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Alternatives to Yakima Roof Rack Track System

3555 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  flashman88
I have decided that the closer I get to windsurfing season, the more I need a real rack system to support all of my equipment.

Has anyone researched the idea of an alternative track for the existing roof channel. Although it is quite narrow (1 inch) it would look very clean to be able to lay a track down the channel rather than to the inside of it(as I have seen done).

The threads I have read describe the use of the Yakima Track and Railrider system. The Yakima Track is about 1.5 inches wide and thus will not fit in the channel. While I like the look of this solution, I feel that there must be a way to use the existing channel. I have begun researching other manufacturers tracks to find out if any are narrow enough to retrofit to the MDX. From there it would only be a matter of buying the right Yakima railrider towers to build my dream rack.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Roof rack options


I don't know if Yakima is working on something for the MDX (and/or Pilot) (seems that some other thread said they were...)

I contacted Yakima couple months ago prior to installing Yakima's track-based solution on my MDX. At that time they indicated that they do not plan on developing anything for the MDX (except clamp-on Q-towers with clips, which I do not like for various reasons listed in another Yakima rack discussion thread). Maybe situation has changed but I doubt it.

While the regular rail riders are "towers" that go into factory tracks (on vehicles so equipped) so that you can use Yak crossbars (pipe) and accesories, it seems that Yak could make a similar mount that uses the factory studs and delivers the flexibilty/security of Yakima's system.

The railrider type mount that uses the factory studs would not privide the flexibility that Yakima racks are known for. Because the factory studs are fixed, the flexibility will be lost since adjustment to crossbar spread will not be possible. That is why Yakima makes universal tracks that can be installed on virtually any car or SUV (including MDX) for mounting railrider towers.


I am really hoping the Pilot tracks fit the MDX.

Judging from the pictures I have seen, the upcoming Honda Pilot does not use tracks for the roof rack. Rather, roof side rails are utilized (similar to Honda Odyssey). I considered using this option on my MDX but unfortunately, Odyssey rails did not fit. The mounting points were different from those on the MDX.

Perhaps the side rails from the Pilot will match up with the MDX mounting points. If this is the case, Yakima's doublecross towers will have to be used instead of railriders.

Good luck.
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