OK, I've been thinking about this mod for quite sometime and I think I'm nearly ready to start the project. Usually I don't share my spiffy ideas before hand, but for this I thought, "What the Hay!"
In my mind Motorcycles can be practical for even us discriminating American driving snobs. How often do you see a housewife driving alone in a Giganticus SUV? That cargo space never gets used, pick-up trucks are more of status symbols than work machines. Yet, we see those funny (to us) pictures of families crammed on the back of MoPeds in Southeast Asia, or them overloaded to the point of comical. But that's the norm to them... no one can afford a real car or pick-up so they make due with what they've got. The more I think about it, the more I appreciate their humble attitudes, and willingness to get things done by any means necessary.
Now back to America... the current trend for motorcycling is that it's basically a hobby. Not a main source of transportation. Or at least accepted as a main source of transportation. The rising popularity of Choppers, thanks to the Discovery Channel, and the sleek new lines coming off factory showroom floors. Bikes are faster, slicker and just plain eye candy. Eye Candy = Not Practical.
I think that with the right amount of practicality, motorcycles could become more of a mainstream mode of transportation. With rising fuel costs, it just makes sense to cut back somewhere. Thing is, most people that own motorcycles drive SUVs or Pick-Ups during the week and ride on the weekend. That's not helping curb any of our consumption. Sad part is, you'll almost never see any cargo in the back of either of those vehicles during the week either. My idea is to create a Pick-Up or Sport Utility Motorcycle of sorts. The KLR in it's current incarnation kinda fills that role, but only superficially. It still tries to be a dirt bike, adventurer tourer, 2-Up riding machine. With some minor modifications, I feel that we can change the generic do-it-all role of the bike to be more utilitarian and obvious as to what the bike's real capabilities are. It's basically a two-wheeled pick-up truck. Back when pick-up trucks actually meant something. OK, it's more of a flatbed, but even that's more practical. And lets face it, not many of us will ride with a passenger on this bike anyway. I know my wife will never get on.
I've been acquiring some special machines over the last few months and I think I'm almost ready to start the fabrication portion of this project. But before I begin, so I don't have any down time on my bike with commuting, I just might pick up an older KLR to use as my Jig/Template. I'll keep everyone abreast with updates from time to time.