Author Topic: Moto Tote  (Read 817 times)

Offline Bulldog9

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Moto Tote
« on: December 18, 2022, 07:29:11 AM »
Decided to pull the trigger on a hitch mounted carrier. I really don't have space or need to buy a MC trailer, and if I did, would be buying something I could use to tote any and all of my toys which would e a $10K expense......

LOTS of Chineseium options but I wanted a US made product, and one that could handle any of my bikes.  Settled on this from Moto Tote. Will likely never load the biggest of my bikes (1200 Sport or Convert) on it, but with a 600lb capacity I could. I could load it in the back of my truck, but HATE doing that, especially as my truck has a 2" lift. These seem easier to manipulate and load/unload.

Will (in theory) make quick and easy loading of a bike, and ultimately loading the Stornello for our Camping Trips when in the front hitch mount and trailer on the rear.

Main reason I bought it is I will head up to VA in February to the Moto Grappa at the Top of Virginia to collect the 750 Breva I picked up for my wife. Will 'tote' it back to Kentucky and get it set up for her. First will be a lower profile tire than stock and then measuring height will order custom shorter shocks from ICON or Hagon so she can flat foot.

She's a pretty little thing............ (Mrs Bulldog too  :grin:)





I bought the Sport Model with 600lb capacity.




Hopefully I can load it and not have it fall on me.....
MGNOC#23231
The Living: 1976 Convert, 2007 GRiSO, 2016 Stornello #742, 2008 1200 Sport
The Departed: 2017 MGX, 2014 Norge GT,  In Stasis: 1978 XS750, XS1100SF

Offline JJ

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2022, 07:56:42 AM »
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Offline Scout63

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2022, 08:04:34 AM »
As I get older, my primary concern is easy loading and unloading and weather protection. Pickups are out.  Ive moved from an open landscaping trailer to an enclosed aluminum trailer. The cost is a pain, but it is so much easier.  If I were hauling a tiddler or dirt bike I would consider the hitch mounted rack.
Ben Zehnder - Orleans, MA USA

Offline cliffrod

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2022, 09:10:42 AM »
When Antmanbee was here, we found a hitch mounted carrier for the V7 Classic.  Loading and unloading was easier than I expected.  He was looking forward to making the bike lighter and making the hitch more stable once he got home.  Maybe hell post some insight on what hes done.  (?)

Im still in the trailer mode.  If I was designing or modifying a hitch mounted carrier, I think I would add a pair of outboard receiver hitch units to the entire assembly.  Even if they were the smaller size found on some OEM receivers like a 4Runner instead of a 2 square Reese size, I think it would be worth the effort to have three significant points of attachment for stability and support of my bike.
1973 V7 Sport  "Now THAT'S a motorcycle!"-  Master Sculptor Giuliano Cecchinelli
1967 V700 Corsa Record
1981 Lemans CX100
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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2022, 09:10:42 AM »

Online tommy2cyl

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2022, 09:56:32 AM »
I bought a K2 TMC 201 Hitch carrier to haul my DR 350 with my RAM ProMaster.  I bought this unit because it was all steel, all welded.  It is designed to pull a pin and drop the rail so you can
"roll" your bike up onto it, then lift the ramp/bike up once the front wheel has dropped into the depression and slide the pin back in to secure.
In theory. :evil:  Looked so easy in the YouTube video that I watched prior to purchase.  My experience was that because of where the pivot point was up front, it was impossible to lift the bike and set the pin.  Maybe a scooter, but not "even" a 305 lb dual sport.  I know you didn't buy this design, but that was my first negative experience with this concept and a deal breaker because I couldn't remotely load the bike by myself.  Once loaded, I could not properly strap down the bike to keep it from bouncing around on the back, both longitudinally and laterally.
I agree completely with Cliffrod that you need another fixed mounting point back to the vehicle to stop the rocking.  Two would be better front and back with the original hitch mount in the center. I strapped that bike both to the bottom of the van and off the top hinges of the rear doors of the van to stabilized it. Still rocked enough through some whoops on the freeway by the Black Hills that the handlebar dented the rear door where I planned to install a window (only time I didn't go ballistic over damaging a vehicle myself because I knew that metal panel was going to be cut out). Once the bike is loaded it also can obstruct your brake and tail lights so I had the optional lighting kit attached below the rail so following traffic could see my lights.
I also didn't feel that comfortable with it so exposed when I was in a hotel room at night so I always backed up to a wall when possible.  I can't image loading a bike over 400 lbs on one of these units.  I am sure there are success stories but that is my experience.  I sold it after one long trip and two short ones.  I would just advise you to be careful and have help.  If it should somehow come out of the rail when loading or unloading, especially if the bike gets wedged between the hitch and the vehicle, that is a problem.

Offline JJ

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2022, 10:20:03 AM »
These are "spendy", but I always thought these were interesting also...for Big Twin Harley's...



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Offline Bulldog9

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2022, 01:11:36 PM »
I bought a K2 TMC 201 Hitch carrier to haul my DR 350 with my RAM ProMaster.  I bought this unit because it was all steel, all welded.  It is designed to pull a pin and drop the rail so you can
"roll" your bike up onto it, then lift the ramp/bike up once the front wheel has dropped into the depression and slide the pin back in to secure.
In theory. :evil:  Looked so easy in the YouTube video that I watched prior to purchase.  My experience was that because of where the pivot point was up front, it was impossible to lift the bike and set the pin.  Maybe a scooter, but not "even" a 305 lb dual sport.  I know you didn't buy this design, but that was my first negative experience with this concept and a deal breaker because I couldn't remotely load the bike by myself.  Once loaded, I could not properly strap down the bike to keep it from bouncing around on the back, both longitudinally and laterally.
I agree completely with Cliffrod that you need another fixed mounting point back to the vehicle to stop the rocking.  Two would be better front and back with the original hitch mount in the center. I strapped that bike both to the bottom of the van and off the top hinges of the rear doors of the van to stabilized it. Still rocked enough through some whoops on the freeway by the Black Hills that the handlebar dented the rear door where I planned to install a window (only time I didn't go ballistic over damaging a vehicle myself because I knew that metal panel was going to be cut out). Once the bike is loaded it also can obstruct your brake and tail lights so I had the optional lighting kit attached below the rail so following traffic could see my lights.
I also didn't feel that comfortable with it so exposed when I was in a hotel room at night so I always backed up to a wall when possible.  I can't image loading a bike over 400 lbs on one of these units.  I am sure there are success stories but that is my experience.  I sold it after one long trip and two short ones.  I would just advise you to be careful and have help.  If it should somehow come out of the rail when loading or unloading, especially if the bike gets wedged between the hitch and the vehicle, that is a problem.

You note all my concerns. I looked at a couple of the 'tilt' models, bud decided against them.
I also ordered their aux lights that plug into a 4 prong trailer connector, and it comes with a stability kit.
The lights bolt straight up to predrilled holes.

This is an all steel welded, made in Texas (so they claim) carrier. Was about $200 more than a Chinesium unit off Amazon,
but worth it. I do all I can to avoid buying direct from China. Likely the steel was US mined, Chinese smelted and then shipped
back to the US to be 'made'...... No snapping the 'red suspenders' on this one (Guzzi Content).

It supposedly has a hitch pin that locks down the unit in the receiver to prevent rocking, but we will see. I have one of those external plates
as well, and will likely use an extra tiedown at each end, and run it up and over the tailgate to my built in tiedowns in the bed. Don't plan
to tighten too much but to provide some lift of the unit, and stability to stop rocking and general movement.

I will likely never try to load the Convert or 1200 Sport on, but hope to use it regularly for the Stornello, Breva 750, scooters, etc.
I also have a front mounted class IV receiver (not yet mounted) that when I pull the camper and we launch on our cross country
trips I can load the Stornello or Breva 750 (both 400) or likely a Honda Trail 125 or similar (I plan to buy) on the front.
MGNOC#23231
The Living: 1976 Convert, 2007 GRiSO, 2016 Stornello #742, 2008 1200 Sport
The Departed: 2017 MGX, 2014 Norge GT,  In Stasis: 1978 XS750, XS1100SF

Online tommy2cyl

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2022, 02:01:41 PM »
I wish you well.  Like I said, some people have been very satisfied with these units.  I will say what seems very solid and strapped down at rest can "dance" substantially at speed. That
dancing can cause metal fatigue over time, so even though they are lighter, aluminum as a material would not be confidence inspiring to me, so good choice on steel for you.
My long haul trip was to Colorado from Ohio.  As I mentioned in my earlier post,  I hit a series of whoops outside the Black Hills on the interstate that set up a perfect harmonic that got the bike rocking so much that the handlebars smacked the back of the van hard enough to cause a dent.  I also had a heavy duty piece of closed foam secured between the handle bars end and the van.  Still sustained damage.  When you hang 400 pounds or more behind the rear axel or in front of the front axel of the vehicle,  the lever effect is substantial.

I did a lot of thinking and thought if I kept it, I would make two solid attachment points along the same plane as the center hitch, using smaller hitch receivers like Cliffrod suggested, to be
able to slide in and remove additional metal  support struts to the frame rail.  That would stop the flex in that plane and up and the teeter totter up and down.  Then, a simple bar that ran on an angle back from the center hitch back to the upper part of the bike center (like to middle of seat area) to stop the bikes pendulum swing forward.  Those three attachment points would make a huge difference and be way more effective than ratchet straps. The simplicity of this method of hauling a bike is very appealing, it just needs to be tweaked having gone down that road myself.

Online tommy2cyl

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2022, 02:10:19 PM »
PS.  I also had the hitch pin ratchet thingy that takes all slop out of the receiver so there was no movement from that point.

Offline cliffrod

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2022, 02:33:17 PM »
One of the main benefits I thought about regarding those two mounts extra mounts would be to simultaneously provide substantial tie down points.  The hitch we found for Antmanbee had enough flex when cranking the tie downs that any means to strengthen the overall assembly would be good.  Having the tie down points as part of these extra receiver hitch material & locating them properly would orient stress/flex towards these two pieces of tubing & extra hitches instead of towards the main piece of channel where bike is.

That carrier did have the stabilizer for the main hitch.  It helped but could also be improved.  Having everything based upon a central mount (pivot) point is a real weakness in the overall design that no stabilizer, which is mounted completely upon the same central structure with one point of tension via a single bolt, is going to easily resolve.  Having two more receivers to eliminate or at least minimize the majority of the movement would significantly improve the overall assembly.  Add two more receivers to your existing Reese hitch chassis would be much better than bolting two more connections to bumper.  If you use your back doors, you need to be able to remove the carrier easily with pins instead of bolts.  There may be a functional or structural engineering reason beyond simple $$ that no one offers one of these with a custom 3 point receiver chassis  to mount to your vehicle to install their 3 point motorcycle carrier.

We loaded his V7 very easily, much less of a problem than I imagined.  By parking his van parallel to the street & slightly below the plane of the street surface, it was almost a straight flat push of bike onto carrier. 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2022, 02:35:08 PM by cliffrod »
1973 V7 Sport  "Now THAT'S a motorcycle!"-  Master Sculptor Giuliano Cecchinelli
1967 V700 Corsa Record
1981 Lemans CX100
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExX3YmQel_Q
http://carolinasculpturestudio.com/
Carolina Sculpture Studio YuoTube Channel-
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzSYaYdis55gE-vqifz

Online AJ Huff

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2022, 03:35:26 PM »
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Online tommy2cyl

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2022, 04:06:17 PM »
Yup.  I think the 1 1/4" on the outside locations would be more than adequate.

Offline rocker59

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2022, 04:19:36 PM »
I've had a Versa-Haul for 20-years.  I've hauled three or four different bikes over thousands of miles.  It's worked fine, but I used it on a 1500 Suburban with air ride and a 3500 Sierra. 

Mine is the 500 lbs capacity version.  They also make a 600 lbs capacity version.  As long as the vehicle is rated for the weight on its hitch, it's not a problem to haul this way.


Pic of the Suburban (before its air ride leveled the load):


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Offline vintagehoarder

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2022, 08:09:51 AM »
Let us know your toughts once you ahev tried it out.  What part of Kentucky?  Don't recognize you from the screen name  :grin:

« Last Edit: December 19, 2022, 08:11:21 AM by vintagehoarder »
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Offline Guzzistajohn

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2022, 09:49:39 AM »
https://www.blackwidowpro.com/motorcycle/carriers/hitch-mounted/p/smc-600r/

I got this Black Widow unit last spring- it's carried the Yam T7 (440lb) from MO. to CO. three times now. Not ONE OH S#!* moment! And EASY to load!   :thumb:
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Offline Moparnut72

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2022, 12:08:24 PM »
I got the Harbor Freight model to carry an old Yamaha on the back of my 5th wheel. I got rid of the Yamaha and decided I wanted to carry my V7. The carrier wasn't beefy enough so I built it up to do the job. Of course I did everything backwards. I then looked at the carrying capacity, tongue wt, of the hitch on the trailer in manual, 350lbs. No way is this is going to happen. Between the bike and the much now heavier carrier I am well over the recommended carrying capacity. So far I haven't found a good way to beef up the hitch supports.
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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2022, 02:21:32 PM »
I've had a Versa-Haul for 20-years.  I've hauled three or four different bikes over thousands of miles.  It's worked fine, but I used it on a 1500 Suburban with air ride and a 3500 Sierra. 

Mine is the 500 lbs capacity version.  They also make a 600 lbs capacity version.  As long as the vehicle is rated for the weight on its hitch, it's not a problem to haul this way.


Pic of the Suburban (before its air ride leveled the load):




I'm glad to see a picture like this, I had always heard that Versahaul was a high quality product and seems to be the preference in terms of stability and quality.

I've thought that adding another couple of Class 3 hitches to the frame of the vehicle and to the Versahaul would provide some more security as well and remove the potential wobble, but it's really good to know that a 550 lb big block can be carried safely this way!

« Last Edit: December 19, 2022, 02:22:35 PM by PJPR01 »
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Offline Bulldog9

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2022, 03:16:34 PM »
Let us know your toughts once you ahev tried it out.  What part of Kentucky?  Don't recognize you from the screen name  :grin:

Will do.

I'm stationed at Fort Knox, just moved here this summer.
MGNOC#23231
The Living: 1976 Convert, 2007 GRiSO, 2016 Stornello #742, 2008 1200 Sport
The Departed: 2017 MGX, 2014 Norge GT,  In Stasis: 1978 XS750, XS1100SF

Offline wrbix

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2022, 05:36:39 PM »
Hauled my TW200 on my MotoTote on 21 Bronc from VA to FL. Solid ride
Recommend tie down straps with closure hooks (Powertye).
Of course the T-Dub is light, but would feel comfortable toting my LM4 or Airheads.
Loading is a breeze.
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Online antmanbee

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2022, 08:00:06 PM »
I have finished modifying my hitch mount carrier. Most of what cliffrod had mentioned we discussed when we first loaded the V7 on the carrier.
We analyzed the shortcomings and potential problems and how to resolve them for long term robustness and safety over possibly rough conditions. 
In it's stock form there is no way I would trust a 600lb bike on it. The V7 was about 430-40lbs wet when I first got it I guess.
It held fine and I had no issues with the 500+ mile journey home.
But there was flex and movement in the carrier and the 1 1/4" square outrigger tubes did flex when we put tension on the tie down straps.
I did add longer 1 1/4" tubes that also have a thicker wall that go into an additional two bumper mounted receivers. They are secured with 3/8" bolts.
It was good luck that the bottom of the bumper was at the perfect height to match with extended tie down tubes so it was relatively easy to design and make the receivers.
It is very secure now even without tightening the the device that takes out the slop of the center mount.
I added non-slip surface tape to the ramp and carrier bed.
I also added lights for running, brakes and turn signals connected to the 4 pin harness.
I feel it could now safely hold a 600lb bike. I don't think I could safely load a 600lb bike by my self though.
The carrier I have is a used black widow which cliffrod helped me find at the time I bought the V7. I'm pretty sure it is Chinese.
Now my V7 is about 370lb dry.
I made a short video of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMFqiboJug4

Offline vintagehoarder

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2022, 08:27:23 AM »
Will do.

I'm stationed at Fort Knox, just moved here this summer.

Awesome little NE of there in LaGrage KY, yell If I can ever anything.  If you are still there in September you need to come to the Guzzi rally in Frankfort, KY.
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Offline Bulldog9

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Re: Moto Tote
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2022, 07:08:02 PM »
Awesome little NE of there in LaGrage KY, yell If I can ever anything.  If you are still there in September you need to come to the Guzzi rally in Frankfort, KY.

It's in my calendar for next year. My travel schedule for work made it impossible this year, hoping for next, but you never know. I did make the August Breakfast.
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The Departed: 2017 MGX, 2014 Norge GT,  In Stasis: 1978 XS750, XS1100SF

 

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