Loaded Bikes offers a range of kit to transport motorcycles and bicycles in a van
Specialising in hand-made motorcycle and push-bike loading racks, co-founders of Loaded Bikes Dominic and Helen Harris bring aerospace engineering experience to some of the most carefully designed two-wheel mounting systems.
It’s clear thanks to repeat custom from around the world that the pair, working out of a small workshop in Peterborough, are dedicated to producing the best possible motorcycle and bicycle racks, motorcycle wheel chocks (including a clever removable system), rail mount systems and a variety of gear to fully kit out a van, whether it’s for transporting track or road motorcycles, motocrossers, or push-bikes.
When we were asked by a BikeSocial member for advice on transporting their motorcycle, we spoke to two buyers of Loaded Bikes’ Fixed Bike Rack, to find out if it’s the best solution…
Helen and Dominic are the co-founders of Loaded Bikes, based in Peterborough
The Loaded Bikes Fixed Bike Rack is designed specifically for the van you’ll be fitting it to. Loaded Bikes uses exact measurements of the vehicles – in many cases supplied by the manufacturers – to ensure the rack will fit easily and securely. Design considerations such as staggering of the rack braces means that the bikes can be more easily accessed for loading and securing, while the powder-coated steel construction includes eye bolts for multiple strap options.
The rack is designed for use with hard floors as it spreads the load, though it’ll work with soft flooring too as long as packing material is added. If in doubt, contact Loaded Bikes who’ll be able to help.
All fixing are supplied, and while VW Transporter T5s, T5.1s and T6s are already well catered for, as well as Ford Transit Customs, Loaded Bikes can work with you on your requirements. As items are made to order, there’s usually a lead time of about 10 days.
Dependent on the height of your van, the Loaded Bikes Fixed Bike Rack should be compatible with almost all motorcycles thanks to its 150mm-wide braces, including race bikes, motocross, trials, super-moto, enduro and adventure bikes. It’ll also work with most push-bikes and e-bikes, though it’s designed for fatter-tyred cycles so if you’re carrying road bicycles you might be better off looking at the company’s fork mounts.
Another option for loading and transporting your motorbike is the £105 stainless steel Loaded Bikes Fixed Wheel Chock, which can be fixed to the floor or bulkhead of pretty much any van (again, check with Loaded Bikes if in doubt).
Alternatively, the £450 OEM Removable Wheel Chock is also stainless steel but is designed specifically for the Mercedes Vito, and doesn’t need any modification to the van to install as it uses the existing seat fittings.
Transporting a motorcycle in a van can present some security risks if leaving it unattended, so passing a chain through the bike’s wheel and the rack will significantly slow a thief down.
If using the company’s Fixed Wheel Chock, 140x40mm laser-cut holes also have some capacity for a chain. The Removable Wheel Chock also has space in the sides, though in both you’ll be limited in the size of the chain you can use. For the most solid security in a van, consider the excellent value Pragmasis Torc anchor, which is available with a van fitting kit.
“Optimum Bikes is a premium used motorcycle dealer stocking a wide range,” Ian told us. “As the Loaded Bikes racking system is so versatile we felt it would suit our needs with the variety of bikes we stock.
“Prior to using the Loaded Bikes system we had to use numerous straps to make sure motorbikes were secure and didn’t move around in the back of the vans. Now it’s so much easier and we only need to use two straps per bike to make secure.
“The rack is quality, simple to fit and we didn’t need to cut or weld anything – it was a simple bolt-in procedure from the existing strapping point bolt holes in the van. It took less than 20 minutes to get it installed.
“Ease of loading is amazing, and once the bikes are in they’re stable and secure. The rack looks fantastic and is clearly designed for the purpose it was produced for. We now run these in a range of vans we have from VW Crafters to Transits and VW Transporters… they save a lot of hassle when loading high quality motorcycles.”
“I have a motorcycle tuning business transporting a variety of motorcycles,” said Steve, “but for the most part the rack’s used for collecting and delivering off-road bikes.
“Before purchasing it from Loaded bikes I used to strap the bikes to the side of the van, which wasn't ideal, or up against the bulk-head where they would often move, causing damage. Having seen this fitted to the same van I have (a VW Transporter), it was clear that it was manufactured to a very high standard, leading me to research Loaded Bikes and the item itself.
“I fitted everything myself as it was a simple unbox and install – Loaded bikes supplied everything required. The only tools needed were a metric socket set, and it was simply a case of unbolting the original VW tie-down brackets next to the bulkhead, then fitting the rack into place and fixing it down with the bolts provided.
“Other than looking great and more professional, the Fixed Bike Rack holds the bikes much more securely, while requiring less tension on the forks, which is also a benefit. I personally wouldn't change anything on mine, despite it being used on a daily basis. I would say that, since I purchased mine a number of years ago, Loaded Bikes has now tweaked the design so that one of the wheel braces is now offset, which staggers the handlebars to help when transporting multiple bikes.
“I can genuinely say that the Loaded Bikes Fixed Bike Rack is built to last and is a high-quality item, which I would recommend to anyone to ease transport of their motorcycles and/or bicycles.”
Bennetts BikeSocial members can save 5% at Loaded Bikes