I get a lot of inquiries about my hitch carrier, so I thought a dedicated post about it was necessary.
I first heard of Joe Desrosiers back in 2016 at the Touratech Rally east from a retired Navy pilot that needed a custom motorcycle carrier for his camping rig. Joe’s custom carrier would be necessary for me to carry my Super Tenere on the van. There isn’t anyone making a carrier for that heavy a bike( that I could find or afford). He’s been in the business for 22 years now making hitch carriers, so he knows a bit what they need to have to be safe. I’m glad I was able to find the right guy for this specific job.
I rolled into his shop one morning last July about 9 am and he started measuring then started cutting and welding. It took pretty much all day because I left the shop about 10 pm. It did leave with 3 coats of “rattle can” spray paint. ( I later had it properly powder coated in Lafayette Louisiana at Rim Pros)
Here are the specs of my bike, van and the carrier.
The motorcycle is a 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere, when put on calibrated scales weighs 550 lbs without luggage and 1/2 tank of fuel.
The van is a 2018 F-250 Ford High roof, EXT long Transit w/ Ecoboost Turbo. Heavy duty class IV hitch factory installed with a 772lb tongue weight. The van has Airlift Suspension and 2, 2”x4” x 2’ steel tubing welded by Joe to the frame from the hitch frame to just short of the axel to reinforce the vans subframe.
The carrier is modified from his Heavy Duty Hauler line that normally has a 800lb to 1000lb rating. It’s constructed from 1/4” thick, 2” tube steel so it really is Heavy Duty!
The set up has served me very well since that day. Now I haven’t had the bike on the carrier the entire time, but I could easily say it’s been on the back for 10,000-15,000 miles. The van currently has 44,000 miles on the odometer. The bike is on the carrier when I do short trips or I’ll be riding frequently as I make my way across the US. I can tell the difference between having the motorcycle inside the van or on the carrier, but it’s not unsafe in the least! It’s very secure!
The carrier was made so I can open the van doors all the way when the bike isn’t loaded. The wheel stop is removable and a pin is used to keep it in place. I also had an “L” bracket fabricated by Joe so I can hang the carrier vertically when the bike is inside the van. It’s the custom work like this that make it totally worth it!
When you call Joe, tell him the Kilted Cajun sent you! He is an absolute pleasure to work with!
After posting on social media, a few concerns were raised about the safety of the hitch carrier and its mounting to my van. I’ll post the concerns and the reply from Joe.
Reply from Joe
For over twenty years of doing this there have been naysayers, negative Nancy’s and doubting David’s.
Without using four sheets of legal paper to doing long hand calculations we know from experience that it works. We are banking on the fact that the OEM engineers have made that trailer hitch four times stronger than they rate it as listed. That combined with our abilities to add strength where it maybe needed makes this possible without causing the vehicles to “pop wheelies”. Placing a 400-600 lb load two feet behind the vehicle does not adversely affect the vehicles handling. Yes you can feel it back there. Yes you may want or need to increase the springs ability to hold the load. Yes you will be approaching maxing the capacity of your tow rig and adjusting your driving style and speed maybe required. Yes you may need to purchase improved load rated tires for the two bearing the brunt of the load.While an engineering degree is not required to use a hitch mounted carrier some common sense is. We have tried to make our product as strong and light as possible.
Keeping it simple has always been out motivation. Straight forward and easy to use with a few well placed quality tie straps. Testing throughly on the toughest of roads and under Baja racing conditions has proven our designs to withstand the tests of time.
Making sure your motorcycle is safe when you get to your riding place is our only goal.
You can get where you want to go with your bike with with some consideration and understanding of the physics involved.