Black Widow Deluxe Motorcycle Carrier Review
Lowering Emissions to the Trailhead a Motorcycle Carrier Review
I haven’t put much thought into owning a hitch mount rack for any of my motorcycles in the past. However, lately I have been brainstorming and searching high and low for a low emissions solution to frequent trailheads. I say I average 4 out of 7 days driving to and from the trailheads in Golden, CO. However, I have been lowering my plastic consumption, upping my recycling and focusing on lowering my emissions. This has always been something I am cognizant of, but the the train and bus doesn’t go to the trailhead. Around my area, I can now easily hop on the scooter and jet on over to a trail. Still, trails further than my immediate area, I needed another solution.
Getting to Camp
Getting a 125cc scooter to Summit County on Interstate 70 is suicide at best. I still understand I am taking my big F-150 (v6 Eco-Boost) up the hill, but once I get there I park and make a basecamp. The basecamp parking concept is the real winner in this equation. From this launch point I can take my lower emissions scooter to any trailhead or camping spot in the vicinity. This is where the Black Widow Deluxe 600lb Motorcycle Carrier from Discount Ramps comes into action. I have carried my mountain bike on the back of my truck for a decade. Nevertheless, I have never put much thought into strapping a moto or scooter to the back. The hitch carrier was my more perfect solution to lowering my emissions and getting to the backcountry.
Building the Black Widow Deluxe 600lb Motorcycle Carrier for the review was relatively easy albeit a bit heavy at times. At 97lbs, once the majority of it is assembled, it is nice to have another person to help maneuver it around. I equate that extra weight as more durability in the long run, so I’m ok with it. The instructions provided were a bit lackluster but were easy enough to follow with some trial and error. Some of the bolts and areas of attachment took some brain power, but maybe that was just me. In all I assembled it in about 45mins.
Loading the Carrier
At 97lbs I can successfully throw it into the hitch with some grunting, but it is a tough piece to move due to the abnormality of its shape. However, once the hitch and the carrier are mated, it’s very easy to adjust and get in the provided hitch pin.
Using the Ramp
One of the best aspects of the carrier is the 72″ loading ramp that you push the moto up on, to place it on the platform. With this piece being so long, it gives a lower degree of angle, making it easier to push. Once the moto is up on the platform, the front tire rolls over an actuating wheel cradle and basically locks it into place… enough for you to attach ratchet straps. Adjusting the cradle for the correct wheel diameter did take some time, but ultimately it was another simple task with a buddy helping. Getting the scooter off the carrier was easy enough for one person (our scooter is 300lbs) and certainly easier with two people when the bikes get heavier. Practice makes perfect on this one, we finessed the throttle and brake to get it up and down very easily.
Securing the Motorcycle
Attaching the ratchet straps were very easy and felt completely secure. At one point on my first trip, the scooter fell into the back of the camper shell and out of its cradle when a ratchet strap came off. The only thing that I can think of that happened was the suspension in front was not compressed enough, so when I hit a bump it compressed it and popped the ratchet strap off the carrier loop. With that said, it never happened again after I used more compression when tightening. I would also like to switch to a ratchet strap with a closing end on it, like this one.
I am still finding new ways to lower my footprint when recreating and I think setting up a basecamp and moving from there on a lower emissions vehicle is a step in the right direction. Using something like a motorcycle rack with a scooter is a logical next step, maybe you’ll see a motorcycle carrier review in the future with a Cake Electric Motorcycle strapped to it!
This thing is easy to build and use and make for some serious fun zooming around the backcountry. I encourage you to start thinking of new ways to get into the backcountry using something smaller and/or more efficient.