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Suzuki Jimny ground clearance with a mountain bike?

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  • serge porter
    serge porterParticipant

    So I have friend that is planning, or shall I rather say researching for a trip around SA after the lockdown ends. He and his wife have been looking at the Suziki Jimny as an option, as they want something small, nimble and not heavy on the gas. they found these guys renting them: but that is not the point.

    They want to know this, if they put the bikes on the back what is the ground clearance like at the back? will it be an issue? being a smaller 4×4 is it sufficient?

    yea or nay?

  • Angus Boswell
    Editor on

    Hi Serge – Jimnys are not hugely known for ground clearance, as their standard wheels are small. But they are very capable little 4x4s that can go anywhere the big boys can go when it comes to sand, mud and even rocky terrain. The problem with placing mountain bikes on the back is that the Jimny’s DEPARTURE angle will be compromised, so it might be more difficult to exit deep ditches and the like. Also, as with any vehicle, if it is heavily loaded in the first place, the clearance will of course be compromised. That said, I do not think there will be a problem if you pack light and use a high-clearance bike rack – or even investigate putting the bikes on the roof.


    Do any of you Jimny owners and others agree with this analysis? We welcome input from anyone who has had to cater for a load that includes a full complement of camping gear AND two mountain bikes.

    serge porter
    serge porter
    serge porter on

    Hi Editor,

    Thank you for the reply. I was afraid of the ground clearance issue, I too though a high clearance bike rack should do the job. 🙂

    Looking forward to getting out!


    Paul Herbst
    Paul Herbst
    Paul Herbst on

    Hi Serge

    …and also remember that a MTB frame’s ‘horizontal bar’ is hardly ever ‘horizontal’. If you hang a MTB on a bike rack by its horizontal bar, the front wheel will drop down much lower than e.g. a road bike, thereby reducing the departure angle even further. Forgetting I had my bike at the back, I reversed my front wheel onto a pavement – and I was not even off-roading. Fortunately only the tire popped of the rim. There is also more dust swirling up at the back of a car and blown directly onto a bike. I try to put my bike on the roof rack, even on top of the roof top tent (tied down with ratchet straps) whenever I can. Let us know how your friend solved his problem.

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