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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering getting an X and will need to carry my heavy dirt bike on a hitch mount bike carrier. The bike and carrier weigh about 405 pounds. The hitch tongue weight should manage this, but what about drivability. Will I need to add a leaf to the rear to balance things out.
 

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I used to haul my RM250 with a hitch mount on my wifes 03' xterra with no problem. haven't tried with our 2012 xterra. What kind of bike do you have that weighs 400+ lbs?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The bike is KTM 690 Enduro at 335 pounds and the steel hitch carrier at 70 pounds. I currently haul it behind a Ram 1 ton.
 

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The bike carrier puts the weight further out then a hitch ball. Adds a lot of leverage. With the short wheelbase of the Xterra it is even worse.

I hauled an XR80 on a carrier once and could tell it was back there. Felt worse then pulling a trailer. Was wanting to haul a 250 back there but gave up and just use the trailer. The added leverage of those bike carriers just about doubles the effective toungue load. So that 400 pounds hanging off the back would be like having 800 pounds on the hitch ball. There are countless towing threads that state that this isn't going to be happy. The ass end will squat bad and the front will lift. Airbags or add-a-leafs can pick the back up, but you still will have a light front end. On a trailer a weight distributing hitch can be used to fix that, but that isn't an option with a bike carrier. The bike carrier will act like an anti-weight distributing hitch.

You can do what you want, I will say it will be sucky and borderline unsafe. I won't do it, and I had a lighter combo then what you are proposing.
 

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The bike is KTM 690 Enduro at 335 pounds and the steel hitch carrier at 70 pounds. I currently haul it behind a Ram 1 ton.
That ram has enough wheelbase and a heavy enough engine that it doesn't care if there is a few hundered pounds hanging off the back. Completely different then an Xterra. The Xterra is NOT a 1-ton truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand the X is not a 1 ton truck and the dynamics will be way different, hence the question. I guess I will invest in a bike trailer if I get an X.
 

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I have a home made dirtbike hitch carrier and hauled my 83 CR480 that weights 250-300. I never weighed the carrier but It it's friggin heavy. I drove from Indianapolis to Chicago and the steering was affected a little bit. It was a little squirly with a heavy cross wind.
I have add a leafs and highly recommend you at least get those. Then if you want updrading to timbren bump stops will help as well.
 

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Pm patrick07. he had a mounted bike.. on hitch.. He might chime in on this too?.
 

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firestone air springs are just what you need. Will handle that with no problem


I am considering getting an X and will need to carry my heavy dirt bike on a hitch mount bike carrier. The bike and carrier weigh about 405 pounds. The hitch tongue weight should manage this, but what about drivability. Will I need to add a leaf to the rear to balance things out.
 

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Aired down to 10psi there is limited effect on suspension. There is minimal flex anyway in stock . IMO they are the best solution for the saggin rear of the X



I would recommend air bags but if he plans on goin offroad with the xterra then I wouldn't. The airbags can limit flex and there's a risk of them getting punctured or torn.
 

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In your case they may not work as designed but it seems like the OP has a stock vehicle and wants to carry a dirt bike. If he is planning heavy duty lifts and such I'd say he needs another solution


For stock then yea. Definitely the best option. But I got 4"s of lift in the rear. I think they would be stretched out a bit at full flex.
 

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I've been looking at picking up one of these hitch carriers as well. I do have full Dakar leafs in the rear, so I'm confident it won't be too bad for my short drive to the mountains.

Thinking back on how soft the stock rear end was however, it probably would have been riding on the bump stops, lol. I suggest you at least upgrade the rear for the extra load somehow.
 
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