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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum, and new to the TW200. I just picked up my first ever motorbike, a 2004 TW with just under 900 miles on it. The thing is beautiful and I can hardly wait to take it on some trails.

So I need a hitch mount carrier, and I am trying to get one that has a rear 2" receiver on it, so I can hook up my raft trailer and use the bike to run shuttles, or perhaps toss my mountain bike rack on. I'm not finding a lot of hitch mounted carriers that have a 2" receiver out the back. The VersaHauler looks nice, but it's spendy! I stumbled upon this one today and it seems to fit the bill, but thought I'd check to see if anyone here has seen or owned one of these? The reviews on the website are glowing, but I have to wonder if they are all legit. Hoping to find another review somewhere else, but haven't had luck. Thoughts?

https://wmastore.com/1000lb-Motorcycle-CarrierCargo-Baskets-AM1306D.htm

Excited to become part of this community!

Cheers.

Jon
 

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Versahaul is legit. Spend the money, it's worth it.
 

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Hi Jon, and welcome to the forum!

I do not have any personal experience with this hauler and am not familiar with it, but I am familiar with the VersaHaul carrier so here are my thoughts.

This carrier has some of the nice features of the VersaHaul and looks to be a well built unit. As such it will be very large and heavy and will be difficult and awkward to store and to get mounted on the tow vehicle. Due to the storage baskets, the rail that holds the bike will be quite a ways away from the receiver. This dramatically increases the load on the receiver/tow vehicle. This may or may not be an issue depending upon the capacity of your tow vehicle. I don't know if those baskets are readily removeable, but if you don't plan on using them, you could possibly shorten the carrier and move the bike closer to your vehicle.

I hope this helps,

Brian
 

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I looked the specs and pictures of the carrier over as well as possible, as it has my attention now also..
That being said, does the rail look wide enough to handle the width of the back tire on a T-dub ?
I'm not sure, but curious to know if you guys and gals think it's wide enough ?

excalibur
 

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I can't reccomend this as I have no experience but something like this would solve your problem along with a more traditional hitch rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the thoughts. @Tjmay, I've considered one of those hitch splitters, but the added piece and connections concerned me, and I haven't found a definitive answer as to whether one of those pieces would work in this case.

Both vehicles I'll be using have class 3 hitches with 500lb tongue weights, so that isn't an issue with any of the racks considered.

I'm leaning towards the versahaul as it appears to be more of a known company with good reputation. The cargo baskets of the one I linked to was kind of a nice feature, but not totally necessary, and adds to the weight, bulk and length of the rack. One issue I have that I need to look at before I order is a slide-in camper I'm using on one of my vehicles. The camper is a little longer than the bed, so I'll need the rack to stick out far enough so the handlebars clear the back of the camper. I had that issue with a bicycle rack so I had to add a hitch extender, which was no big deal for a bicycle rack (and had a handy step on it), but not sure I want to use an extender on a heavier motorcycle rack.

Thanks again folks. I'll report back after I make a decision with my experience for future users.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So here is my problem. The versahaul won’t work on my truck/camper setup as the handlebars of the TW will hit the camper. I currently use a hitch extender with step. One sticker on the extender says my towing capacity will be 50% with the extender, which is fine as my trailer is light. The more important criteria is tongue weight, which the other sticker says is now 400lbs. (My hitch alone is 500lbs). So with a roughly 300lb bike and probably 100lb carrier, I’m maxed out on tongue weight which means I can’t tow anything.

The original carrier I linked to would solve the handlebar - camper clearance issues without losing tongue weight capacity with an extender, and have a rear receiver to hitch my trailer to. My only concern is the unknown quality of this carrier.

Thoughts?

M



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I don't know that Versahaul actually makes a carrier with "baskets" like the brand you were originally asking about? At least in the front/towards the tow vehicle. I know they do have one model that has a storage platform in the back but it's not baskets. Key is keeping the big weigh as close to the tow vehicle as possible.
Seems more like your real issue is you have maxed-out towing capacity of your vehicle as you try to extend so it clears your trailer (door & step) but also haul something else in those baskets? I'm I getting this right?
Versa make a two-bike version. That would certainly "extend" to clear your trailer and you probably wouldn't need to add a 3rd party extension either, the Versa itself is the extension. There are so many carrier companies out there copying or coming up with their own design it seems they put more effort into marketing and advertising than their product. The brand you were originally asking about actually does looks good but so far no one here can vouch for it and this TW crowd does use a bunch of different varieties of carriers. That should be somewhat of a tell. Most of all you want to make sure your load is safe for your vehicle and more so for those on the road behind you. Versahaul is Made in the USA and while not inexpensive is as far top-of-the-line you can get IMO. If I was only going to use it locally I would have purchased a lesser and certainly lighter carrier. But I take very long trips with it and it can pull my Kendon Trailer too. And I use it for other bikes besides the TW. Seeing as I tow with a Jeep Wrangler the spare tire at the rear of the vehicle was and is always something I have to deal with. I set the carrier itself pretty far back to clear it. But I can't open my rear door with a bike on it. Just something you/I have to deal with. Made the purchase and really don't have to think or wonder about it anymore.

Mine, the standard 500lb. carrier
IMG_5367.jpg
Mine
IMG_5372.JPG

Mine with a hitch ball for my trailer.
IMG_5630.jpg

While up at Dirt Daze during Americade last month I switched my trailer to a buddy that had two (2) bikes to bring home. So I used his Versahaul "Sport" or 600lb. model. Pretty much the same as mine but the ramp and carrier was a lot wider. Frigg'in heavy too but as solid as if not more so than the frame on my Jeep.
IMG_6210.JPG

IMG_6203.JPG
 

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New aluminum one , with steel base from harbor freight has worked fine for me and its light. Old designs had aluminum base too and they bent and/or cracked. No problems so far.

20180418_180335.jpg
 

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Stagewex, i would be very interested as to what the weight is on the rear axle of your jeep with the bike loaded on


Well, lets see. The TW is 262lbs dry but I'll call that 270 for an even number. The Versahaul is 84lbs, call that 85 (but it really feels like 90). So 355ibs. I'd have to measure how far back the carrier is from the hitch to use a formula. Jeep says it can "tow" 2000lbs and has a load-rate of 500lbs at the hitch (I assume ball). But that calculation changes the further away from the vehicle you go. I'll measure it over the weekend. The TW is the only bike I use the Wrangler for, its a real Jeep, not the 4 door suburban automatic SUV, so the famous "short frame". If I'm using the carrier for other bikes its a big Honda Odessy or a Toyota Tacoma.

Putting either of my BMW's (450 to 500lbs.) on the carrier the headlights on the Jeep would be shooting out into the sky. TW there is no or very little change.
 

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A few considerations:

People speak of "the VersaHauler" as if it were a unique identifier but Ezra Distributing, Inc. markets at least nine different motorcycle carriers and another 21 or so carriers and receiver products bearing the VersHauler logo.

Adding weights together and comparing them to towing capacity or tongue weights is very false as anyone who has studies Statics and Dynamics in Physics will attest to. There is no simple math analogy to tongue weight ratings using a reciever hitch carrier. One needs to look at force times lever arm lengths for center of gravity of motorcycle and the distances to theoretical ball location, 2" receiver location, frame mounting location and perhaps most importantly distance to rear axle.
If one takes the time to properly quantify the forces at play it would not be unusual to find that an equivalent theoretical weight on the theoretical ball location that results in the same forces applied to the vehicle approaches or exceeds the listed ratings for vehicle, hitch, &/or receiver structure.
Fortunately in the engineering world practical and legal liability considerations almost invariable result in safety factors of at least 100%. For example in the materials lab if I consistently break something at around a 1000 pound load I would rate it for 500 pounds and legal would then want to publish a maximum recommended loading of 250 pounds. Thus stuff is typical a lot stronger than it's published rating when installed and used properly. Safety factors helps stuff survive real world irregularities, wear, corrosion and misuse.

As far as effective TW loaded weights my Betty Boop configured for a full day solo high mileage outback outing with a full 2.3 XT225 tank, Cyclerack, RotoPack, tools, beverages, emergency gear can tip the scales at over 330 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Fred for your in depth thoughts. This has turned into quite a discussion. I have learned a lot about towing, tongue weights, etc.

My current thinking is this. My plan to carry a motorbike on a hitch carrier while towing a small trailer seems like a recipe for disaster. I believe if I want to haul the trailer and bike, I can perhaps modify the trailer to haul both, perhaps with a bike tray attached to the triangular tongue of the trailer (which I realize will greatly increase my tongue weight). But this loading scenario is less important right now. What I really need is a way to haul the bike with a hitch carrier attached to my truck camper setup. The hitch extender with step states a tongue weight of 400lbs which seems doable with a 300+lb bike and. 50ish lb rack. I’d be approaching the 400lb limit but like you say, I’m sure legal is extra conservative on these numbers.

A front hitch would balance the load and allow for easy trailer hauling but that just doesn’t seem right to me. Blocked visibility, lights, etc concern me and the added strain on a small 1/2 ton older truck frame where it wasn’t really designed to be put. I’ll pass.

Anyone see a problem with using my hitch extender and a basic tray rack in the rear?


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Discussion Starter #16
I’ve also contacted the hitch extender manufacturer with my plan. We’ll see what they say.


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F=MA ...Force equals mass times acceleration.... Weight (measured in pounds) equals the intrinsic mass times the gravity field it experiences....bounce that load over a small bump and the acceleration can easily double from 1 G to 2 or more Gs thus increasing the perceived weight commensurably.
So be very careful on any bumps with the hitch extender and basic tray or you might be dipping deep into safety margin territory.

Now if money is no object these are sweet. I dearly regret selling a smaller model years ago:

The single wheel units don't track that well on highway snowpack but there are two wheel models available that might better match the wheel track of haul vehicle. All these swivel wheels really add to vehicles polar moment of inertia with resultant delayed responses in the corners for a small rear wheel drive haul vehicle....initiate turn in early and lightly, begin recovery early and strongly.;)
 

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FWIW,,,,,,I have about 12000 miles on my chevy 2500 now, carrying the tw on a front receiver hitch/rack combo. I did beef it up by adding 2x2 angle iron on each side from where the tow hooks were. Or like Grewen did, cable from the tow hooks to the rack.
Not sure how much beefier the 2500 frame is in front than a 1500?
If going down into a steep wash, have to watch to make sure you don't bottom out, but no different than similar angle with bike on the back. Doesn't obstruct my visibility. Did have to rig up snowplow type lights in order to drive at night.
Sure like being able to keep an eye on it/reminded its there on the front. And doesn't get as trashed and muddied up when on dirt/mud roads. AND, I can get in and out of the camper with out any hassle.
 

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+1 on the snowplow lights. Don't know why so many say blocking the headlights makes a front carrier a non-option not worth consideration. Seems adding lights and a front carrier solves most of the impossible-to-solve hauling situations folks complain about.
 

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Would not consider putting a load on an extended hitch. One thing to hook a trailer to it with a very light tongue weight, but 300lbs would be a lot of torque on the receiver hitch.

Might add that I saw a truck with camper dragging his carryall on the highway last week. Guess is that the hitch on the truck failed and let it drop.
 
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