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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been researching this since I bought mine. I have a 2-door soft top. This weekend I'll be picking up a hard top for $175, but I'm not sure what shape its in.

When I search for roof racks, all I can find are the basket-style racks. I need two rails and two crossbars so I can tie down a kayak. Maybe theres a safe way to do it without a rack, but I dont think so. I have two 14f-foot yaks. I'd like to avoid putting new holes in the car. The calmini and balmer racks both require drilling holes in the roof.

Is anyone else already doing this? Want to share your secrets?

Edit: I found this. Expensive but looks promising: 1 piece hardtop by CARTOPS transport sailboards and roof racks

Edit: I found this photo. I know its a samurai, but maybe if there was something to add bars into the trunk area of the sidekick?
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I've been car topping kayaks for about 15 years now. I've never tried to carry them in my Sidekick. The yaks that I've carried so the car weigh around 60 or 70 lbs each.

When I looked at hard tops, none had weight capacities that I thought would accommodate carrying a kayak.

A potential solution could be a receiver at the middle of each bumper that would accept sort of a 'T' shaped fixture that would provide the rack for the kayaks. This would be a fair amount of weight supported by a single point in the middle of the car.

If the car has a metal roof (not a convertible with a hard top), the addition of load bars for a kayak rack would IMO be more doable.

1989 Suzuki Sidekick 2 Door Soft Top
1.6L TBI, 5 Speed, 4x4
2 inch lift, 235/75R-15
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Actually, those do exist. Its called a trailer hitch mount. Of course I'd have to add a hitch.

I'm looking at the car and might try to test fit them as-is and drive around town. The windshield can support the front bit of the kayak, the metal "U" above the seats can support the middle bit, and then I can have fore/aft lines attached to the tow hooks and have a ratchet strap going through the windows, around the roof. There would be very little weight or force applied to the soft top bows. I think it may work. WIll have to try and see how it works in reality. I figure the kayaks are long, so the weight is distributed. It isnt 70lb right on the middle of the car, its 70lb spread along multiple points.

Quick drawing in MS paint. If I make the front line tighter than the rear line, it could help to keep weight off of the soft top bows. Not sure if this will work in reality.
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I could also buy a hitch and a hitch mount and do something like this:
101325
 

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I don’t carry kayaks, but that ‘metal U’ above the seats is actually a kind of roll bar that is meant to carry the weight of the car, if it rolls over. While distribution of weight may be an issue, particularly at the rear bow that supports the softop at the back, I think a bigger issue that needs to be dealt with would be wind getting under the front of the kayak as you are traveling.
If you use the search function on this forum, you’ll find quite a few posts (for the entire suzuki-forum.com, rather than just this section) about suggestions and racks that people have used. In doing that search, I also found this which may give you some guidance, as well:
 
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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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I've been carrying a kayak for over 30 years. I've got a hardtop Tracker, a roof rack, and a Folbot Greenlander. No problem at all.

Good luck with yours!

Did you really get a hardtop for $175????? You mean a plastic hard top, right????

I can't help you there.

Buy a Folbot!!!

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The roll bar will hold at least 230lbs. I have stood on mine many time to secure tent ropes in trees.
B95
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I've been carrying a kayak for over 30 years. I've got a hardtop Tracker, a roof rack, and a Folbot Greenlander. No problem at all.

Good luck with yours!

Did you really get a hardtop for $175????? You mean a plastic hard top, right????

I can't help you there.

Buy a Folbot!!!
Currently enjoying my two 14ft Wilderness Systems. Looking at an Oru though. Sure is tempting.

Yeah, i got an OEM hardtop for $175. Its not a tin top if thats what you're thinking, but just a regular Suzuki hard top add-on. Its a bit faded, but the seals and glass are in great shape. Will be painting it and itll be good as new. I discovered I live next to a suzuki sidekick scrap yard. Lots of stuff. Full RWD conversion is costing me $800 in parts.
 

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those "OEM" hard tops were never really OEM, ASFAIK.... suzuki would purchase from a good aftermarket local supplier and sell as "official" accessory... in southern europe those hard tops were made by a company in italy called Berman, company still exists BTW, just dont ask them if they still have kits :)
but main reason im writng is that i wouldnt trust those hard tops to have any real carrying capacity for that weight. some had light rails to bungee maybe a light tent or sleeping bags, but thats about it.
if you want rear load capacity I would attach to these points both sides of the gate, where the stock cabrio racks attached to

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Been researching this since I bought mine. I have a 2-door soft top. This weekend I'll be picking up a hard top for $175, but I'm not sure what shape its in.

When I search for roof racks, all I can find are the basket-style racks. I need two rails and two crossbars so I can tie down a kayak. Maybe theres a safe way to do it without a rack, but I dont think so. I have two 14f-foot yaks. I'd like to avoid putting new holes in the car. The calmini and balmer racks both require drilling holes in the roof.

Is anyone else already doing this? Want to share your secrets?

Edit: I found this. Expensive but looks promising: 1 piece hardtop by CARTOPS transport sailboards and roof racks

Edit: I found this photo. I know its a samurai, but maybe if there was something to add bars into the trunk area of the sidekick?
View attachment 101323
I use a couple of pieces of ethafoam (polyethalene) about 4"x4"x 36" long to carry a kayak on my Tracker convertible with two piece fiberglass top. I carve out the foam to conform to the shape of the boat and place one on the targa and the other over the top of the windshield, then place the boat on the foam and tie it down with four ropes or straps, two on each end of the boat, to the four corners of the car. This method will also work with a soft top or no top. To carry a canoe, I cut a couple of notches in the foam to fit the gunwales and carry the canoe upside down.
 
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