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Old 07-30-2008, 07:00 AM   #1
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Front Hitch bike hauling

Has anyone here used a front hitch? Have you used it for hauling bikes?

I was thinking of using a bumper mount hitch on the front bumper to hold a bike rack. I saw one at Harbor Freight for only $20.
- This would allow me to bring my bikes on front and use the rear mount for a hitch haul.
- Although not strong enough for towing, it should be more than strong enough for 130# of bikes/hitch.

My concern is to obstructed air, not strong enough and possible other problems found.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:23 AM   #2
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The bikes may not obstruct the airflow that much. Bicycles, not motorcycles right?

I'd be more concerned about having the bike covered with bug remains. Somehow it's different on the front of the van.

Mike
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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I put a hitch extension on that thing so it would reach flush to the bumper and put a Dirtbike up there!

I don't think a bicycle would be a problem.

I've had both a trials bike ~ #150, and my wife's dirtbike up there #180,

No issues, other than cars passing us honking, waving and giving us the thumbs up.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback, front mount will be on my winter work list...
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:47 PM   #5
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front hitch bike rack

Hey Marty,

Did you ever do this project? I have a 96 dodge and love the way the rear door opens when sleeping in the back and I don't want to block the door with a bike rack but have to find somewhere to put bikes. I have a Contempo top so the roof is out, aluminess bumpers are too expensive for my blood, so I was thinking a front receiver hitch but none of the bolt on opens seem to fit the dodge. So a cheaper bumper hitch sounds pretty good. Let me know if you ever looked into it more. Plus with how expensive some of the swing away bike racks cost I figure I could probably get a front hitch and cheap rack for the cost of an expensive swing away rack.

Cheers!
Ken
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:24 PM   #6
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My front hitch lesson

I learned that when it is really hot in the Mojave California desert say around 105-110 my Honda 230 blocks crucial airflow to the radiator and also the outside temp sender sending the engine temp soaring. By the time I pulled over the outside temp read 130+ and the coolant temp had clearly gone into no mans land. Fortunately my wife was in front of me in her Escalade and we easily swapped the bike to her rear bumper because the wakeboard boat was on our rear. If you've never hauled a motorcycle like that it's perfect and you just don't even notice it's there but I'm bummed and the overheating defeats my plan.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:47 PM   #7
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Overheating

That is a drag. I'm only planning to put bicycles up front so I should be ok since bicycles block a lot less cooling than motocycles. What front hitch do you have?
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: My front hitch lesson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Native
I learned that when it is really hot in the Mojave California desert say around 105-110 my Honda 230 blocks crucial airflow to the radiator and also the outside temp sender sending the engine temp soaring. By the time I pulled over the outside temp read 130+ and the coolant temp had clearly gone into no mans land. Fortunately my wife was in front of me in her Escalade and we easily swapped the bike to her rear bumper because the wakeboard boat was on our rear. If you've never hauled a motorcycle like that it's perfect and you just don't even notice it's there but I'm bummed and the overheating defeats my plan.
Bummer. I had a feeling this would be the case. I regularly carry a motorcycle on the rear with a hitch carrier. But got the front hitch mount recently just in case I wanted/needed to put another dirtbike on the front. I may give it a try with mountain bikes and see how that impacts cooling. If I notice any change in temps, I'll just pass entirely since over-heating is not on my travel to-do list.
R
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:40 PM   #9
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I have a DrawTite hitch on the front of our SMB, installed by SMB West. I’ve used it twice from Santa Cruz to the tip of Baja, 1,680 miles each direction. At 4 AM one morning on my way south, I was given a professional courtesy warning by the California Highway Patrol, due to the fact that my head lights were partially obscured by the bike tires.
I did get tired of looking at the bike seats for thousands of miles. No problems with obstructed air were noted on either trip, possibly due to driving at the freeway speeds most of the way.

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Old 12-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #10
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Re: My front hitch lesson

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMrider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Native
I learned that when it is really hot in the Mojave California desert say around 105-110 my Honda 230 blocks crucial airflow to the radiator and also the outside temp sender sending the engine temp soaring. By the time I pulled over the outside temp read 130+ and the coolant temp had clearly gone into no mans land. Fortunately my wife was in front of me in her Escalade and we easily swapped the bike to her rear bumper because the wakeboard boat was on our rear. If you've never hauled a motorcycle like that it's perfect and you just don't even notice it's there but I'm bummed and the overheating defeats my plan.
Bummer. I had a feeling this would be the case. I regularly carry a motorcycle on the rear with a hitch carrier. But got the front hitch mount recently just in case I wanted/needed to put another dirtbike on the front. I may give it a try with mountain bikes and see how that impacts cooling. If I notice any change in temps, I'll just pass entirely since over-heating is not on my travel to-do list.
R
If you don't have one, get a ScanGauge to monitor air and water temps. You'll be able to notice the temp going waaayyy up long before the factory gauge moves from 'dead' center.

There may be a couple of things you can do to increase airflow with the bike(s) in place:

- Put a baffle at the front bottom of the radiator, between the frame rails. This will cause all the air that enters to go through the radiator instead of passing out the bottom. Ensure the air that enters the bottom of bumper goes into the radiator.

- Position the bike so the middle of the radiator has unobstructed airflow.

- Remove side covers or maybe the tank from the bike to reduce obstructions.

Good luck,

Mike
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