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post #1 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 8
Hitch Carrier

I bought a Black Widow receiver hitch motorcycle carrier to haul my DL650A behind my motorhome. Great product. Easy to assemble, and nice quality.

Full time RVer
First time VStrom owner
2012 DL650
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 09:01 AM
jrdunn96's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Cashion, OK
Posts: 106
Thanks for posting this. I had no idea that anyone was making anything strong enough to hold a 'Strom. What are you loading it with? Lots of help and the ramp, some type of winch or Olympic power lifter strength?
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, Va. USA
Posts: 1,920
I've been looking at those for my truck. Planning on getting a DR650 or equivalent for "serious" off roading and that would be a convenient way to haul it.

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post #4 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alabama
Posts: 795
I bought this one last year, because I didnít have enough vacation time to ride out to the cache rally.


Some assembly required, and recommend 2 man lift when installing into the hitch; and two people to wheel the bike on and off. It is very robust.

I carried my Strom from Alabama to Colorado and back in the hitch of my Sequoia. It wiggles around a bit, but does just fine. Definitely solid and secure.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 04:39 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: bishop, CA
Posts: 3,371
I've used hitch receivers to haul my DR 650 CA to east coast and back quite a few times over the years. I did crack 2 different carriers/2 different brands. They were rated for 600 lbs. Never failed enroute but required repairs/replacement when I got home.

14 tooth for me
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 324
Yes, the hitch carriers are nice. Makes for easy one-person loading. I've got one (Versa Haul) that we use for the wife's scooter when we travel to scooter-friendly destinations. Have to be careful with the weight on them. The Class IV hitch on my F150 truck is good for 500 lb tongue weight. The carrier weighs 67 lbs by itself, then there's the cantilever effect of the carrier hanging a foot off the hitch. I'm pulling numbers out of the air here, but that 67 lbs hanging a foot out is probably more like 100 lbs just for the carrier. Add the 296 lbs scooter and my carrier is near the max rating of my hitch. The truck does have a noticeable squat when I have the scoot loaded onto the carrier, but it sure makes for a smooth ride with that weight back there. There are carriers that will handle the weight of the Stroms (The Black Widow was one of them at 600lbs capacity IIRC), but it's the vehicle hitch that is the limiting factor. When I was shopping for my carrier, I found online where some of the serious RVers had double or triple receivers on their rigs so they could haul the large road bikes.

I was considering Moto-Tote, Versa Haul & the Black Widow when I was in the market for one. The Black widow checked all of the boxes for me. It was priced the best and had more capacity at 600 lbs. I was thinking for future use in the event I ever got a truck that could carry that much on the hitch. The only reason I didn't get The Black Widow was because it was the heaviest by about 30 lbs and I was concerned about it eating into my hitch capacity. That, and it would be harder to handle by myself.

Moto-Tote was actually my first choice. 550 lbs capacity, and the lightest of the bunch at 63 lbs and it really is a slick looking unit as far as carriers go. They didn't get the business because I had a question regarding the difference in the two carriers they offered, and their web page wasn't really clear. They are an Australian company without dealers in the US, so calling them wasn't an option for me. By the time I received an answer from them via email, several days had passed and I had already ordered the Versa Haul which was a close second at 67 lbs and 500 lbs capacity

It took me a few miles to feel comfortable with the idea of the scoot hanging off the back of the truck, but now it's not such a big deal. Took it on two trips last year; Houston to Key West and back, then Houston to Branson and back with no problems.

Mine came with a hitch stabililzer (anti-wobble thing). It's basically a collar that slides over the carrier tube and has three bolts that are tightened down against the hitch to eliminate wobble & movement. They can also be found on Amazon for $10-$11, and those are just U-bolts with a plate that tightens against the hitch to eliminate movement.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-02-2019, 06:23 PM
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Location: Easton, PA
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Originally Posted by Houstrom46* View Post
The Class IV hitch on my F150 truck is good for 500 lb tongue weight. The carrier weighs 67 lbs by itself, then there's the cantilever effect of the carrier hanging a foot off the hitch. I'm pulling numbers out of the air here, but that 67 lbs hanging a foot out is probably more like 100 lbs just for the carrier. Add the 296 lbs scooter and my carrier is near the max rating of my hitch.
My Ford ranger has a 500 LB tongue weight. So, I guess my DL 650 might be pushing the limit just a bit. My last VW beetle had a class 1 hitch (It might have had a 150 lbs tongue weight). I guess buying an adapter to allow me to hook up a class 4 receiver and carry the DL would have been a bad idea.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bremerton, Washington
Posts: 1,428
I've carried my '06 DL 1000 all around the Western US on the back of our motorhome. And a TL 1000 to San Diego. Only problem is the tie down points on the carrier are so close to center that the bike rocks a lot and that makes me pretty nervous. I usually find something else to stabilize the bike to back there. It did drop off in Tennessee one time while I was unloading it by myself. Dumb mistake. Minor damage. We now use a two-bike one for a couple 50cc scooters when we go camping. Glamping, our grandkids call it.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 08:22 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: St. Joseph, MO USA
Posts: 135
I used to carry a Suzuki SP600 and a Honda XR650 using a hitch caddy attached to a '95 Dodge Ram 1/2-ton pickup back in the day. It made the Dodge squat to the point it threw the headlight beams way up so I went to a shop and had them add extra leaf springs in the rear end. That solved the squat problem, but the ride was a little rougher when I didn't have the carrier/bike on the back. I had a 2" receiver; believe the rating was 750 pounds. I know it was less than 1,000.

I hauled them thousands of miles and it worked, but I never really cared for the arrangement. My hitch receiver was OEM and bolted on. While I was at the spring shop, I also had them weld it to the frame. The thing always made me nervous because I figured I probably exceeded the hitch rating on a regular basis whenever I encountered rough surfaces/bumps on the highway where the fulcrum effect of the carrier/temporary g-forces greatly increased the force on the hitch well over the tongue weight limit. I'm guessing both those bikes were in the vicinity of 400 pounds.

I always put a log chain through the frame of the bike and the carrier and attached one end of it directly to the frame. I figured if the carrier ever failed, some parts might fly off the bike while it was flopping around being dragged until I could stop, but far less chances of an obviously winnable "we're gonna sue you for everything you've got" scenario if the hitch failed and the entire bike and all fell off directly into the path of a vehicle behind me, not to mention the fact that such a scenario could easily result in somebody dying.

I figure the chances of this happening were pretty low, but the potential consequences of such a failure could be catastrophic and that was always in the back of my mind whenever I hauled with that arrangement. It's not something I would do again with a standard 1/2-ton pickup with a hitch tongue weight rating of less than 1,000 pounds.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-03-2019, 08:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: St. Joseph, MO USA
Posts: 135
Oh yeah, another issue with a smaller vehicle like a 1/2-ton pickup is that even the relatively small/slim Honda XR650 obscured my tail lights to a degree where I'm surprised I never got a ticket for it.
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