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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
gals and guys,

looking for recommendations from experience with motorcycle trailer hitch carriers.

My current challenge is with an Audi Q7 and 999R.............:D

Thanks,

Joe
 

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Wish I can help, but I am as interested in this myself as you are. I have a GL550 and am thinking of getting a track bike (848 hopefully). It would be awesome not to rely on 'friend with a truck' if I don't have to for track days :D

That and I prefer the hitch carrier over buying a trailer (for storage reasons) or renting a trailer each time (for hassle reasons).

My last track day there was a guy pitting in the same garage as me and he had one of these. Pulled his SUV right into the garage, lowered the ramp, walked bike on to it, and bing. I think the whole thing took him a couple of minutes.

Although I would be a bit nervous with the tiny ramp to be honest. Maybe there's one that goes down electronically for pansies like me. :abduct: Just kidding, even if there is I don't think it would be worth the cost.
 

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This is why we encourage folks to use this whole forum, not just hang out in one section. There's good information everywhere on here.
Just sayin... :)
 

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I have a BMW X3 on which I retrofitted the trailer hitch to tow the bikes to the track.

I went with the OEM from BMW primarily because I didn't want to deal with direct fit that are not so direct, particularly in the wiring department. I had the BMW instructions and it was quite simple: remove the bumper cover, replace the crossmember with the one with the hitch, plug in and route the wiring and put things back together.

Works as intended. Only issue I ever had with it was when I used the trailers with LED lights that would trigger my light control module and have the signals hyper-blink. Audi/VW has a particular adapter with a resistor that took car of it.

As far as towing, well I pulled 3 bikes, a Veapa, camping gears and 5 people no problems. Going up a couple passes too...

Car has the inline 6, 3 liter, 230 HP, 6 speed manual.

Sent from my Nexus One
 

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I've used a MotoTote Motorcycle Carriers - The Easiest way to haul your Bike for my Sport Classic, Hyper and now my 749R and haven't had any issues. My SUV has a 600lb tongue weight rating and air suspension leveling so driving has been safe and easy. I can load/unload myself and don't have to worry about slower speed limits due to using a trailer.
 

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I use a versahualer for my streetfighter and my track R6. Only prerequisite is a class 3 hitch. Tongue weight max for me is 700, so my bike and hauler are well under the limit. When I picked up my bike I had it sitting on the carrier for about 2 1/2 days. 500 mile trip and not a single incident. Best of all, when I store it I just prop it against the wall in the garage which takes up no room.

 

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That's cool man, looks great and solid with the 4Runner.

I was reading into a bunch of this stuff last night and I'm not sure where the discrepancies are between the Versahaul charts and various manufacturers recommended maximum tongue weights.

The only thing I came up with is that, on the Versahaul charts page, they state that the maximum weights in the charts are recommended for keeping the carrier rack level. I noticed the only vehicles on their charts that are rated at 600lbs are the Ford F250s and other serious trucks that are getting beyond the "normal" truck/SUV category.

So I understood that to mean, your truck/SUV might have a rated tongue weight of 600lbs (as mine is according to my research last night), but the Versahaul rack can or will hang back a little bit (lower to the ground as it gets further from the vehicle) although it won't overload the hitch or affect handling.

Still sounds sketchy but all the good stories are encouraging. It's also possible to reinforce the hitch as well as some people seem to have done, where it connects to the front axle somehow(?) and distributes the weight. I know nothing about towing, really, so I don't know how a weight distributing hitch or similar modification would help in this scenario where all the weight is right at the back of the truck/SUV, without a trailer to take some of the load off.
 

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That's cool man, looks great and solid with the 4Runner.

I was reading into a bunch of this stuff last night and I'm not sure where the discrepancies are between the Versahaul charts and various manufacturers recommended maximum tongue weights.

The only thing I came up with is that, on the Versahaul charts page, they state that the maximum weights in the charts are recommended for keeping the carrier rack level. I noticed the only vehicles on their charts that are rated at 600lbs are the Ford F250s and other serious trucks that are getting beyond the "normal" truck/SUV category.

So I understood that to mean, your truck/SUV might have a rated tongue weight of 600lbs (as mine is according to my research last night), but the Versahaul rack can or will hang back a little bit (lower to the ground as it gets further from the vehicle) although it won't overload the hitch or affect handling.

Still sounds sketchy but all the good stories are encouraging. It's also possible to reinforce the hitch as well as some people seem to have done, where it connects to the front axle somehow(?) and distributes the weight. I know nothing about towing, really, so I don't know how a weight distributing hitch or similar modification would help in this scenario where all the weight is right at the back of the truck/SUV, without a trailer to take some of the load off.
You would need a trailer to use a weight distributing hitch. It needs another axle to distribute the weight properly.

There is not a lot you can do about tongue weight. Getting the weight as close to the back of the vehicle will reduce the leverage and help, but still will not help a weight limit that was designed by the vehicle's engineers.
 

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You would need a trailer to use a weight distributing hitch. It needs another axle to distribute the weight properly.

There is not a lot you can do about tongue weight. Getting the weight as close to the back of the vehicle will reduce the leverage and help, but still will not help a weight limit that was designed by the vehicle's engineers.
Thanks Wonway, That makes sense...

What do you think about the discrepancy of the Versahaul weight limits compared to vehicle manufacturer weight limit?

For example, the VH Sport with a GL350 (they don't have a GL550 on their chart but it's essentially the same exact car) is rated at 260 lbs on their site; however, according to my owner's manual, the tongue weight rating is 600lbs.

My theory is that Versahaul is stating max weight, per their site, as "(maximum weight allowed in order to sit level)" - i.e., loading higher than that (but below the TWR) would not cause the hitch to break.

Am I on the right track with this thought process?
 

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Give them a call, but I believe you are on the right track as to why Versahaul publishes different limits. Probably to take into account a few things; 1) The added weight of the actual versahaul carrier itself, 2) the max weight before the vehicle looks nose 'high', and 3) stock suspension without any supporting mods i.e. air bags, stiffer springs, etc..

My suspension is not stock. In fact its lifted about 3.5" with heavier weight springs. I also have firestone air bags that I fill up when I do tow so I don't squat in the rear. So after all is said and done, I'm perfectly level with the SF or R6 on the hitch. Also referencing what Wonway said about placement, if you look at this old pic I actually have about another 1.5-2" I can slide the bike closer to my tailgate. The first time I adjusted it I did move it almost 5 inches closer to the tailgate which did help a bit. I'm as close now to the tailgate as I can get and honestly I don't feel any difference with it back there or not.

Another story... quick and simple. Another guy picked up a mototote (mototote.com) with a stock 4runner. he transported his bike (ZX10R) from Tahoe, NV to New Orleans, LA without a problem. AND, the mototote is only 63lbs which is about 1/3 lighter than my versahual.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
lot of good info here. Thanks to all that have shared.

found this on the Versahaul website:
I own a 2000 Chevy Tahoe 2-wheel drive. Your website says I can't carry more than about 300 pounds on a VersaHaul on my car. Why? The Tahoe manual says it can carry 500 pounds tongue weight. So why can't the Tahoe carry as much as the other trucks you have listed?
The Tahoe is carrying a weight extended two feet from the hitch. This is a force applied through a distance or torque. Leverage creates a mechanical disadvantage. Thus, a weight of 300 lbs. may exert 500 lbs. on your hitch. If your hitch is strong enough, then the next concern I have is your suspension. A 300 lb. load with a standard suspension Tahoe will tilt the car's frame backwards similar to a trailer. With more weight, the rear suspension may compress completely. Auto ride suspension, air bags, and other suspension stiffing devices will increase your vehicle's capacity to carry a load.

Unfortunately, the standard suspensions on Tahoes and other SUVs are not as stiff as truck's with pick-up beds. It is important to follow our Recommended Carrying Capacity Chart to avoid dangerously overloading your vehicle.

Note: We have tested a 600+ lb. Polaris four wheeler on a VH-90 RO and a 2000 Tahoe. The Tahoe's spring compressed completely, and it was difficult to drive

Thanks Wonway, That makes sense...

What do you think about the discrepancy of the Versahaul weight limits compared to vehicle manufacturer weight limit?

For example, the VH Sport with a GL350 (they don't have a GL550 on their chart but it's essentially the same exact car) is rated at 260 lbs on their site; however, according to my owner's manual, the tongue weight rating is 600lbs.

My theory is that Versahaul is stating max weight, per their site, as "(maximum weight allowed in order to sit level)" - i.e., loading higher than that (but below the TWR) would not cause the hitch to break.

Am I on the right track with this thought process?
 

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Get the Moto-Tote

I bought the higher weight capacity Moto-Tote this past spring because it seemed to be the best combination of high quality and low weight. Also, the anti-wobble bolt really does work very well. I drag my Duc's a couple of hours each way to the dealer on a combination of twisty back roads and high speed bumby interstates and don't have a problem. I highly recommend Moto-Tote.
 

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The real question is how much risk you're willing to take. Your SUV will probably handle the tongue weight, you just need to decide what amount of safety margin you are comfortable with. The manufacturers spec the requirements to remove liability.

That being said I have had good luck with the discount ramps products, but I have only used the dirt bike haulers. They also recommend a class IV or V hitch for the sport bikes to handle the tongue weight.

If you have the space it may be worth looking at a small bike trailer.

Does your Q7 have the air suspension?
 

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I'm also on the fence between a carrier and trailer.

My choice is the other way around: What is the smallest SUV or Pick-up with a crew cab I can buy to use a carrier?

Will a F150 crew cab with short bed be ok?

How about more urban SUVs? I'm not interested in going up to a Range Rover so, which other one can carry those?

Thanks for everyone's input. This is great.


Sent from my iPhone using Motorcycle.com App
 

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Motorcycle trailer hitch carrier

Hi

I use this carrier for my 900SS and my 850 Norton. VersaHaul Single Motorcycle Carrier with Ramp - VH-55 RO - versahaul

The hitch is on a 2007 Acura MDX. The only issue is that I/one has to retighten the set bolt on the hauler, as it tends to back out. No, have not used a thread locker on it yet. I just pull over before I get to a lot of twisties or rough road sections and make sure everything is ok back there.

It is very stable and I hardly notice the weight on the rear of the MDX.

Hope that helps.
Guy
 

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On a stretch will the LEOs be able to see your license plate?
You may run into a grumpy one and have to do some explaining...
 
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