Why can't I swing my moto!?

April 02, 2024 4 min read

"Why can’t I swing my dirt bike?"

We’ve had an enormous amount of inquiries about using our RambleSwing™ or UltraSwing® with a motorcycle. To be honest, we’re tired of replying. So here’s your breakdown of why you can’t.

First off, you weigh more than you think.

Let’s break down how much weight we’re talking about. The average dirt bike weighs 250 lbs wet. Then we need a way to carry said dirt bike. The best moto tray we’ve come across is the Rack N Ride. We’ve never spoken to this company before, but the reasons we feel it’s the best option is that it’s aluminum, has a front wheel chock, and utilizes turnbuckles through the foot pegs to secure it. This option weighs 70 lbs, which is very light for how well it appears to perform, which is another reason why we like it. There are cheaper moto haulers out there, but in many cases the construction is downright scary. Your moto deserves better.

As a side note, 1UP USA appears to have an aluminum hitch mounted moto carrier in the works that seems to have similar features to Rack N Ride, which is based in Australia, so 1UP may be a great moto tray option to consider once that’s available. And no, theirs won’t be swinging out your beautifully restored XR 400 either.

The RambleSwing is the strongest swing out currently in existence.

The RambleSwing is the strongest swing-out hitch you can buy. On paper it’s rated to 300 lbs. It has the thickest gauge tubing of any option and the most redundancy in its dual closure system to ensure it never opens accidentally. When engineering it, we had to make even more strength provision with the goal of making it compatible with vertical bike racks like Northshore, Velocirax, etc. Vertical bike racks are a swinging pendulum of death for swingouts, and accomplishing this was no small task. Lastly, its solid cnc machined anti-wobble wedge with Nord-Lock washers is the most rock-solid anti wobble solution available.

"So why can’t I swing my gosh dang moto!?" It’s too much weight. Seriously. 

The problem with swinging a moto is one, that moto with an adequate tray weighs more than 300lbs. Some will ask: “But what if I get my setup to weigh exactly 300 lbs?” 

Even the best case scenarios like Rack N Ride extend the moto away from the vehicle roughly 20”. Here’s adiagram from Rack N Ride showing the distance on their shortest option. In contrast, our RambleRack™ or other hitch mounted bike rack places the first bike around 14”. So in the case of a moto carrier, if you add a swing out like our RambleSwing, which is the most tucked in design of any hitch swing out, you’re adding between 9” and 12” of length on top of the 20” of extension away from the vehicle. That’s over 2.5 feet away from the vehicle.

All that adds up to an over 300 lb diving board off your hitch. Take the right g-out with that setup on or off-road and something will break. And at that point, you’ll hope it’s our swing out and not your vehicle’s hitch.

“So why can’t you lazy millennials just make one that’s even stronger?”

We pushed dang near close to the limit of what a 2” hitch should ever do from a total tongue force perspective. For those with 2.5” or 3” hitches there’s a bit of room to push the envelope, but we haven’t felt justified in making HD-truck specific products just yet.

So what should you do with your moto?

I once made my own ultimate hitch mounted moto carrier. It had 2 extra hitches welded on either side of the tray along with matching hitches welded to my Super Duty. The result was an extremely rock-solid tray that’s next limiting factor was the quality of the tie downs I used. It didn’t swing, but isn’t it enough that you don’t have to own a truck and keep the bed open anymore? In the age of modern vehicle capability, maybe not, but despite attempts, physics still hold its same weight.

Others will ask about using the lower tow-rated receiver of our UltraSwing to transport their moto. This is another one of those scenarios where there’s an extreme amount of leverage being put on a welded hitch extension, and our official answer is: “We’d rather you didn’t”. Has it been done? Yes, but due to how much extension you’ll need to clear your moto of the spare tire, it will be an absolute breaker bar for your hitch.

In conclusion, we’re always looking to provide the best possible experience with everything we make. Swinging a full-size moto is a tall order. Could it be done? Yes…well maybe…but it should be done with the addition of extra support in your hitch (like an extra receiver), or at least be done on a 2.5” or 3” hitch to take advantage of that extra strength.

There’s a solution out there, it will cost several thousand dollars and most likely require some additional fabrication to your vehicle’s hitch, but it can be done. We’re not currently working on it. But hopefully this article sheds some light on the issue and can help us spend more time making our bike racks, swing out hitches, and spare tire carries, and less time arguing with our beloved audience on social media about why they can’t use our products to swing out a full-size moto or that we are not in fact lazy millennials who hate dirt bikes.

Until next time, keep it pinned.

-Luke Wronski, Founder & CEO

In this image, my mini dual-sported XR 100 that weighs 175 lbs I've used on our RambleRack and UltraSwing for testing purposes to exceed our official ratings by a small margin.

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