KLR on Receiver Carrier - Honda Ridgeline - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-23-2018, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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KLR on Receiver Carrier - Honda Ridgeline

I would like to hear other people‘s experiences, and advice on this one.

So I tried this out for the first time, I bought a receiver carrier, it is rated for 500 pounds, and the tongue weight of the Honda Ridgeline is also rated for 500 pounds.

The ratcheting straps I’m using are all rated for 500 pounds each. The tiedowns are rated for 1200 pounds each. I also put two straps to my ladder rack to more stability to the system, they are kayak tiedown straps I don’t know specifically what they’re rated for.

If anyone has any pointers about mounting to the back of a truck like this I would like to hear from them, because getting this thing up there and strapped down myself was a challenge, and I’m hoping there’s a better way, aside from snarky answers like “why don’t you ride the bike there instead“ or use a trailer”, which I am trying to avoid. It would definitely be better to have one or two other people there to load and unload the bike. But I want to figure out a good way to do it solo. Eventually I want to use the set up on the back of my RV to take my bike with me on a a trip.

I have taken some test trips with the truck configured like this, and It was stable at highway speeds, a friend who rode behind me said the bike didn’t appear to move on the rack at all (After he joked that it looked like it was moving 45 mph sideways).

Only problem I have identified so far is that I have to move my license plate since it is not visible now.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-23-2018, 09:55 AM
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Weigh the bike with fuel, gear etc and then add the weight of the carrier. I'd say you're over 500. Personally, I wouldn't do it, even if weight was within limits. I had one once and sold it. Made the truck seem lite in the front end. If you do it, consider adding taillights on carrier it probably blocks the trucks lights.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-23-2018, 11:00 AM
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This has been discussed before. Use the forum search tool as there are a few threads on it. Here is just one comment link:

https://www.klrforum.com/76212-post3.html

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 14 Old 09-23-2018, 11:04 AM
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Some search results:

https://www.klrforum.com/search.php?searchid=5295379

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #5 of 14 Old 09-24-2018, 11:39 AM
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The 500 lb rating on the Honda's hitch is with zero extension, the center of gravity on your hitch carrier will be back 18 - 24" and significantly increases leverage and reduces the hitch rating.


I have the same setup but it's on my one ton diesel ram with a Class V hitch rated at 1200 lbs deadweight with a 2' extension. You're over....around town and short trips it may be fine, higher speeds may cause handling issues and rough roads could cause hitch attachment failure. The Honda is a unibody car/SUV not a truck and doesn't have a real frame so I don't know how it's attached but I've seen hitches rip out of frames before when overloaded.

2 cents,
Dave
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-24-2018, 04:55 PM
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The problem isn't with your carrier or mounting method, its with your Honda's hitch. When you do this on your RV, make sure the hitch you put on the RV is a solid class IV with the tongue weight rating needed for an 18" extension. And then buy plenty of insurance.

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post #7 of 14 Old 09-24-2018, 07:15 PM
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What they said.

I know you said that you tested it and that it works.

This is the type of thing that works until it doesn't.

And when it doesn't, it's a bad day ... For you, your bike, your truck(car), and the poor person behind you.

Seriously, your way out of the design spec for that vehicle. Don't tempt fate.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-25-2018, 08:22 AM
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As a licensed professsional engineer, I agree with the others here. It is virtually certain that you are overloading the hitch receiver by at least a factor of 3. I don’t know how far a typical ball is from the centroid of the mounting of the receiver to the “frame”, but I suspect the CG of your bike is probably close to 3 times farther away than is a typical hitch ball. The tongue weight assumes the weight is applied at the center of the hitch ball. If that distance si 6” from the receiver mounting point and the CG of your bike is 18” away from the receiver mounting point, your 400 lb bike is applying the equivalent of 1,200 lbs of tongue weight to the receiver. Is this a risk you really want to take?

If you really want to do this, I suggest you contact an engineer licensed in your state and have them look at your hitch and see if modifications can be made to accommodate the load the bike will apply to the vehicle.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-25-2018, 12:34 PM
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With those unibody hitch mounts, you are basically bolting the hitch to a subframe made out of pressed metal. It mounts to like, 4 points on a pressed frame/truck bed pan. It would be a lot different if it were bolted to an actual truck frame, or the frame rails on an RV. Then there's your suspension. You'd likely need some load leveling air bags on the rear.

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-26-2018, 08:13 PM
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On a smaller 'engineering' note, I'd add that once all set up and cinched down, that I used to use actual steel-cabling to be my 'safety chain'. And since the bike moves with the ramp (i.e. doesn't really move), it's not an issue the lack of flexibility. Again, I had measured out what the steel cable length should be after the Bike is cinched down for travel with it's tie-downs and added it after all that (and as my SafetyChain effectively... just didn't trust any cloth, new or not).
Bummer all the bad news here but it's LIFESAVER stuff ain't it?!?! Further, they've ALSO protected your liability. As a non-Engineer I was "ready to convict on your opening statement"... it was well-thought-out, cogent, and covered all the bases in MY BOOK. Fortunately I've never lost anything out of any of my Trucks ever, but I mighta been lucky carrying my CR250R the same way on my Rodeo and Scout. I mightta dodged a bullet there to be sure.
As far as the On/Off Loading the scooter on the ramp, I'd just buy/find/craft a ramp that has 2 pegs on one end to drop into the Ramp holes i drilled and then just roll it off. That is, unless you have FORTY-FOUR INCH SUPER-SWAMPERS ON YER PICK-EM-UP-TRUK!
Take heart, you just learnt a lot for FREE!
As did I...
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