Overland + Motorcycle | Best way to take the bike with?

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MrFindell

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Hey everyone, tried searching the forums with not much luck.. makes sense as it's an odd request...

Does anyone take a motorcycle with them? If so, how have you tackled your build to accommodate a bike with the tent and light off-road gear? (On motorcycle trips I don't plan on doing intermediate/advanced offroading with it, just a place to camp at night.)

My build plans are two-fold:
First is the conventional setup of an overland build rack setup like most have.. I'm just starting and have zero friends that do this so nothing advanced over the next year as I learn.

Second, I want to cruise through the mountain towns during the day but also camp in the evenings on trails/parks that aren't crazy to maneuver through. First and foremost.. I don't want to pull a trailer. I'll need to accommodate a 2015 CBR600rr (I might get a dirt bike at some point but here to solve the sportbike problem first.)

I've been browsing hitch mounts for motorcycles so I could use the same rack setup as the overland build (concept one).. but that thing hanging off the back is probably a terrible idea so I've been thinking I move the bike to the bed and put my gear around it. Get a thinner hardtop like the falcon and move the tent to the roof of the cab but I'd like to still have a bed rack system tall enough to fit the bike in the center so I can attach items to the rack to save space. Also, extra tie-down options to really secure the motorcycle if the truck rocks side to side a bit to reach camp.

I've mocked up some sketches as a reference.. looking for additional minds to make suggestions or talk with someone who has tried taking motorcycles with.
Thank you! Hyped to learn and grow from this community.

Untitled_Artwork.jpg
 

Berkshires

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I like both concepts - use a VersaHaul for my small XT250, but hate how it changes my departure angle and on rough terrain, always worry about breaking something and bouncing the bike off. Your 600 is a lot heavier, so I'm inclined to go with concept two, if your gear and sleeping arrangements are still good. Do you have airbags - with either set-up that would be a good idea.
 
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MrFindell

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Thanks, Berkshires, I'm super wary of the versahall direction because of the weight of the 600 and any uneven ground clipping that thing.. I just bought the truck 10 days ago so I haven't modded anything yet and gathering potential build directions to work on over the winter. We don't have any overland-specific shops here in Omaha but maybe I can hit up a fab shop and see if they have some ideas also.

As for Overlanding the motorcycle from the above response.. that's a no go on a sportbike. I do a ton of cycle camping but Omaha just doesn't have the roads worth riding on the motorcycle and I refuse to sell my sportbike until I get out on some of those twisty and curvy roads I've always wanted to ride. Figured I'd find a way to meet in the middle as I build this thing out. Thanks for the input. I
 

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Thanks, Berkshires, I'm super wary of the versahall direction because of the weight of the 600 and any uneven ground clipping that thing.. I just bought the truck 10 days ago so I haven't modded anything yet and gathering potential build directions to work on over the winter. We don't have any overland-specific shops here in Omaha but maybe I can hit up a fab shop and see if they have some ideas also.

As for Overlanding the motorcycle from the above response.. that's a no go on a sportbike. I do a ton of cycle camping but Omaha just doesn't have the roads worth riding on the motorcycle and I refuse to sell my sportbike until I get out on some of those twisty and curvy roads I've always wanted to ride. Figured I'd find a way to meet in the middle as I build this thing out. Thanks for the input. I
Who said anything about doing it on a sport bike. Ha ha ha. What about building some sort of carrier for the rear like the hitch mounted solution but raised up from the hitch. Anything is possible with some creative thinking. Or an off road trailer like an xventure or something.
 
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MidOH

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Bike has to go in the bed. It'll get thrashed on a carrier if you off road anywhere. Most carriers get really sketchy as well. Seen a few bend or crack off. One dumped a bike on the freeway.

I'd consider a tall RTT rack over the bed. Or ditch the RTT and stick with a plain old ground tent.

A wee Lil trailer ain't going to have a negative effect on getting such a small rig though country towns. If track days are involved, you'll need more room for your ez up, tools, etc. Sorry, but I'd think on that some more as well.

Although, been there done that..................you'll be too tired from overlanding all day to go out and ride once camp is set up.
 
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MrFindell

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Bike has to go in the bed. It'll get thrashed on a carrier if you off road anywhere. Most carriers get really sketchy as well. Seen a few bend or crack off. One dumped a bike on the freeway.

I'd consider a tall RTT rack over the bed. Or ditch the RTT and stick with a plain old ground tent.

A wee Lil trailer ain't going to have a negative effect on getting such a small rig though country towns. If track days are involved, you'll need more room for your ez up, tools, etc. Sorry, but I'd think on that some more as well.

Although, been there done that..................you'll be too tired from overlanding all day to go out and ride once camp is set up.
Super helpful! Thank you. I feel ya on the hitch mount. My company has moved to mostly remote so I was planning on doing some extended trips for a month at a time or so. Some days I'd be staying with friends in the mountains, others I'd camp. wouldn't ride the bike most days but it would be nice to have it all with me so I can explore while I work freelance and remote.

I've seen a few racks like this that might work better to have it taller without the back rail and fit the bike under. (minus the storage below) I've also read I'll need to reinforce the tailgate under the liner.

I've always wanted to do track days but Omaha doesn't have anything for that. Plus there is a lot that goes into that. Thanks for the feedback. This is why I'm here asking. Thanks for the input. tacoma-accessories-leitner-2.jpg
 

FSAdv

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I’ve used a hitch carrier for the last few years. There are many that hold 500+ lbs. I see you are not local to me but look at “Joe Hauler” website in southern Ca. He has built carriers for a few of my friends and does custom work. It might give you some ideas. I’m sure a local fab shop can build you something one off as well that has a rise to it to give you a few more inches of departure angle. If your just fire roading it to a camp site, then I doubt you would need it.
 

carguyinok

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Ok, so part of my background is over 20 years in the classic motorcycle auctions. I've hauled more kinds of scooters in more ways then most could think was even possible. #1 forget the trailer hitch idea. Those are questionable on full sized RV's that could possibly handle that kinda weight hanging off the back. On a mid or even most full sized trucks your looking at doing load adjustable suspension. But going that far back with that kind of load is going to wreck how the truck handles on the road. Let alone the thought of off road.
If I was looking to take on what your talking about... I'd go with at bed mounted winch (dual purpose) & build a tray with runners that you can strap the bike on (or anything else) on the ground. Then use the winch for loading the loaded tray & controlling unloading. More importantly, solo & stress free without a chance your dropping your scooter.
Hope it helped, have fun.
 
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MrFindell

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Ok, so part of my background is over 20 years in the classic motorcycle auctions. I've hauled more kinds of scooters in more ways then most could think was even possible. #1 forget the trailer hitch idea. Those are questionable on full sized RV's that could possibly handle that kinda weight hanging off the back. On a mid or even most full sized trucks your looking at doing load adjustable suspension. But going that far back with that kind of load is going to wreck how the truck handles on the road. Let alone the thought of off road.
If I was looking to take on what your talking about... I'd go with at bed mounted winch (dual purpose) & build a tray with runners that you can strap the bike on (or anything else) on the ground. Then use the winch for loading the loaded tray & controlling unloading. More importantly, solo & stress free without a chance your dropping your scooter.
Hope it helped, have fun.
Thank you so much for the feedback and insight into what I'm trying to work through here. It's incredibly helpful and my concerns about the amount of weight on a stock suspension that far back even if I had a custom hitch carrier that was lifted higher. I'd feel more comfortable loading it in the back and I could probably use the bed rack mounts for the tie-down straps this way I can put gear on both sides of the bike if it takes up the center.

I found a few videos of bed winch setups and that would help me tremendously to guide the bike into the bed especially if I have to duck under a tent to fit it in. My first plan with the motorcycle is to essentially camp in/near Estes or Yellowstone but leave the rig and take the bike to cruise through the mountains. If I want to head into deep forest service territory for off-road camping that would be a different trip and I'd skip on taking the bike. I just want my rig build to work for both. Thanks again for you insight here.

Side question, if I plan to use my truck set up to camp at a traditional ground tent site, do I just make sure it has a parking spot on the actual plot or do these places require me to get an RV slot since I won't be on the ground?
 

carguyinok

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Thank you so much for the feedback and insight into what I'm trying to work through here. It's incredibly helpful and my concerns about the amount of weight on a stock suspension that far back even if I had a custom hitch carrier that was lifted higher. I'd feel more comfortable loading it in the back and I could probably use the bed rack mounts for the tie-down straps this way I can put gear on both sides of the bike if it takes up the center.

I found a few videos of bed winch setups and that would help me tremendously to guide the bike into the bed especially if I have to duck under a tent to fit it in. My first plan with the motorcycle is to essentially camp in/near Estes or Yellowstone but leave the rig and take the bike to cruise through the mountains. If I want to head into deep forest service territory for off-road camping that would be a different trip and I'd skip on taking the bike. I just want my rig build to work for both. Thanks again for you insight here.

Side question, if I plan to use my truck set up to camp at a traditional ground tent site, do I just make sure it has a parking spot on the actual plot or do these places require me to get an RV slot since I won't be on the ground?
I'm no authority on park rules. But when I was doing that kind of thing the changes for an RV came in with hooking up into the services such as electric & water. But it's been years since I've camped at a park.
As for what you wanting. I'd bite the bullet & get a small enclosed trailer with a ramp back door. Maybe bump up the suspension on it & run an all terrain tire for mild trail work.
Then your near pull in and out. Plus your bikes outta the elements & secure when your not using it. Another HUGE plus is an emergency camp shelter.
 
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MidOH

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A 12 foot long curved ramp might be almost $1000. But my bike was $24k.

With one of those ramps you can walk the bike right up. I stand to the left of the bike, and let the clutch out gently and just walk up right next to it. Easy peasy.

Sport bikes I take up while running, under their own power as I walk. Dirt bikes I roll up engine off like this: In gear, pull clutch, roll up two feet. Let clutch out so bike stops. Reset my feet. Repeat.

Always use the clutch to stop the bike when you roll it out, not the front brake ever.

I think this is the one I have:

As for camping, if the ''tent only'' camp sites allow car parking at the site, then you're good to go. Some campground ''tent only'' sites have a communal parking area, and then have an empty field or forest for tents only. No cars. That's pretty rare though. Most tent campers tend to camp right next to their car. Sadly.
 
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MrFindell

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One last follow up. Are the bed stiffeners a no brainer? I'm about to order some just to do it since I plan to have multiple rack setups. I just picked up a DiamondbackHD + Frontrunner rack already installed from a guy about 4 hours away this weekend so I at least have one rack setup ready. Was doing more research and found that a lot of people are doing the bed stiffeners. I'd imagine even with the Diamondback holding it all together it would still be helpful. Curious what others think of those.