Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-25-2009, 04:04 AM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Flathead Lake, Montana
Posts: 108
Default HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

I have a Bigfoot Class B, yes B, as in Bee..... van. It is a 1996 Ford E-250 van. According to the fact sheet inside the van the Factory dry weight is 5700-odd lbs, , 2650 kgs,--- Heavy.
It has a trailer hitch on it, but does not have a brand name or Class rating on it. It is bolted through the frame. My friend said he thinks it is a Bigfoot add-on...... ???
Anybody have any experience and /or suggestions re using a motorcycle hitch carrier rather than a trailer to carry my motorcycle rather than pull it?
I have an '08 Kawasaki LR, weight about 450 lbs, , 200 kg.
I'd be carrying the bike from Montana to Arizona on highways and then riding the bike all over down there.
Ideas? Experience? Dire warnings? :>)
__________________

shezonit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

I found links to these sites. Maybe they'll give you some ideas....
http://www.motorcyclecarrier.net/rv_mot ... riers.html
http://www.cruiserlift.com/

So, it might Bee possible to carry one on a Bee, although it looks like the hitch lifts
are made for the larger class A coaches, eh?
__________________

__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2009, 05:08 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
renrut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 253
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

A standard Class C or 3 hitch is rated for 750lb tongue weight and 5000lb pull. These hitches normally have a 2 inch square tube but there are class B or 2 that also have the 2 inch tube. You would really need to know what the actual hitch is and what it is rated for.

I would think the problem with a motorcycle would be the twisting on the tongue. A normal trailer would just place weight (down force) on a hitch and drag (pulling force). The ball prevents any excessive twisting motion.

Another thing to make sure of is where it is attached to the frame. If the frame has been extended at all, you have to make sure the welding and frame work is strong enough to handle the weight. My RV was extended and the frame broke on me when I was pulling a heavy trailer. When it was being fixed, the welder said he had another RV in earlier that had his frame broken by a bicycle carrier in the trailer hitch.
renrut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 10:47 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

Agree with your comments about left/right sway.
I was thinking if there was also a way to "bungee" the bike somehow to the upper rear end of the van,
it might help to control the side to side twisting torque on the hitch a bit, making it a more stable carry.
Might also reduce the downward force on the hitch, if you could partially support the bike's weight
with the bungee cords. Although I don't know if they make heavy duty rated bungee cords. Maybe straps
could be used like the ones holding loads on flatbed trailers, with ratcheted anchored reels. You'd have the
ratchets welded to the roof of your van. Then mount the bike on the hitch/stand, and then tighten the
upper support straps to reduce the weight on the hitch. A tad too complex, perhaps?
Some of the cyclops wheeled trailers in the links I posted don't look too bad either. The wheel would
reduce the tongue weight considerably, and they say they're designed for highway speed towing.
__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,591
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

There is more to it than just the rating of the hitch. Every vehicle has a maximum tongue weight load as well and it could be less than the capability of the hitch. Also, the tongue weight is generally assumed to be the weight bearing on the ball hitch point. In the case of a trailer, regardless of the weight of the trailer that weight is pretty much a constant at that point at the ball. In the case of hauling a motorcycle the weight generally will be leveraged because it will not bear directly on top of the ball hitch thus the real weight will be considerably greater than the direct tongue weight. I don't know about the Bigfoot, but if it is truly a van, I doubt, from experience, you can carry much more than 300 pounds safely given the circumstances. I found with my Sprinter Pleasureway Plateau that about 220 pounds including the 90 pound cargo carrier was about the maximum before noticing considerable handling lightness in the front end. Also consider any weight carried on a hitch is also part of the gross weight capacity of the van. From what I can tell most Bs are already nearly loaded to the limit. Yeah, I have seen Bs carrying motorcycles but not in the 450 pound range and I bet those carrying them have some handling difficulties. Trailer hauling a motorcycle would be much safer.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Flathead Lake, Montana
Posts: 108
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

Hi-- Thanks for your answers on this. I have the feeling I will have to get a trailer. The van does seen pretty heavy on it's springs, and the back end seems a little saggy already. Although when I drove it back I was on a road with many dips- those " Whee I'm airborne" kind.... and the van never bottomed out, as a matter of fact, it felt very tight on that road and the very curvy roads back through the mountains.
Well, ok, I'll just have to put a bicycle rack on the van and start checking out tiny trailers for the motorcycle.
I couldn't get that " motorcycle carrier" link to work. No sweat, there are quite a few sites with motorcycle specific trailers. I'll go to a motorcycle website and ask for some ideas.
shezonit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Flathead Lake, Montana
Posts: 108
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

Sorry I never got back to this. Here's a long overdue update. First of all it is an E350 one ton van, not a 250 as I mis typed in original post. We put a 1000 lb trailer hitch on which I found online for about $250. This had extra long arms reaching far on to the frame and several sets of huge bolts.
Also put air bags (AIR LIFT ) on the van to deal with the sag. Now no sag, no bottoming out.
Then, the VERSA-HAUL brand motorcycle carrier. This is very heavy duty, could carry a Gold Wing I think! This adds a couple hundred lbs, too.
THEN, my friend designed and had built at welders 2 arms that fit into the sides of the hitch and get bolted through the motorcycle ramp. This created a very solid platform. I now carry a motorcycle weighing about 300 lbs. I think I could carry up to 500.
The whole set up cost me about $700. ( The Versa-Haul was used) Maybe more than a cheap trailer, but-- no extra wheels or registrations to worry about. I can either remove it for the season, or drive around with it and just remember I am 3 ft longer....

I have carried motorcycles for about 8000 miles like this.
shezonit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

Good solution to an unusual (for a class B owner) situation.
I've seen V-H bike supports on some bigger rigs. It must look pretty cool on van conversion.
And, it works.
__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 100
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

What about the license plate issue? I have a carrier for our scooter, fits into the receiver hitch, works fine and all is well, but my license plate is obscured. I've often wondered is this is a good practice or not. How to the local, and especially out of state, officials view this?
__________________
Camping in a SportsMobile! How much better can it get?
garmp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sarnialabad, The Newly Elected People's Republic of Canuckistan
Posts: 3,215
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

Almost every jurisdiction I'm aware of have laws and penalties that require the rear plate be visible at all times. It's probably applied on a case by case basis, with the authority in question making the final decision on whether to ticket you or not. Some obstructions are probably easier to explain than others. If the scooter is used for personal mobility issues, it might mitigate the degree of enforcement. I would hope so, anyway.
Just my nickel's worth.
__________________
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2018 Navion 24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU
Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:37 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,809
Default Re: HOW TO CARRY A MOTORCYCLE????

Quote:
Originally Posted by shezonit
Sorry I never got back to this. Here's a long overdue update. First of all it is an E350 one ton van, not a 250 as I mis typed in original post. We put a 1000 lb trailer hitch on which I found online for about $250. This had extra long arms reaching far on to the frame and several sets of huge bolts.
Also put air bags (AIR LIFT ) on the van to deal with the sag. Now no sag, no bottoming out.
Then, the VERSA-HAUL brand motorcycle carrier. This is very heavy duty, could carry a Gold Wing I think! This adds a couple hundred lbs, too.
THEN, my friend designed and had built at welders 2 arms that fit into the sides of the hitch and get bolted through the motorcycle ramp. This created a very solid platform. I now carry a motorcycle weighing about 300 lbs. I think I could carry up to 500.
The whole set up cost me about $700. ( The Versa-Haul was used) Maybe more than a cheap trailer, but-- no extra wheels or registrations to worry about. I can either remove it for the season, or drive around with it and just remember I am 3 ft longer....

I have carried motorcycles for about 8000 miles like this.
The 1000# trailer hitch you bought. Is that 1000# of tongue weight or a class 1 1000# rated hitch. A 1000# tongue weight hitch would be rated at 10,000# and I think be a class 5.
__________________

booster is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×