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Discussion Starter #1
I recently invested in a motorcycle carrier built by Black Widow. The concept is really awesome and the execution is nearly perfect. You simply connect this carrier assembly instead of connecting a traditional trailer to your vehicle's hitch.

side view.JPG


The Debate
I debated getting one of these for a little over a year. I needed something to get the bike to and from the shop since my local dealer closed down and the nearest one after that was 45 minutes away. It was a trailer or a carrier. I didn't want a trailer because of the amount of space it takes up and how infrequently I would use it. The carrier afforded me an opportunity to stow it in my garage out of the way without sacrificing much space, save money at a quarter of the cost of a decent trailer, and could easily be stowed next to my tent if I used it to get to the mountains a few hours away. I was hesitant because it is not a popular option, there are a lot of brands with mediocre or bad reviews, and my tongue capacity is pretty low on my Outback.

The Carrier
It is a two man job, but it is not hard to get the bike up and mounted. I am able to get my Thruxton up the ramp and into the front wheel chock by myself. However, you still need someone to hold the bike in place while you tie it down. I suggest getting some soft loop tie down straps (these are the ones I bought).

One of the chief complaints about this product is the condition of the box when it arrives. Mine was no exception. I don't know what it is but it had holes in it and was a little mangled. Could be where they store them, how the company handles them, or how the shipping company handles them. Nonetheless, the product itself was in good condition.

black widow bike carrier.jpg black widow bike carrier ramp.jpg black widow bike carrier measurements.jpg

The only unresolved problem I had during assembly was connecting the carrier platform to the hitch bar. In the pictures above, you see the wheel chock is on the left but mine is on the right. However, the holes would not line up right and this prevented the bolts from going through. I flipped it around and those worked just fine, with a little finessing.

The Math.
It is extremely important to verify your vehicles max tongue weight. I did not realize the importance of this until it was too late. I have a 2017 Subaru Outback 2.5L Limited (4cyl). My max tongue weight is 600lbs. My Thruxton is just over 500lbs and the carrier itself is about 90lbs. This puts me right at my max weight. I knew this going in but did not foresee the impact it would have on my rear shocks.

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The weight nearly bottoms out the rear shocks. This is not a big deal as long as I am only making short trips and don't use this as a permanent solution. However, it does add anxiety to the experience because there is not a lot of give in the rear shocks the bike tends to absorb more than it might otherwise. This makes for a wobbly bike in the rear view mirror. It is never so much that it will damage the car or the bike and it is definitely not going to jar loose; it is just difficult to witness. Another issue it causes is the shift in weight from the front end. This makes the car a little more squirrelly at higher speeds and will make you think twice before passing a fleet of semis.

My Conclusion
At the end of the day, these issues are not a deal breaker. They're easily mitigated by driving a reasonable speed and using highway as much as possible. I have noticed that it handles very well on the highway with less stop and go traffic and smoother roads. It was a $200 solution to a a problem that could have been much more expensive. Even if I were to eventually get a trailer for the motorcycle, I would still keep this as an alternate means of transporting my Thruxton.
 

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Yea. those wimpy class II hitches for Subarus have limited tongue weight capacity and hanging a full size cycle that far behind the rear axle will eat your shocks.

Another option if you don't transport your bike often is to rent the new U-Haul 5 foot trailers with the bike chock built into the nose. EZ trailer to pull, low ramp, and really secure bike tie downs. Might require class III hitch though.

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