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Discussion Starter #1
For hauling purposes, I need to know what the weight distribution, front -vs-rear is on the Gen2 KLR650. I found one hit in the searches where a guy came up with Front-45% and Rear 55% on a GenI with an empty fuel tank using a bathroom scale. Has anyone ever seen these numbers anywhere?



I have a few other gizzmos that will come into play, but I can figure all that out later. Thanks in advance.
 

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For hauling purposes, I need to know what the weight distribution, front -vs-rear is on the Gen2 KLR650. I found one hit in the searches where a guy came up with Front-45% and Rear 55% on a GenI with an empty fuel tank using a bathroom scale. Has anyone ever seen these numbers anywhere?



I have a few other gizzmos that will come into play, but I can figure all that out later. Thanks in advance.

I split it half and half front to rear but it's easy to overload the rear rack and break it.
 

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Hmmm...interesting...??? Personally I load my bike with as much crap that I need to get me to and back from any adventure I'm doing at that specific time. Now IF that requires me to build outriggers to hold even more stuff like a second set of tires without them pushing into my back while riding then yes the outriggers are in place....I lso load the tank via a heafthy sized tank bag, attach side bags to the crash bars to their capacity. I once even attached more crap to the front fender but after seeing it flex onto the tire while riding that was halted. I load the bike up as best I can and only to the limits of my safe riding capabilities.....do I worry about centering that weight yes to a point........as anyone should, but to use bathroom scales to see how much i have loaded down the old girl...DAMN!!! That would be just plain CRUEL!!! Don't ya think.....lol.
But yes you must load it as best you can for safety reasons....too much forward weight effects the steering in a very negative way off road and could overload the steering mechanism in general, forks, etc.....and same goes obviously for the rear...not enough weight oon the front while on the street is almost lethal especially at speed. Then you get into what happens when you drop the bike? Yes you will sooner or later if only while trying to get back aboard after refueling....yes done it half a dozen times that come to mind while I type, off road a few, never yet on the road.....sorry yes once on the Dempster towing my fully loaded single wheeled trailer, so does that count as two at once? Anyway it popped my back lifting that back up in a panic....thick fog and 4" of black slimey mud in the rain.....waiting for the string of tractor trailers coming to run me over....so yes think about when you need to lift her back on the rubber....will you be able to do it? Because you have to! You can't rely on a friendly stranger to help, they may never show up...?

So yes, it's important in more ways than you may think, besides snapping the frame in half...lol
:character00201:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great, thanks!

So that's right at 45%/55%, F/R.

Front and rear bars, bash plate and I'm at 47/53.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm actually working on hauling the motorcycle, not hauling stuff on the motorcycle, using a hitch receiver based carrier. The carrier I have has is a 600 pound capacity with an adjustable front wheel chock that I can use to move the bike either way on the carrier and get it as centered as possible over a Class III hitch. The "bathroom scale" approach is good enough for that. Now I know that the weight is fairly closely distributed. This is still work in process.
 

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I'm actually working on hauling the motorcycle, not hauling stuff on the motorcycle, using a hitch receiver based carrier. The carrier I have has is a 600 pound capacity with an adjustable front wheel chock that I can use to move the bike either way on the carrier and get it as centered as possible over a Class III hitch. The "bathroom scale" approach is good enough for that. Now I know that the weight is fairly closely distributed. This is still work in process.
Sorry, I misunderstood the question, my bad. :)
 

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Well that makes perfect sense then doesn't it...lol.

I wasn't sure why you asked and gave the typical comic typoe answer....doh!

My only issue with those carriers is the forces applied to the hitch system as you go over, down a sharp dip in the road where the weight of the bike is elevated and suddenly drops onto the load capabilities of the hitch....if you understand my explanation...? Sure the weight limit of the carrier is enough, but what is the toungue max down weight on the hitch and hitch attackment points. Then you get into the vehicles own suspension capabilities.....I used to carry my old Elsinor 250 way way back on a similar hitch. Albeit it was all home made and dangerously attached to the rear of my vehicle, which again wasn't designed to carry the load I asked it to. Final sentence of the story is, it split the car in two arond the trunk seems and the bike ended up dragging behind me on the highway doing 70mph!!! My stupidity when very very young...that is why I question thee carriers.
When you get into the actual mathmatics of forces etc it is surprising how much force is actually applied in these situations. I have long forgotten how to do such problems.....
 

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I used one of those hitch carriers for a couple of years to carry a Suzuki SP600 on the back of a '95 Dodge Ram 1500. I'm sure the SP was lighter than a KLR, but was still a fairly heavy machine.

Some things to consider. willys is right. The carrier/hitch might have a 600-pound weight capacity, but the "weight" of the bike can be amplified greatly when it starts bouncing up and down due to dips or even holes in the road. An attached trailer tongue will do the same thing, but I wouldn't think to the same extent as dead weight all suspended directly on the hitch.

I think there is also a kind of "lever" effect that's not good. A trailer tongue hooks up 6" or less from the face of the receiver. The motorcycle carrier's CG is a good foot and a half or two feet away from/behind the actual receiver.

Personally, I think a Class III hitch with a 600-pound tongue weight rating is pushing it when it comes to safety when the KLR already weighs what? Between 400-450 pounds?

When I used mine, I always had a log chain running through both the frame of the SP and the frame of the Dodge so if the hitch did happen to fail, at least the bike and carrier would still be drug directly behind my vehicle and not flying all over the highway with a chance to cause an accident and get somebody else hurt; or me sued.

What kind of vehicle do you have? With my 1/2-ton Dodge, I actually had to go to a suspension place and have another leaf spring added to the rear stack so it wouldn't squat down and throw my headlights up into the air, making them pretty much useless at night and having every oncoming vehicle flash their brights at me.

A 1/2-ton pickup isn't exactly a heavy hauler but is not a lightweight, either. I was really surprised at how the motorcycle hanging off the back affected the suspension.

My hitch was a Class III from the factory. I also had the shop weld it to the frame instead of relying on just bolts that can be prone to corrosion, especially since I lived an area where roads were heavily salted in Winter.

The motorcycle also obscured both my tail lights to some degree.

Even though I used the thing for a couple of really long cross-country trips, I was always on edge about the bike being back there swaying and bouncing around, wondering if the next depression in the road was going to be the one that made it snap off. I wouldn't do it again.

Just some food for thought. I must say I've never heard a report of a hitch-carried motorcycle ripping loose from the vehicle.

Still, if you're going to use it, I would definitely recommend some kind of "safety chain" in the event of a catastrophic failure. They're required for all trailers for a reason, so it only makes sense to me to use one with a hitch-carried motorcycle. If nothing else, it's peace of mind.

It's one of those things where you not only have to consider the chances of a failure, but the magnitude of what could result if a failure occurred.

I'm done preaching now.
 

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I've done it but with every tie down strap I had added on.

After seeing my bike bouncing all over the straps were a given.
Luckily the Suburban has a roof rack to hook to. Big help with
multiple attachment points to help with stress on the tongue and carrier.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here’s the rundown on this project. Like I said, it’s work in progress. I always have backup plans. :wink2:

The vehicle is my 2007 Toyota Rav4. Front wheel drive and powered by the 3.5 Liter V6. The carrier is a 600 pound capacity TMS Carrier that has a ramp, four tie down points and an adjustable wheel chock. The carrier also came with an anti-sway bracket. The carrier platform is 79 inches in length, plus 2.5 inches out to the end of the chock (so 81.5 inches). The width of the Rav4 is 71.5 inches. The length of the KLR650 is 90.4 inches, tip of front tire to end of rear fender; wheel base is 58.3 inches.





The motorcycle and the carrier together are 515 pounds including my front+rear bars, bash plate and a mostly empty the fuel tank…that’s, 425 for the bike, 90 for the carrier.

I currently tow a 1,000 pound, 5 x 8 foot enclosed utility trailer with this vehicle on a Class II receiver with a 300 pound tongue weight and a four-point receiver mount. It’s wired for trailer lights.

I am upgrading the hitch receiver to a Class III with a 675 pound tongue weight and a six-point mount. The car provides for three points on one side and two on the other, so some modification is going to be required. I will discuss the welding option mentioned above with my mechanic.

I received the new hitch receiver last week but, unfortunately, it had either been damaged in transit or in production; one side of the mount plate was skewed such that only one of the three bolt holes lined with the frame. Although, damaged, the receiver has been “temporarily” installed on the Rav4 in the photo below, but I dare not try and move the vehicle with the bike on the ramp. The reason I installed it was so I could put the bike up on the carrier and make some assessments. The replacement is scheduled to be delivered UPS tomorrow, when I’ll swap the damaged receiver with the new one.



Among the assessments that I was expecting, and proved out, was that the suspension is going to require some augmentation. The Rav4 has a basic Coilover suspension on the rear and the additional tongue weight on the receiver is quite a bit more substantial than my trailer. I’m still looking over suspension upgrades, but I’m pretty much landed on the Firestone Coil-Right Airbags that runs around $105. Reviews seem pretty good and installation can be done without removing the coil springs which is a big plus. Also, with the airbags I can skip upgrading the shocks.

The tail lights will be totally blocked, but I have a set of magnetic running/signal/brake lights that tie into my trailer wiring (flat 4-pin). They should be visible on the roof as shown in the photo above.

So then the question was how badly is the bike going to stick out on either side. As mentioned, the KLR650 has a 90.4 inch length and my Rav4 has a 71.5 inch width. Here are some photos from the front with the bike up on the carrier. The forward wheel chuck is adjustable, so I can move the bike from side to side up to about 6 or so inches. However, then we’re back into the weight distribution question that started this whole thread.





If you’re wondering why I don’t just use my trailer to lug the KLR around, the answer is that it is set up as a mobile bicycle repair shop…workbench, bicycle stand, tool chests, accessories displays. Everything is fitted and bolted in. In its current state there isn’t enough room for the KLR.



In addition, my neighborhood doesn’t allow storage of trailers so I have to store the mobile bike shop offsite. Storing another trailer year-round, even a small one, wouldn’t be worth it. On the other hand, I’m also looking at folding trailers as an option like this one from Ironton at Northern Tool. I could store that against the wall in my garage.
 

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I think the weight distribution would be much more critical than how far the bike might stick out to either side as long as you remember it's back there. The last thing you would want is a "torquing" motion on the hitch bar caused by having more weight on one side of center than the other.

Can't imagine it would protrude into other lanes of traffic. Anybody behind you is going to clearly see it extends further than the sides of the vehicle. Anybody coming the other way shouldn't be anywhere near that close to you, anyway. Nice thinking with the auxiliary lights to compensate for the complete blockage of your tail lights.

We have a Nissan Rogue that is in pretty much the same class as a Rav4. No way would I do this with the Rogue.

I don't think it's too farfetched to say that you would have to transfer some of the vehicle weight back to the front tires because all that weight hanging back there, especially with some vertical movement, could literally lift enough load off your front tires to make steering on a wet surface etc. a little dicey and even quite dangerous.

You also have to consider what kind of impact all that dead weight is going to have if you're forced to perform some kind of emergency maneuver while driving because any forces acting on that 515 pounds are going to be transferred directly to your vehicle.

My opinion is certainly not gospel and certainly no offense intended, (not trying to be Mr. Negativity here) but I think that vehicle coupled with that carrier and a KLR is a bad combination even with an air bag suspension upgrade.

I'd go for the folding trailer, myself. It's more than up to the job, you can store it without activating the Homeowner's Association Compliance Squad and take the KLR wherever you want with no worries with no modifications to the Rav4.
 

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OK, personally and that is just me, but this set up reminds me of my disaster of way back when...a massive bike perched behind a vehicle not meant to carry such loads this way....very sorry.....BUT I do understand why you are going this route.
So here would be my solution, two actually....I hope i can describle it well enough to get my point across...lol
I wanted the same thing so to speak seeing as I only drive gas saving type vehicles now, at the moment a Hyundai Accent 2004.
I was thinking of a very small "T" shapped trailer that held just the bike on it's backbone. A simple axle with a solid axle to keep it simple. Now to get it as small as possible I was going to have the hitch ball section extended long enough to just carry the front tire or wheel of the bike and then the ball hitch attachment to the trailer which would simply carry the rear wheel just past the rear axle by maybe 6". The bike would be held down by the wheels not the frame so to speak so the bike's suspension would be in play as it would normally be while riding it. Yes the trailer would bounce a bit on very bad bumps but for the most part rid true imho. The front wheel would be trapped on the hitch either in a front wheel clasp or clamp whatever they are technically called and also by a ratchet strap going around the wheel front to back with slight side curtains to trap the tire so it doesn't slip off the tire when tightened down. Then have two attachment points on your bumper etc that you can steady the handle bars with for the side to side forces. The rear can be held with the axle ends so to speak near the wheels.....i
It's a very crued tariler design but very usable imho. It also can take up almost no space at all in your garage or nect to your house where spying eyes are looking. I have built a simple "T" trailer before but with better more typical qualities so to speak but that cost a small fortune once everything was totalled up. This naked trailer idea I think could be built very inexpensively.....and anything that carries the bike compared to your idea imho is a plus.
Sorry to say.:character00201:
 

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Bill10,
The KLR is slightly 'tail heavy' with a dry tank, 'nose heavy' with a full tank. That should balance out OK with only a driver in the car. (If I remember correctly) Couldn't find Tom Schmitz's "How much does your bike weigh?" thread.

Neither wheel nor fender protrude beyond the Rav4 mirrors, from what I see in the pics.

But, I bet 2 or 3 way adjustable damping shocks will not be cheap to help control fore and aft pitching with the load. And I would be extremely cautious of the need for evasive maneuvers with the stock shocks, because of 'body roll'!
 

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...Couldn't find Tom Schmitz's "How much does your bike weigh?" thread....
Paul,

The most informative (for Bill) post in that thread is referenced in post #3 of this thread.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I decided on the Firestone Coil-Right Air Bags yesterday and ordered it.

None of these suspension kits increase the payload capacity of a vehicle. Rather, whether hauling a trailer, a motorcycle carrier or 600 pounds of bagged mulch (which I do twice a year), they just help level off-center loads. It's an off-center load that causes the negative dynamics on the four corners of suspension (unresponsiveness in emergency situations) that are worrying you. If an off-center load can be shifted back to (or close to) normal...and the vehicle is under the payload capacity (I'm still under half)...then the suspension should do everything it was designed to do in an emergency or any other situation (e.g. wet road hydroplaning). The other thing is, even being super slow and careful with a poorly distributed weight is going to have real bad effects on a suspension, maybe even damage it. I certainly don't want that because an f'd up suspension could cost multiples of what I'm spending on this project. Unfortunately, I'm left with trial and error here and the next step is the airbag suspension. If that doesn't work then I may be sunk, but it's worth a try imo.

Also, I'm not inventing anything here. I've seen pictures of Harleys on these things. :smile2:

HD Sportster

____
 

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I'm not saying it can't be done at all, it's what i would do if i were in your shoes is all.....to each their own as it's their pocket book and their bike or vehicle so to speak......just offering my suggestions is all.:character00201:
 
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