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Discussion Starter #1
A few requests to those who own, or have owned, an aluminum hitch carrier:
1). Is there a specific model you would recommend? Or just as importantly, not recommend?
2). Is there a specific loading/unloading method you prefer, ramp or titling?

As always, your experience is appreciatted.
 

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Try using the search feature for "hitch carrier". Also do one for "hitch hauler". If you still have questions, fire away!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Ski Pro 3. I did do a lengthy search before positing. I found a large amount of comments about owning steel carriers and a considerable number on the Versahauler. Regarding aluminum carriers, I found three owners of Harbor Freights, one Black Widow and one Joe Hauler. I am hoping to tap a larger ownership sample, if possible.
 

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Hmm...
I posted a lengthy review of an aluminum pivot hitch carrier that has a wide track that the TW200 rear wheel fits in beautifully. I'll see if I can find it. But since photoshop now blocks the sharing of photos, I'm pretty sure the photos won't be there any longer.
I got mine off eBay....

Here's a link to the one I got.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hitch-Mounted-Tilt-A-Rack-Aluminum-Motorcycle-Carrier-Hauler-400-lb-/391897510108?epid=777251111&hash=item5b3ee970dc:g:St4AAOSwr6xZpx0n&vxp=mtr

However, when I bought it about 4 years or so ago, I only had to pay about half that amount and that included shipping to California from Florida. It easily held my BMW 650 Dakar and rated at 600 pounds. I have photos, but I don't have a host to share photos. I'll see what I an do....

http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag98/skipro33/TW200/SellBuyPearl030_zpsad5d77ca.jpg

http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag98/skipro33/TW200/SellBuyPearl028_zps766ea5e7.jpg
 

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I have the Harbor Freight model and can't recommend it. The tracks are just the wrong sized. When I strap the TW down hard... the knobbies end up stuck in the tracks. That makes it difficult to remove later.
 

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I had the Rage Motorsports carrier. Bought it online through eTrailer.com. It was awesome until a dually ran over it while it was on my car. Q's back tire didn't sit in the slot but he never budged in the 5000 miles or so he rode it.
 

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I have this one. I have only used it 5 times so far, but it works fine. The track is somewhat narrower than the TW200 tires, especially the rear, and I had to figure out that I had to mount my tie down straps to the carrier first, then place them in a convenient location so when the bike is rolled on the track I can easily (sort of) reach the tie down hook and get it on my fork loop hangers. I also place two straps at the footpeg bracket area, and tie off the rear tire so it cannot roll forward or backward.

Hitch carriers should also come with some kind of anti-wobble bracket, I had to add nuts to the bolts to prevent backing off. I am also considering adding tow hooks to my bumper (i can buy them, the bumper has the threaded receivers). I will add the hooks and then put a couple straps on there and it will be extremely secure. I definitely notice the 400 pounds of carrier and motorcycle when I'm going around corners.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IUV1CM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

EDIT: I also added a trailer light kit tot the carrier. The TW blocks the SUV tail lights way too much and if it's dark out I want people to see me. A bit of extra effort but worth it and it costs less than $20 usually for a cheap light kit. If the lights break in the future, the wiring is already there so no loss.
 
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1. Use antiwobble feature.
2. Tilt is a gimmick; use a ramp for a bike as heavy as a tw. BTW tilt not convenient for scooters with motor further back.
3. Add LED trailer lights to enhance visibility.
4. Steel is more forgiving if traumatized / abused.
5. Most trays are wide enough for the TW tires. They are not flat but convex in profile and hence narrower where they sit in the tray.
I have a JoeHauler and would trust my fav TW on it. I would not trust it to a Harbor Freight creation, although I'm sure they are OK too.
 

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#3... I picked up some submersible boat trailer lights and stuck industrial velcro fuzzy strips on them, then set the plastic halves on the hauler. They stuck just great and I could pull the lights off whenever I wasn't hauling the bike. Definitely a great idea to light it!

------------------------------------------
Send a wire to the main office and tell them I said "Ow!" Got it!
 
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To each his own, but I've had a hitch carrier fail before. I've seen a TW on the Harbor Freight carrier, and that sight haunts my dreams. As a professional welder/fabricator, I've seen good quality and bad, and I have a good idea on strengths and capabilities. The TW is a heavy pig. Add the weight of the carrier itself and add the lever type torque the extension of the carrier puts on the hitch, and I'm not sure that I would trust that set-up with anything less than a Class IV hitch.

I now recommend to people to use a trailer instead if possible. The Harbor Freight options are well covered, and I really like the ones sold by Lowes with the drop down gate/ramp. These are $600 and below. You can always go bigger and better from there. Overall, it just seems like the best way to haul bikes to me.
 
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I for one own the Harbor Freight aluminum hitch hauler and have logged maybe a 1500 miles total in the last two riding seasons. It has served me and my TW very well. I visually inspect it prior to every use looking for cracks or broken bits and have been very satisfied so far. Would I buy another or recommend one to a friend or family member? You betcha.



Tom
 
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I had the Rage Motorsports carrier. Bought it online through eTrailer.com. It was awesome until a dually ran over it while it was on my car. Q's back tire didn't sit in the slot but he never budged in the 5000 miles or so he rode it.
You had reflectors and the lights on the trailer perfect and still got hit. Maybe the 3rd brake light mounted mid bike would be one step better. The sad thing is we can't stop stupid from hitting us.
 

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I've had an HF hauler for four years now and have hauled my TW easily a hundred times. It's works perfect and the rear tire not fitting has never been a problem. I use four straps, one on each corner. I did put lights on it. I'm happy with the rack and I would buy it again.
 
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Looking to get a bumper carrier. Can someone tell me how wide the front and rear tires are, in inches?
I cannot measure for you (Q is in his retirement home) but I am pretty sure you will not find a hitch carrier wide enough for the rear tire. But it's ok. My tied down Tdub did not budge.
 

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I use an aluminium hitch carrier I bought used that had no branding on it but it seems to be well built and I have been pleased with it. I originally bought a steal carrier from the equivalent of Harbor Freight (Princess Auto for Canadians) however I found the aluminium model was better built and much lighter to work with as my receiver is low and somewhat hidden under my bumper, I don't think it would be an issue on a pick-up truck but it was a consideration on my Town & Country van. Here are some pics.

TW_Rack_2.jpg TW_Rack_3.jpg TW_Rack_4.jpg TW_Rack_6.jpg TW_Rack_5.jpg

As you can see I've added extra brake/tail lights onto the rack. Both the rear and front tire sit within the rack and I strap them into place, this alone almost secures the bike to the rack. Of course almost does not cut it so I also use 2 tie-downs over the handlebars to stop the bike from rocking forward and aft. I driven over some rough roads and have not had any problems so far and hopefully never will. It is easy to load with the ramp that came with it and I can just push it up and onto the rack and unloading is even easier.
 

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I use an aluminium hitch carrier I bought used that had no branding on it but it seems to be well built and I have been pleased with it. I originally bought a steal carrier from the equivalent of Harbor Freight (Princess Auto for Canadians) however I found the aluminium model was better built and much lighter to work with as my receiver is low and somewhat hidden under my bumper, I don't think it would be an issue on a pick-up truck but it was a consideration on my Town & Country van. Here are some pics.

As you can see I've added extra brake/tail lights onto the rack. Both the rear and front tire sit within the rack and I strap them into place, this alone almost secures the bike to the rack. Of course almost does not cut it so I also use 2 tie-downs over the handlebars to stop the bike from rocking forward and aft. I driven over some rough roads and have not had any problems so far and hopefully never will. It is easy to load with the ramp that came with it and I can just push it up and onto the rack and unloading is even easier.
I really like your handlebar straps. Are those store bought or homemade?

 

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Miaugi, thanks for the posting and photos. I have the exact same carrier but was hesitant to use it as it is only rated for 400 lbs. Now I may have to give it a go.......instead of using ramps which means that I can use my front class III hitch when the camper is on.......whoohoo.
 

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I really like your handlebar straps. Are those store bought or homemade?

Hey Admiral, glad you like them. Basically I would call them homemade since I actually cut the webbing and sewed the D-rings onto it. However these are products we sell to manufacturers across Canada. The webbing is Olive Drab 1" nylon rated at 1,500 lb break strength that we supply to customers who make various packs or Molle Vests for military use and the D-rings are 1" welded 5mm gage that we sell to pet collar manufactures. The thread is #69 nylon which I do not remember the specs on but it is a very strong light weight thread. If you like drop me a PM and maybe the webbing fairy can hook you up! :)
 

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Miaugi, thanks for the posting and photos. I have the exact same carrier but was hesitant to use it as it is only rated for 400 lbs. Now I may have to give it a go.......instead of using ramps which means that I can use my front class III hitch when the camper is on.......whoohoo.
Hi putt-putt, yes mine is also rated for 400 lbs which still leaves some safety margin with the T-dub on it, although I doubt if I would attempt putting my F650GS on it as I think that would be asking for trouble. And just so you know my hitch it also a class III, although I originally installed a Class II years ago to pull my trailer but I felt a move up to the Class III was a wise investment.
 
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