good and simple, but like Quintin says, it'd be tricky pushing the bike up that high. Storing the ramp would be pretty easy, you could use a sand track!


PS. Yes, there were a lot of neat things at the Allrad show.

nigel_all 29 Jun 2007 19:53

Yeah, you're right of course. But there's nothing to stop you using a small crane/winch mounted on the box. It should be a strong enough fixing for the bike's weight just to lift it on/off; it would have to be a lot stronger if it were a permanent bike mount on the box to take the pounding of the pistes.

The Unimog usually has M-B's own 3-point flexible mounted frame on the chassis for the mounting of whatever you want to put on the back, and most people will use it.

I saw a 'Mog camper some years ago with a KLR250 mounted on the front on a hydraulic platform which could be lowered to the ground. It even had a huge bull bar mounted in front of the bike. I believe it utilised the standard Unimog snow plough attachment. What it did for engine cooling or driver's vision I can't imagine, or what the law thought of it, let alone the handling characteristics! But all you have to do is call into your local M-B dealers', order the snowplough gear and hand over an enormous bag of money, and there's your bike mount...........


PS Let's see if I can work out this picture upload gizmo.....

SandyM 30 Jun 2007 12:08

The first of these options would be *totally* unsuitable for any overland expedition with a Unimog!

The second is a bit more interesting, at least in concept, though it's way too flimsy for any bad or off-road travelling.

I like the idea of winching the bike up. We used a similar system for our two spare wheels on our 5T Bedford - the bracket consisted of two short lengths of 100mm (OD) steel pipe, which fitted into two 100mm (ID) sockets mounted to the vehicle. To take the spare wheels off, just raise them with the winch slightly, remove the two pipes from their sockets, and then lower the wheel straight down. That way, we didn't have to worry about manhandling the wheels around the bracket every time. One could have a similar arrangement for a bike mounting channel.

PatOnTrip 30 Jun 2007 19:35

This is not for an Unimog but It could help think about new ideas:


I really like it to carry my KLR on the back of my small mazda pickup truck.


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