Project Hard Rock

Hard Rock Rubi

I know what you are thinking. Well, maybe I don’t but here is my best guess. A 4 wheeled vehicle on 2 Wheels and a Motor? What gives? What gives is that sometimes in life you need support. In this case we are going to build an adventure spec chase rig that can carry supplies, people, and equipment as far as the bike can. The difference is it can carry more.

Adventure motorcycle riding is my second favorite past time. No second guesses as to the first. The down fall to that passion is the inability to share it with family. My wife, my kids they can’t ride pillion on back country trails and currently none of them ride. So the need for a vehicle to get them to where I want to go.

This is where Project Hard Rock comes in. We are going to take a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock and turn it into a trail vehicle. One that can go most anywhere off the asphalt but can still grab groceries, eat up highway miles when needed and return decent fuel economy. That means there will be compromises that have to be made. I think that makes for a more interesting build. It also needs to provide support for the bike. On board air, winch, storage etc to provide comfort for up to four people in the woods, desert, or just the beach.

Hopefully we will get some sponsors on board to make this work! In the mean time here is a review of the Jeep Rubicon Hard Rock with some comparison to a standard Rubicon.

Special edition vehicles are always interesting. While they often are simply a status symbol in the luxury and sports car markets, in the off road segment they try to add functionality.

Starting in 2013 Jeep started a more off road capable special edition with the 10A package. This was to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Rubicon and had limited numbers and serialization plaques. Realizing they had created a money maker they continued the same specifications but now called it the Rubicon X for 2014. 2015 rolls around and another name change but the same package, the Rubicon Hard Rock.

What do you get for your money?

Well first you take the already ridiculously capable Rubicon and add an AEV designed steel front and rear bumpers. Almost everything else is almost the same. There are some stitching changes, color differences, the top is the Premium Sun Rider versus the standard top and the Hard Rock comes standard with leather seats. You also get access to the Premium EVIC computer system, connectivity and bluetooth are standard. The Hard Rock also lists a slightly higher ground clearance. Not sure why as they are identical equipment but it is also 3 inches taller with the soft top installed.

Is it worth your money?

That is a hard question to answer. If the feature differences appeal to you then yes it certainly is. Optioning the standard Rubicon to match would get you to almost the same MSRP but without the bumpers. (Rubicon with options $39.570 versus Hard Rock $39,495.) When you look at it in context you get a free bumper and the heat reduction hood upgrade. Shopping recently for these items that’s anywhere between $1000 to $2000 for a decent set of bumpers.

What is the plan?

With a new 2015 Hard Rock in hand we are going to turn this daily driver into a trail worthy rig that can still do daily duty as a grocery getter. It needs to maintain good MPG for longer trips and be self sufficient enough to get out of most tough spots. From there we will look to make it camping friendly as well. There is nothing quite like exploring the great outdoors and then sleeping under the stars.


William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

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