Armitages Scooter/Motorbike Carriers

It is simplicity itself to further increase the versatility of your motorhome, whether it is a coach built, A class

or a panel van conversion, by adding one of our scooter / motorbike carrier systems.

We have three types, our original slot in none folding seat clamping style carrier that we have been providing to our customers for over 20+ years, the same none folding version but with a goal post securing system or our latest Multi – use Folding carrier system, all explained separately as you scroll down the page.

All three products can be towbar mounted providing the towbar is of a flange type (not swan neck tow ball) and has a S value (nose load capacity) capable of supporting the weight of both the carrier and Scooter / Motorbike, but by far the best and most recommended way is via chassis mounted receptacles which will reduce if not eliminate all the flex you get from centrally mounted towbar versions. Chassis mounting, rather than towbar mounting, supports the carrier and Scooter / Motorbike from two widespread points, directly from the vehicle’s chassis, making a solid connection.

All the carriers are removable when not in use or required to stow safely in your garage. This also leaves you with the option to tow a trailer or small car if ever required when the scooter / motorbike is not needed providing you have a towbar of course.

Every version of our Scooter carrier range is infinitely adjustable to suit any type of Scooter / Motorbike within its weight range.

Before considering mounting a Scooter / Motorbike carrier it is very important that you check that your Motorhome / Campervan has adequate payload and most importantly, spare rear axle carrying capacity left to do so. Armitages can only advise you on what structural strength your Motorhome has and to what weight it can take structurally, we cannot guess how much equipment you carry on board to deduct from your figures shown in the handbook. The longer the overhang at the rear the more counter lever effect this will have on your rear axle and reduce the weight from your front axle, so shorter the better. We do have an excel spread sheet calculator to help you work the weights out to ensure you have both the payload and spare rear axle carrying capacity before you have the work completed to give you a guide. However, to get the correct results it will mean you taking your vehicle to a local weigh bridge and weighing both the front and rear axles separately. If you follow this exercise, you must do this with the intension on what you are trying to achieve, so it’s very important you load up your motorhome / Campervan with everything you would normally take with you and try to load heavy items towards the front of the vehicle where possible. We also recommend filling up your water tanks and fuel tank, if you find the calculations slightly take you over the plated weight, then liquid approximately weighs 1kg per litre, so if you have a 100kg water tank and you went 50kg over you would know never to run with a full tank whilst carrying a Scooter / Motorbike. To complete the calculation, we will need the wheel base measurement, the overhang measurement from centre of rear wheel to the furthest point on your vehicle i.e. the rear valance, the weight of your proposed load i.e. Scooter / Motorbike, the plated weights as shown on your vin plate (usually under the bonnet) i.e. the Fiat plate or Al-Ko plate, along with your weigh bridge weights of course.

Understanding the chassis Vin plate of your vehicle, the 1st figure is the gross vehicle weight (maximum weight of vehicle & payload combined) the 2nd figure is your gross train weight (used to work out the towing capacity by deducting the 1st figure (gross) from the 2nd figure (train) tells you the towing capacity of your vehicle, not required when carrying & this is quite often down rated on the Motorhome manufacturers plate, so for towing weights you have to check the Manufacturers (i.e. Swift) plate 1st not this one) 1 – Is your front axle (maximum loaded weight i.e. 1850kg) 2 – Is your rear axle (maximum loaded weight i.e. 2000kg) 3. 2nd rear axle if you have a tag axle motorhome. You cannot go over any of these weights legally and could be prosecuted if proven on a weigh bridge

Multi-use folding carrier system (maximum payload 150kg)

Our latest Scooter / Motorbike carrier is the last word in versatility as it can be used as just a Scooter / Motorbike carrier, you can change the anodised aluminium motorbike channels to Anodised V cycle / eBike channels and add Fiamma bike block supports to use as a Cycle / eBike carrier, you can add an extension to the arms to carry 1 Scooter & 1 cycle / eBike or 1 Scooter & 2 cycle / eBike’s. Also, with the extensions you can change it in to a 60” x 30” aluminium platform for carrying all kinds of items providing you stay within its maximum payload capacity of 150kg.

 

All though this system can be added to a flange type towbar via an adaptor plate it was mainly designed as a standalone chassis mounted system so a type approved towbar can be added at a later date for those who are unsure whether they may want to tow or for those that want to tow when not carrying there Scooter / Motorbike from the offset. If you look closely enough you can see in the photo to the right the white ball cap from the swan neck style type approved towbar that is also fitted allowing the customer to tow his Car on one of our A frames when he’s not taking his Scooter.

One of the main features with this carrier system is the way it all folds up at the rear when not in use saving valuable space when on site or at home.

The lighting board automatically tilts as you lift the carrier, so all the lights and number plate are pointing in the right direction with no need to remove pins or release hand wheels to re-position the board.

We have a few variations on the lighting board, we can supply a cheap plastic 1.35m lighting board or a 1.5m Deluxe board to save on some costs but the 1.9m long deluxe version as shown in the photos finishes the product off in our opinion. The standard commercial grade bulb light clusters on the deluxe lighting boards can be replaced with LED light clusters which are much brighter and includes reversing lights on both sides (13 pin electrics required). All our lights are very easily replaced dread the thought you damaged any as they all plug in to the wiring loom, so there’s no cutting and soldering of wires to replace them, just plug and play. As you can see in the photo’s the lights are protected in a lightweight aluminuim powder coated channel.

The construction of the carrier system has been designed to be as light as possible but to retain strength, the main slot in arms carrying the weight are galvanized steel as is the goal post up rights. The folding arms are pressed and shaped for strength but to keep weight to a minimum, they are then Zinc plated and powder coated to prevent rusting for many years. The support channel, loading ramp, goal post cross bearer and handlebar pole are made from anodised aluminuim. As mentioned earlier the lighting board is also made from aluminuim then powder coated both keeping the weight to a minimal and rust proofing the whole product.

 

 

The chassis brackets that come with the carrier system are designed for Al-Ko chassis or Al-Ko chassis extensions which are the best chassis to fit weight bearing carrier systems too. If you don’t have a motorhome with an Al-Ko chassis then don’t worry too much about that as we can also provide chassis extensions which are capable of carrying the weight or reinforce what you have to take them in most cases. We have chassis brackets for the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Relay, Mercedes Sprinter, VW Crafter 2006 onwards models and VW T5 & 6 Campervans however they often require more fitting time and cost a little more than the Al-Ko brackets to fit, except the Sprinter / Crafter version. Unfortunately, though not all Motorhomes can take carriers due to various obstacles preventing suitable extensions to be fitted or very weak extensions that cannot be reinforced adequately, so please don’t take it for granted that we can fit a Scooter carrier to any Motorhome / Campervan.

 

 

For a little extra cost we can Manufacture one of our bespoke mirror finish stainless steel covered under-run bumpers with the receptacle chassis brackets built in as we have to with our seat clamping carrier version further down the page but please be aware this will stop you having a type approved towbar fitted at a later date unless it is installed firstly and the Stainless covered Under-run is built around the type approved towbar. If you have a vehicle registered before April 2012 then this is not an issue as the Stainless steel covered Under-run becomes a towbar as well as the support for the scooter carrier as type approval is not required on these vehicles

Setting up & securing your Scooter / Motorbike with a goal post designed system

To set up your Scooter or Motorbike carrier for the first time (once set there is no need to do this again unless you change your bike).

You/we firstly need to slide the front wheel loop along the slotted anodised aluminium channel to centralize your bike, you then do the same with the rear wheel chock making it a tight fit, if deluxe rear wheel loop no set up required, this should stop all horizontal movement of the scooter/motorbike. To set up the swinging arm on the goal post you will need to have both tube clamps loose so you can adjust the position across the goal post and how far out from the rear of the vehicle the handle bar clamp needs to be to line up with handle bar grip on the Scooter / motorbike. Tighten the handle bar clamp to the bikes handle bar grip and adjust the tube clamps so the pole is in a straight line and the bike is in a straight upright position, then tighten the clamp on the pole as tight as you can and the clamp on the goal post tight but not as tight, so it will move up and down with a degree of force. The M10 stud protruding from the ball joint needs to be set centrally to allow 360-degree movement in the ball joint so when the arm moves up and down whilst driving over bumps in the road it puts no pressure on the handle bar of the bike. The handlebar grip needs to be fitted to the none throttle grip, so the loading of the bike is always set to load from the driver’s side (UK)

Once the one time set up has been completed it takes minutes to load the bike by removing the rear wheel chock via sliding out the locating bar or if you have up graded to the deluxe Steel rear wheel loop with ratchet clamping handles (as photo above right) simply slide it off the end of the channel, swinging the arm up vertically out of the way and then use the throttle to take the bike up the ramp into the front wheel loop. You can then pull down the handlebar clamp securing it to the handlebar grip of the scooter / motorbike holding the bike up right. Wedge in the rear wheel chock and secure via the removable bar that runs through it or if deluxe rear wheel loop simply slide it up to the rear wheel and clamp via the ratchet handles and lastly strap the wheels to both front wheel loop and rear wheel chock/loop with the large buckle straps supplied as shown in the photos.

Traditional Seat clamping Scooter / Motorbike carrier (up to 200kg with up graded steel)

Our first Scooter / Motorbike carrier that we have been providing from day one with a seat clamp compressing the bike securing it in place. This is the ideal & most competitive choice for Motorhomes registered before type approval April 2012 for those that might want to tow when not taking the Scooter / Motorbike. We can fit this system to vehicles registered after April 2012 for those that do not want to tow or if you do we have to fit the type approved towbar first then build the mirror finish stainless steel covered Under-run bumper around the towbar to take this carrier system from the start. The stainless steel covered Under-run towbar (if pre April 2012) or Bumper (if post April 2012) is required for the up right post to clamp to that holds the Seat clamp slider to secure the Scooter / Motorbike, which is then adjustable from left to right to get it positioned correctly for any type of bike. This type of carrier system can easily be set up to load from the driver’s side or the passenger side with minimal effort due to the tracks in the anodised channels enabling you to not only adjust the wheel loop position but to fit it to any side along with the tie down eye bolts. This system is transferable from Motorhome to Motorhome, but you will require another bespoke manufactured Stainless covered Under-run towbar / bumper manufactured to take it unlike the goal post systems (based on Al-Ko chassis).

The lighting board choices are the same as all of the carriers we offer, 4’ 6” plastic cheap standard lighting board (to compete with other suppliers), our 1.5m Deluxe powder coated aluminuim protective channel board with commercial grade plug in lights or optional LED upgrade as photo with L33 EWY registration and the latest 1.9m deluxe version as seen on our folding carrier also with option to upgrade to LED. The handlebar strap as shown in the photo with Registration WA54 is an optional extra however you do get a standard strap for the front wheel and a special wide handled ratchet to compress the Seat clamp as standard, everything you need to safely secure your load.

Securing your Scooter / Motorbike is simple, once you have centralized your bike by sliding the wheel loop in to the correct position and you have clamped the post around your Under-run towbar / bumper to be in line with the deepest area of the seat, you simply lift up the seat clamp to the top of the post which in most cases should then allow your bike to pass underneath it, use the throttle to take it up the ramp in to the front wheel support, then with one hand you can release the seat clamp with the hand wheel to drop down on to the seat. This will then support the bike while you strap it in. Firstly you must tie in the front wheel to the wheel loop to stop side movement using the endless ratchet strap supplied or optional handle bar strap, we then go back to the seat clamp and using the ratchet strap with the swivel snap hooks compress the bike down as hard as the ratchet will let you. This will only allow you to compress the bike so far that when hitting a pot hole at speed it will not jump out of the clamp but leave enough movement in the suspension so not to damage it, under no circumstance should you pull the back end of the bike down with another strap then use the ratchet on the seat post as this could then bottom out your suspension and cause damage. As you can see in the photo the ratchet strap on the seat clamp runs up and down the post, it’s only purpose is to compress the sliding seat clamp more than the Human body could compress, this combined with the front wheel strap secures the bike more than adequately keeping all the straps away from the paint work and plastics to prevent no marks or scuffs from straps flapping in the wind.

 

This type of carrier system is capable of carrying up to 170kg of Scooter / motorbike but only on the deep Al-Ko chassis on a Bailey or a deep Al-Ko chassis with tapered rear extension as shown in the photo which is commonly used on the Swift Kon-Tiki, Bailey, Hobby and many other Al-Ko chassis Motorhomes but not all. The Elddis range with the Witter extension 2007 – 2016/17 and the majority of Al-Ko chassis extensions by using the Al-Ko mounting points rated at 150kg but then feeding the arms back to the main chassis i.e. Fiat to give it added strength, there can in some cases be a small extra charge for this as it adds more work to manufacturing the chassis bracket arms. Some of the Al-Ko chassis motorhomes can only take 150kg and in other cases with the straight thin long Al-Ko extension only 130kg maximum, so as you can see the weights do vary depending on the Motorhome / campervan.

 

The Mercedes Sprinter campervan can achieve this weight with our special bespoke Bumper system also and we can go one step further with the

4500kg gross weight twin wheel Sprinter as shown to the right with upgraded carrier arms and chassis brackets to take up to 200kg of Scooter / Motorbike. The only other vehicle that can safely take a 200kg payload with upgraded steel work is a Tag axle (3 axle 6 wheeler) Al-Ko chassis motorhome with the same deep tapered chassis as shown above (and as in the photo with Reg VX53 on a Hobby Tag axle with a Dragstar chopper loaded) but again as always in this industry not all Tag axle Motorhomes have this type of chassis all though the majority do.

 

The chassis arms on the seat clamping design do not need pinning like the goal post types due to the clamping post been secured to the Under-run towbar / bumper which is bolted to the chassis, so when its compressed down on to the bike the arms cannot shake out. This means you do not have to set the distance out from the back of the Motorhome / Campervan so you can telescopically adjust the distance in or out for different width Scooter / Motorbikes allowing you to get the rack as close to the rear as possible, making it that bit more adjustable.

Traditional none folding Carrier with Goal post (up to 200kg)

The same as our Seat post clamping design but with an all galvanized steel goal post system to take the heavier bikes and pinned chassis brackets like the folding carrier on the chassis. We invented this one before the folding carrier system for those that might want to fit a type approved towbar later without having to start all over manufacturing another Under-run bumper around the type approved towbar. Also, for those that simply don’t like the look of the Under-run bumper and want something more discreet when removed. All though this system can be fitted with an Under-run towbar / bumper if you do like the protection these give but want to secure your precious load without clamping down on the seat compressing the suspension.

 

So, we have a mixture of the 2 above styles. The setting up and loading is the same as the folding carrier so now need to go through all that again here just refer to the above Multi-use carrier system, the only difference with this goal post is we have m12 grub screw bolts on sliding brackets instead of the tube clamps. Again just like the traditional seat clamping carrier you can only carry 170kg as mentioned in the same description above with Motorhomes / campervans that have a strong enough chassis to do so and the upgrade in the steel work is required to carry 200kg on the few Motorhome / campervans that can take this weight safely as mentioned in the traditional seat clamping carrier description above.

For motorhomes that have reversing sensors we can add a 2nd set to the lighting board but this will only work with the 1.9m long versions as shown in the photo with registration JI37808. You need to have a 13 pin socket fitted that has a fog light cut out switch and instead of cutting out the fog light on the vehicle when you plug in the board we use it to cut out the original reversing sensors and transfers the signal to the 2nd set on the lighting board, genius yes!

I think we have covered all you need to know about carrying Scooters & Motorbikes on the back of your motorhome and the various ways this can be achieved safely but if you think of anything else we haven’t covered then please give us a call!

Please also be wary of companies that show large motorbikes on the back of cars as there is no way you can do this legally or safely even most light weight off road bikes and 50cc scooters will overload a car towbar which typically only has an S value (nose load) of 50 – 80kg. This is false advertising which says a lot about the company.

Thank you for looking!

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