Okay, new scenario here. We spoke to the mechanic that did our engine conversion, and he said no way to a rack in the front...blocks airflow, headlights etc. He suggested to put the 4 bike rack on the back hitch, but use nylon strapping hooked to the top of the rear hatch to counter the weight distribution and absorb bounce. Only under those circumstances would a 4 bike rack work. Do you think this would be okay?
The blocking of cooling is over-emphasized. The Westy uses a 2-speed fan that is shrouded so it pulls air through -- not relying on vehicle speed. The capacity, if every thing is working correct & good condition, is sufficient such that the minor flow disturbance (more than actual blocking) should be of little consequence except perhaps in desert trips.
Some headlight difusion might occur, but I would hope you have a good set of fogs down at bumper hieght anyway. Nowdays, you can rarely get to high beams anyway and good fogs will outdo the OE low beams. The blockage on vehicles with headlight guards and front bumper grill guards doesn't seem to be that significant anyway. 3R + 1F with the rack Chuck (CA) recommends seems reasonable. The site backcountrymedic recommends (2/25/05) has numerous configurations, including the ability to put 4 on the rear w/o a trailer hitch mount (using his multipurpose rack and 4 bike mounts). You've got a factory roof rack that could hold a couple and can get other acceptible roof racks that don't require drilling/weight on the pop-top; the same site has side ladders to reach them. There is an entire topic devoted to <Aftermarket (only) Roof Racks> in this forum.
Nobody can make this decision for you -- you have sufficient information to pick. The Westy wasn't built to carry bikes outside; anything to adapt will be a compromise. Visit (or arrange returnable orders) with these vendors to examine them in your circumstances.
I decided against any type of tow hitch bike rack due to the tongue weight issue. Gary Lee and Go Westy both discouraged it for 4 bikes.
I've carried 4 bikes on the back of my '89 Westy many times with a hatch/strap type carrier. I just upgraded to an Allen 144a rack which uses 6 straps to hold it to the hatch and has tie down straps for 4 bikes. Very secure and easy to put on/take off.
So it looks like it holds the bike right at the point where the forks meet the frame? Im assuming since this is a hitch mount, it can work on any model escape?
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I recently put a beautifully designed , aluminum built at the factory, '1UP USA' rack on a GoWesty 2" hitch. No straps, no tie downs NO fuss! Put em' on , lock em' in. Easy, real easy. Makes my 87' look solid.