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Discussion Starter #1
I know that nobody (Yakima, Thule, etc.) makes a roof rack for the Insight. Yakima does make trackes that can be bolted on to the roof and will accept their towers. You'd have to remove the headliner to find the best place to bolt them on. Are there any opinions about this other than people being squemish about drilling holes in their cars?
 

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The roof is aluminum.....thing about that for a minute. Why would you want to carry anything on it when it can bend/dent so easily?
 

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Hi David,

I asked this question before I bought my Insight... These are some of the answers I got:
- the roof is aluminum, it can't support anything!
- that'll really ruin your drag coefficient!
- it'll mess up your LMPG! Didn't you buy this car to get the best LMPG possible??


As for my opinions... I'm a kayaker. My kayak weighs ~50 pounds. I used to use foam blocks to strap it to the roof of my Civic Hatchback... I will probably try setting it on my Insight with the blocks some time when I have someone to help me put it up there. I can load it myself, but I know I ended up scratching my Civic a lot from doing so. I expect that it will be fine as long as I get the foam forward and back far enough to be on the roof frame bars.

As far as being squemish about drilling holes goes... check out the guy who put a sunroof/moonroof in his Insight.. it's on the mods page.
 

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Foam blocks, that sounds like what we surfers call "soft racks." I don't see how you'd get a set of those installed since the Insight not only lacks gutters, it lacks any kind of lip or rim at the door frame, just a 90-degree edge that no racks could possibly attach to.

Plus the roof is so short front-to-back that whatever you put on there is going to react to wind like it's on a teeter-totter. I just stash my surfboard inside (I can fit up to 3, 2 6'6"s and a 7'2" with no passengers, or one board with passengers). I did have to give up my 9'6" longboard when I got this car though :(
 

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The owners manual states that a roof rack or trailer hitch will void the warrenty
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not talking about foam supports. I'm talking about steel tracks that will accept standard risers. Yakima claims they only need to be 30 inches apart. Isn't there that much roof on the Insight?
I understand the skin is aluminum. But there are also structural supports in the roof that you can mount the tracks next to. If the roof was nothing but a thin sheet of aluminum, I don't think the car would pass any crash tests.
Right now I only have a motorcycle, and want to buy the Insight to get some practicality in my transportation. If I can only carry 2 people and 2 grocery bags, I'm in no better shape than just keeping my bike.
-Dave
 

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Resist said:
I would NOT do that on this car. Buy an old civic for that.
That's your opinion, which you are entitled to. But it isn't all that helpful to anyone who wants to discuss other creative options.
 

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Those must have been big bags of groceries. :wink: I was able to fit 4 bags of groceries along with a Costco sized pack of paper towels and another of TP, and it was all in the back. It ruins visibility out the back window but I wasn't driving very far or backing up a lot so it didn't matter much.

About the racks though, I think it would help to know what you want to put on them. One of those cargo boxes, kayak, skis, surf board, bike, etc.? Also would you be swapping one out for another on different trips?
 

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dazey said:
Those must have been big bags of groceries. :wink: I was able to fit 4 bags of groceries along with a Costco sized pack of paper towels and another of TP, and it was all in the back. It ruins visibility out the back window but I wasn't driving very far or backing up a lot so it didn't matter much.
I just recently put 8 computers, 8 keyboards, bunch of power cords, my laptop, networking stuff (1 hub, 8 patch cables, etc.) and my lunch back there and STILL had room for more stuff. I believe there is a lot more space back there then it looks like...
 

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sajego said:
That's your opinion, which you are entitled to. But it isn't all that helpful to anyone who wants to discuss other creative options.


It's very helpful as I'm talking about the safety of the car. The car is made of aluminum and is small. Putting more stress on the roof is not a good idea and if it's found that this stress cost excessive damage....you will NOT be covered by Honda. If you insist of doing this to your Insight, why not wait until the factory warranty has expired.
 

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Roof Rack

I have used two different racks successfully for bikes and skis. The first was a HunchRack which fits on the rear window. It works well, but I was a little concerned about the weight bearing on the window glass, so I switched.

I now use a Saris Roof Rack which works beautifully. It rests on the supported area at the edge of the roof and does not appear to deflect the roof at all.

Any rack and load will dramatically reduce your mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks tomsonb!

Thank you tomsonb!! That's the help I was looking for. I know my mileage will go down with increasing load. But I'd rather get 45 MPG when I'm carrying a lot of stuff and 65 MPG when I'm not, than buy a car that always gets 20 MPG just because it's a little better suited for it. I want to do my part to stop polluting the planet, but I need some practicality, too. This will be my only car. Thanks again.
 

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Re: Roof Rack

Much thanks Thom!

Amazing, a rack site that includes the Insight in its fit lists!

http://www2.sarisproducts.com

If I decide to go this route I'll post an update. I might just keep kayaking from home or shoving the skis inside or whatever. But this is really handy info.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
roof strength

I just looked at a picture on this site of an Insight that had been rolled twice, and the roof held up just fine. I think it can support the weight of a couple of bicycles.
 

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Anybody notice that the company's name, Sarris, is the name of the big, green, bad guy in Galaxy Quest?

Note: I just went to the site and if you put in a 2003 Honda Insight, it tells you that they are not in the database. Change the year to 2002 and it works fine.

Good luck with your roof rack. I have one for my 1992 Honda Civic hatchback. I kept it when I bought the Insight to use like other people use a pickup truck as a second vehicle. It still gets 40mpg and pollutes less than most newer cars, so it's not THAT shabby. I do notice quite a dip in gas mileage, even with the Civic, even if the roof racks are empty, so I take them off any time I'm not using them.

I hope the rack is tall. The roof on the Insight is very round. VERY round.

Thanks for your persistance. I might look into getting one of these racks for my Insight, just for those times when I have to haul MY kayak. The Civic won't live forever. Then again, it has 208,000 miles on it. Maybe it WILL last forever...
 

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Hitch?

I just looked around the Sarris rack site. They show a roof rack, but no rear rack. They do list hitch racks, but that begs the question: Are there any trailer hitches for the Insight?

I know it is not built to tow a trailer. The owner's manual tells you not to do it. I also know that my 1992 Honda Civic owner's manual says exactly the same thing. Apparently, ALL passenger car owner's manuals say that because the manufacturers don't want to be responsible for you doing stupid things with their vehicles.

So, given the limit of a small trailer meant to haul only a few things that don't fit in the rear, is it possible to buy a hitch for a Honda Insight?
 

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Saris rack works great

The Saris roof rack works perfectly for the Insight. I have a mountain bike that has a Lefty (single bar) fork, and attaches to the wheel in a non-standard way. Saris has an upright bike mount where you don't have to take off the front wheel; the whole bike rests in a long tray and a bar clamps onto the bike frame. On the Saris site, however, it says you can't use this with the Insight, only the fork mount version. I sent an email to Saris asking about this and they said it was because the upright mount requires at least 16 inches between the load bars and that you can't do that on the Insight. Well, I didn't really believe that so I went ahead and bought the upright mounts along with the rack and sure enough, I can attach the bars 16 inches apart without a problem.

So if anyone is contemplating this rack and needs the upright mount for whatever reason, don't believe Saris if they tell you it won't work on the Insight. It works beautifully! And the upright mount can lock to your bike and everything. (the lock on the upright is an option, be sure to ask for it and get it keyed the same as the load bars)

This is a great rack, easy to attach, doesn't scratch the car, and bears the load right on the edge of the roof by the doors.
 

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I've used both the Hunch rack and the Saris rack. Here are some photos of the Hunch rack.

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/brettzu/lst?.dir=/Public/Insight/Hunchrack

The Hunch rack works fine, but doesn't lock and the bikes have to have standard forks.

I haven't taken any pictures of the Saris rack yet, but I'm going on a bike trip this weekend and I'll try to take some photos and post them on Friday.
 
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