Ive been thinking about the mechanics around building a rest for my ski's to sit on the back of the bike. I go skiing often, more recently taking the bus as gas prices soar again and the roads are more packed - both in anticipation for the Olympics. I have wanted to ride to a ski hill with all my gear ever since i heard story's and the odd mis colored photo of my parents adventures in Europe. Today, I made this possible. Tomorrow, I will test it.
The Rack Layout
The rack consists of two parts. For the Ninja, My first contact spot was were the left foot peg would be on my bike as i have a Muzzy and have never owned a left peg since i got the bike. The second point of contact rests on a brace ran out from the grab bar on the back. This strategy could be carried to most any bike and adapted as needed to fit the bikes style. On my parents BMW's for example they have such large fairing that you simply slide a ski down the front and bungy it off near the steering column.
First Contact Point
This part differs from what most of you will be doing because i don't have a left foot peg. If you have a peg, simply ignore all of this and use a bungy and maybe a piece of rubber if your peg rubber is wearing down (No scratched ski's.) If you are to go my way this is what i did.
Take a rod about 6 inches long, again this depends on what sort of ski's or board you have and how far you want it out. If you are using your foot peg bracket then you need that diameter (1/4 inch?) I dont have a bracket so i drilled myself one out of a piece of aluminum and used 1/4 inch rod with 20TPI threads on it. You may have to thread the rod as i did to your desire so a set of dies would be nice to have but not a necessity. Take this rod, one bolt and washer on the inside of your bracket making sure it wont catch the side panel or be too close to it and scratch it. You may want to use a lock washer or a nut with some sort of lock tight or in my case Teflon bolts to ensure it stays. Another bolt on the other side of the bracket with a piece of rubber tubing over the rod to keep the ski unscratched nudged up against it.
Now that you have your rod fixed in place you can move on to securing the ski down lower. I used a "fish hook" styled rod end that allowed me to steal a car racks rubber strap which you could do as well. If you dont go this route you will need two bolts at the end instead of the hook, this gives you something to bungy around. If you do choose to go this route you will need to remember that a bolt must be on either side of this rubber chunk as well as it must stay put. You put it facing the oposite as the opening of the fish hook and it reaches around the ski to the fish hook. (Note: It is much easier to put on then off. If you put it on too tight the first time you will end up bending your 1/4 inch rod trying to get it off like i did)
Second Contact point
For my second contact point we decided to keep it motorcycle oriented and not go the obvious and easy route of hacking a car rack apart, neither did i want to destroy any good bits left on it. I used a bar off of a jack/hoist pump (Insert motorcycle handlebars here. They were originally going to be used but the jack arm was the right size without cutting.) Onto this arm I took an old handlebar grip on one end, gluing it on as it wasn't tight enough alone and wiring it on wasnt tight enough, however I did this as well and covered it up with electricians tape as to not scratch my ski's. The rest of the bar was covered with another bit of rubberized tubbing that was sliced along the top to give it room to contract and expand as we zap tied it on and with the cold and heat of riding from the sea to the sky (I like in "Sea to Sky" highway area.) This wasn't glued on as it needs to move. I used Five zip ties, closer together at the opposite end from the end that the ski would be weighing down. You cant have the tube any shorter then needed here, the leverage the ski has will breakt he far zip ties if it only went half way across the back handle.
On this end a simple bungy cord wrapped strategically around the sky core will hold it in place.
When you first get your ski's on this you will need to play around a bit. With my setup i put the heel of the ski towards the ground and the tips facing the sky. I use my previously described method of a bungy on the higher point of contact and secure this first as i use it to pivot the ski down to the lower point (Foot peg point) and then secure down there. I tighten the top again if needed. I need to keep the ski as high as possible on the rig to not interfere with shifting, IE; my heal hitting the ski during an up shift.
Something that should be said is that the rig does tend to put the bike off a little in terms of low speed maneuvers stability. It doesn't catch much wind on the highway but you should test this out with just the ski's on, no other gear! And get a good feel for the way the bike handles with your skis up high. I would also make sure you put the binding "run-away" safety picks in the right way so that the top ski is resting ont he bottom ski's bindings (See photo) because if it is backwards the bottom could just slide away in theory. Just think about how you would carry your ski's over your shoulder for a long hike into the backcountry. A Ski strap would be a good idea to. I used one because i was afraid they may split (again, think of when your walking with them on your shoulder) on the highway and get a little buzzy back there.
The rig is real stable on my bike. Holding the very tip of my ski's (167cm long) i can tip the bike off of the side stand and over a good deal in the other direction without any bending of my rig, no strength problems really and i only used weak stuff, it could be done much more thoroughly if you are worrying about it breaking.
Some Extra Pictures
I will be testing this rig out for real in the upcoming week hopefully making a few trips to the mountain if the snow melts a tad more on the road. I will get pictures of the bike in a snow drift with the ski rig on when i go up in the upcoming days, too expensive to pay for real parking so riding into a snow drift it will be!
Please excuse the dirty bike, I was riding off road for 4 hours today on really old muddy logging roads and it was raining the whole time. Some dirt got washed off by the rain. I promise i will clean the bike tomorrow but i got back after dark tonight and wasn't going to wash the bike at night.