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TMS
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9,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently ordered a Thule rack for my car, and I installed it this morning. I haven't seen any pictures of these installed on BMW's on the web, so I'll fix that with this post.

It took about 90 minutes to install without assistance. The Thule towers screw into BMW'S rack mounting point using special screws that require a Thule specific hex key to remove. The base of the towers are covered in rubber to prevent scratches. The difficult part of the installation was the fairing and I needed both hands and my mouth (to hold the wrench) to get it attached. The fairing still doesn't sit flush against the windshield, but I'll continue to tweak it.

I don't really need it up there for another couple of weeks, so I removed it once it was installed. Removing the assembled rack as a unit only took a couple of minutes. I would expect re-attachment to be the same. Needless to say, Thule has a huge number of attachments for their base racks for every use from cargo pods and baskets to kayak racks.

thumbnailed images - click for full size (66k to 200k image sizes)


 

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Looks great! Can I ask you how much the whole setup cost? Did you consider getting a hitch mount at all or is that much more expensive?

I used to have a rooftop Yakima bike rack on my Honda Civic a few years back. One night, when the car was parked on the street in DC, some #@%#@% ripped it right out and walked away with it. He caused considerable body damage above the passenger side window as well. Since then, I've been using a trunk mounted rack, which I don't want to use on my new 330xi for fear of scratching etc.

Does anybody have pictures of a hitch mounted rack on a bimmer?
 

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TMS
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9,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
darchen said:
Looks great! Can I ask you how much the whole setup cost? Did you consider getting a hitch mount at all or is that much more expensive?
The rack, fairing, bike trays, and locks were $399 from Car Racks Direct. There was no sales tax and the shipping was free.

I'm not a big fan of hitch racks. I had one on my former vehicle, an SUV, which was rear ended while it had $6k worth of bikes hanging on the back. Bye bye bikes... I would think the hitch for BMW's has a 1.25" receiver and racks for that receiver size tend to be rather flexy. With a hitch rack, you can of course tow a small trailer. On the other hand, with the right accessories, a roof rack can carry all sorts of stuff on top.
 

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TMS
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9,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
johnfarms said:
Did you consider a rack from BMW? I am trying to choose between it (profil 2000) and the one supplied by Thule.
I did. I am completely unimpressed with the bike trays available from BMW:







The shape of BMW's load bars look like they may pose a problem for Yakima or Thule rack accessories, and the BMW base racks cost more than Thule's. So, higher price and constraints on functionality in exchange for a BMW label. Not much of a decision, really.
 

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Color blind photographer
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Nice to see that a fest member rides a bike equal or better to the car he's driving. If the bike's "motor" is the equal of the hardware it must be one fast combination. Thanks for the great review, Thule tends to make fine products and you probably have saved me the search for which rack to use when I get my car.
 

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TMS
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9,288 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
beauport said:
If the bike's "motor" is the equal of the hardware it must be one fast combination.
Thanks, the motor did a lawn dart imitation about a year ago and the OBC is still recovering from the crash. I do OK for an old guy though :D I've been thinking of having Waterford build a custom for me. Think they could source topaz blue for the frame?

FWIW, my closest friend has a Thule rack on his Audi, and it has provided safe transport of our bikes to rides up to several hundred miles away. I opted not to buy the wheel forks as they don't lock and will just throw my bagged front wheel in the trunk.
 
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