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docwyte UltimaDork
6/19/24 9:44 a.m.

I had a rail type hitch carrier, but never actually used it except for my kids XR50R.  Then a Ultimate MX Hauler popped up, but there were problems there, the deck didn't go down low enough for me to get my 690 onto it.  I'd love a trailer, like one of the stand up ones, but even then, I don't really have the space to store it, plus they're wickedly expensive, even used.

So, what other options are there to carry a ~350lb moto around?  My hitch is rated to 700lbs tongue weight, so I'm pretty good there...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/19/24 9:51 a.m.

Favorite was absolutely my 2wd 84 Toyota Pickup.  Low bed height for easy loading, drove nicely, good tiedowns.  Taller trucks are ok but scarier to load.

I also have a hitch hauler rail thing, it works fine but you really want to strap it to the bumper or something so it doesn't tilt all over the place, and with a 350lb bike the cheap ones are pretty sketchy.

Have done the small trailer thing, that works well too but trailers are annoying.  I assume your hitch is attached to something that isn't a pickup truck and you don't want another vehicle, so I'd take a look at good ways to shore up your hitch carrier, like maybe adding extra braces at the ends.

docwyte UltimaDork
6/19/24 9:58 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Hitch is on my VW Touareg.  I'd love an old VW rabbit pick up truck, but spending thousands on it to carry the moto doesn't make a lot of sense.  Of course, I still want one!

I sold the hitch carrier when I got the Ultimate MX Hauler.  Stupid me didn't try to load my 690 on the MX Hauler until after I sold the hitch carrier.  Doh!  I know a Versa Hauler will probably work, but those things weigh a ton and aren't really any cheaper than a used 3 rail trailer...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/19/24 10:04 a.m.

I'd probably buy a steel hitch carrier and plan to weld more stuff to it for stability, then- using smaller hitch tubes outboard from the main hitch, most likely, to stop it tilting all over the place.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/19/24 10:07 a.m.

I have a cheap aluminum hitch carrier, but it's pretty sketchy for anything more than a Grom (and even with the Grom it's not confidence inspiring).

Back in the day, my dad built (overbuilt) a beefy steel hitch carrier, but it was so heavy that it basically required a full-size truck to carry the weight.

Sadly, I'll second the pickup truck suggestion. They make it so, so, so easy to play with motorcycles. And even my R1200GSA is a breeze to load into a four-wheel-drive truck alone; just make sure you get a decent ramp so you can walk next to the bike when you load it. 

If you're dead-set on using the SUV, I'd suggest a little trailer. Maybe something folding?  

Motojunky New Reader
6/19/24 10:45 a.m.

I have carried them every way possible over the years. From disassembled and crammed in a car to an enclosed trailer and everything in between. Every solution is a compromise. I currently use either a hitch carrier, a 5x8 landscaping trailer, or my E350 van. I have space, so storing trailers is not an issue. If I had to store a trailer somewhere else, I'd probably go with a small enclosed trailer (5x8, 6x10, or somewhere in between). That way you can leave incidentals in the trailer when not in use. The enclosed trailer (or a van) provides extra security when stopping for dinner or whatever when traveling. 

As others have said, it was easiest with a smaller pickup. Whatever you do, spend the time to refine your tie down process so that it's quick and reliable. That might mean soft hooks, placement of tie down points, etc. 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/19/24 10:59 a.m.

I've been eyeballing used Kendon foldable trailers. They're not exactly cheap even used (barring the occasional one that doesn't seem to have a title) but so far I figured the 1000-1200 I see them for around here is going to be a lot less than the cost of changing out the LX470 for another pickup truck.

docwyte UltimaDork
6/19/24 11:06 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

$1000-1200 for a Kendon is a steal.  Around here they're $1500-3000 used, and if I get one, I'd like to get one that can carry two motos.  That way if I plan a ride with a friend I can carry both our bikes.

jimbob_racing SuperDork
6/19/24 11:16 a.m.

I am so disappointed that nobody does it this way. 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
6/19/24 11:19 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Prices here seem to be all over the place, but I occasionally seem the go that low. Plenty in the $2k range, too. Although almost all of them that I've seen so far are the single motorcycle variety, which would be all I need.

Although I am concerned that I'll drag even more bike carcasses home if I have a bike trailer.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom MegaDork
6/19/24 11:38 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Are you doing the thing where you're walking next to the bike and using its engine to power it?

Kinda gives me the willies, though I'll admit it's appealing to avoid setting up a winch. Even my old 2WD F250 is taller than I want to try on muscles and momentum.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
6/19/24 11:42 a.m.

Yep, totally. I've always loaded bikes like that. As long as you're careful (practice your clutch control!) it's super easy. I think it's safer than pushing, too, since you're never stretched out for leverage or standing below/under the bike. 

EDIT: Don't forget to chain the ramp to the truck, too. Otherwise the bike might try to spit the ramp out. This is why every ramp seems to come with safety straps.

Rramirez New Reader
6/19/24 11:49 a.m.

been running this used Hf rack for a couple years but I'm not the biggest fan. Always loved the concept of the ultimate max carrier but haven't had a chance to see one in person 



Slippery UltimaDork
6/19/24 11:52 a.m.

There is a guy by me that rents Kendon trailers for $25/day. He has singles and doubles. I know having to rent one is kind of a hassle, but maybe that works for you? There has to be someone doing that in your area.

DancesWithCurves New Reader
6/19/24 12:28 p.m.

From 2004 to 2016 this was Mi_Answer:

cornerspeed combo kit


It was about the same height as a Kendon but the axle placement was suboptimal for tongue weight. When not in use, it stood up on one side against the back wall of the garage. I bought it (homebuilt) used for $100, spent $100 on lights and used tires, and sold it for $150 when I bought a first-gen Tundra. I miss the low load height, but a pickup is handy for lots of stuff.

I have considered a hitch hauler for the Tundra just to simplify loading, but then I'd be fretting over blocking the truck's plate and lights. If that $25/day Kendon had been an option near me, I might never have bought the truck.

Ethnic Food-Wrap Aficionado
Ethnic Food-Wrap Aficionado Dork
6/19/24 2:27 p.m.

I go back and forth on what I think is the ideal setup.  Vans are nice for the perceived security and camping utility, but loses marks when you fighting foggy windows from the soupy goop dripping off the bike and wet gear on the drive home when riding off season (which is most of the time in the northwest).


Little pickups are great all arounders and there's something about a bike in the bed of truck that just makes it feel like a summer adventure.


I've always been tempted to try a hitch carrier, but they give me the heebie jeebies.  I don't know anyone that's actually lost a bike off the back, but I know of a few broken rear windows where the bars came through in a panic stop situation.

My current solution is a early Eurovan, and the 300 fits with no drama, but I do wish I had more space sometimes.


Mostly hauled vintage bikes in my last Caddy (now Trent's), but took the Beta out in it a few times.

(I wish I fit better in Caddy's.  I buy one every five years or so thinking "this time will be different for sure!", then a few months later wonder why my back hurts so badly.)

docwyte UltimaDork
6/19/24 2:55 p.m.

In reply to Ethnic Food-Wrap Aficionado :

Yeah, I'd love a caddy, but I've never actually sat in one.  There's a very high possibility of me not fitting in one, just like you...

ddavidv UltimaDork
6/20/24 7:10 a.m.

My bikes tend to be too heavy for most carriers. I own a pickup, but the bed height and lack of floor tie downs makes it fairly useless.  I picked up a used utility trailer similar to this one for about $450.

The wood sides are heavy, and if I made mounts to keep my ramps in place I'd probably leave them off. The low deck height makes loading/unloading easy. It's made of inexpensive, readily available parts sold everywhere (Tractor Supply is a good source). The one in the photo looks like a bolt-together but mine is all welded. Only thing I wish was different was the wheels; they are small diameter like these and that's a lot of RPMs on the highway. Hasn't been a problem so far, but I check the bearings regularly.  It's proven to be a useful tool so much that I don't really need a pickup anymore. Only downside is you need a place to park it when not in use, and I don't particularly like the curb appeal of it in my driveway. ETA: the one in the photo is a folding trailer. They have pluses and minuses. 

docwyte UltimaDork
6/20/24 8:35 a.m.

Yeah, I just don't really have anywhere to store a trailer.  My small tire trailer I use for the track is tucked underneath my garage stairs, the rest of the garage is full.  I can't fit one thru my gate to my backyard and even if I got it in there, there's no room for it there either.  I might be able to squeeze a Kendon fold up trailer into the backyard, but I'd have to get the dimensions first and make sure...

Motojunky Reader
6/20/24 12:42 p.m.

Just remembered something. I used to have a 4wd Nissan pickup with a little bit of lift. I was road racing a Yamaha RZ350 at the time. Back then, a "good" ramp was a 2x10 with one of those aluminum ramp ends. The ramp was fine for loading dirt bikes, but the RZ would bottom out when the front wheel made it to the bed. The solution was to have a buddy lift the ramp up after the rear wheel passed so the belly of the bike would clear.

It never crossed my mind to simply get a longer 2x10. laugh

The Nissan and RZ in question, after I started using a trailer. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/20/24 11:38 p.m.
docwyte said:

Yeah, I just don't really have anywhere to store a trailer.  My small tire trailer I use for the track is tucked underneath my garage stairs, the rest of the garage is full.

How big is  your tire trailer?  Can it be adapted to haul a bike?  A number of places sell these rails that mount on an existing trailer for carrying a motorcycle.

DesmoDog New Reader
6/21/24 12:43 a.m.
BoxheadTim said:

I've been eyeballing used Kendon foldable trailers. They're not exactly cheap even used (barring the occasional one that doesn't seem to have a title) but so far I figured the 1000-1200 I see them for around here is going to be a lot less than the cost of changing out the LX470 for another pickup truck.


Kendon's aren't perfect but they are sure nice to use. For decades I used a cheap foldable trailer that had been set up for bikes. The running joke back in the day was we typically had $30k worth of bikes on a $150 trailer.  It's all fun and games until you hit those construction zones and the associated bumps/dips/pavement changes. 

Then I was planning on dragging a new bike 1200 miles each way, and my now 20+ year old trailer wasn't going to cut it. I sold it cheap and bought a used Kendon. Pretty much instantly regretted not doing it years earlier. It does everything better than the cheap one did. Easier to load/unload, easier to fold/stow when it's not in use. More stable when loaded.  

I dragged a lot of bikes a lot of miles on the old POS folding utility trailer, but it was good riddance when I finally sold it. I've forgotten what I paid for my used Kendon but I haven't forgotten what a PITA that old trailer was to use in comparison.

If my Kendon was stolen tomorrow I'd probably buy a new one to replace it. Or a clone. They're worth the cost once you've spent time screwing with cheap trailers and not inexpensive bikes. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/21/24 7:47 a.m.

There are also motorcycle trailers that can be taken apart for storage, here's one example:  https://www.discountramps.com/motorcycle-transporter/p/PAC-96-MC-R/

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
6/21/24 11:36 a.m.

Jet Ski trailers are generally expensive and hard to find, but I like this:



docwyte UltimaDork
6/21/24 3:21 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

That's cool and a great idea but won't work on my tire trailer.  I've got a SouthSport one, so it's got a wheel rack in the front and a diamond plate storage box with integrated tail lights on the back.

A Kendon is probably the best choice but I can't fit that into my garage either and from what I've read on advrider, they're really a pita to move around on anything but smooth concrete.  Which means trying to get it into my backyard to store it won't work either.

Guess for now I'll just live with nothing.  A switch hauler looked cool but I saw their weight limit is 325lbs, which is less than what my 690 weighs.

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