Chevrolet Silverado Fox Racing Concept:
Motorcycles Never Looked so Good...

Copyright December 2000,
By John Gillies

Las Vegas, NV: 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.

As reported 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.

Using 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.

For starters, 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.

Although the wheels shown may not make it into a production version, they drew positive comments from almost everyone who saw the truck that night.

With the 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.

The ramps 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.

The Chevy 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.

In addition 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.

Next Page >>