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  • Secure backpack setup for motorcycle riding

    I've not owned a car in over 6 years now, and ride only motorcycles. This has made it difficult when it comes to getting out there and riding muni. I really want to get back into it though so I need to problem solve this issue.

    It faces several problems. With the main one being how to I get the actual unicycle there as they can be awkward to transport, although not as bad as a mountain bike! My main transport is a 2019 KTM 1090 adventure R. I'd prefer to mount it to my back if possible, as designing a rack for the back of the bike is going to severely interfere with my daily commuting tasks (carrying lots of other gear already strapped to the bike)

    I like to ride with a smaller camelbak with just enough space for a mini bike pump, wind breaker, some basic tools and a snack. So how do I strap this comfortably to my back? I would obviously take off one pedal and put it in the pack, but I might have to make some kind of sling specifically designed to hold the unicycle to me securely. It's going to be for 26-29er unis so it will impede my lane-splitting abilities but I don't see much way around that. And I can likely strap the helmet right to the back of that setup, even a full-face.

    Some of the other problems:
    If wearing dedicated motorcycle gear... what to do with the gear once I park? I can lock my helmet to my bike, I could get something to lock my jacket to the bike, so that's pretty well taken care of. I'd have to wear my muni boots and shinguards and everything instead of real motorcycle protection which is not preferable but I don't see a lot of other options.

    Mostly I'm interested in hearing if anyone has any really good ideas. The easier and simpler this is the better, as I already have so many little things I have to put on and take off and strap on and remove alllll day because I commute over 2-1/2 hours a day through varied temperature ranges. I'd like to find a simple solution. Most of the trails I will do will involve parking at the bottom and hiking up to ride down, so it has to be comfortable enough to hike with as well.

    Any help is appreciated my friends.

  • #2
    Hi DaneM
    How about a diddy bike trailer or finding some trails that have changing rooms with a locker where you can keep your unicycle and gear stored.
    I hope someone comes up with a better idea

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    • #3
      I wouldn't ride a bike with a unicycle on my back. Have you considered what effect it might have on your body if you came off the bike?
      Triton 36" + 29" | KH 29" | KH 26" | KH 27.5" Muni | Nimbus eSport Race 24" | Torker LX 24" | Qu-Ax Luxus 20" | Qu-Ax Profi 20" | KH / Impact 19" hybrid

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      • #4
        Originally posted by OneTrackMind View Post
        I wouldn't ride a bike with a unicycle on my back. Have you considered what effect it might have on your body if you came off the bike?
        Oh yes, but there's not going to be any perfect solution I don't think. It also wouldn't be the worst thing I've had strapped to my back or my bikes before haha. There's going to be risk involved in whatever solution I come up with. I did think of possibly getting a rugged top box for the back of the bike, locking to store some basic gear in, and then I could probably find a way to make some mounting brackets for a unicycle behind or beside that. But those top boxes are expensive, not that I haven't had my eye on one for a while though.
        Last edited by Dane M; 2020-01-11, 12:19 AM.

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        • #5
          Hmm... I sold all my motorcycles a long time ago.

          While I think the removing-one-pedal-and-strapping-to-back could work short-term, it really doesn't seem ideal considering possibility to interfere with riding (I do the same sometimes on a mountain bike in the city but only for short distances) and going long distances of highway speed seems sktechy.

          I think some kind of a rear-mounted rack seems like the best option. I have no idea what's on the market for motorcycle accessories but I would guess there are options. It seems like to me the best would be a dedicated a mount position (2 or 3 bolting positions) on the rear of the motorycle that doesn't effect daily riding. Then you can bolt a rack onto that only when you need it and strap the muni to that.
          36" Nimbus Oracle, VCX 100/125/150, 200mm disc
          29+ KH, Maxxis DHR II 29x3, 127/150 Spirits
          Schlumpf (KH29) Duro Crux 29x3.25 137/117 Spirits
          26" Nimbus, Maxxis DHR IIx2.8, 117/137 Sprt
          19" Trials Impact Athmos
          20" Qu-Ax Profi Freestyle, 89mm VCX

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          • #6
            I know if I strapped something 6+ kg to my back and tried to ride the Ducati, my back and arms would protest due weight, would need to be an upright seating position.

            Have you considered some sort of side mount, I've seen surfboards carried on the side of motorbikes such as here, or here.



            Last edited by BruceC; 2020-01-11, 12:52 AM.

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            • #7
              Get a scooter and ride with it between your legs on the floor boards? That gives you built in storage too :P

              I think if you search for a bike wheel bag or bike wheel backpack you'll find something. I searched bike wheel backpack and found this guy.

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              • #8
                This company, 2x2 Cycles, sells bicycle racks, golf bag racks, and BBQ racks for motorcycles. Maybe one of their designs could be modified to carry your unicycle as well as hold a small tour pack or gear box so you can lock up your non-unicycling things?

                If you're set on using a back pack, how about this one from ilequipment? It looks like it may be able to safely carry a unicycle and related gear.


                If you're more of a DIY kind of person, you could look on Craigslist (or any other online market place) for an old external frame pack and make your own. Unfortunately the back pack ideas don't really allow for safe storage of your other belongings while you're off unicycling.

                Good luck in your search.

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                • #9
                  I'd suggest something like these Aluminum Panniers. They are lockable and provide space for lashing a uni across the top. Search for "Adventure-Bike hard panniers" to find several options.

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                  • #10
                    panniers are almost always lower than the passenger seat. Meaning you can't really strap anything across the two of them unless it's a soft duffel. Maybe just the right size cargo net could hold it down into the seat and hook in. But the panniers are even worse for messing up lane splitting, they're very wide.

                    And yes it's an upright seating position, so when I have large packs on, I just adjust my shoulder straps until its resting on the seat and not putting weight on my back.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dane M View Post
                      panniers are almost always lower than the passenger seat. Meaning you can't really strap anything across the two of them unless it's a soft duffel. Maybe just the right size cargo net could hold it down into the seat and hook in. But the panniers are even worse for messing up lane splitting, they're very wide.
                      Yes it would limit lane splitting but panniers could solve the carrying and secure storage problem. With the boxes installed correctly, a rack on the back and a little custom padding you could strap a 36er on there.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JimT View Post
                        Yes it would limit lane splitting but panniers could solve the carrying and secure storage problem. With the boxes installed correctly, a rack on the back and a little custom padding you could strap a 36er on there.

                        I found some good size pelican cases that are about half the price of a motorcycle specific case. I could take one, replace the backplate with a custom plate for the back of this bike, drill holes for u-bolts as strapping points on the outside, mount the whole thing on + whatever padding and brackets I needed for the uni. That could work. Would be a fun project too. It would be a top case though, not sides.

                        I did mount a 36er to one of my bikes before, it wasn't easy but I did do it lol. I'll have to find the pics
                        Last edited by Dane M; 2020-01-11, 06:15 AM.

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                        • #13
                          transport and safe store

                          Wow I used to use a surf rack like shown above with my Ducati and always used a bicycle cable and lock through the pant legs and sleeves of my leathers when I left them for a ride.

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                          • #14
                            I've got a good hefty cable lock somewhere I use for camping trips on the moto.

                            I do still need a way to pack it on my back though for mountain hikes (It's all mountains out here) I do like the pelican case idea. I've been needing a mountable waterproof case with mounting straps, at least to carry my consistent items like bike tools and rain gear.

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                            • #15
                              That surfboard rack got me thinking. I do need pannier racks eventually. I’m sure I could rig up something that mounts to the side of a pannier rack to hold a Uni. Wouldn’t be too bulky.

                              Still haven’t come up with an elegant and simple hiking solution.

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