The K9 Moto Cockpit Motorcycle Dog Carrier for Large Dogs: Everything You Want to Know About How It Works

from the
CHASING TALES BLOG

The motorcycle dog carrier for riding with medium and large dogs in a way that is safe and has minimal impact on the look and performance of the motorbike

We receive so many excellent questions about how the K9 Moto Cockpit works.

These questions touch on everything from can you make it so I can also ride with a passenger? to Does it come with quick-release latches?

We figured that the best way to answer these and so many other good questions is to share a detailed look at how the Cockpit design works.

Ok, let’s jump in with a general overview and then we’ll unpack each of the key points.

The K9 Moto Cockpit is a motorcycle dog carrier for medium and large dogs that custom mounts to your specific motorcycle and aftermarket accessories. It has a cushioned tubular steel frame and includes a partial or complete bottom, depending on the motorcycle and mounting strategy. The Cockpit is designed for the dog to ride in a laying down, rather than seated, position because it

    • Improves the dog’s comfort
    • Lowers the center of gravity
    • Minimally impacts the motorcycle’s ride dynamic

Large and small motorcycle dog carrier for medium and large size dogs with custom upholstery

 

Motorcycle Dog Carrier for Medium and Large Dogs

A motorcycle dog carrier needs to solve three competing problems:

  1. Provide high impact protection for your dog
  2. Harmonize with the sleek lines and aesthetic of your motorcycle
  3. Minimize size and weight to reduce the effect on the ride performance

it is not particularly challenging to design around these problems is not particularly difficult when the dog is a 10-20lbs Chihuahua or Maltese, but what about a 50lb Border Collie or 80lbs Doberman?

That’s why most motorcycle dog carriers are designed for dogs that weigh no more than 20-30 lbs.

 

Custom Mounts to Your Specific Motorcycle

Steel tube frame and mounting components of motorcycle dog carrier for large dogYou have probably noticed that very few weight-bearing motorcycle accessories feature generic mounting.

For example, our pals at Giant Loop make excellent minimalist tank bags with universal harness attachments.

Likewise, the very popular Kuryakyn Grand Pet Palace secures to the motorcycle with just a few straps. That is simple enough because it only supports dogs up to 20lbs.

On the other hand, to mount Giant Loops’ Round the World Panniers – as with a Givi top case or an aluminum pannier set from Touratech – you need a rack that is make-model-year specific to the motorcycle.

In a related sense, we don’t build the Cockpit to install with quick-release latches. Although the installation usually requires no more than several screws or U-bolts, we just won’t entrust outs or your big dog to quick-release latches.

 

What About Mounting to a Luggage Platform or Aftermarket Rack

Luggage platforms and aftermarket racks are an important part of almost every custom K9 Moto Cockpit mounting strategy where they are available.

But they are rarely a standalone strategy.

Firstly, many motorcycle categories – such as cruisers and naked bikes – do not have an integrated luggage rack.

Even motorcycles that have a large, integrated luggage platform – such as most ADV and Tourers – the weight and dynamic strain of the carrier plus a large dog represents a large stress to place solely

  • Across 2-4 screws in the luggage platform
  • Distribute over a mere 12-18 square inches

Moreover, aftermarket luggage racks rarely recommend carrying loads like what is necessary to support a large dog.

Consider one additional point: even if you were comfortable to mount solely to the luggage platform or aftermarket rack, the variety of layouts is nearly infinite. So, each Cockpit would still require customization by drilling holes in the carrier’s bottom or baseplates to accommodate the specific rack.

Two motorcycle dog carriers seen from above to show different mounting and vinyl customizations

 

Where You Place the Carrier Matters

With the weight of a large dog to support, where you mount the carrier is at least as important as how. After all, a human pillion or passenger sits right up behind the rider, not suspended out on the luggage rack.

That’s why one important and custom part of the mounting process is to determine where to mount the Cockpit relative to the rider’s back when seated in the normal riding position.

So, even where we build Cockpits for two identical motorcycles, the placement of the Cockpit is almost never the same.

 

Carrier Only ‘Carries’ Part of the Dog’s Weight

Most motorcycles have a passenger seat over the rear wheel hub.

The motorcycle manufacturer intends for the passenger seat to carry the weight of a human passenger – big surprise there, right?!?

So, the portion of the Cockpit that mounts over the passenger seat does not include a baseplate. This allows the motorcycle to directly carry the load as originally designed.

This forward, bottom-less portion of the Cockpit provides enclosure protection for the dog but does not carry the load.

This means that the K9 Moto Cockpit acts like a natural extension of your motorcycle rather than a separate, standalone unit.

The advantage of this design is enormous because it reduces the weight, abnormal load and stress on your motorcycle chassis compared to a generic, standalone, full-bottom design.

Hand hovers over motorcycle dog carrier to identify where no bottom allows passenger seat to carry the weight

 

Tubular Frame and Laying-Down Position

The K9 Moto Cockpit is built upon a tubular steel frame that provides a rigid, non-solid enclosure.

There are several key benefits to the tubular frame over a box or crate-like carrier:

  • Strength and durability
  • Maximal airflow
  • Padded and cushioned
  • Low weight for minimal load stresses
  • Sleek, stylish appearance
  • Authentic riding experience for rider and dog

The laying down position complements the tubular design with additional advantages:

  • Natural reposed position for greater comfort during long rides
  • Low center of gravity for minimal impact on the ride geometry
  • Minimalist profile that complements the motorcycle’s aesthetic

Happy German Shepherd lays in upholstered motorcycle dog carrier

 

What the K9 Moto Cockpit IS NOT

We have described the ins-and-outs of what the Cockpit is and what makes its design superior. But, before we close, we should probably be up front about what the Cockpit is not.

The Cockpit is not a low-price, off-the-shelf carrier; it is hand-built for superior safety, durability, and aesthetic.

Although most mounting strategies involve no more than a handful of screws or U-bolts, the Cockpit does not feature a quick-release setup.

The Cockpit is not made for very small dogs.

We can design the Cockpit to mount to more than one motorcycle up front. But, if you want to mount it to a new or different motorcycle in the future, you will at least need to modify the custom mounting.

 

What the K9 Moto Cockpit IS

We have detailed each of the K9 Moto Cockpit’s design elements one-by-one. So, now let’s wrap it up nice and tidy-like by returning to the general overview that we started with.

The K9 Moto Cockpit is a motorcycle dog carrier for medium and large dogs that custom mounts to your specific motorcycle and aftermarket accessories. It has a cushioned tubular steel frame and includes a partial or complete bottom, depending on the motorcycle and mounting strategy. The Cockpit is designed for the dog to ride in a laying down, rather than seated, position because it

    • Improves the dog’s comfort
    • Lowers the center of gravity
    • Minimally impacts the motorcycle’s ride dynamic

 

German Shepherd leans nose out from motorcycle dog carrier on adventure motorcycle at high speed

 

We hope you found this detail breakdown of the K9 Moto Cockpit design principles helpful. If you have questions, please head over and check out our FAQs page for answers or to send us your question directly. Also, check out the K9 Moto Cockpit Gear Guide video and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!

Check Out Other Recent Posts