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Discussion Starter #1
2016 Acura MDX with Advance Package.

Second owner.

As far as I know it doesn't have towing package installed as it didn't have a hitch installed. I got a class 3 Curt hitch with a hitch WD tongue weight rating of 900 Lbs.

Is it okay to mount a motorcycle carrier that weighs about 100 Lbs itself and carry a 500 Lbs motorcycle on it adding up to a total of 600Lbs +/- 20 Lbs?

I can drive in Normal mode with the engine shutoff function disabled.

Anyone with similar experience?

TIA.
 

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Based on the math posted above, it should not be an issue at all. Nobody thinks twice about putting 7 passengers in these vehicles and that easily adds 1000+ pounds to the curb weight
 

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Expect a lot of squat in the rear suspension which will cause your headlights to point upwards, blinding oncoming drivers. I’ve experienced this towing with our 2015. Therefore you may want to adjust your headlights if you’ll be driving at night. (Unless you’re outside the US in a market with auto level headlights)
 

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The problem with this application is not the amount of weight, but the location of it. The MDX is rated to tow 5,000 lbs and that typically translates to a 500 lb tongue weight rating. Obviously you would be exceeding that with your motorcycle scenario putting the equivalent of 600 lbs of tongue weight or +20%. If you are prepared to fully engineer the application it could likely be done by installing air shocks or load sensing shocks if they are available. Another thing to watch is that you don't overload the rear axle, but good luck finding the rating on it. Honda seems to have stopped publishing that data.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for the replies.

@Pkrface - The tow rating is 5000 Lbs as you said, but the tongue rating on the MDX is actually just 350 Lbs with the standard Acura towing package. But I am not getting the standard Acura towing package. Instead I have a CURT class 3 hitch (13146) that is rated for 6000 Lbs (8000 Lbs with weight distribution) for towing and 900 Lbs for tongue weight as per CURT manufacturing website, as well etrailer website (and per the label on the hitch)

So I know for sure that the curt hitch itself for this specific MDX can handle the load.

Questions then are:
1. Can the MDX hitch mounts (Total 6 bolts) combined handle the 600 Lbs tongue weight (down force) +/- 20 Lbs (and not 20%)
2. Can the suspension handle the rear hanging weight at 55 mph or less with controlled bumps. It will be just me driving with no fellow passengers. No cargo weight either.
 

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^^^I don't think anyone here can answer that question with authority...the manual says 350lbs tongue weight, that is the final answer as far as I'm concerned. My opinion is the receiver itself is probably not the issue, but something either related to the mount locations (to the body) or how the distribution of all that weight hanging off the back of the rig affects the vehicle dynamics. I know I might be an outlier but I would never tow anything beyond a small fishing boat behind our MDX. If I were you I would troll Craigslist for a 3 rail motorcycle trailer.
 

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I’m not sure anyone can claim the optional trans cooler magically transforms the Acura receiver hitch from 350 to 500 pounds tongue weight. I suspect acura made the rating a straight 10% of whatever the max tow capacity is based on the presence/absence of trans cooler.

As for the aftermarket hitches claiming 900 pounds tongue weight capacity on the stock mounting points, I’d call them for details.

 

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When you accelerate or brake with even a 3,000 pound trailer towed behind the car, those 6 bolts supporting the tow bar (Acura or aftermarket) experience loads several orders of magnitude greater than the force of the tongue weight. They can handle it. Members on here have towed loads at or exceeding the MDX's rated capabilities and not one member has had a trailer hitch break. Obviously, driving dynamics will be affected when loaded, but that is the case in any vehicle when you add weight in the form of passengers, roof boxes, or trailers.

It's up to you if you'd like to exceed the manual's stated 350 max tongue weight, but from an engineering perspective the car and hitch can handle it
 

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I believe that the Acura tongue weight figure is based on the limits of the rear suspension (How much squat it creates) rather than the frame/hitch capacity. Consider also that that figure is based on the tongue weight being applied a few inches behind the bumper (At the hitch ball), rather than than the usual 18 inches or so for most cycle racks with their extended base tube. That will add a lever effect that will increase squat even more. I have carried my 300# cycle on a 48# aluminum carrier and the headlights on low are about the same as normally on high. Your proposed set-up almost doubles that. In addition to the squat, the stability is lessened by having independent rear suspension that will make a tendency towards sway. Not fun.

Based on my experience with my 348# set-up being "Just" tolerable, I would think yours would be scary at highway speeds.
 

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As an example, you can see a bit of squat on my CRV with only a 180# tongue weight on the ball:



About the same as the MDX with 600# and a W/D hitch.

I think your safest bet would be a small trailer, like what Harbor Freight sells.
 

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Don’t do it. And I’m not one to hide behind the tow ratings either.

I tow our camper trailer, that fully loaded for a trip is right at or slightly exceeding 5000lb. The tongue weight is just over 600lb. But I use a WDH to transfer weight evenly between the vehicles two axles and the trailers. Even with the WDH, the vehicle drops about 1-1/2” on all 4 corners.

Without the WDH I can’t even imagine how much sag I would get in the rear, not to mention the lift on the front. Forget the headlights, this will DRAMATICALLY alter the drivability of the vehicle. You’ll lose a lot of steering and braking capability and at highway speeds it would likely be impossible to control if you hit bumps or dips in the road. I have no doubt that the hitch will support the weight, but the vehicle will not be drivable.

A trailer for your bike would be a much much safer way to go.


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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your responses. They are very helpful. Much appreciated!

I think I will play it safe and rent a U-Haul trailer instead.
 
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