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Discussion Starter #1
I bought the Metris mainly for hauling my motorcycles to the track. I looked at the other small to mid sized vans, and none of them could haul two motorcycles. The Metris is able to do it easily with room to spare for tools, gear, and the other stuff needed for a race/track day.

So what do you need to make it happen? At a minimum, you will need a ramp tie down straps. The ramp doesn't have to be arched since the Metris is so low to the ground. The motorcycle can be rolled in by just pushing it. Or you can roll it in under power. Since I am short and recovering from an arm injury, I start the bike and let off the clutch to roll it in. Either way, it's less stressful than loading a motorcycle on a pickup truck. BTW, I just saw someone drop their bike of their ramp at the track. I used to always worry about doing that.

If you have a partition, you can put a bike in the middle of the van; without the partition, you will have to load the motorcycle behind one of the seats. If loading in two bikes, both will go directly behind the seats. The front tire of each bike will line-up in the middle of the seats. That should give ample clearance on both sides of the motorcycles.

For the perfect Metris Motorcycle Hauler (MMH, which I'm going to trademark), sliding doors on both sides, cargo protection panels, rubber floor mat, a partition, wheel chocks, and additional tie-down points are needed. The left side sliding door makes life easier when you want to down the bikes and just loading the van. It is well worth the extra cost on the cargo version. The partition is kind of a must. The partition will be used for two reasons: contain the smells and prevent crap from flying at you and the passenger. You will appreciate the partition when you have to slam on the brakes and you don't feel or see a 400+ lbs motorcycle press into your seat. The wheel chocks makes it really easy to load the motorcycles. Just roll them in the van on the chocks and tie them down. They also help to keep the front tire steady when driving. The additional tie-down points are a must. I added two to the bottom of my partition so I can tie down my canyon dancers. Eventually, will add either L-tracks or Pitbull restraints to the plywood. If you don't add tie down points and loading two motorcycles, the straps will be going across the other motorcycle. My van doesn't have the protection panels at the top, yet. I worry about the bike moving and hitting the side of the van, which will create a dent viewable on the outside. The panels will prevent that from happening. And lastly, the rubber floor mat will give you sure footing while loading the bikes in the wet and the dry. It will also keep fluids from leaking on your plywood floor.

Gas mileage is excellent with either one or two motorcycles in the back. With one in the back and all of my crap, I average 25.8 mpg for a 250 mile trip, one-way, to VIR. With two, I averaged slightly above 22 mpg. Both times I was averaging around 65 mph.

Ride quality feels the same. I actually think the van handles better when weighted. It feels planted. The rear of the van will drop a bit. But it's nothing to get worried about.

You will have to get creative with loading the other items you bring along. With my sportbikes loaded, which are about 8 feet long, there's about a foot of space behind the rear tires (pictures below). There's also space between the motorcycles and at the front of bikes. I put rails on the roof to load my top box. But I haven't needed it yet.

You can haul with the passenger van. But you will have to take out those heavy arse seats, and you might risk making the rear of the van smell like fuel/oil/tire. I really wanted the passenger van because it was the best bang for the buck. But I knew the interior was going to be ruined with motorcycles going in and out all the time.

Hopefully this helps those looking to get a small-sized or mid-sized van for carrying your motorcycles. As of 2016, the Metris is the only small to mid size van that can haul a motorcycle without moving front seats, or having a front wheel protrude between the driver and passenger seat, or having the bike sit diagonally.
 

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I think I pointed this out before. Maybe someone else loading two bikes into the van.

You have the bottom end of the bike attached to the floor of the van. Great. But the tie downs are almost vertical from the top of the bike back down to the floor. I bet I could knock those two bikes together by hand, much less by kinetic forces generated by a bad event. (And, do you have those tie downs on the bars and not the upper frame? Tell me I am not seeing that correctly.)

One main advantage in using a van in the first place is that you can secure the bikes to the ceiling of the van on tie downs at the upper corners. Then they will not move at all.
 

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I agree, more for personal safety than anything else. I use two tiedowns off the rear at 45 degree angles. I was a C-130 loadmaster 7 years so I really understand the importance of cargo restraint.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The bikes are tied down using Canyon Dancers. For those that haven't seen them before, they are cups that wrap around the bar grips with soft ties that hang down from them. The tie down points in the van are actually very similar to the angles on my Kendon motorcycle trailer and my Frontier, except I also tied down the rear. But I would say that the angles on my current setup are pretty good. On the outside bar, the angle is around 30 degrees. The inside bar is around 45 degrees. Not sure if you can see it, but the inside straps cross each other for more leverage. In the Metris, I didn't need to tie down the rear of the bikes, though it would have added some additional stability. Tying down the rear would have meant stringing straps all along the rear of the van, and that would have limited cargo space significantly. Plus, the rear of the bikes did not hop around they did on my Frontier and Kendon. I guess that's due to the suspension. I was very impressed! Even with only the fronts tied, the bikes rocked very little when pushing by hand, and even when going through the mountains at a good clip and riding over the silky smooth (sarc) roads in MD/VA.

Strapping to the roof will not be an option for me since I will be insulating the van. It may not be an option for those with the passenger van. Eventually, I will have no straps on the front of the bikes. Only the rear will be secured, with the front tires in chocks.

There are lots of different ways to accomplish the same goal. Feel free to post your setups so others can see. I'm curious too as I'm open to make changes. Right now, this works for me. But it may not work for others. Hopefully those looking to haul there bikes can get some ideas and give additional suggestions.
 

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My concern when I had my track bike was a front impact that would push through the chock and also the vertical loads. It would be more difficult to tie down two bikes for sure. You have a great chock and front tiedown with the CDancers.
 

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See this old thread,

http://www.metrisforum.com/forum/393-interior-shelving/2770-metris-hauling-dirt-bikes.html

I use the same aluminum ramp I've used for years with my small trucks. Very easy loading the bikes. I have loops made from Zip-ties in the roof cross beam that falls right above where my handle bars will be. I use these loops to hold the upper hook of my tie-downs, then they are close at hand when I wheel my bikes in. A bit of technique is required so the lower hooks of the tie-downs stay in their loops.
 

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I looked at those pics, I didn't see any bikes tied down properly. I see a lot of aft restraint which is not nearly as important as foward restraint. And keep in mind, as you increase tie down angle strength decreases, ie,straight line is 100% and 45 degrees is 50%.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
See this old thread,

http://www.metrisforum.com/forum/393-interior-shelving/2770-metris-hauling-dirt-bikes.html

I use the same aluminum ramp I've used for years with my small trucks. Very easy loading the bikes. I have loops made from Zip-ties in the roof cross beam that falls right above where my handle bars will be. I use these loops to hold the upper hook of my tie-downs, then they are close at hand when I wheel my bikes in. A bit of technique is required so the lower hooks of the tie-downs stay in their loops.
Hi Reese. That thread was one of the first things I read when looking for a van. It actually pushed me to look at the Metris. Mercedes should send you a check for the referral. >:D

The majority of the pics of motorcycles in vans have been dirt bikes. Sport bikes are a bit bulkier and longer. So your thread was a good reference for me. Since dirt bars are usually wider than sport bike bars, I figured the width wouldn't be an issue.

I like the idea of using zip ties to hold the tie downs while loading. I have the Ranger Design partition, which has a horizontal track for hooks. Now I know what I can use that for!
 

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gogoKawi:

Please tell us about that cargo partition you have. Looks like the entire top half of the partition is clear. Who makes this?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's made by Ranger Design, called the Max View. The upfitter in my area, Inlad, carries the line. http://rangerdesign.com/products/van-partitions/

Right now, I'm not sure if I fully like it. In concept, it's awesome. As you can see, the top portion is one big window. It's plexiglass, so it won't shatter. But, it flexes when the windows are open while travelling at highways speeds. Also, the image is somewhat distorted when looking through it more than a couple feet away, which is really apparent while looking through the rearview mirror. The bottom part is a thick plastic that's bolted to the floor using a steel bracket. In the cargo area, there is a l-track like rail where you can attach cargo hooks. I really appreciate the room it gives you in the cabin. The front seats have full range of motion. And you have some storage behind the seats when pushed all the way back. I think the OEM version with the window is better, and it's cheaper too. This was $700 installed.

I plan on calling Ranger Design about the distortion. I thought I could deal with it. But when driving, it can be distracting.
 

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I like my OEM cargo partition with the window. However I was a tall person, I would not be able to move the driver seat back far enough with the OEM partition.

On some types of road surfaces the OEM partition will resonate and you get a slight rumbling sound. Eventually I will add some sound damping material to the partition to try and cure that.
 

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I visited an upfitter who showed me the same RD partition they had in shop installed in a Met. I agree with you that there was some distortion of view from the review mirror. In the photos I thought it would be a more 'heavy duty' feel to everything and questioned the cost...they told me it was 789 installed. While I didn't get to experience how it handled driving, I can believe you when you say it flexes much. I ended up finding one with the factory partition w/ window... its my understanding you dont get full seat travel, but I've had no comfort issues with my 6' 1" frame with it.
 

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I like my OEM cargo partition with the window. However I was a tall person, I would not be able to move the driver seat back far enough with the OEM partition.

On some types of road surfaces the OEM partition will resonate and you get a slight rumbling sound. Eventually I will add some sound damping material to the partition to try and cure that.
I can't imagine there being a height problem; you can jack the seat up to account for legs, and let's face it, there is no dearth of head room. I am sure there is at least six inches from my head to the roof. I can wear my Bailey New Yorker, my Stetson, or my PTC top hat wit no trouble (besides the head rest, anyway).
 

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I saw that partition yesterday at a Charlotte ranger dealer. They won a design award on that item. I'm going with the M119 delivery package shelves to go on one side probably left side as it would be longer. Nice quality. I have the solid partition and I cut a opening in it so I can see bike and the dogs have access to us. I put vinyl edge trim around the edge, it looks OEM.

Lane
 

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I had a factory partition in my E250 and at highway speed it resonated like you would not believe. Like a 60 cycle hum from a defective audio circuit. And, sitting right behind the ear, it distracted me to no end.
 

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I haul my bike in my Metris and it is perfect for this. Plenty of head room to ride the bike up the ramp into the van and into the Baxley chalk. The Baxley is bolted to the floor, I use 4 soft ties, 2 around the handle bar riser, and two on the rear sets. I had to lock up the brakes going 65 mph while hauling the bike, to avoid an accident and bike never even flinched.

 
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