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Thread: Another Hitch Rack Question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tjmay's Avatar
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    Another Hitch Rack Question

    My solid steel hitch rack seem solid with now about 600 miles under my belt.

    My question concerns the hitch stabilizer I added. There’s no doubt that this significantly reduces the inherent wobble in a hitch mounted rack.

    But, because the welded piece that has the two holes for the tie-down straps won’t allow the use of the first hitch pin hole, in order to use this stabilizer, I had to use the second hitch pin hole adding about an inch and half to the length of the lever.

    So, is the extra length of the frame and the additional weight/stress it adds worth the ability to use the stabilizer? I’m sure there’s a formula to calculate this but i have no clue.

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    Honda CB150
    Triumph Cub
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    Triumph Bonneville
    Current Bike: TW200 Named Sloth
    She’s slow and can climb a tree!

  2. #2
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Increasing the length of the extension increases the effective weight of the carrier (tongue weight). If your carrier plus bike weighs 425 lbs and your hitch is rated at 600 lbs. you are fine. Now double the length of the extension from 15 inches to 30 inches and your effective tongue weight doubles to 850 lbs., exceeding the rating by 250 lbs. But you are not doubling the extension, you are only adding 1.5 inches. Therefore 15 inches X 110%= 16.5 inches. so you are increasing your effective tongue weight by only 10%, or to 467 lbs. instead of 425, still well under your rating of 600 lbs. No worries, PROVIDED YOUR MAX TONGUE WEIGHT RATING IS 600 LBS. or better, which you did not say. You need to measure the distance from where a standard hitch ball would be to the center of where the tray was before the extension, to account for the increase due to using the second hole. Let's say that was 18 inches. The 1.5 inch increase equals 8.5% of the actual weight of the carrier plus bike. You will have to weight the carrier and the bike separately, my calculation is only a rough guess.

    If your rig worked fine with the carrier originally, no front end wandering or rear axle bottoming, the 1.5 inch extension will probably not be noticeable. If you were already experiencing those problems it might get dangerous.
    Last edited by RockyTFS; 06-27-2018 at 07:56 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    i pushed my rack in as far as it would fit and drilled a new hole, works good
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    Greg

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Tjmay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grewen View Post
    i pushed my rack in as far as it would fit and drilled a new hole, works good
    I thought of that but was concerned that another hole in addition to the three already there might compromise the tongue strength. In any event, based on Rocy’s explanation, I think I’m ok as it is.

    Thanks Rocky.
    Honda CB150
    Triumph Cub
    Honda 250
    Triumph Bonneville
    Current Bike: TW200 Named Sloth
    She’s slow and can climb a tree!

  6. #5
    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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    I did the same as Greg and also drilled and tapped the receiver to make by own stabilizer.

    Can you not flip your stabilizer so it would not interfere with the tie downs?
    Last edited by ejfranz; 06-28-2018 at 08:32 AM.
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    2001 TW200 sporting a MT43 up front. Duro has gone to a good home. 2015 VStrom XT, 1996 DT 200, Broken 2010 Xingue 400 XY. 2009 WR250r now shared with my son.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Tjmay might be able to use the first hitch pin hole if he installs his tightener differently in one of the several commonly encountered orientations.a1.jpg
    a2.jpg
    a3.jpg
    ejfranz, admiral and Rockit like this.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member fishguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejfranz View Post
    I did the same as Greg and also drilled and tapped the receiver to make by own stabilizer.

    Can you not flip your stabilizer so it would not interfere with the tie downs?
    On the MX Hauler carrier the insert tongue is taped to receive the threaded end of the hitch pin. It tightens and does a good job.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Tjmay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Tjmay might be able to use the first hitch pin hole if he installs his tightener differently in one of the several commonly encountered orientations.a1.jpg
    a2.jpg
    a3.jpg
    Wow!

    It never occurrd to me to mount the stabilizer on the bottom!

    Problem solved.

    Thanx!
    Honda CB150
    Triumph Cub
    Honda 250
    Triumph Bonneville
    Current Bike: TW200 Named Sloth
    She’s slow and can climb a tree!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Tjmay, unfortunately you have the narrower style of U-bolt so cannot achieve the possibly superior clamping depicted in the first and third photos. In these the U-bolts are wide enough to engage the receiver beyond the "welt". Maybe better? Who knows.
    As can be seen in the second photo there is nothing keeping the tensioner's plate from wiggling on the receiver other than the U-bolt tension and being snug around the carrier tube and most importantly flush up against the vehicle's receiver .
    Your might do better by imitating the second photo.

    If this can permit the TW carrier to slide closer to the haul vehicle and use the other hitch pin location then life gets much better. Less cantilever means less nose lift on the unloaded front suspension, better steering and braking, better angle of departure before scrapping, etc.

    Happy Trails!Happy.jpeg
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Tjmay's Avatar
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    I got my inch and a half back!

    I simply slid the rack back in to the first hole, turned the stabilizer upside down and voila!

    A really simple hack that I never saw.

    Thanks guys...

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    Honda CB150
    Triumph Cub
    Honda 250
    Triumph Bonneville
    Current Bike: TW200 Named Sloth
    She’s slow and can climb a tree!

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