2002 Roadtrek 190 Versatile - 11/3/23 - Mototote M3

A listing of thoughts, ideas, repairs, projects, and experiences.
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kurtfranz
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2002 Roadtrek 190 Versatile - 11/3/23 - Mototote M3

Post by kurtfranz »

Decided that I wanted to begin bringing my motorcycle on my adventures. If at all possible I wanted to avoid pulling a trailer so I began researching hitch mounted carriers. Seemed to me that most of the available models were flimsy made in China items. The videos that I watched did not inspire confidence regardless of what the twenty something millennial "experts" stated. I was looking for the sturdiest well made unit I could find - regardless of the price as I wanted to have confidence that my bike would not end up lying in the middle of one of our nation's Interstate highways.

After much research, I decided that the Mototote M3 was the product that would fit the bill and meet my requirements. The carrier is solid, well made, and heavy. It is made in Texas and arrived nicely packaged. Putting it together was straightforward - it took me about an hour - and not very difficult. Let me reiterate, this thing is a beast.

Attaching the carrier to the hitch requires some strength. I was able to do it with no issue, but I can see where it could be necessary to obtain some assistance depending on your physical condition, age, etc. Once the hitch is in the carrier it is fastened by a bolt that fits perfectly in the hole, not a pin with a cotter pin in the hole. This is supposed to keep the carrier from moving side to side while traveling as it is a tight fit. There is a ramp that attaches to the platform and one simply "rolls" the bike up on the platform where the front tire will rest in the "holder" at the end of the platform. The great thing about this system is the fact that there are 4 integrated metal loops where the hooks on the straps are fastened. This is critical in my opinion because it provides for a completely stable tie down, not where one is simply placing the hook end of the strap around a "location" on the platform.

The weight capacity of the unit is 500 LBS. My bike is a Yamaha XT225 which weighs in at about 250 LBS wet - well within the limits of the carrier. Honestly, I do not know if I would ever try and transport a bike that is much heavier with one of these types of carriers. Also, since the Roadtrek is a one ton van, the additional weight of the bike and the carrier did not cause the rear of the van to budge. I was able to load the bike on the platform myself. Once up on the platform it was possible to gently rest the handlebar on the rear window of the van. I then took the four ratcheting straps that I purchased from Harbor Freight and used one on each handle bar - compressing the forks - and the remaining two over the back tire. Pretty straightforward process.

The ramp attaches to the carrier by "hooking" it under a tab that is welded to the main bar of the carrier and a pin on the end. It is kind of a loose sort of fit, but it is stable. That is the only negative I have regarding this product - but it is attached securely.

The above is all good, but what about traveling with a bike attached to this carrier? Since I had never before used one of these (always loaded my bike in the pickup bed) I was a bit nervous about the bike falling off. My maiden voyage was from Cleveland, OH to Bradenton, FL via I-77 -I26-I95 -US301-I75. At first I was looking in my side mirror every minute or so to make sure things were ok. By the time I was in West Virginia I had lightened up a bit and was checking less and less often. The scariest situation was when there were dips in the road. When going over these I could see the bike moving up and down quite a bit, but every time I stopped to check things out, the bike was still attached as when I first departed on the journey. My blood pressure was about normal once I pulled in my drive in Florida :)

Therefore, I deem this carrier to be fit for its intended use. It provided a stable transport and left me with peace of mind.

Here is a picture of the setup. The straps in this photo are my old straps, not the ratcheting units - you can see that the van is not adversely affected at all by the added weight. I would have never known it was there except for the fact that I was checking all of time.

mototote_1.jpg
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