Chevrolet Silverado Fox Racing
Motorcycles Never Looked so Good...
© December 2000,
By John Gillies
Vegas, NV: PickupTruck.com traveled to Las Vegas on December 8th to
attend the American Motorcycle Association's annual award banquet and
to witness the introduction of the Fox-Silverado concept truck to the
dignitaries and award winners attending the event.
in our SEMA coverage, the truck is a joint marketing effort between Fox
Racing and Chevrolet to create a concept vehicle that appeals to the niche
market of motorcycle enthusiasts with special features
that enhance this marketplace's intended use of a truck.
extensive input from Fox Racing and the Team Kawasaki Racing organization,
that supported people like Ricky Carmichael in his AMA Chevy Trucks 250cc
Motorcross championship season, design team members, led by Clay Dean,
worked to create unique functional enhancements and cosmetic additions
that would appeal to the always passionate moto crowd.
The new features,
shown first at SEMA, drew a lot of attention from the AMA group in attendance
as it was clear that the truck was designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.
looking at the truck from the side one gets the immediate feeling of size
and stability. With a base chassis from the 2500 HD family and wheels
reminiscent of the Hummer, the truck exudes power and strength.
the wheels shown may not make it into a production version, they drew
positive comments from almost everyone who saw the truck that night.
2" lift added to the normal 4x4 stance the truck is high, but not difficult
to work with. Having to get bikes in and out of the bed would make that
an unworkable characteristic. The bed is chock full of excellent functional
additions that support the weekend rider and the racer alike. The ramps,
stored inside hollowed sections of the bed, pull out for use in loading
bikes easily into the bed.
make use of an extender section which also tucks nicely into the center
bed floor in its own slide out storage bay. To use the ramps, one must
lower the tail section; and it eventually lowers to an angle below horizontal
to accommodate the ramps. On the current concept the tailgate has no locking
mechanism to allow it to be locked at the horizontal. Pete Fox, head of
Fox Racing, commented that this would be critical to the spirit of off-roading
as its just part of the routine to hop up on the tailgate, sit with your
buddies and have a beer while recounting the day's whoops and dips.
team agreed and took notes on comments from the onlookers. The tailgate,
itself, has two slots cut into it to allow for protruding motorcycle wheels,
meaning you won't have to search under the seats for that ball of rope
you saved from the trash just to tie your tailgate up against the wheels
of your bike. This is an excellent feature and with the dirtbike loaded
into the bed it was clear it made a big difference in usability for bike
hauling. One thing left for Chevy to test is the width of the slots. Road
racing motorcycles often use tires that can be as wide as 180 or 190mm,
much wider that the typical motocross tire sizes. Comments on the ramps
were also focused on the size and strength of the concept ramps, possibly
over-engineered for motocross bikes. But given that some buyers may want
to truck a Harley, weighing 3 times what a dirt bike weighs, to their
Daytona digs in March, a sturdy ramp may be just what the doctor ordered.
to the ramp design, the bed contains useful additions for cargo. The motorcycles
can be pulled up to the front of the bed to twin locking mechanisms that
help hold the bike in place. The mechanisms are not movable from side-to-side
but the Chevy team is looking at how to make this possible. There are
plenty of tie-down points and it is easy to make a bike secure with the
space and hooks available.