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How to Carry a Dirt Bike Using a 2016 Subaru Outback

Question:

Do you know if this rack would work to haul a single 250 dirtbike on my 2016 Subar Outback? I dont have the hitch installed yet, since am looking for a rack first before I decide between a standard Subaru hitch or an aftermarket hitch. I was told I could use an adapter to convert the 1 1/4inch hitch to a 2. Your guidance is appreciated.

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Expert Reply:

The best advice I can give you right now is to NOT use the Subaru hitch. The problem with it is that the hitch pin hole is dangerously close to the receiver opening meaning that on nearly all accessories there won't be enough of the shank in the hitch. The use of an adapter will reduce the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by 50 percent so I also do not recommend that for your 2016 Subaru Outback.

The other issue is the tongue weight capacity of the vehicle itself. According to the owner's manual it is rated for 200 pounds tongue weight which means that the combined weight of the dirt bike and the carrier would have to be under 200 pounds; even if a trailer hitch is rated higher you are still limited to the lowest rating.

So it would appear that the dirt bike would have to be placed on a small trailer designed for a single motorcycle and not on a hitch-mounted carrier. If you do that then the Subaru hitch would be fine though an aftermarket hitch will likely cost less.

If you think that towing a small trailer is the way to go then Curt hitch # C12136 is one option. The recommended ball mount is # C45521 and the pin and clip is # F-4. For a ball use # A-80 for a 1-7/8 inch or # A-82 for a 2 inch. And for trailer wiring use # 118467 to add a 4-Way flat connector to the rear of the vehicle.

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