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sprinterpirate
09-21-2013, 05:05 PM
Hi folks,

I have a 2008 Suzuki SV650s motorcycle. Recently, a 2004 Sprinter 2500 was added to the stable. Moto's name is Suzi. The Sprinter does not have a frivolous name because it is a Cargo Van. So far they seem to get along well in the driveway, and I have see a wonderful future where the three of us roam the mountains and valleys together, like peas in a pod. No, Suzi does not want to be stuck way out back alone on a trailer, as if she were nothing but Cargo. Besides, I don't want to deal with the extra length. But I don't want Suzi inside mucking up the place either, so please don't suggest I bring the moto inside the van. These are civilized living quarters I'm setting up here, not some "toy hauler". (well the mountain bike & road bike get to come inside, but that's different)

Before I purchased the sprinter I looked with envy at the folks on the road who used receiver hitch carriers to bring their motos with them. Among the vehicles using this setup were a number of sprinter vans. "That's the ticket," I said to myself with admiration, "I will surely be happy as a clam, living in my van, and shuttling on mountain bike rides. I'll get where I want to be, set up a stable camp, and use my moto for commuting around. That will be SO SWEET."

I bought the van and installed a Curt class IV hitch, with 1,000 lb tongue weight capacity. Suzi weighs 385 lbs / 437 lbs soaking wet. I began poring over motorcycle carrier reviews, and narrowed down the search to:


Mototote MTX Sport http://www.mototote.com/MotoTote-MTX-Sport-Motorcycle-Carrier.html - $480 + Free shipping at mototote.com - ~60 lbs - Notes: Looks coolest, offers aux lights as an option
Discount Ramps SMC-600R http://www.discountramps.com/smc-600-motorcycle-hauler.htm - $270 + $45 shipping to SF Bay at discountramps.com - Notes: similar capacity as others on this list but most reasonably priced, does not allow adjustment of tray distance from hitch
Ultimate MX Ramp http://ultimatemxhauler.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=8 - $650 + ? shipping at ultimatemxhauler.com - ~80 lbs - Notes: cool feature raises and lowers your bike, making loading & unloading safer & easier
Versahaul 55 RO http://www.versahaul.com/Instruction_Diagrams/vh-55.pdf - $510 at carrierliftstore.com - ~90 lbs - Notes: looks to be very well built. has convenient extra receiver on end (for bicycle racks, etc.), offers aux lights as an option
Joe Hauler Cam-Loc http://www.joehauler.com/camloc/camloc.shtml - $450 at joehauler.com w/o ramp - 55 lbs - Notes: triangulated bracing looks strong, does not come with ramp
Sprinter Store Swingaway Carrier http://sprinterstore.com/tow_hitches.htm - ~$1000 at sprinterstore.com w/o ramp but including the required double receiver hitch, tie down stanchion post, and wheel stabilizer - ??? lbs - Notes: the only solution on this list that allows you to open your rear doors, also the most expensive solution by far, max load is unpublished, useful to carry other items as well, does not come with ramp


But then, this forum shattered my dreams.

I have read, and I acknowledge the following concerns with my plan:

the sprinter chassis is (according to some forum members) not up to the task
the Curt hitch's 1,000 lb tongue rating assumes the use of a weight distribution hitch
every inch of distance from the end of the receiver hitch tube increases the leverage that the motorcycle will have on the hitch, and thereby increase the effective load
weight distribution is an issue, and this will bring the CG way back, lightening the front load and undermining handling performance
since my van is not a dually, the handling will be EVEN WORSE
(space reserved for additional nay-saying from ivory or emerald towers)


I don't care. I want to do it anyway, dammit. I see all sorts of jalopy pickups, jeeps, etc. using the same setup, apparently without issue. AND I have seen other sprinters on the road with this setup, and the driver always looks super content, happy as a clam, as I wish to be. My Sprinter is a CARGO VAN!!!!

Do you have personal experience using this setup? Horror stories that will dissuade me from my plan? I want to hear someone say, "Yes Pirate, I have put on 100,000 carefree miles with my giant Harley on the back of my Sprinter 2500, with no issues. Go ahead. Buy the carrier, you have my blessing."

Do you experience with specific brands/models of moto carriers? If so, I'll be grateful for your advice.

:popcorn:

CJPJ
09-21-2013, 05:30 PM
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10241&highlight=motorcycle+carrier

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10807&highlight=motorcycle+carrier

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1810&highlight=motorcycle+carrier

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7287&highlight=motorcycle+carrier

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15057&highlight=motorcycle+carrier
__________________:thumbup:

sprinterpirate
09-21-2013, 06:39 PM
Sweet, thanks CJPJ.

I learned a few things from your links:


The Sprinter store has some braces to reinforce the chassis for the NCV3 Sprinter. Maybe they also have a version for my T1N. If not, I imagine I could fabricate something myself.
Teamtexas (Dan) has made his own carrier that gave me some ideas. In some of the other posts I looked at, I saw the use of additional receiver tubes bolted or welded on to reduce sway... If I go the fabrication route I will consider this option as well...
catalina38 uses an UltimatexHauler rack to carry his KLR on a '04 Sprinter, and it looks like its in a similar weight range. :rad: This was the most helpful post so far--though catalina didn't mention how long the setup has been in use, and if there have been any issues...


There were a couple links that seemed unrelated, except for the fact that they had the words "motorcycle" and "carrier" in them. Just curious, did you do a search and then send me the links? I want to assure you, I did a number of searches and spent a couple hours browsing before creating a new post--I don't want to waste anybody's time! :cheers:

...

Very hopeful to hear the real life experiences of someone using the kind of setup I'm talking about. Most of the posts I'm seeing refer to numbers and calculations--but since I'm operating at the border of the recommended values, I will appreciate practical (as opposed to theoretical) information. I know you folks are out there; I have seen you on the road! Anyone with a few thousand miles in carrying a 400 lb moto on one of these carriers?

L8RSK8R
09-21-2013, 08:05 PM
I've covered 20,000+ miles using a Versahaul 55 RO, carrying an 01 Aprilia Mille R/07 ZX6R.

First time unloading the bike, I unlatched one strap (clutch side) and the bike lunged towards the rear doors, denting/scratching the doors. Now I use two ratchet straps & Canyon Dancer on the front end. In addition to Canyon Dancer, I also use two camlock straps, over the the forks for added security.
Remove Canyon Dancer and slowly loosen the camlock straps simultaneously....so forks can decompress evenly.

Love the fact you don't need to roll around at 55MPH. I always removed my license plate (the bike will block license plate) and placed it on the carrier, which I also zip-tied/safety wired.
I was nervous as hell the first few times using this setup. I do have a camera mounted up by the 3rd brake light, so I could view the bike, make sure no straps had broken/come loose.

sprinterpirate
09-21-2013, 08:28 PM
I've covered 20,000+ miles using a Versahaul 55 RO, carrying an 01 Aprilia Mille R/07 ZX6R.

A Mille! I am jealous, have always wanted to hop on one of them rocketships. Thanks for the info.

And 20,000 miles, man that sounds like some good times. Hope a good amount of that was play, not work miles. :bounce:

Sorry to hear about the dings on your van doors. I never heard of the Canyon Dancers before--looks like a good setup. I also have been reading that some folks use a fork brace to avoid compressing the fork to begin with. I like that idea since it would eliminate the pogo stick action, but I'm not sure how secure I would feel without the constant resistance the forks offer while driving. I have no rear camera, so I gotta convince myself its bomber before I hop in the cab!

Thanks laterskater. This gives me much needed confidence.

BTW, does the front end feel "light", or do you notice unusual "sway" when you have the bike on back?

K

L8RSK8R
09-21-2013, 08:38 PM
Front end never feels light. I occasionally tow a Featherlite open trailer, and Subaru track car 5000lbs +/- Barely noticeable, unless going over the Grapevine towards Laguna Seca.

I've yet to hear of someone blowing out fork seals, from 3 to 4 hours of constant fork compression. I'd say my forks compress about 1.5" when on the carrier. Two more straps on the rear of the bike and one strap around the frame, connected to the hitch carrier.

15 mins to install carrier & load the bike.

davisdave
09-21-2013, 08:51 PM
I have the same hitch and carry a 300lb drz on a homemade single rack. The van rides smoother and handles well with the added weight. I drilled two 1/2" holes in the bottom of the receiver and then welded two nuts in the bottom of the rack mount tube...secured with bolts, it eliminates the rack rocking.
The hitch may be rated for 1000lb tongue, but the van is rated for 500lb. The curt hitch adds two big bolts, so it should be able to handle more.
By my reckoning:
Lets say the distance from the rear axle to the rack is x and the distance between the axles is 2x.
rack load = 500lb
rear axle load = 750lb
front axle load = -250lb

disclaimer: i r not enginear

conclusion: get a nice round passenger or load heavy stuff like water jugs and coolers toward the front:idunno:

For years i carried the same bike on the back of a Toyota sr5! That may have been a little crazy, but i never had any problems. I could definitely tell the bike was back there, not so much on the Sprinter

Now pushing your bike up the ramp may not be so fun:tongue:

L8RSK8R
09-21-2013, 09:02 PM
Hope a good amount of that was play, not work miles. All play, Chuckwalla, Willow Springs & Milestone/Pala MX track. I'm done with it for now. Haven't been on track in over a year. Bikes will be sold soon :/

sprinterpirate
09-21-2013, 09:10 PM
disclaimer: i r not enginear

conclusion: get a nice round passenger or load heavy stuff like water jugs and coolers toward the front:idunno:

YAAAASSSS, this is all what I want to hear! I honestly had no qualms until reading a few posts that made it sound like my chassis would bend in half if I did this... :thinking:

I really think this will work ok... Just gotta figure out which carrier to get. Will probably make some plates to reinforce the chassis rails forward a few feet...

Thanks davisdave and L8RSK8R.

Now I need to think about getting one of these so I can shuttle MTB rides when its just me! :tongue:

sprinterpirate
09-21-2013, 09:37 PM
Hope a good amount of that was play, not work miles. All play, Chuckwalla, Willow Springs & Milestone/Pala MX track. I'm done with it for now. Haven't been on track in over a year. Bikes will be sold soon :/
Well, everything ends I am learning. I hope offloading the bikes makes room in your life for better things.

K

Gulf SV
09-21-2013, 11:13 PM
Sprinterpirate,

I think you need more info than what your getting. And maybe need to provide a little more info.

First, are you hauling just the SV? I wasn't understanding the "muck" reference. It's a road bike. What muck has you in a tizzy?

Second, the SV has an overall length around 78", longer than the Sprinter is wide. Just a point of consideration.

Third, Davisdave's math is pretty screwy. If you're going to use his logic, go do your own measurements. And don't forget the load out back is dynamic—it is going to be bouncing up and down.

Your total static weight will be less than the tongue weight restrictions, so that's not a problem, but personally, I wouldn't want one of my scooters being the buffer between me and some a-hole who can't get stopped in time.

Remember the Beverly Hillbillies' rig? Just because someone else has done it doesn't mean it's practical or safe, for you or others on the road around you.

So, here's my :2cents: worth. Sprinters can be nervous when they're loaded light on the front axle. You want to carry weight up front, and the like to have about 25-30% of their weight on the front axle. My first trip to Barber fully loaded was a handful, partly due to my inexperience with Sprinters, and with the way I was loaded. I moved my tool box(about 100#)and my generator to behind the front seats, and the ride was much nicer.

If you didn't find this thread (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12758&page=2), go check it out. Lot's of good info on loading both axles. I'm keen on all this because when I get to the track, I don't want to be wore out by the drive. I can easily do 600 miles in a day and not feel hassled by the trip.

'Nuf said, cause you're gonna do what you want to do, but consider finding a way to move inside with the bike. You'll have lots more fun getting where you need to go, and you'll be ready to ride when you get there.

sprinterpirate
09-21-2013, 11:52 PM
Sprinterpirate,

I think you need more info than what your getting. And maybe need to provide a little more info.

First, are you hauling just the SV? I wasn't understanding the "muck" reference. It's a road bike. What muck has you in a tizzy?

Second, the SV has an overall length around 78", longer than the Sprinter is wide. Just a point of consideration.

Third, Davisdave's math is pretty screwy. If you're going to use his logic, go do your own measurements. And don't forget the load out back is dynamic—it is going to be bouncing up and down.


Hi Kevin, thanks for the advice...

I'm just hauling the SV. The "mucking up the place" is actually me quoting my dad, who used to say that whenever I brought my bicycles in the house. And, though I didn't think of it as I was writing, that's how I meant it too.

I'm going to be living out of my van, probably for the next year. My job keeps me on the road most of the time, so I have finally decided to stop paying rent, hopefully work a little less, and enjoy my time off as a series of road trips and temporary home bases. Its a 140" wheelbase, and I expect it will be crowded at times. I would much rather be able to keep my motorcycle outside--even though I know it could be stored inside, I think it would seriously undermine my sanity. Plus it would be sharing the space with my work gear, climbing gear, two bicycles, a bed, etc. :rolleyes: If I'm in a tizzy, its because I'm used to a little more breathing room.

So that's why I want it outside while I'm around. Why not get a trailer? Well, its hard enough finding a place to park the Sprinter when I'm out of town for a month--I don't want to add to the difficulty by having a trailer to store as well. Also I like to tuck my vehicle in to some small, out of the way spots when I camp, and I like the back roads. I hate dealing with a trailer if I don't need to.

As for the width, I know! I had it parked right up against the back end of the sprinter, and it undermines one of the things I love about the sprinter--its narrow track width. But not by too much--I was recently towing an enclosed trailer that was wider. EDIT - It actually is almost 8" wider, so the tires will stick out 4" on either side.

Some of my gear is dense enough that I think I'll be able to compensate for the tail weight, but I know it will be a challenge to keep enough up front. And I agree, ride quality does matter--thats why I ended up purchasing konis all around and a roadmaster swaybar. If I have one gripe about the Sprinter, its that its chassis doesn't seem stout enough to handle the loads that people will obviously load in a cargo area thats so expansive.

You're right, I still am leaning towards going for it, inspite of many recommendations for prudence. I suppose the comments that stand out for me most are the ones that make me think I'll damage the van, or myself, in the process. I will know after the first drive if it affects the van's handling too severely.

As for math--there are a million theoretical reasons not to get in a car in the first place. Statistically its pretty dangerous. Motorcycles even more so. What I'm wondering is, has anyone on this forum actually damaged their chassis using one of these carriers? If so, was it user error (i.e: not preventing "rocking" or inadequately securing the bike) or was it mechanical failure?

MillionMileSprinter
09-21-2013, 11:59 PM
Kevin mentioned the dynamic vs static load, but MB doesnt differentiate. If they say 500# it doesnt matter. That 500# trailer tongue weight becomes dynamic once you start driving. Youve come to the right place for sprinter info. Good luck!

calbiker
09-22-2013, 12:12 AM
Cool photo. Saw something like that motorcycle/bike carrier while mountain biking in Prescott, Az a couple days ago. I carry a Yamaha XT225 on the back of my Sprinter MH. I love that cycle. It got over 50k miles on the back of my MH. Besides the 2" hitch, I also added two 1 1/4" hitches. It really adds to the stability.

Be sure to get an aluminum carrier. Mine is from Add-A-Bike.

http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/qq12/Calbiker/Motorcycle%20carrier/P1100427.jpg

Cal




Now I need to think about getting one of these so I can shuttle MTB rides when its just me! :tongue:

sprinterpirate
09-22-2013, 02:08 AM
Kevin mentioned the dynamic vs static load, but MB doesnt differentiate. If they say 500# it doesnt matter. That 500# trailer tongue weight becomes dynamic once you start driving. Youve come to the right place for sprinter info. Good luck!

Thanks Type2Teach, you sure are prolific my friend! Yeah, that's how I was thinking when I started this search. But I have read many posts discussing "moment of inertia", etc, and I think I know what Kevin means: even if you have the thing fastened down really tight, and its not rocking, you still have that weight suspended at the end of a big lever. Even if MB doesn't differentiate, there is an actual difference!

One thing I like about the Versahaul and Mototote (as opposed to the other two I listed), is you can adjust the distance between the bike tray and the hitch itself. That way you can minimize the leverage the bike has on the hitch, and in turn on the chassis.

Cool photo. Saw something like that motorcycle/bike carrier while mountain biking in Prescott, Az a couple days ago. I carry a Yamaha XT225 on the back of my Sprinter MH. I love that cycle. It got over 50k miles on the back of my MH. Besides the 2" hitch, I also added two 1 1/4" hitches. It really adds to the stability.

Be sure to get an aluminum carrier. Mine is from Add-A-Bike.
Cal

Hey calbiker! I think you're onto something with the XT225. I heard that bike is good fun! This whole thing has me thinking I ought to just get rid of the SV and get a lighter bike--just need to spring for a KTM 690. 64 Nm @ 305 lbs!!!

I saw you wrote about the added 1 1/4" hitches on the discussion about versa-lift carrier. Yours were bolted on, right? Is that something you purchased as a kit or did you fab it yourself?

Also, regarding the Add-A-Bike, I saw it discussed at ADVRider forum, I'm wondering if you were in on that discussion too. I saw alot of mention about securing the bike with the pegs, which I think is the setup you have. Not sure that particular setup would work with my bike.

Why aluminum? Eliminating rust or for light weight? I was actually thinking an alu tray would be ideal, to prevent rust and to reduce weight. But is the main tube that fits in the receiver aluminum? That would scare me, considering the way aluminum fatigues, and then fails catastrophically--instead of just bending like steel does. Not that I think its an issue for your bike, but mine is at least $1.50 heavier than yours...

Ahrrr all this talk about biking and moto riding. I'm working in the hills of PA and its beautiful out right now. Wish I had a bicycle with me! :drool:

sikwan
09-22-2013, 02:27 AM
I heard that bike is good fun! This whole thing has me thinking I ought to just get rid of the SV and get a lighter bike--just need to spring for a KTM 690. 64 Nm @ 305 lbs!!!

Yes, and get a KTM, a plated EXC, with two sets of wheels for offroad and on. :smilewink:

MillionMileSprinter
09-22-2013, 03:07 AM
Thanks Type2Teach, you sure are prolific my friend! Yeah, that's how I was thinking when I started this search. But I have read many posts discussing "moment of inertia", etc, and I think I know what Kevin means: even if you have the thing fastened down really tight, and its not rocking, you still have that weight suspended at the end of a big lever. Even if MB doesn't differentiate, there is an actual difference!


I wasn't being clear, sorry. I was pecking away on my phone. Of course there is an actual difference between static and dynamic loading. I have personally learned this the hard way. What I'm saying is that MB takes this into consideration when they say no more than 500# tongue weight.
Yes, keeping the weight as near the bumper as possible is better than having it hang way out there. But MB over-engineers their products to *safely* handle the loads up to and including the limits. After pulling a 5000# trailer all over the North East US this summer, I feel pretty confident that a 350# motorcycle can be safely secured to a properly installed rear hitch.
I think the extra supports for the outer edges are a great idea, by the way. :thumbup:

Where in PA are you? I've mountain biked numerous trails from Philly to Pittsburgh.

shortshort
09-22-2013, 03:32 AM
I have a Joe Hauler. It's carried everything from a 'tard to a Desmosedici. Maybe 100 trackdays. Loaned it out a few times as well. Indestructible, comes with a ramp, and has this gadget built in that tightens it into the receiver so no wobbles. Last use was picking up a 10R from the wreckers after my buddy's nasty spill on Palomar. Worked fine even wrangling that tattered hag onto it. Surprised it's not on your list.

Link to the one I have:

http://www.joehauler.com/camloc/pdf-files/haulers/JD-HAUL05.pdf

sprinterpirate
09-22-2013, 04:11 AM
Yes, and get a KTM, a plated EXC, with two sets of wheels for offroad and on. :smilewink:
Seek, you are speaking my language. Either the 690, 500, or 350... But man are they expensive--and then you have to line up & beg for availability!
After pulling a 5000# trailer all over the North East US this summer, I feel pretty confident that a 350# motorcycle can be safely secured to a properly installed rear hitch.
I think the extra supports for the outer edges are a great idea, by the way. :thumbup:

Where in PA are you? I've mountain biked numerous trails from Philly to Pittsburgh.
Yesss. I think my strategy of initial hostility to naysayers worked. EVERYONE IS TELLING ME WHAT I WANT TO HEAR: GET THE BIKE CARRIER! HUAHAHAHAHAHA AAAA HAAAAA!!!! :rad::rad::rad::rad:

I'm staying in Altoona, and working in Portage for the next few weeks. From the looks of this terrain, I would be surprised if you haven't been riding out here! And if you haven't, you should check it out. I have seen some ATV trails at least.

I sure am grateful to be able to witness the leaves turning this year. Haven't seen that in a while.

I have a Joe Hauler. It's carried everything from a 'tard to a Desmosedici. Maybe 100 trackdays. Loaned it out a few times as well. Indestructible, comes with a ramp, and has this gadget built in that tightens it into the receiver so no wobbles. Last use was picking up a 10R from the wreckers after my buddy's nasty spill on Palomar. Worked fine even wrangling that tattered hag onto it. Surprised it's not on your list.
Link to the one I have:

http://www.joehauler.com/camloc/pdf-files/haulers/JD-HAUL05.pdf

Shortshort, you are for reals. I have never even seen a Desmosedici in person.... :bow:

Well then. If this carrying solution is good enough for your fine wheeled machinery, it certainly is good enough for my ratty ol' Suzi. It will make its way to the list ASIP (as soon as i post).

The carriers are all starting to blend together. Can't believe how many models are on the market. Now that I'm comparing them in earnest, I'm starting to consider making one myself that has all the features I want: adjustable drawbar length, two additional support bars like Calbiker has, etc. The question is: do I spend time earning money to pay someone to make it, or do I spend time building it myself after i get home from spending time earning money?

Ah man, too much time on the ol' compu today. I'm getting delirious. :crazy:

davisdave
09-22-2013, 04:35 AM
Third, Davisdave's math is pretty screwy.

please elaborate and educate:cheers:

Aqua Puttana
09-22-2013, 05:25 AM
I know that you asked for actual experience. I have none, but I have a good friend who does. I may have mentioned it in other posts.

He designed and built motorcycle carriers which mounted to the frame mounted trailer receiver. He got out of the business. One reason was that people screwed him on on-line credit card transactions. Another reason was that people would not pay attention to his load limits which were determined by the leverage, and there would be hitch, frame, or equipment failures because they loaded his equipment with too much motorcycle.

The 500# tongue weight is a dynamic load as has been indicated. It is also a fairly soft dynamic load given the normal movement and stress excerted by a trailer tongue. By design the 500# load is within a set, fairly short ball mount distance from the trailer hitch frame.

The newer NCV3 Sprinters include a 750# tongue weight for the 3500 models using a Weight Distribution Hitch WDH. I have not seen any T1N NAFTA Sprinter list a tongue weight higher than 500#, but I own a 2500 single wheel model so I didn't search for it that diligently. A cantilevered motorcycle carrier would not benefit from the changes in leverage that a WDH provides because that design applied to trailers uses leverage provided by the trailer tougue/axles.

The cantilevered weight of a motorcycle leveraged out on the trailer hitch receiver has the capability of much more torque than does a trailer tongue on the ball close to the hitch. Using the listed tongue weight directly as rating may not apply.

If I were interested in carrying a motorcycle off the back of my Sprinter I would consider designing some sort of strap supports from the outer end of the carrier up the the roof area. That will help to reduce the stresses during bouncing. Nylon straps or nylon line will have some give so the anchor points won't see that much shock stress.

As others have indicated, my opinion is that the front end being light can be addressed by positioning other cargo and will not be that tough to deal with.

:2cents: vic

shortshort
09-22-2013, 05:53 AM
In practice they do just fine. Really. No need to go into the physics of it.

shortshort
09-22-2013, 05:56 AM
...I have never even seen a Desmosedici in person....

It's just another effing motorcycle

edit: Whatever else you do in this or any other life, DO NOT buy a Ducati. Your SV is more fun and reliable. Character is something we look for in a friend, not in a toy.

Aqua Puttana
09-22-2013, 06:03 AM
In practice they do just fine. Really. No need to go into the physics of it.
Good to know.

So just stay with the manufacturer's motorcycle carrier rating/limitations and all is well.

vic

shortshort
09-22-2013, 06:13 AM
Motorcycles travel well. Their weight is sprung and damped. Aside from the the f*ckwitted rubes who cinch them down till the fork seals pop or fail to properly anchor serviceable tie downs, there is little that ever goes wrong when transporting them.

John484
09-22-2013, 02:41 PM
To the OP, I have just a couple of observations about the rear bike carriers: First, which wheelbase van do you have? The 158 has a lot more overhang behind the rear axle than the 140, and this will amplify problems with weight on the rear. 2nd, whatever model it is, you will be fine. Heed Gulfsv's advice about properly loading the van, if done correctly you wont know it is back there. Which leads to #3: good god it will make you nervous having your bike back there! For some reason I was always uneasy looking at it bounce around back there, even though I never lost a bike(well, just once, and it is embarrassing picking up your dirtbike off a busy 4 lane street), and yes you will see it back there as the bike will stick out on each side. 4. Can't open the rear door, this is worst part of those carriers.5. Securing the bike is more crucial on these carriers than if it were in a van or truck obviously.
My soapbox on bike securing: more straps the better! I attached to something low, like the footpegs, and also something high, like the bars. You dont have to squash it, especially the front; it is easy to tweak the triples just from transport if you really squash the front. The rear of the bike can handle much more crankage then the front that is where you will get your stability(just like riding it!). Never had a seal issue loading like this. Important: no matter how well strapped it is, the straps WILL pogo up and down with bike as you drive, which is good as you know the bike's suspension is doing its job. To prevent a strap from unhooking itself, I put a bungee cord through the strap eyelets, connecting either end of the strap. This is my number one goal when using those carriers, keep strap ends attached firmly at all times.
I raced an '02 sv650, I shpuld never have sold that bike. They are truly giant killers! Perfect track bike for folks with chips on their shoulders(read: every born racer).
Cheers,
J

israndy
09-22-2013, 02:53 PM
I have WAY too much on the back of my vehicle, see http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21810, but I was in the same boat as you. I could have gotten a lighter carrier, made of aluminum, but instead I got the 3 tube version and the hitch reinforced. The guy who did the welding says he spends all day convincing rubes with their Class-C RVs like mine NOT to hang this much weight off. The frame buckles from the extra weight. This has kept me from using it as a daily carrier, but I am still very happy I got it installed. Rather have it and not need it... I really wanted to put it on my original Sprinter van but I didn't have the duallys and the bike was much wider than the van. Now it looks perfect on my newer Sprinter wide-body.

One advantage you have, Pirate, is the length, a 140" means the bike is closer to the axel than most who want to bring their bike. I guess if you had the extra length you would just bring the bike inside. When you put the bike on remember to put more air in the tires, perhaps even take and get it weighed, front and back, as they always tell RVers so you can be sure of it's loading. If it's still in spec you can relax and enjoy.

-Randy

Gulf SV
09-22-2013, 03:16 PM
It's just another effing motorcycle

edit: Whatever else you do in this or any other life, DO NOT buy a Ducati. Your SV is more fun and reliable. Character is something we look for in a friend, not in a toy.


:lol: Sold my Duc to purchase my first SV. Now I have my SV superbike—just shy of 100hp—and an SV road bike. The Duc is a typical red headed Italian. She'll lure you in and make your blood run run hot enough to warm a great Conac. But when she says it's over, you're in trouble and just left with fine, fine memories. Btw, I repurchased the sweetheart I dumped for Suzi. It took me about two months to remember why I walked away the first time. :idunno:

sprinterpirate
09-22-2013, 03:49 PM
:lol: Sold my Duc to purchase my first SV. Now I have my SV superbike—just shy of 100hp—and an SV road bike. The Duc is a typical red headed Italian. She'll lure you in and make your blood run run hot enough to warm a great Conac. But when she says it's over, you're in trouble and just left with fine, fine memories. Btw, I repurchased the sweetheart I dumped for Suzi. It took me about two months to remember why I walked away the first time. :idunno:

It's just another effing motorcycle

edit: Whatever else you do in this or any other life, DO NOT buy a Ducati. Your SV is more fun and reliable. Character is something we look for in a friend, not in a toy.

I raced an '02 sv650, I shpuld never have sold that bike. They are truly giant killers! Perfect track bike for folks with chips on their shoulders(read: every born racer).
Cheers,
J


Haha maybe I need to get a duc for a brief but fiery time, just to get it out of my system! Even though my mind knows Suzi is sweet and consistently there for me, I can't help looking. Suzi gets jealous of my wandering eye... :whistle:

Gulf SV
09-22-2013, 04:17 PM
please elaborate and educate:cheers:

Dave,
Didn't mean to sound harsh or preachy, and I did not see that you are working with a 140wb van. BUT, I have a 158, and that should give me an advantage of better weight distribution to the front. Take a look at the thread i posted to a reply to Sprinterpirate, then look at this post (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=110919&postcount=34). These are the numbers I was working with.

By all rights, my 158 should be less susceptible to rear end weight, but that was not the case—moving 150#s up front made a difference. There are so many dynamics needing to be factored into the equation. For example, the centerline of the carrier which will need to be at least another 15" behind the rear of the van.

I worked, initially, off similar thinking from your diagram. A vehicle, I'm thinking, acts more like a 2nd class lever rather than a 1st. You have this load at the rear moving up and down and constantly changing the load on the front axle. If the front load is substantial, the variance will not cause an adverse effect on control, in the steering or body roll. But find yourself on 6 or 7% downgrades with 50 MPH curves—think I-77 through WVA— a lightening front end and a little body roll can lead to a serious bump in adrenalin.

On a personal note, I like my vehicles to handle well, and I will work to that end within their design confines—Sprinters are not WRXs or Class 6 straight trucks. They are tall and narrow, as we all know. But they can handle far better than some drivers experience. Part of that equation is mechanical—shocks, tires(and pressures), sway bars, and suspension bushings. The second part is load placement. They will take a ton and a half if placed accordingly, and if placed low to the floor—think asphalt shingles— they will handle and run like a scalded-ass ape.:rad: The whole picture needs to be considered.

Hope this help dissuade any thought that my comment was out of bounds. :hugs:

sprinterpirate
09-22-2013, 04:28 PM
I have WAY too much on the back of my vehicle, see http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21810, but I was in the same boat as you. I could have gotten a lighter carrier, made of aluminum, but instead I got the 3 tube version and the hitch reinforced. The guy who did the welding says he spends all day convincing rubes with their Class-C RVs like mine NOT to hang this much weight off. The frame buckles from the extra weight. This has kept me from using it as a daily carrier, but I am still very happy I got it installed. Rather have it and not need it... I really wanted to put it on my original Sprinter van but I didn't have the duallys and the bike was much wider than the van. Now it looks perfect on my newer Sprinter wide-body.

One advantage you have, Pirate, is the length, a 140" means the bike is closer to the axel than most who want to bring their bike. I guess if you had the extra length you would just bring the bike inside. When you put the bike on remember to put more air in the tires, perhaps even take and get it weighed, front and back, as they always tell RVers so you can be sure of it's loading. If it's still in spec you can relax and enjoy.

-Randy

To the OP, I have just a couple of observations about the rear bike carriers: First, which wheelbase van do you have? The 158 has a lot more overhang behind the rear axle than the 140, and this will amplify problems with weight on the rear. 2nd, whatever model it is, you will be fine. Heed Gulfsv's advice about properly loading the van, if done correctly you wont know it is back there. Which leads to #3: good god it will make you nervous having your bike back there! For some reason I was always uneasy looking at it bounce around back there, even though I never lost a bike(well, just once, and it is embarrassing picking up your dirtbike off a busy 4 lane street), and yes you will see it back there as the bike will stick out on each side. 4. Can't open the rear door, this is worst part of those carriers.5. Securing the bike is more crucial on these carriers than if it were in a van or truck obviously.
My soapbox on bike securing: more straps the better! I attached to something low, like the footpegs, and also something high, like the bars. You dont have to squash it, especially the front; it is easy to tweak the triples just from transport if you really squash the front. The rear of the bike can handle much more crankage then the front that is where you will get your stability(just like riding it!). Never had a seal issue loading like this. Important: no matter how well strapped it is, the straps WILL pogo up and down with bike as you drive, which is good as you know the bike's suspension is doing its job. To prevent a strap from unhooking itself, I put a bungee cord through the strap eyelets, connecting either end of the strap. This is my number one goal when using those carriers, keep strap ends attached firmly at all times.
I raced an '02 sv650, I shpuld never have sold that bike. They are truly giant killers! Perfect track bike for folks with chips on their shoulders(read: every born racer).
Cheers,
J
Yah. Its funny, being away from the van and my bike is leading me to think more about them than I would if they were right in front of me. Some thoughts this morning:

I have a number of old carabiners I'm going to use to replace the hooks on the end of my straps. In fact, I have some old screw gates that will be bomber, and I will never worry about the hooks coming off.
Only reason I worry about seals is because of the duration of time the bike may be strapped down. I can imagine some times where the bike is up there for a week at a time--not my goal but I can see it happening. I still have yet to buy emulators & springs for that stock fork though, so if anything happens I guess it will be an excuse to upgrade.
Yeah, the rear door thing has been bugging me for sure. I really like the swing away idea I have seen some folks refer to--and that is offered by the sprinter store, though it would set me back $1k all in. Hard to justify... but it does look sweet! Actually, I'm curious if anyone on the forum has one of these, and what they have actually loaded on it! http://sprinterstore.com/tow_hitches.htm
I do not want my frame to buckle, so at the moment I'm actually holding back from ordering anything until I can get measurements and a closer look at the van. One common characteristic of these rail racks is that they space the bike rail out from the receiver far enough to provide a tie down point on the rack itself. I'm imagining a solution that kills to birds with one stone: If I slide that rail further in to the van (as close as possible without getting dents from the handlebar--I suppose keeping the handlebar 3" away) and use tie down points on the van body itself, I can reduce the length of the cantilever and redistribute some of the load from the chassis to the new tie down points. Where those points would be I'm not certain. I'm thinking two points just above the lights on the back corners (to keep the bike from falling out) and two points on the step bumber (to compress the suspension). Obviously any tie down point on the body sheet metal would require some reinforcement to prevent damage to the body (and to keep the tie down point from just pulling out!). Once I'm home I will post some pics or drawings of what I come up with.

viewmaster
09-22-2013, 04:35 PM
I have yet to use my Versa Haul on my sprinter based View yet,
but here is a shot of my Big Ruck on the back of our old rig.
I don't see why the sprinter would have a problem carrying your zuk.

I have the versa haul model that's supposed to be able to haul 2 bikes side x side, but I don't know how'd they both fit with out clanging into each other, so I've used it as a single.

Anyway, Its held up great and other than it being very heavy (all steel) no issues:

http://www.versahaul.com/vh55dmro.php

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a114/chucktuna/DSC09080.jpg (http://s10.photobucket.com/user/chucktuna/media/DSC09080.jpg.html)

John484
09-22-2013, 04:37 PM
By all rights, my 158 should be less susceptible to rear end weight, but that was not the case—moving 150#s up front made a difference:

I think the extra foot of rear overhang the 158 has vs the 140 more than negates any stability advantage the extra 18" gives it, as far as weight on the rear hitch is concerned. Doesn't the 170 Extended version have a reduced tongue weight rating? Correct me if I am wrong.
Gulfsv, i would love to build a naked, high-barred, hotted-up sv for a streetbike. I know a 100 hp sv used to be a hand grenade, if reliabilty has improved I think a 90hp street engine is plausible. You should open a thread in offtopic area about your engine.
J

Gulf SV
09-22-2013, 04:46 PM
Hi Kevin, thanks for the advice...

...And I agree, ride quality does matter--thats why I ended up purchasing konis all around and a roadmaster swaybar. If I have one gripe about the Sprinter, its that its chassis doesn't seem stout enough to handle the loads that people will obviously load in a cargo area thats so expansive....

You're definitely on the right track with the suspension mods. And as far as damaging the frame, I think those comments are way off base. I'm sure some have done it, but I'd wonder exactly what they had to do to accomplish it. This is how I got to the races for nearly 15 years before I bought Bad Dog—there's close to 1,500#s behind the Saab:

54646

The trailer hitch—my design—attached to Saab's factory mounts on the fuel tank and the rear body panel. If you're worried about frame loading, I'd consider running a couple of pieces of steel tubing from the hitch to the frame rails, maybe in front of the rear axle. I have not looked at this, but it would certainly eliminate any twisting motion on the hitch's mounting points.

54648

A couple of other considerations for you, though. Have you thought about rear lighting? The bike is going to cover your tail lights, and some cop will probably hassle you over it. Consider some lighting on the carrier. I added a larger 3rd brake light that is also a marker light.

54647

You can take the boy out of the truck, but you can't take the truck out of the boy.

John484
09-22-2013, 04:49 PM
Hey sprinter pirate, if you need to leave the bike on it for a week or so, will you be driving the van? If not you can loosen the straps a bit, this saves the spring some wear. FWIW, there are tons of threads on the bike forums about the effects on suspension of bike securement. IE, if the springs are not being "cycled", just staying compressed, is there less harm? And the whole seal issue is hotly debated. I am no engineer, you should research that stuff yourself. I do know that I do not trust the various gadgets and blocks some guys put between front tire and lower triple clamp; all good until it shifts around.
Also, i do not think you will have room to move the assy inboard as your last post detailed. If you could get the bike as close to the van as possible, loading and unloading will suck, if not be impossible without dicking things up.
The carabiner idea sounds good.
And i do think the frame will be fine. We,re not talking about a goldwing here:bounce:

sprinterpirate
09-22-2013, 05:04 PM
This is how I got to the races for nearly 15 years before I bought Bad Dog—there's close to 1,500#s behind the Saab:
54646

Given that EVERY SINGLE PERSON on this forum seems to have raced motorcycles and or bicycles, I propose a Sprinter Forum event in 2014. The 1st annual Sprinter-Moto-Cycle Relay. Each team has one van, one street bike, an MX bike, a road bicycle and a mountain bike.

Fiat Ducatos (Ram Powermasters) and Ford Econolines STRICTLY BARRED FROM ENTRY. All moto & cycle brands permitted.

The support crew, team riders and the bikes (and bicycles) not being used in given stage must be carried behind the active racer by the van itself (trailers permitted). The van crew must ensure that the rider and vehicle for the next stage is in place in time for the baton to be passed from the previous stage.

First stage is a road motorcycle race, which will end at the trailhead where the baton is passed to the MX rider. That stage will go through a dirt course to end at the beginning of the road cycling stage. The road cyclist will pass the baton to the mountain biker waiting at the next trailhead. At the finish line, bonus points will be given to teams who successfully complete a trials course with a trials bike or moto.

Winning team wins replacement turbo resonators and gift certificates for rust removal and paint jobs at the local body shop.

Discussion of logistics to follow...
:popcorn:

Gulf SV
09-22-2013, 05:12 PM
Don't worry about the forks. You have only fluid, no air pressures, and not enough fluid to pump out the forks. My racers have been strapped down for days at a time with no adverse effects. Also, lots of people strap them down way tighter than they need be. Your bungee security will keep the hooks in place.

Gulf SV
09-22-2013, 05:17 PM
....First stage is a road motorcycle race, which will end at the trailhead where the baton is passed to the MX rider. That stage will go through a dirt course to end at the beginning of the road cycling stage. The road cyclist will pass the baton to the mountain biker waiting at the next trailhead. At the finish line, bonus points will be given to teams who successfully complete a trials course with a trials bike or moto.

Winning team wins replacement turbo resonators and gift certificates for rust removal and paint jobs at the local body shop.

Discussion of logistics to follow...
:popcorn:

I'm LMAO over this. We line up about nine Sprinters at a typical AHRMA race weekend, but we'll damn near all have to carry some young buck for the mountain bike leg.:tongue:

Gulf SV
09-22-2013, 05:36 PM
....

Gulfsv, i would love to build a naked, high-barred, hotted-up sv for a streetbike. I know a 100 hp sv used to be a hand grenade, if reliabilty has improved I think a 90hp street engine is plausible. You should open a thread in offtopic area about your engine.
J

John, they still are potential hand grenades, but I have enough mid range that short shifting is the ticket, at least until I get to Road America or Daytona. :tongue:

I'll consider the suggestion in the off season. :hmmm: There are lots of simple things that can be done to boost performance. all it takes is $$$$$$$$$. :lol::cheers:

davisdave
09-22-2013, 05:37 PM
There are so many dynamics needing to be factored into the equation.

Indeed:cheers: As with any vehicle, you should be aware of how its loaded and adjust driving style to the conditions.
I once drove my Toyota SR5 across Jungo Rd full of camping gear (heavy stuff as far forward) and the DRZ hanging off the back. 100 miles of gravel, sand, dust, and washboard with speeds up to 60 mph. Never had an "oh sheite" moment. Somewhere between luck and skill lies the truth:laughing:

http://www.hmarc.com/trips/Gerlachfest/JungoRd.html

calbiker
09-22-2013, 05:49 PM
My 1 1/4" hitch receivers are bolted onto the extended Sprinter frame. The MH is 23' long. I have bolted on V-shaped skid-plates at that location. I had the receivers welded to the iron angle-bracket, otherwise I did the work myself.

http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/qq12/Calbiker/Motorcycle%20carrier/P1100388.jpg

I haven't participated in any ADVRider forum discussions. I secure the bike by sliding a pin through the foot pegs. I found this wasn't adequate. One peg busted at the end of my 2000 mile trip through Baja last January. Glad the bike didn't fall off. I now secure the bike with ratchet straps along with the peg pins. The pins hold the bike in place and the straps cranks down on the suspension. It's very solid.

Go with an Al stringer and tray to save on weight. Weight is your biggest concern. Reduce it were you can. Don't worry about Al strength. My stringer is made from 6061 Al. That's aircraft grade. The 2" receiver tube and the two 1 1/4" receivers are steel.

Cal



I saw you wrote about the added 1 1/4" hitches on the discussion about versa-lift carrier. Yours were bolted on, right? Is that something you purchased as a kit or did you fab it yourself?

Also, regarding the Add-A-Bike, I saw it discussed at ADVRider forum, I'm wondering if you were in on that discussion too. I saw alot of mention about securing the bike with the pegs, which I think is the setup you have. Not sure that particular setup would work with my bike.

Why aluminum? Eliminating rust or for light weight? I was actually thinking an alu tray would be ideal, to prevent rust and to reduce weight. But is the main tube that fits in the receiver aluminum? That would scare me, considering the way aluminum fatigues, and then fails catastrophically--instead of just bending like steel does. Not that I think its an issue for your bike, but mine is at least $1.50 heavier than yours...

jcmadeintheshade@gmail.com
09-22-2013, 06:58 PM
I designed a great off road moto carrier that is available in steel that allows the moto to swing away from the rear of the van without unloading for easy access to the rear doors. It was used on a ford 4 wheel drive van and requires dual receivers to be welded onto the chassis beams. I believe you would need a 3500 to carry the weight but my 3/4 ton ford handled it well with no problems at the time. Being able to swing it away from the van without unloading was the trick and the left hand mount was triangulated to support the swing out motion. It comes with a loading ramp, a clamp bar to prevent any rocking of the moto frame, and has some rack parts for carrying a large Knaack tool, box on the dual receivers. $200. A bit of weight could be saved if it could be built strong enough out of aluminum I am sure. Sorry, no photos as I am digitally deficient and a dinosaur, technologically speaking. And it is too heavy to even consider shipping anywhere. That being said, any interested party's can always arrange to check it out when in my North San Diego coastal area and maybe use the design to fabricate one in aluminum if they so choose. Thanks to all here for their generosity on a daily basis.

israndy
09-23-2013, 02:45 PM
Given that EVERY SINGLE PERSON on this forum seems to have raced motorcycles and or bicycles, I propose a Sprinter Forum event in 2014. The 1st annual Sprinter-Moto-Cycle Relay. Each team has one van, one street bike, an MX bike, a road bicycle and a mountain bike.

Seems like fun, but half the goal is to get ALL your vehicles in one place, we all have Sprinters and motorcycles and bikes, but we use them ourselves. Why go down to the pub and get some drunk to ride your BMX when the reason you own them is to ride them yourself. So I suggest if we really do this, make the race be about racing all your vehicles yourself. Not done a lot of thinking, but drive in with your bikes on your Sprinter, at some point, move to the motorcycle for a trail the Sprinter cannot venture upon. Somehow then to the bicycle, perhaps put it over your shoulder? Or a loop for the bike, or leave your bike at the end of the trail... Oh, yes, drop your bike at the beginning, drive the Sprinter to the end, ride your bicycle to the motorcycle, no, that leaves the bicycle alone...

I still like the idea of doing all the driving somehow, and I know I will not win if a bicycle is involved unless I can bring my electric bicycle. I certainly have no "team" to ride all the vehicles. Oh, maybe a competition of driving the van WITH everything on-board! The trailer guys would loose that. Well, if parking was part of the competition...

-Randy