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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody know where I can find a good price on a Motorcycle Carrier OTHER than EBAY? I'm not looking for a trailer. I have a 01 Chevy Tahoe, so the hitch and suspension can handle a hitch carrier. The Tahoe's capacity is 8800 lbs, which translates to 880lbs directly on the hitch. So far I've found what I think is a good price $225 (and that INCLUDES shipping) on a carrier rated good for 500lbs at this site
http://www.ourlocalguide.com/motorcyclecarrier/motorcycle_carrier1d.htm
 

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Spend that money at Harbor Freight and pick up a trailer kit. :coocoo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Driving with a trailer is a lot more hassle than a hitch carrier. Because of the roads I will be frequently traveling when I transport my bike, I don't want to have to account for the extra length and lack of maneuverability. And, the attached carriers put a lot less strain on the vehicle's transmission because you don't have any of that negative feedback you get from a trailer when you accellerate. Good prices at harbor freight though, thanks for the thought.
gixxerjasen said:
Spend that money at Harbor Freight and pick up a trailer kit. :coocoo
 

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A trailer is much much better...
1. Extra wear on tranny? No way ,that is just not accurate, in a tahoe it won't even notice it much less wear faster...would be equivelent to having two extra passengers. The only difference is the wieght of the trailer which could concievably be less than 2 passengers my size....
2. Maneuverability? Well you may find that if you hang 400 pounds 2 feet off the back of your tahoe that it handles like shit...the front end will want to wander and it will feel hard to drive a straight line. The trailer (while dirving forward) will be virtually unnoticable. Granted, parrallel parking may be a bit more difficult but other than that a small bike trailer is better for the overall handling of your tahoe than any hitch mounted carrier.

3. And perhaps most importantly the hitch carrier set up might well beat the tar out of your bike...for a dirtbike it would be great but for a TL I would not want to do it to my TL.

I have experienced both methods in a latish model suburban so I can promise you in the shorter wheelbase tahoe the drifty effects of the carrier will only increase...

Also if you are concerned about the cost,my last cycle trailer cost me $125...it was "home made" and wieghed only 300 pounds at most. I was able to remove it in 2 minutes and with the bike still on it, push it about by hand on level pavement. Nice if you want to go out on the town without hauling the rig around.

Oh and on the maneuverability thing....I traveled accross the country with that little trailer and a gsxr 1100 on it. I went 90mph over hwy, and also went up little mountain roads some dirt some pavement with holes and tight switchbacks etc...and I never had a problem with maneuverability..

Good luck.....
 

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id rather tow a trailer when i bought my little truck it had a carrier on i took it off and use the trailer and lots of straps coz im paranoid :)
 

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TWALK said:
Does anybody know where I can find a good price on a Motorcycle Carrier OTHER than EBAY? I'm not looking for a trailer. I have a 01 Chevy Tahoe, so the hitch and suspension can handle a hitch carrier. The Tahoe's capacity is 8800 lbs, which translates to 880lbs directly on the hitch. So far I've found what I think is a good price $225 (and that INCLUDES shipping) on a carrier rated good for 500lbs at this site
http://www.ourlocalguide.com/motorcyclecarrier/motorcycle_carrier1d.htm
Sure, it's 880 lbs if you have a hitch that will support it. Class III will get you 500 but that's max. I haul my dirtbike on a motojackrack like that, no way I'd put my TL on something similar.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just got rid of an old trailer I had been using. I hated driving with it. Trailers have little or no suspension to keep it planted on bumpy roads, and they suffer from a lot more wind resistance than a carrier that keeps the bike (for the most part) in the cars draft. I hated the opposing force I got from the trailer whenever I had to accellerate and brake repeatedly (like in heavy beltway traffic). The wear on the transmission isn't from the weight, it's from the force of the trailer pulling in the opposite direction of the car. Because there is always a bit of play between a trailer and the towing vehicle, you get that negative force against the transmission. A hitch carrier just rides along, and weighing in at less than 100 lbs, the total payload on the rear of the truck is less than 600 lbs. I've had 3 grown men in the 3rd row seat of my tahoe before, and I had the middle bench folded down. That was definitely over 600 lbs all behind the rear axel of the vehicle, and the front end felt only SLIGHTLY affected by the extra weight. I'm just wondering if anyone has seen a good price for a 600lb+ carrier, aside from ebay
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Now, I would consider a trailer like the one pictured here because of how close it rides to the back of the vehicle, and it looks to be fairly light weight
billy_tlr said:
id rather tow a trailer when i bought my little truck it had a carrier on i took it off and use the trailer and lots of straps coz im paranoid :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As for the security issues with a hitch mounted carrier... They can be very secure... This guy rolled his Explorer 8 times and his bike stayed securely mounted on his carrier. The bike wasn't even totaled.


 

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I've towed it through mountains, through Washington DC and every type of road VA has to offer. Gas only goes down 2mpg on average. I wouldn't trust any TL on a carrier. A dirtbike yes, not a TL.

 
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I have a versahaul that is just a ramp and a plate for the bike to sit on, granted my bike is a TLS that weighs 355 lbs and you have an TLR that weighs 450 but i have no handling issues whatsoever with my 06' Tahoe, my receiver is rated class III and you almost dont even notice the bike back there!! How often do you move the bike around?
The price you found is a good price!! Most of these hauler's are $300
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll probably be making a 125mi (250mi round trip) trip once a month during riding season
 

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I wouldn't put a TL or any street bike really on a carrier.

800lbs on the ball of the trailer hitch is a very different thing from 500lbs on a carrier.

Think about the distance (front to back) to the center of gravity of the load from the mounting point of the hitch and the bending moment that will be applied. Not to mention torsional forces which are pretty much non-existant with a trailer for which the rating is derived.

All this to say, the fact that the vehicle and hitch is rated for say 1k lbs of toung weight doesn't imply that you can carry 1k lbs on a hitch carrier with the same reliability.

You could probably get by with it, but you'll almost certainly be stressing the hitch and vehicle frame more than it was designed for, how much more isn't certain as it wasn't necessarily designed for any torsional load but you can be pretty sure that even the downforce/bending moment will be way more than what its rated for once you factor in the effect of the increased leverage the load will have over the hitch.

The engineers here can explain it in more technical terms, but its really just common sense.

Driving with a trailer isn't really a issue at all. I do it all the time and have since I got my drivers license. There's probably not very many roads in DC/VA/NC/MD/PA that I haven't driven a truck and trailer on and I haven't gotten into a bad situtation yet:) I agree that it is somewhat more convient to not have a trailer if you need to make a tight, mulitpoint turn but that's not something most people typically need to do very often and if you really get in a tight situtation you can always un-hitch the trailer and spin it around by hand.

As for trailers not having suspension or brakes, that's only true of cheep/crappy trailers. Mine rides smoother than any truck I've owned and stops itself just dandy:thumbup

I started out hauling bikes in the bed of my little toyota pickup with more bikes and gear on a small trailer behind the truck. I also frequently trailered a jetski behind the truck.

Last year I switched to a F-250

The only added strain on tow vehicle with a trailer is the difference in weight between the trailer and carrier (probably not much for a small trailer) and the rolling resistance of the tires (and perhaps a slight increase in wind resistance) all of which are so minimal as to be not worth worrying about. 5psi in your tires would probably make a bigger difference.

Another plus of a trailer is that it gives you a place to put more stuff (gas can etc) and you can use it for other chores like hauling a load of mulch from lowes or something:)

Anyway, that's just my 2c, do what ya like:)


I haven't got any pics of the toyota towing, but here's it parked at school



Here's the current rig
 

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BikePilot said:
The engineers here can explain it in more technical terms, but its really just common sense.
You mean it can get MORE technical? :O

I'll be the first to admit that a trailer can be more of a pain in the butt. My dirt riding friends give me crap for not using my trailer, but to me it's easier to toss a single dirt bike in the bed of my truck than to set it up in the trailer, hook up the trailer, drag it around and pay the extra tolls.

I love the idea of a hitch mounted bike carrier, but to be honest. I put way too much value in my truck and my sportbike to trust it to something like that. Remember that the TLR's dry weight is 434 pounds and much closer to 500 wet. Add that to the weight of the carrier and that's getting rather scary.

But it's your decision. We'd all hate ourselves if six months down the road something happened to your bike/truck because of that carrier and we didn't warn ya.

Plus...how the hell could we do the "I told ya so" dance if we didn't? :thumbup
 

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hehe, yeah the last time we debated it I said the same thing then a couple brainy types came in with technical stuff about bending moments and force = lenght * mass and cool calculations like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, since I started the thread with a question about the "best price", it's safe to assume that I'm trying to find a cost effective method of transportation. Now everyone can save the tsk tsk action, and comments about how "If you are gonna be cheap, you should think about how a little extra money invested can save your bike in the long run" etc... Please remember, as stated below, I just GOT RID of my trailer, so I'm not looking to get talked INTO a trailer. I'm just wondering about any good deals out there on hitch mounted carriers, that's it.

As for the weight issue on the hitch. A general rule of thumb (estimate) for a safe amount of weight you can apply directly onto a hitch should be about 10% of the vehicle's listed tow capacity (ie- 8800 lb tow capacity= 880lbs down force onto the hitch safely) My buddy tows a LARGE boat with his Tahoe
('tis a joke)
and those boats are applying much more weight to the hitch than my TLR ever will on a hitch carrier. I'm well aware of the strain that will be places on the hitch, but it is not an excessive or unsafe amount. As I said, it will be around 550-575lbs total weight. And for those of you who have never towed anything but a trailer, I appreciate the concern, but it is biased. Read what Sully has posted below if you have any doubts about the carrier method.
 

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No problem, just trying to help. I've seen plenty of bikes at races on hitch carriers (also seen ones that fell off). I don't have any great sources for buying them. If you haven't already you might flip through a couple bike mags (dirt and street) to see if anyone is advertising them on sale:O

BTW love the pic of the boat:lol


good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As paranoid as I am about towing ANYTHING, I can guarantee you that the rear end of my truck will fall off before the bike ever falls off the carrier. I'm a ratchet strapping fool.
ps... that's not me or my bike...
LOL
BikePilot said:
No problem, just trying to help. I've seen plenty of bikes at races on hitch carriers (also seen ones that fell off). I don't have any great sources for buying them. If you haven't already you might flip through a couple bike mags (dirt and street) to see if anyone is advertising them on sale:O

BTW love the pic of the boat:lol


good luck
 
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TWALK said:
Well, since I started the thread with a question about the "best price", it's safe to assume that I'm trying to find a cost effective method of transportation. Now everyone can save the tsk tsk action, and comments about how "If you are gonna be cheap, you should think about how a little extra money invested can save your bike in the long run" etc... Please remember, as stated below, I just GOT RID of my trailer, so I'm not looking to get talked INTO a trailer. I'm just wondering about any good deals out there on hitch mounted carriers, that's it.

As for the weight issue on the hitch. A general rule of thumb (estimate) for a safe amount of weight you can apply directly onto a hitch should be about 10% of the vehicle's listed tow capacity (ie- 8800 lb tow capacity= 880lbs down force onto the hitch safely) My buddy tows a LARGE boat with his Tahoe
('tis a joke)
and those boats are applying much more weight to the hitch than my TLR ever will on a hitch carrier. I'm well aware of the strain that will be places on the hitch, but it is not an excessive or unsafe amount. As I said, it will be around 550-575lbs total weight. And for those of you who have never towed anything but a trailer, I appreciate the concern, but it is biased. Read what Sully has posted below if you have any doubts about the carrier method.
TWALK the one thing you must consider is Dynamic load of your bike, your bike weighs 450 lbs when stationary and can weigh 5 times that when in motion as in bouncing down the road. Thats why everyone is trying to steer you into a trailer. I personally believe from experiance it can be done with a hitch mounted hauler I drove from NYC to LA with a MV Brutale 910 on my versahauler with no problems whatsoever. I dont haul bikes very often but when i do it's with a versahauler. You can always have a local trailer shop add some extra beef to you stock Class III hitch and once again these carriers go from $299 to $399 so $225 is a good price. To bad yor on the east coast because i have a bud selling a Versahauler for $200 but shipping 80 lbs to the east from LA would kill your wallet!!! Hope this helps:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wish I was closer also, but $225 SHIPPED is a really good price. thx
Sully said:
TWALK the one thing you must consider is Dynamic load of your bike, your bike weighs 450 lbs when stationary and can weigh 5 times that when in motion as in bouncing down the road. Thats why everyone is trying to steer you into a trailer. I personally believe from experiance it can be done with a hitch mounted hauler I drove from NYC to LA with a MV Brutale 910 on my versahauler with no problems whatsoever. I dont haul bikes very often but when i do it's with a versahauler. You can always have a local trailer shop add some extra beef to you stock Class III hitch and once again these carriers go from $299 to $399 so $225 is a good price. To bad yor on the east coast because i have a bud selling a Versahauler for $200 but shipping 80 lbs to the east from LA would kill your wallet!!! Hope this helps:)
 
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