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    1. #1
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      Motorcycle hitch carrier

      Hey everyone. Im brand new to owning a 2017 xc90 t8 with the air suspension. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on if it is a bad idea or not to haul light motorcycles on a hitch mounted carrier. My main concern is the air suspension. I installed a stealth hitch on it and they say it is safe up to 500#. With my ktm 525 weighing in around 300# with full fuel and the carrier at around 50# im well under that limit, but having no prior experience with volvos or anything with air suspension and i would love to not learn the hard way.
      This load up was only for a small drive in town. Im planning a 7 hour round trip drive with the bike for 4th of july and would love to take the volvo!

      Please let me know any thoughts im all ears.



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      Last edited by grnbaja72; 06-30-2020 at 04:07 PM.

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    3. #2
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      the problem is ball pressure is not static on your setup. every time you go over a bump, the pressure changes, unlike a trailer. for this reason, volvo has discontinued a lot of there bike racks, and the others are limited to only two bikes despite being 4 bike carriers. the length of bike carrier makes a big difference as it acts like a lever on the trailer hitch. to be honest i wouldnt go cross country like that. around town maybe, but 7 hour trip id definitely be looking at renting a u haul trailer or something

    4. #3
      You'll be fine. What brich999 is talking about is regarding Volvo's new retractible tow bar which folds into place from behind the bumper cover and locks in place. They are able to also carry a 500lbs tongue weight but not recommended for bike carriers that extend past the fulcrum. As for your setup with a stealth hitch, I don't believe they have a torque rating and are also class III with 500lbs rating. Concerning the suspension, there's no issue there either. I've not looked at our T8's axle load capacity, but if I recall correctly on our 2010 XC90 it was well over 1200lbs. The key is to not exceed the total GVWR and it's typically broken down by front/rear. It's in the manual. Frankly, you won't be any where near the load limits with your KTM. If you can tow a trailer with 500lbs tongue weight, plus 7 passengers, plus their luggage - combined those will exceed your KTM.

      Update: ok found it - GVWR of 2017 XC90 (at least in my manual - each rev is slightly different) is 6635lbs. Look it up in yours in the "Weights" section. This essentially allows for about 1400-1500 lbs of cargo depending on your T8. This means you could carry up to 7 passengers each weighing about 200lbs or 4 passengers and some luggage and your KTM, or some combination there of. In our case we've carried 7 passengers, 3 bikes on the roof, and towed (tongue weight of our RPod is around 300-350lbs, and our passengers were not the hefty variety).

      Update 2: something I just remembered though, there is mention of towing and ensuring you have the trailer plugged into the car to protect the bellows - I think it's related to off-road suspension mode. You should look it up in the manual as 300lbs plus being a foot or two away from where the ball would be may be enough to be like towing. The only time we carry comparable tongue weight to your bike is while towing and I have our trailer always plugged into the car.
      Last edited by VolvoUhu; 06-30-2020 at 08:34 PM.
      2005 Boxster - EuroDelivery Atlas Grey (Street: Boxster S 18"/Track: Cayman S 18")
      2010 XC90 3.2 R-Design AWD - OSD Ice White (Winter: Vulcanis 19"/Summer & Off-Road: Panacea 18")
      2017 XC90 T8 R-Design eAWD - OSD (Pole✦ envy) Passion Red (Vision|Convenience|B&W|Climate|HUD|Air 4C|Lighted Running Boards|Tow|Center Booster|iPad|Protective Plate...) w/ChargePoint Home
      --
      Our first: 2001 V40 1.9T - OSD Atlantic Blue (Summer: Galactica 16"/Winter: Spectra 15")

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    6. #4
      Quote Originally Posted by brich999 View Post
      the problem is ball pressure is not static on your setup. every time you go over a bump, the pressure changes, unlike a trailer. for this reason, volvo has discontinued a lot of there bike racks, and the others are limited to only two bikes despite being 4 bike carriers. the length of bike carrier makes a big difference as it acts like a lever on the trailer hitch. to be honest i wouldnt go cross country like that. around town maybe, but 7 hour trip id definitely be looking at renting a u haul trailer or something
      Why would hitch pressure be dynamic while carrying a bike and not while carrying a trailer? Both would bounce during travel and neither's mass changes during a trip? Bumps and undulations on the highway will make it have fluctuating pressure/weight but it will also have the same affect with a trailer's tongue on the ball. What's constant for both equally as well is their mass. My point being all loads in, on, or behind his Volvo will by dynamic when in motion. Weight will change throughout the ride (think cresting a hill at speed as the vehicle is accelerating passenger weight may be increasing and as it clears the top goes into the descent everyone will weigh less; their mass won't change. Ratings accommodate those dynamic shifts. The bike won't be gaining or losing mass just as a trailer (as long as you're not adding or removing items or water from it). The KTM will have a scale weight of 300lbs at the start of the trip and it won't change at the end of the trip. But while traveling both will have a dynamic load on the hitch. His bike setup is within spec. It's also well within spec of the rear axle load rating on the T8.
      Last edited by VolvoUhu; 06-30-2020 at 07:38 PM.
      2005 Boxster - EuroDelivery Atlas Grey (Street: Boxster S 18"/Track: Cayman S 18")
      2010 XC90 3.2 R-Design AWD - OSD Ice White (Winter: Vulcanis 19"/Summer & Off-Road: Panacea 18")
      2017 XC90 T8 R-Design eAWD - OSD (Pole✦ envy) Passion Red (Vision|Convenience|B&W|Climate|HUD|Air 4C|Lighted Running Boards|Tow|Center Booster|iPad|Protective Plate...) w/ChargePoint Home
      --
      Our first: 2001 V40 1.9T - OSD Atlantic Blue (Summer: Galactica 16"/Winter: Spectra 15")

    7. #5
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      Thank you brich999 and volvouhu for you replies. I did have a chance to read brich999 last night and i was trying to wrap my head around how the physics of the weight would be different if i were towing a 500# tongue weight trailer vs hauling 500# on a hitch carrier. To me it seems that every bump in the trailer would cause the same hitch weight changes and possibly even more if you have a trailer loaded to 5000# seeing as how the weight on the trailer could momentarily shift forward.

      Volvouhu that makes a ton of sense. I have never really owned a light suv like this and 1500# payload may be important to stick to. I plan on having the ktm on the back, two bikes on the roof and two people and dog with luggage inside. Im surprise that the overall capacity is that light honestly and im sure im going to bust that eventually in the course of ownership. Hopefully it doesnít cause anything too adverse.


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    8. #6
      Quote Originally Posted by grnbaja72 View Post
      Thank you brich999 and volvouhu for you replies. I did have a chance to read brich999 last night and i was trying to wrap my head around how the physics of the weight would be different if i were towing a 500# tongue weight trailer vs hauling 500# on a hitch carrier. To me it seems that every bump in the trailer would cause the same hitch weight changes and possibly even more if you have a trailer loaded to 5000# seeing as how the weight on the trailer could momentarily shift forward.

      Volvouhu that makes a ton of sense. I have never really owned a light suv like this and 1500# payload may be important to stick to. I plan on having the ktm on the back, two bikes on the roof and two people and dog with luggage inside. Im surprise that the overall capacity is that light honestly and im sure im going to bust that eventually in the course of ownership. Hopefully it doesnít cause anything too adverse.

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      You'd be surprised. It may sound low but it's actually quite a lot and believe it or not up there with the payload capacity of an F-150 supercab 3.5L V6 2020 which has a capacity of 1520lbs (although the XC90 isnít rated to two 12000 lbs its sturdy enough to handle as much of a load on its axles). We've carried significant weight on, in, and behind both of our Volvos and they are more than capable of the task. After all, when do you plan on carrying 7 200+ lbs passengers, luggage (limited when you raise the 3rd row) and a KTM on the back?
      Last edited by VolvoUhu; 07-07-2020 at 12:34 AM.
      2005 Boxster - EuroDelivery Atlas Grey (Street: Boxster S 18"/Track: Cayman S 18")
      2010 XC90 3.2 R-Design AWD - OSD Ice White (Winter: Vulcanis 19"/Summer & Off-Road: Panacea 18")
      2017 XC90 T8 R-Design eAWD - OSD (Pole✦ envy) Passion Red (Vision|Convenience|B&W|Climate|HUD|Air 4C|Lighted Running Boards|Tow|Center Booster|iPad|Protective Plate...) w/ChargePoint Home
      --
      Our first: 2001 V40 1.9T - OSD Atlantic Blue (Summer: Galactica 16"/Winter: Spectra 15")

    9. #7
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      This is a very timely thread for me. I got a Kawasaki KLR 650. I would love to put it on a rack behind my 2020 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD.
      My bike weighs about 420 lbs wet. With a 70lbs steel carrier i'm at 490lbs. I have the magnetic foldaway carrier (installed as a factory option when i did the european delivery). I also have the volvo air suspension.
      Unlike the other poster i will have at most one other person with me in the car, and not very much luggage. Lets say 200lbs at most.

      Will the folding hitch really take that much load? I'm right at 500lbs which is what volvo has on the decal on the carrier as the tongue limit for the hitch carrier.

      I've heard the arguments about static vs. dynamic loads but frankly it makes no sense to me. If i have a trailer with 500lbs tongue weight, and i go over a speedbump i am going to have a dynamic load on that hitch reciever. Why would the reciever know about dynamic load from a tow behind trailer vs. the motorcycle carrier?

      yet i worry about it when i see that volvo states that they don't want more than 100lbs on their bicycle carrier. Is that because the carrier is weak or because of dynamic load on the reciever?

      The core concern i have is that there is too much force placed on the locking mechanism for the fold in the folding reciever and that placing 500lbs on load on it and dynamically push that up and down will make the lock fail and cause the bike to crash down behind me. on a trailer that would be bad but not insurmountable. On a bike carrier that would be catastrophic!

      Yet at the same time i got to imagine that volvo wouldn't put a 500lbs tongue carrying limit on something that couldn't handle that weight, including the stresses of dynamic load.

      I would love some more input and discussions on this. Is there someone at volvo i can contact and ask? My salesman at the dealership couldn't guide me beyond telling me that the bike carrier had a 100lbs rating.

      For liability reasons i can't imagine that volvo could put a 500lbs tongue rating on it, and if it failed with 500lbs of load get out of liability (and everything today in corporate america seems to be guided by liability). So can the folding hitch really handle a 500lb rack and carrier? I strongly prefer to not be the first one to find out....

      i have this type of bike:

    10. #8
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      I had an appointment at Volvo for my 10,000 mile service today. Decided to ask the service advisor to call volvo north america and ask if i could load up 500lbs on a carrier in the reciever. He told me he didn't know but that he would call up volvo and get an answer for me.

    11. #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Botpa View Post
      I had an appointment at Volvo for my 10,000 mile service today. Decided to ask the service advisor to call volvo north america and ask if i could load up 500lbs on a carrier in the reciever. He told me he didn't know but that he would call up volvo and get an answer for me.
      The whole dynamic vs static load is nonsense for the hitch. It makes sense for something like a roof top tent where the rails and cross bars may have a 220lbs limit but thatís the rated capacity by Volvo/Thule designed for transporting - aka in motion/dynamic. When using and sleeping in a RTT the capacity of the same load bars is higher given it will only be slept in while static and never when in motion (Iím sure thereís a warning about that by the RTT manufacturers to avoid liability &#129315. Itís why they work and with occupants in addition to the tent itself the total weight far exceeds the rates capacity. Itíd be pretty useless if the rated capacities quoted by car makes were static capacities.

      When you get a response from Volvo itíll be good to share.
      Last edited by VolvoUhu; 07-02-2020 at 12:17 AM.
      2005 Boxster - EuroDelivery Atlas Grey (Street: Boxster S 18"/Track: Cayman S 18")
      2010 XC90 3.2 R-Design AWD - OSD Ice White (Winter: Vulcanis 19"/Summer & Off-Road: Panacea 18")
      2017 XC90 T8 R-Design eAWD - OSD (Pole✦ envy) Passion Red (Vision|Convenience|B&W|Climate|HUD|Air 4C|Lighted Running Boards|Tow|Center Booster|iPad|Protective Plate...) w/ChargePoint Home
      --
      Our first: 2001 V40 1.9T - OSD Atlantic Blue (Summer: Galactica 16"/Winter: Spectra 15")

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by grnbaja72 View Post
      Thank you brich999 and volvouhu for you replies. I did have a chance to read brich999 last night and i was trying to wrap my head around how the physics of the weight would be different if i were towing a 500# tongue weight trailer vs hauling 500# on a hitch carrier. To me it seems that every bump in the trailer would cause the same hitch weight changes and possibly even more if you have a trailer loaded to 5000# seeing as how the weight on the trailer could momentarily shift forward.

      Volvouhu that makes a ton of sense. I have never really owned a light suv like this and 1500# payload may be important to stick to. I plan on having the ktm on the back, two bikes on the roof and two people and dog with luggage inside. Im surprise that the overall capacity is that light honestly and im sure im going to bust that eventually in the course of ownership. Hopefully it doesnít cause anything too adverse.


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      I answered your physics question in the last post in this thread:

      https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...d-on-2020-XC90

      And I would say that you are beyond the intent of the Volvo spec with the weight that you indicate and what appears to me to be about a two and a half foot distance (?) from the bike to the pivot point of the hitch. So, you are somewhere into the Volvo margin of safety, and I have no idea how big their margin of safety is.

      When I say ďintentĒ what I mean is that Volvo has specíd a 500# load limit - a force, in mechanical terms. But what is going to break that hitch down is not a force. Rather, it is the torque that the 500# force applies to the pivot point of the hitch, which is about one foot from where the ball would be, for my hitch. So, what is really at stake here is where you are relative to 500 ft-lb of permissable torque, and you are well beyond that. Itís all a matter of how much of a margin of safety Volvo put into the spec. I am hoping and guessing that youíll be OK, but I would say that there is some amount of risk in what you have, especially if you hit an unusually big chuck hole or somesuch and put a large impulse on the pivot point of the hitch. And you have to think about the consequences if you do have a problem. The rack is going to rotate down to the road, bang like crazy and put a large stress on your retention straps and whatever is holding them, and if they let go you are going to lose your bike and create a major safety problem for other vehicles.

      You can see that Volvo has created a bit of a confusing issue with the way they have designed this hitch and what they are saying about bike racks. They know it is torque that breaks the hitch, but they have specíd it as force, so owners are confused.

    13. #11
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      To keep things simple you really just need to know the tongue weight allowed for the vehicle and the tongue weight allowed for the actual hitch. The listed maximum tongue weight for a 2017 XC90 is 500 lbs and the maximum towing weight without brakes is 1650 lbs and 5000 lbs with brakes. You will also need to ensure the total cargo weight of everything including the bike/passengers/cargo does not exceed 1210lb. This is from the XC90 manual.

      When using a hitch, you will need to refer to tongue weight. The stealth hitch has a max tongue weight of 500 lbs and I Volvo folding hitch is only 130 lbs. If you ever put on an extender/reducer you half the max tongue weight. You need to include the weight of the rack plus your bike.

      For @grnbaja72, I would think you are fine but very close to the max allowable.
      For @Bopta, the folding hitch will not work in your case.
      Last edited by thorin33; 07-02-2020 at 12:55 PM.
      (Hers) 2017 XC90 T6 R-Design | Passion Red | Convenience | Vision | Climate with Heated Windshield | Carbon Fiber | Nappa Leather | Black Headliner |
      (His) 2020 V60 T6 R-Design | Bursting Blue | Premium | Premium Plus (HUD) | Sport Suspension

    14. #12
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      For the record, brnbaja72 is over the limit, and it isnít close.

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Billk9989 View Post
      For the record, brnbaja72 is over the limit, and it isnít close.
      I see that your info is based on the folding hitch and i read your other post where you explain the moment and weight applied at what distance. Thankfully i borrowed that hitch carrier and will simply look for a light weight one that brings the bike in closer. And hopefully find something that gets me closer to a foot from the bumper.

      Secondly i have the stealth hitch not the folding hitch, and it appears that most of what you stated relates to the folding hitch due the fact that it can fold am i correct?


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    16. #14
      Quote Originally Posted by thorin33 View Post
      To keep things simple you really just need to know the tongue weight allowed for the vehicle and the tongue weight allowed for the actual hitch. The listed maximum tongue weight for a 2017 XC90 is 500 lbs and the maximum towing weight without brakes is 1650 lbs and 5000 lbs with brakes. You will also need to ensure the total cargo weight of everything including the bike/passengers/cargo does not exceed 1210lb. This is from the XC90 manual.

      When using a hitch, you will need to refer to tongue weight. The stealth hitch has a max tongue weight of 500 lbs and I Volvo folding hitch is only 130 lbs. If you ever put on an extender/reducer you half the max tongue weight. You need to include the weight of the rack plus your bike.

      For @grnbaja72, I would think you are fine but very close to the max allowable.
      For @Bopta, the folding hitch will not work in your case.
      Tongue weight on the folding hitch is also 500lbs. The capacity to carry a bike carrier is what's different. The owner's manual for the folding hitch mentions it clearly and shows the how the CG shouldn't extend beyond given dimensions and which goes to show how there are differences in capacities based on accessory attached/mounted using the hitch.
      2005 Boxster - EuroDelivery Atlas Grey (Street: Boxster S 18"/Track: Cayman S 18")
      2010 XC90 3.2 R-Design AWD - OSD Ice White (Winter: Vulcanis 19"/Summer & Off-Road: Panacea 18")
      2017 XC90 T8 R-Design eAWD - OSD (Pole✦ envy) Passion Red (Vision|Convenience|B&W|Climate|HUD|Air 4C|Lighted Running Boards|Tow|Center Booster|iPad|Protective Plate...) w/ChargePoint Home
      --
      Our first: 2001 V40 1.9T - OSD Atlantic Blue (Summer: Galactica 16"/Winter: Spectra 15")

    17. #15
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      Grnbaja, I see now that you said stealth. I didnít know what that meant. Yes, my comments relate to the folding hitch that came with my car and my hitch is pretty stealthy. ;-)

      You have a clear understanding of what I wrote. In answer to your question, yes and no. Yes, everything I wrote was in regard to the Volvo folding hitch. But I looked up your hitch and found a picture, and it is the same situation as the folding hitch, with a higher ball load spec. The hitch will undoubtedly break somewhere between the receiver and the long crossbar. We can guess that the distance from there to a typical ball location would be about a foot. So, you get 600 ft-lb, not 500. Thatís the only difference I see. But it helps. With what I see from your photo can we guess that you are at about 700+ ft-lb? Not terrible, one would think, because there has to be a margin of safety in the spec. I would acctually try that and feel OK, if the center of your cycle is about 2.5 ft from the bumper. If you can get the bike a bit closer, so much the better. I have a light weight motorcycle carrier that I use for a golf scooter that weighs have of what your bike weighs. It is light, about 35#. Aluminum. Steel ones that I looked at were at least twice the weight. Motorcycle weight limit is 400#.

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