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woesten

Fuel efficient minimal bike hauler options

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I'm shopping for a first trials bike and a new (used) car at the same time.  I'm looking at different minimal setups for hauling, either enclosed or on some sort of class 2 (1 1/4", 350lb tongue weight)  hitch carrier.  Most carriers are for Class III hitches and fuel economy really suffers with that capacity vehicle.  Trying to avoid a trailer too but need to read more on that.  

The Honda Element is one of the best candidates i have come across so far.  A trials bike should fit fine with some fork compression, or maybe deflating the tire, spinning the bars down in the clamps.  Needs less than 3 inches to get through the door edge (41 inches).  Probably have to pull the front the passenger seat in the Element too.  Plenty of examples of guys fitting sport bikes in them or enduros with a removed front wheel (replaced by a small roller for the latter bikes).  

Also looking at Volvo wagons, I've even seen some people turn them into dirt bike hauler 'trucks' which is hilarious.  Thought about laying a bike over in something like that but I bet it would leak fuel.

Might just end up with a small truck like an old Toyota, but trucks seem really overpriced across the board right now and offer less security without the right bed topper, and potentially no bed access with a bike still on the hitch carrier.

So far I found an old thread here about using a Toyota minivan but the fuel economy would be in the teens.

After reading more old threads, wanted to mention I'm in USA.

Edit:. Small cargo vans like the Ford Transit or even larger ones lime a Sprinter but I'm simply not convinced they're not unreliable money pits.

Thanks for the input.

 

 

Edited by woesten

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26 minutes ago, woesten said:

I'm shopping for a first trials bike and a new (used) car at the same time.  I'm looking at different minimal setups for hauling, either enclosed or on some sort of class 2 (1 1/4", 350lb tongue weight)  hitch carrier.  Most carriers are for Class III hitches and fuel economy really suffers with that capacity vehicle.  Trying to avoid a trailer too but need to read more on that.  

The Honda Element is one of the best candidates i have come across so far.  A trials bike should fit fine with some fork compression, or maybe deflating the tire, spinning the bars down in the clamps.  Needs less than 3 inches to get through the door edge (41 inches).  Probably have to pull the front the passenger seat in the Element too.  Plenty of examples of guys fitting sport bikes in them or enduros with a removed front wheel (replaced by a small roller for the latter bikes).  

Also looking at Volvo wagons, I've even seen some people turn them into dirt bike hauler 'trucks' which is hilarious.  Thought about laying a bike over in something like that but I bet it would leak fuel.

Might just end up with a small truck like an old Toyota, but trucks seem really overpriced across the board right now and offer less security without the right bed topper, and potentially no bed access with a bike still on the hitch carrier.

So far I found an old thread here about using a Toyota minivan but the fuel economy would be in the teens.

After reading more old threads, wanted to mention I'm in USA.

Thanks for the input.

 

 

Honda Element would work.  I've owned a lot of Volvo wagons and fuel economy isn't their thing for USA models. I think a Toyota minivan MPG would be better, than a Volvo.

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1 hour ago, trialsrfun said:

What is the current price for one US gallon of fuel

Where I live it's maybe $1.85 a gallon (3.8 liters) but I think it can be double that in California cities.

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15 hours ago, woesten said:

Where I live it's maybe $1.85 a gallon (3.8 liters) but I think it can be double that in California cities.

In this part of the UK petrol is £1.20p per litre diesel £1.30p. £/$ exchange rate is I believe around $1.26 for £1 so £4.56p for your 3.8 litres of fuel here in the UK. UK fuel prices have reduced previously being up to about 20p per litre more.

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13 minutes ago, trialsrfun said:

In this part of the UK petrol is £1.20p per litre diesel £1.30p. £/$ exchange rate is I believe around $1.26 for £1 so £4.56p for your 3.8 litres of fuel here in the UK. UK fuel prices have reduced previously being up to about 20p per litre more.

Ah ok I was pricing gasoline in the post above, diesel where is $3 a gallon here, maybe half of what it is in the UK.

Anyway I've been reading about hauling dirt bikes with subcompact cars on other forums,  such as with the Toyota Prius.  It's definitely doable on a light trailer but they were flooring it around Colorado with 2 bikes and I think mileage was in the low 30s. 

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Any sub-compact that can tow a small trailer will give you reasonable fuel economy in relation to a big van or similar.  Your biggest problem is that fuel efficiency is not a feature of the US vehicle market and so a light panel van like the Ford Transit has a 3.4L petrol engine for the US and a 2.0L diesel for the real world.  A trials bike is about 70Kg so two bikes and a trailer is less than a quarter of a tonne.  Your issue is therefore wind resistance and that is not an issue if you are only driving at 50mph or so.  Don't forget the fuel saving when you are not towing is the biggest factor.

Our panel van (Renault Master 2.3 diesel) gives 35mpg (US) and carries 1300Kg if needed.

Edited by ChrisCH

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37 minutes ago, turbofurball said:

Ford Festiva and a folding trailer ;)

We haven't had the Festiva in the States since 2002.  One might have survived as far south as Arkansas, but not up here in the Salt Belt!

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I had  friend who pulled his trials bike with his BMW cruising bike and found it to be a great way to travel. Similar to this setup:

 

639032665_tPd84-L.jpg

  • Haha 1

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minivans are pretty handy as well just pop out the middle seats don't even have to take off the front wheel.

Really just depends what else you need the vehicle for.

 

steves van 1.jpg

Edited by michael_t
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Can you get the Citroen Berlingo Multispace (estate), or Renault or Peugeot equivalent, in the states? I have a '67 model 1.6 diesel (runs on Ad Blue) that gives 60 mpg average & that includes occasional towing with an 8' x 5' box trailer. My mate has the Berlingo van (double road tax in UK for vans) & carries a 500 Norton trials bike in the back. Remove one of the back seats from the estate & getting a modern trials bike in should be no problem.

Averaging 60 mpg (OK I do drive gently but I'm not mean) I can't go wrong.

Dick.

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Turbo, what is a Festiva? Never heard of it! Fiesta-yes. Got a pic?

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