Fri May 13, 2022 4:47 pm

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2022 GTS 300
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Location: Southern California
 
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2022 GTS 300
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Fri May 13, 2022 4:47 pm linkquote
Wondering if anyone has tried the Black Widow Aluminum Hitch rack that sells on Amazon?
It's rated at 400 lbs.
If so, any opinions and photos of your scooter mounted on it would be helpful.
Fri May 13, 2022 5:24 pm

Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 6966
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 6966
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Fri May 13, 2022 5:24 pm linkquote
It may just be me (married guy), but any product with the word "widow" in its name just rubs me wrong.

Fri May 13, 2022 5:26 pm

Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
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Posts: 6966
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
 
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Fri May 13, 2022 5:26 pm linkquote
In all seriousness, the weight limit of that hitch rack is 400 lbs, and a GTS weighs something like 350 lbs without any accessories. So you're good there.
Question is, does your vehicle have similar specs?
Fri May 13, 2022 5:35 pm

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2022 GTS 300
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Fri May 13, 2022 5:35 pm linkquote
Madison Sully wrote:
In all seriousness, the weight limit of that hitch rack is 400 lbs, and a GTS weighs something like 350 lbs without any accessories. So you're good there.
Question is, does your vehicle have similar specs?
Thanks - I agree, funny name for a product. I can haul with my vehicles for sure, they have higher tongue weights.
The more I research, the more I am thinking the Versa-Hauler which is made in the USA and is steel is the way to go. I have seen several Amazon reviews and PHOTOS of the Black Widow where the Aluminum rack actually BROKE in use.
I think I will just spend the extra money and buy a better hitch rack that I don't have to worry about when using it, so thanks.
Sat May 14, 2022 5:38 pm

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Racing Sixties 300, Cub, Gold Wing, Can Am
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Sat May 14, 2022 5:38 pm linkquote
A hitch rack rated for 400 lbs. Might work with a 240 lb. Honda Cub. A 360 lb. Vespa while hitting a pothole or a whoop in the road, maybe not so much.

I was at an event last year and was looking at the assorted racks. I saw an aluminum one that was noticeable bent downward, around six inches. That told me everything I wanted to know.
Sat May 14, 2022 5:48 pm

Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 1706
Location: AZ
 
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Sat May 14, 2022 5:48 pm linkquote
so I know nothing about the rack you had described but as the Vespa 300 only weighs about 330 lbs you do have some limitations on the weight you put on the racks. I have an OEM back rack with an OEM topbox. I have faco front side bars with a retractable front platform. I have OEM rear safety bars. with all I have the scooter rides great. I usually put my helmet in the top box or if wearing the helmet usually soft gear. Have ridden with gear on the front rack, a backpack , stuff in the top box, stuff in the pet carrier, stuff on the center hook between my legs........but never 400 lbs. I also have a rack on the floorboard that can handle a coffee cup or gear bunjied to it.
Sat May 14, 2022 7:23 pm

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2022 GTS 300
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Posts: 14
Location: Southern California
 
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Sat May 14, 2022 7:23 pm linkquote
Buzzard wrote:
A hitch rack rated for 400 lbs. Might work with a 240 lb. Honda Cub. A 360 lb. Vespa while hitting a pothole or a whoop in the road, maybe not so much.

I was at an event last year and was looking at the assorted racks. I saw an aluminum one that was noticeable bent downward, around six inches. That told me everything I wanted to know.
Thanks and I agree, I had stated that since posting my inquiry, I have found some broken and bent Aluminum Black Widow Racks while reading the Reviews on Amazon and I have decided to go with a Steel, Versa-Hauler Rack. They cost 3 times more, but after reading the features and specs, I feel they are 3 times better, US Made and are unlikely to fail hauling a Vespa.
Sat May 14, 2022 7:25 pm

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2022 GTS 300
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Location: Southern California
 
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Sat May 14, 2022 7:25 pm linkquote
LarryMK wrote:
so I know nothing about the rack you had described but as the Vespa 300 only weighs about 330 lbs you do have some limitations on the weight you put on the racks. I have an OEM back rack with an OEM topbox. I have faco front side bars with a retractable front platform. I have OEM rear safety bars. with all I have the scooter rides great. I usually put my helmet in the top box or if wearing the helmet usually soft gear. Have ridden with gear on the front rack, a backpack , stuff in the top box, stuff in the pet carrier, stuff on the center hook between my legs........but never 400 lbs. I also have a rack on the floorboard that can handle a coffee cup or gear bunjied to it.
Thanks - this discussion is about "Hitch Racks" to haul a Scooter, not about Scooters hauling stuff. Cheers.
Sat May 14, 2022 8:57 pm

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Sat May 14, 2022 8:57 pm linkquote
I have used numerous Black Widow Pro products, including my motorcycle table lift which gets used and abused on the regular, some aluminum ramps, wheel chocks, jack stand... never had any of it fail on me. Good attention to detail. Even the instructions are super clear.

I can't speak to whether this is the right thing for you or not (personally, I like a proper trailer), but if it is the right choice for you, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a product from this brand.
Sun May 15, 2022 2:55 am

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Sun May 15, 2022 2:55 am linkquote
They offer a few goid for 600 lbs that might work better.
Sun May 15, 2022 7:54 am

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Sun May 15, 2022 7:54 am linkquote
One benefit of steel over aluminum in a hitch rack is abrasion resistance. If you don't travel in the mountains much, you might not think about it, but it's a frequent issue up here. It's not just mountain roads, either: sharp incline entrances to driveways, parking lots, rough ramp-transitions from pavement to gravel or dirt. Aluminum is softer than steel.
Personally, I prefer a little forgiveness margin in my tolerances.

I see you went with Versa. I've never encountered a Black Widow hitch rack, but I DO know at least one Versa user off the top of my head. It's been through some things and looks to be holding up well.
Sun May 15, 2022 7:59 am

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2022 GTS 300
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Sun May 15, 2022 7:59 am linkquote
Cheshire wrote:
One benefit of steel over aluminum in a hitch rack is abrasion resistance. If you don't travel in the mountains much, you might not think about it, but it's a frequent issue up here. It's not just mountain roads, either: sharp incline entrances to driveways, parking lots, rough ramp-transitions from pavement to gravel or dirt. Aluminum is softer than steel.
Personally, I prefer a little forgiveness margin in my tolerances.

I see you went with Versa. I've never encountered a Black Widow hitch rack, but I DO know at least one Versa user off the top of my head. It's been through some things and looks to be holding up well.
The Black Widow Hitch racks are only sold on Amazon, and some users seem to like them, however, there are also some Amazon reviews showing broken and bent Black Widow aluminum racks. I decided to spend the extra money and have total peace of mind as I haven't found any negative reviews or damaged Versa Hauler photos. I don't like taking chances on the open road at highway speeds with a bike on the back. Thanks.

Last edited by Vespian on Sun May 15, 2022 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
Sun May 15, 2022 8:29 am

Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
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Sun May 15, 2022 8:29 am linkquote
Vespian wrote:
Thanks - this discussion is about "Hitch Racks" to haul a Scooter, not about Scooters hauling stuff. Cheers.
oops me stupid
Mon May 16, 2022 10:01 am

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Mon May 16, 2022 10:01 am linkquote
I have the exact same Black Widow carrier and it is very solid and stable. The "anti-wobble" mechanism works great. I like that the loading ramp and rail are solid.

My only complaint is it's heft. It weighs nearly 100 lbs by itself so I need help when installing on my SUV. As someone else noted above, be sure of your hitch ratings prior to loading it up. You're likely going to need a vehicle and hitch combo rated for 500lbs of tongue weight.

I was able to rig up a block and tackle for storing this up high on the wall in my garage. 3 pulleys on each end make it easy to hoist into position.



Mon May 16, 2022 11:00 am

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Mon May 16, 2022 11:00 am linkquote
I did what everyone on here will say is wrong, and bought a Harbor Freight cycle carrier a few years ago.

I have only used it twice, but it has performed admirably both times.

The first to North Carolina and back, 450 miles of bumpy interstate travel caused no issues.

It is aluminum with a steel tube as the main structural element.

The clamps provided stiffen it well.

While I would prefer a flat floor, the ladder floor works while saving weight.

I have been pleased with having it to use when needed.

Bill
Mon May 16, 2022 3:14 pm

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Mon May 16, 2022 3:14 pm linkquote
I have one it is pretty solid towed bigger bikes for over 7 hours or so and as long as your Tongue weight permits the weight you should be golden,I also have a anti rattle hitch so it does not move around as much and i would get the 600 lb. Capacity just in case





Fri May 20, 2022 5:47 pm

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Fri May 20, 2022 5:47 pm linkquote
Deleted, I used a different tilt a rack no the posted one

Last edited by TedN on Thu May 26, 2022 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
Fri May 20, 2022 7:46 pm

Molto Verboso
2021 GTS 300 HPE +2013 GTS 300ie + 294 Polini
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Fri May 20, 2022 7:46 pm linkquote
In my country you would get pulled over immediately for an obscured vehicle licence plate and lights. Here we have additional vehicle plate and vehicle light bar that plugs into the trailer plug and attaches to the rear of the vehicle - as for boat trailers etc.

Even hanging bicycles from a Thule rack at the rear will get you a ticket...!

Mon May 23, 2022 7:56 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 7:56 am linkquote
Fud - I was thinking of adding some lights to the rack. I like that little kit setup.

I just brought home a new to me 2006 GTS 250 on my Black Widow rack. The rack is rated for 400 lbs and the GTS weighs close to 350. The hitch on my Buick is rated for 450 lbs tongue weight, so I was pretty close to the limit. I would never put anything bigger/heavier than the GTS back there

I drove with this on the rack for about 250 miles without issue, although I was a bit nervous when hitting transitions on the interstate. But there was no wobbling of the carrier, it's very sturdy.





Mon May 23, 2022 8:31 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 8:31 am linkquote
Great posts everyone, however, my original post was about the Black Widow ALL-ALUMINUM racks I saw listed on Amazon.
Black Widow do also make steel framed and steel rail racks, but I was inquiring about the lightweight Aluminum model, which I have elected to NOT buy.
Thanks.
Mon May 23, 2022 9:20 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 9:20 am linkquote
WLeuthold wrote:
I did what everyone on here will say is wrong, and bought a Harbor Freight cycle carrier a few years ago.….While I would prefer a flat floor, the ladder floor works while saving weight.

Bill
I have a H.F. carrier too. I struggled with the spacing of the ladder rungs with my Primavera's small wheels falling in too deeply, making it difficult to roll on and off. When I tried to carry my Super Cub, the front wheel clamp did not tighten against the skinny front tire…

I hope to make some mods to it this summer in order to salvage my purchase.

Chris from CLE
Mon May 23, 2022 1:06 pm

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Mon May 23, 2022 1:06 pm linkquote
Vespian wrote:
which I have elected to NOT buy.
Just curious, how come?
Mon May 23, 2022 1:49 pm

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Mon May 23, 2022 1:49 pm linkquote
adri wrote:
Just curious, how come?
Vespian wrote:
The Black Widow Hitch racks are only sold on Amazon, and some users seem to like them, however, there are also some Amazon reviews showing broken and bent Black Widow aluminum racks. I decided to spend the extra money and have total peace of mind as I haven't found any negative reviews or damaged Versa Hauler photos. I don't like taking chances on the open road at highway speeds with a bike on the back. Thanks.
Mon May 23, 2022 2:08 pm

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2022 GTS 300
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Mon May 23, 2022 2:08 pm linkquote
adri wrote:
Just curious, how come?
I saw what I felt were bad reviews accompanied by photos showing broken and bent aluminum Black Widow Racks.
It's not worth taking chance to me to save a few dollars, I decided to go with an All-Steel, US Made Versa Haul rack.
Mon May 23, 2022 4:22 pm

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Mon May 23, 2022 4:22 pm linkquote
Cheshire - oops that one totally eluded me, sorry and thank you

Vespian - I like my black widow stuff but if there are issues with that particular product good idea to get whatever you feel comfortable and confident with. I spend a little more on the best quality straps because you can't put a price on peace of mind.

Let us know how you like your mount when you get some trips in with it plz!
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