rear motorcycle hitch carrier for 2 dirt bikes - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 20th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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mike
1995, defender 90
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rear motorcycle hitch carrier for 2 dirt bikes

need some help here please. Does anyone see a problem with this system of taking 2 dirt bikes around on the back of my d90?
1 person told me it is the worst idea ever to do as the truck is not made to carry weight like that. I did it with 2 bikes and all seemed fine; however, I do not want to damage my truck, nor do I want to risk safety.

fyi: the dirt bikes only weigh about 225lbs each.

thanks so much in advance

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  #2  
Old November 20th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Jon Rosemeier
1997 Defender 90
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Exceeds max tongue weight?

The max tongue weight is 350lb. That DRZ is 291 dry, with the weight of the carrier I would guess you are pushing the limit with one bike. Trouble is the load is overhung which develops quite a bending moment on the bumper. I wouldn't do it.
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  #3  
Old November 20th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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Gary
97 SW
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According to the owners manual the maximum trailer tongue weight is 350 lbs. At 225 lbs each plus the weight of the rack itself, the set-up seems overweight for the hitch.

Also, depending on what gear you are carrying in the truck, you might be watchful not to exceed the gross rear axle weight maximum of 3300 lbs. (This is for a 97 - I can't imagine it is too different for a 95.)
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  #4  
Old November 20th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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mike
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ouch. i had no idea. i thought a class III was sufficient to hold this weight. The hitch receiver seems quite heavy duty as it is mounted to the frame in many places.

are we positive the max weight in the receiver is 350lbs?
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  #5  
Old November 20th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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Jim Cheney
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Its not a max receiver weight of 350 pounds, its a max tongue weight. If you don't like the 350 pounds figure, you can always go off of the 175 kilo figure quoted in European sources - but that's still only 362 pounds.

The tongue weight is the major limiting factor when towing with a defender. It will pull more, and the very high cargo capacity for loads positioned over the rear axle makes you think it might accept a higher tongue weight, but it doesn't.
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  #6  
Old November 20th, 2008, 06:07 PM
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mike
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very informative, any thoughts on other ways to transport 2-3 bikes for not a lot of money?
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  #7  
Old November 20th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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Michael Steil
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I would be more worried about the carrier holding my bikes than I would the 90 handling the weight. Most of those carriers in my opinion are not worth squat. Let someone drive your truck while you follow behind it and tell me if you feel ok with bouncing that goes on. Metal fatigue is a scary thing over time. Just find a cheap trailer on CL that folds up or go buy a new one that I bet you can get for under a grand. A cheap trailer is way better than a bike carrier. Just my opinion but I have been riding for over 30 years and would not put my bike or bikes on a carrier for more than a short trip.
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  #8  
Old November 21st, 2008, 06:44 AM
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Dale
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I concur w/ mpsteil. We carried a KTM to Canada years ago, and for some reason I was behind my truck while the bike was beeing moved- very scarey, and I had an expensive, well designed carrier. The physics get even scarier when you look at the moment arm AND the torsional load combined- trailer is the only way- except of course, as they say- "just ride".... or switch trucks to a 130 or 110 3-door??
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  #9  
Old November 21st, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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You're fine. DO a search for posts by me and you will see a thread I made a while back doing exactly this. I even had the exact same carrier. I hauled a drz400 and klx 250 on the back of my D-90 cross country and back. The car handled the weight fine. Yes it's over the max tongue weight. Yes someone on this board is gonna flame you for considering the idea and not just getting a trailer but it's doable and works fine. On that old thread there is a picture of it all loaded up, so you can see how the car sits. I drove my defender (very carefully) halfway up the wheeler lake trail in CO with the two bikes on the back. It was fine, just keep in mind the weight is back there. I did get pulled over once for not having clearly visible tail lights but no ticket.

About that rack.. It served my purposes fine, but it did eventually break. Those small, 1x1 bars you hook the straps onto will start to bend and eventually they will go.
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  #10  
Old November 21st, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Jim Cheney
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And now you've got opinions from both ends of the spectrum.

The problem with doing things that aren't recommended is that its much like the disclaimer in investment commercials - "past performance is not an indicator of future results." Giving advice to not do something because there is a potential risk is defensible, giving advice to do something potentially risky because its been successfully done before is simply a different way of restating that there will not be a problem 100% of the time.

Bottom line, now you know what the factory considers the parameters to be, what a number of people's opinions are, and that disaster is not necessarily guaranteed if you hang 6-700 pounds 36 inches out behind the rear axle of your 92 inch wheelbase truck.

I wonder what will fail first? I wonder what sort of problem might occur if you hit the right bump just the wrong way, the carrier snaps off, or the bad weight distribution leads to some lack of ability to maintain control of the vehicle. Wouldn't it be fun to be the one to figure that out the hard way?
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  #11  
Old November 24th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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Oh I completely agree. I thought the same thing when I towed a 7K pound unbraked trailer with the defender. It worked but I wouldn't recommend it. Looking back on it, I would have used a trailer not because I felt the defender was barely getting by but mainly because that rack was such bitch to get in and out. It's cumbersome and probably weighs 70 pounds.

Mike, I think you realize using a double carrier exceeds the max tongue weight of the car and carries some risk. In fact, it's exceeds the max tongue weight on most pickups. Jim, is right. If you choose to do it, be careful and check it often. Worked fine for me, but that's my truck.
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  #12  
Old November 24th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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mike
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thanks
i was actually looking for someone who did in fact try this.

Thanks SFLASH868 for letting me know you made it cross country.

farthest i am going is maybe bear mountain but if I do that i will have 2 single carriers, one up front and one in teh back, car will be much better balanced at that point.

thanks everyone for your advice, info, opinions, etc.
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