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Mounting a motorcycle to the front of an HDT


remoandiris

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Most of the HDTs I've seen for sale state 12,500 front axle rating. How would one find out what the excess carrying capacity that front axle can handle? Could it manage a 600 lb motorcycle and (probably) 200 lb bike mount on the front? Would air flow to the cooling systems be so negatively affected that it would impact the truck's performance?

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There's more to take into account than just the weight of the bike and mount. Those items are cantilevered out quite a distance from the axle, so your 800# example might easily be over 1000# of loading.

 

I, for one, won't put anything in front of a radiator. Granted, pulling our loads, we aren't normally working the system very hard, but why chance it? I once had an E-150 over heating going across Nebraska. Pulled into a radiator shop to see about checking it out. The owner said that given the severe cross wind that day, I likely wasn't getting sufficient flow through the grill area. He advised adjusting my speed 5-10 mph and see if that cured it. It did. So, apply that to a 3' x 4' radiator.............

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I have done it on my Dodge with no issues other than 5 deg warmer than normal coolant temps when it was warm. My outside thermometer read 101 when it was snowing one time too!

 

With that, it would be hard to know exactly what would happen with the cooling system till you try it.

 

It wasn't the ideal set up in the first place, but it was the only way to get it all there at the time.

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Rick has a good point there.

 

My dad put a Honda 550/4 with a fairing on the front of his truck - F150, pulling a TT. Also had it on the front of an E350 and a Dodge B300 (both vans). He took the windshield off though.

 

With a 4500# pin weight, 24" behind the rear tandem, 50" behind the center point of the tandems, I "unload" the front axle by 1000# to 9500#. Barefoot (without trailer) front is 10,500.

 

This is a VNL 780 and both weights had 300 gallons of diesel aboard. Maybe 299 with the trailer.

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if you want to know what your weights are , hook up the 5th wheel to the HDT and go to the Scale and get your weights for each axle.

then you will know how close you are to your weight rating of the front axle.

 

Personally..... i wouldnt put anything in front of the grill (other than a moose guard). motorcycle could impede the air flow to the radiator

and especially on super hot days.

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Interesting question. The answer is going to be largely guesswork on cooling.

 

We pull 600hp while sitting stationary when pumping liquid nitrogen flat out. All that happens, even on a hot day, is that the fan needs to work more frequently. Having had a number of fan clutches explode, standard policy now is to engage the fan prior to pumping operations.

 

There is quite a lot of excess cooling capacity on these big rigs and you would have to be very unlucky to create a situation where your cooling was compromised by mounting a motorbike on the front, particularly as we are also very light and not working hard compared to commercial. YMMV.

 

Geo

 

c15b0e51.jpg

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I suggest you carefully check out the weight situation.

My 2001 Volvo 610 was a factory single, and very close to the 12.5K limit when bob tailing.

My Harley weighed in at almost #1000 lbs with all the stuff I added to it, so as said, you cantilever that out a couple of feet and you may have some weight issues.

If possible you may want to check out the possibility of mounting them on the back of your camper..with some modifications of course.

Good luck, and keep us in the loop.

Cheers,

Bob

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There's more to take into account than just the weight of the bike and mount. Those items are cantilevered out quite a distance from the axle, so your 800# example might easily be over 1000# of loading.

 

I, for one, won't put anything in front of a radiator. Granted, pulling our loads, we aren't normally working the system very hard, but why chance it? I once had an E-150 over heating going across Nebraska. Pulled into a radiator shop to see about checking it out. The owner said that given the severe cross wind that day, I likely wasn't getting sufficient flow through the grill area. He advised adjusting my speed 5-10 mph and see if that cured it. It did. So, apply that to a 3' x 4' radiator.............

Just to be clear on the math, an 800-pound motorcycle will still add 800 pounds to the total vehicle weight. Depending on how far forward of the axle centerline it is, it could end up adding 1000+ pounds to your front-axle weight and therefore reducing 200+ pounds on your rear axle weight.

 

My 2001 Ford Excursion has a 44-gallon fuel tank (that's the factory size) sitting behind the rear axle. Front axle weight changes 40 pounds between full tank and empty tank...

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Peety, you're right about your math. However, the Volvos being run here, depending upon how they have been singled and deck/no deck, etc, can be running right at, or very close to, maximum front axle weight. No matter what 800# does to the rest of the truck, #800 (or, 1000# because of overhang) can be way too much weight up front.

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