The Best New Vans for Motorcycle Transport

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Category: DriveApart

Ah, the humble cargo van. It sits quietly in the shadows of its flashier siblings, the pickup truck and the sport utility vehicle, awaiting its moment in the sun. We do the cargo van a great disservice by not seeking considering it when the time comes to transport our motorcycles and gear. Here are the best new vans for motorcycle transport.

The cargo van has some very distinct advantages over the pickup truck. The van provides secure, weather-tight transport, safe from prying eyes and nimble fingers. It's possible to equip a cargo van with docking points for a bike from the bottom, sides and top for a genuinely safe ride. The inside of a cargo van can easily be customized to house tool kits, riding gear and other essentials while carrying a bike or bikes. Cargo vans generally have a lower, more easily accessible load floor than pickup trucks. When there's not enough room in the van for all the stuff, robust construction makes towing a great option.

The SUV is a wan competitor for the cargo van. Sure, an SUV can carry more people safely, but the greenhouse of an SUV will never be as secure as the box of a cargo van. Only the smallest of motorcycles can be transported inside an SUV, and the load floor is generally higher than a cargo van's.

We've rounded up the big name cargo vans for a quick comparison of price, capability and features. Look at the cargo van as a blank slate, ready to be equipped with chocks, tie-down hooks, lifts, tool boxes and tow hitches to create the ideal motorcycle mover.

chevy-express

2014 Chevrolet Express Cargo
MSRP: from $26,710
Engines: 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp/260 lb.-ft. of torque); 4.8-liter V8 (280/295); 5.3-liter V8 (310/334); 6.0-liter V8 (324/373); 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel (260/525)
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway (V6); 13/17 (5.3L V8); others N/A
Cargo Capacity: 239.7 cu.-ft./284.4 cu.-ft. (extended wheelbase)
Payload: 2,287 lbs (2WD 1500); 3,191 lbs (2WD 2500); 4,145 lbs (2WD 3500)
Towing Capacity: 6,700 lbs (2WD 1500); 10,000 lbs (2500, 3500)

The classic Chevy Van is available in nine colors, and one soundtrack: "Chevy Van" by Sammy Johns. Look it up, hipsters.

2014-gmc-savana-2500-cargo-van-photo-537504-s-1280x782

2014 GMC Savana Cargo
MSRP: from $26,710
Engines: 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp/260 lb.-ft. of torque); 4.8-liter V8 (280/295); 5.3-liter V8 (310/334); 6.0-liter V8 (324/373); 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel (260/525)
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway (V6); 13/17 (5.3L V8); others N/A
Cargo Capacity: 239.7 cu.-ft./284.4 cu.-ft. (extended wheelbase)
Payload: 2,287 lbs (2WD 1500); 3,191 lbs (2WD 2500); 4,145 lbs (2WD 3500)
Towing Capacity: 6,700 lbs (2WD 1500); 10,000 lbs (2500, 3500)

Chevy Express Van too fancy for you? Perhaps you'd prefer a GMC Savana. Mechanically identical, priced the same - badge engineering at its most obvious.

2013-Ford-E-Series-side

2014 Ford E-Series Van
MSRP: from $27,600
Engines: 4.6-liter V8 (225 hp/286 lb.-ft. of torque); 5.4-liter V8 (255/350); 6.8-liter V10 (305/420)
Fuel Economy: 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway (4.6L); 12/NA (5.4L); 16/NA (6.8L)
Cargo Capacity: 239.7 cu.-ft./284.4 cu.-ft. (extended wheelbase)
Payload: N/A
Towing Capacity: 5,600 lbs - 10,000 lbs, depending on configuration

Available in E-150, E-250 and E-350 configurations with short or long wheelbases, the E-Series can be ordered in a dizzying array of combinations.

ram-c-v

2014 Ram C/V Tradesman
MSRP: from $21,360
Engines: 3.6-liter V6 (283 hp/260 lb.-ft. of torque)
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway
Cargo Capacity: 144.4 cu.-ft.
Payload: 1,800 lbs
Towing Capacity: 3,600 lbs

Don't call the C/V Tradesman a minivan; it'll smack you in the face. Any similarity to the Dodge Grand Caravan is strictly coincidental, sort of. Everything you love about a minivan (compact, fuel efficient, easy to drive) without everything you hate (slip and slide seats, rear seat entertainment, carpeting).

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