Dave Cooper Bike Rack

When you don't want to add a van to your list of vehicles, when you have nowhere to store a trailer – why not try a rack?

We’re always being encouraged to buy locally grown. And so when it came sorting a quick solution for transporting the Project Honda TLR250, here was an opportunity to do exactly that. Dave Cooper trailers and racks are found trundling all over the UK, very popular they are too, and bonus points: they’re made little more than hour from Chez JB in Kent.

I chose a rack over a trailer for several reasons. 1. My old man has a mountain of trailers on his farm in Wales, next time I’m out his way I’ll probably pick one up and bring it back. So no need to be buying more. 2. The trials bike is a light small device so doesn’t actually need a trailer, a small rack (attached to your car’s tow hitch) does the job. 3. A trailer limits you to 60mph on British roads, with a rack you can do the full 70mph, unhindered. Oh, and 4. Yeah, you guessed, a rack is considerably cheaper than a trailer.

Dave Cooper has been in business for over 30 years now, so his reputation is solid. As are his racks, made in high quality British steel, which are either enamel coated or, in my case (for a small premium) zinc plated.

The whole rack device is super-simple. You bolt a base bar onto the hitch plate (two long bolts are provided so you can have the base bar and the tow ball operational at the same time) and into the two sockets at each end of the bar you slip the additional metal hoops that take the front and back wheels. Both can be adjusted for length to suit your bike. There are four tie-down points positioned to take your straps. And that’s it.

If your car’s lights or number plate are obscured you’ll probably need to add a second number plate and lights over the bike to stay legal.

In use this is all super-easy and with the trials bike being quite short there’s almost zero overhang either side of the car. I noticed that the cantilever nature of the tow-hitch support means the bike (and rack) can wave a round a little as you drive over bumps, it’s not really and issue but long-term rack users warned this can lead to cracking of the towing brackets. But this is easy remedied by tying a strap from the top of the rear door to the bike’s handlebar and giving this a fair tension. This holds the bike perfectly steady. Months down the line the zinc plating means the rack still looks like-new too.

With bike trailers from Dave starting at £399, the rack at £71.99 (plus £8 for zinc plating) is a pleasingly economic option. And it takes up no space when not in use. And with the racks capable of taking up to 130kg, you could sling your enduro on it, too. Yep, suddenly the family saloon becomes a perfectly reasonable race transport. Nice.

Contact: Dave Cooper Bike Racks 00 44 1732 820082


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