2009 WRX Roof Rack Options- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2009 WRX Roof Rack Options

    So I just pulled the trigger on an 09 wrx and am looking for a roof rack. I went into the local thule/yakima dealer and they quoted me $800 for a yakima roof rack for two DH bikes. I can't use the cheaper frame mount roof racks and need one that mounts over the tire.

    Maybe it's just me but that seems like a quite absurd price for a few pieces of metal. Can anyone point me in the right direction to a cheaper alternative? Used models? Left overs?
    I really don't even know what to look for. Would a trailer hitch be a better option?
    Thanks,
    Ryan

  2. #2
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    For big DH bikes a hitch might be a better option. Did you consider buying the racks through the dealer? I bought my towers and cross bars through Subaru, which are yakima racks with a Subaru sticker on them and it was much cheaper than retail at Rack And Road or REI or whatever.

    Also, craigslist and ebay
    :wq

  3. #3
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    Or just buy round steel bars and use those with the Yak towers and accessorizes. Way cheaper and when they start rusting on the inside (just like Yak bars) you can get new ones for like $4.

  4. #4

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    The bars are like $50. Hardly a major expense when you just plunked down $25k for a new car....

    In any case, it sounds a bit high, but if you need everything including 2 upright racks and 6 lock cores, you are looking at $700-ish for either Thule or Yakima, not including a fairing. That's just what quality racks cost I'm afraid... Try the used market if you know what you need.

  5. #5
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    The best Price I found was $730 shipped from Cambria for the Thule with the rapid load bars and 08+ Impreza fit kit.

    I am thinking of going hitch mounted with my WRX.

    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1406860

  6. #6

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    The best Price I found was $730 shipped from Cambria for the Thule with the rapid load bars and 08+ Impreza fit kit.

    I am thinking of going hitch mounted with my WRX.

    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1406860
    I guess I understand hitch mounts if you are moving heavy DH bikes with 20mm axles, but I just never feel comfortable with them hanging off the back of the vehicle like that. Not to mention the fact that being rear ended is the most common type of accident. An otherwise minor bump could quickly turn into $10k worth of bike damage.

  7. #7
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    I use a hitch rack, and do worry about someone rear ending me. However
    I don't know anyone who has had this happen to them. I do know 2 people
    who drove under something that was low and screwed up ther bikes. Plus
    roof racks hurt your gas milage, and they look like crap. With a hitch rack,
    one bolt and it is off. Plus it is a lot easier to load and unload your bike with
    a hitch rack.

    Best, John

  8. #8

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    Fair enough. I've been using roof racks for 15+ years with no incidents and I guess I prefer trusting myself to not run into something more than trusting someone else not to rear end me. And I happen to like how they look. To each their own I guess.

  9. #9
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    Hey Jedediah I understand what you are saying. I thought about
    getting a roof rack, but the trees in my neighborhood are so low
    they would hit the bikes on a roof rack anyway. Two of my friends
    also think that roof racks look good. Like you said to each there own.

    Best, John

  10. #10
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    roof racks usu look waaay better. they add a certain spirit to the car. but...i'm not in it for looks. the hitch racks are far superior in terms of convenience; effects on gas mileage; and, i'd wager, the least amount of accidents involving the bike. furthermore, i'd much prefer an accident from the rear to damage bikes and rack than the car. while i prefer my bikes to my car, i spend - unfortunately - much more time in my car. it needs to be rock solid.
    ride fast...take chances...

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys, I think I'll just have to shell out the cash for the roof rack. I don't really want a trailer hitch sticking out, and cars already don't like my rear end. While I was at the ymca yesterday someone hit and ran my car and bashed in the left bumper and trunk. I can't believe it. It's only been five days.

    Last edited by NAYR751; 06-12-2009 at 07:19 PM.

  12. #12
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    Man that sucks! Awhile back I had an integra and it got rear ended 3 times in the first year I owned it, I feel your pain.

    I have roof racks on my imprezza wagon and they work ok.
    - You will definitely notice a decrease in MPG, even without any bikes on top
    - A wind faring is a must to cancel out that horrible whistling sound
    - The front wheel mount racks are convenient and hold a bike securely, but if you were to have a slow leak on your front tire that you didnt know about it could be disastrous. Also its pretty easy to steal a bike from these mounts as all you have to do is deflate the front tire to take it off (I believe the newer yakimas are an exception)
    - with a long travel bike your bike will have a pretty high profile, my 6.5 inch bike has clipped some trees on my rack.
    - Yakima makes an adapter for thru axles to fit on fork mounted racks, it works well. My bike is far more secure on it and has a much lower profile, but could be eaisly stolen as the adapter can be locked to the fork mount but the bike and fork are not.

    If you decide to buy a new setup I would suggest buying through REI as a member. They have a 100% satisfaction Guarantee and they stand buy it. I use my racks for kayaking which exposes the setup to a lot of saltwater, the screws on my yak holder began to rust after a year and they replaced the whole thing question free (i only wanted new screws) !

  13. #13
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    I think carrying the bikes on my hitch rack makes me far LESS likely to get rear-ended, as it's more of an attention-getter and there's about 2-3 feet of rack that would be stuck in their car if they did. Also, if you are just unlucky enough that you get rear-ended often, your bikes WILL NOT BE SAFE on a roof-rack. They'll go flying off the rack because when you get rear ended, they will see hundreds of not thousands of Gs of force. Everyone always claims that "the rack held up fine (without a bike in it)" in crashes, but try that with a bike in the rack and the rack will see stress many orders of magnitude higher.

    My "hitch" doesn't stick out, you can only see it from one angle really, and I take the rack off when I'm not using it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't stand to be losing MPG and creating drag with an ugly roof-rack protruding from the top. I didn't get this car to go slow. I also carry pretty heavy bikes, so I needed something super-solid. Hitch-rack + T2 is solid.


    On the other hand, I don't think you can really do a hitch-rack with those new subarus, so you might be stuck with the roof.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    I don't know about the WRX, but my 2009 Subaru Outback
    has a hitch on it.

    Best, John

  15. #15
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    I have a 2009 Impreza and my hitch doesn't stick out. I'm not a big fan of roof racks after having them on two other vehicles. Hitch rack is the way to go I think.

  16. #16
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    DocAltie,

    Which hitch did you install? I have been looking at Drawtite.

  17. #17
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    I cry a little inside each time I see a WRX with a hitch.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abraxas
    DocAltie,

    Which hitch did you install? I have been looking at Drawtite.

    I bought a "Hidden Hitch" off of Ebay for $90. I tow a trailer and have a Yakima Bighorn for bikes. Works great... cutting into the frame rails for install was a little tricky... so was fishing the mounting bolts.

    I recommend buying a metal stepping bit and having a Dremel will a cutting disc. Makes the job a lot faster.

  19. #19
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    Buy the Subaru Roof Carrier Base Kit from a dealer or online (get an online price and get a local dealer to match the price), part # E3610FG500, and then all you need to do is choose your crossbars from Yakima or Thule or whatever.

    Thule makes crossbars that are almost identical to the OEM Subaru ones but I think they cost more, you might want to check that. A roof rack is way less money than buying a hitch and then a hitch rack.

    OH OH OH I just forgot, you can't even put a hitch on an 08+ Impreza. So there you go.

    Edit: I should clarify that Subaru, for whatever reason, did not rate the 08+ Imprezas as able to tow anything. Something about the rear subframe I think? So there is no OEM hitch, and if for some reason there is an aftermarket one out there somewhere, it might be one of those cases where it could potentially void your warranty, cuz if Subaru thought the car could handle a hitch, they would definitely have rated the Impreza for towing. I'm not one to usually be like "oh it'll void your warranty!" cuz I'm all for the Moss Magnusen act yada yada but in this case, I'd go with a roof mount
    Last edited by XJaredX; 06-19-2009 at 03:15 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX

    OH OH OH I just forgot, you can't even put a hitch on an 08+ Impreza. So there you go.

    Edit: I should clarify that Subaru, for whatever reason, did not rate the 08+ Imprezas as able to tow anything. Something about the rear subframe I think? So there is no OEM hitch, and if for some reason there is an aftermarket one out there somewhere, it might be one of those cases where it could potentially void your warranty, cuz if Subaru thought the car could handle a hitch, they would definitely have rated the Impreza for towing. I'm not one to usually be like "oh it'll void your warranty!" cuz I'm all for the Moss Magnusen act yada yada but in this case, I'd go with a roof mount
    Although, I remember reading in NASIOC that the European version (same car) IS rated to tow.

    One additional problem though is the WRX exhaust routing.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  21. #21

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    Wow, sorry to refer to the first post, but I can't believe the roof setups have gotten that expensive.

    Not that many hitch setups aren't. Mine cost plenty with the hitch.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Although, I remember reading in NASIOC that the European version (same car) IS rated to tow.

    One additional problem though is the WRX exhaust routing.
    I know, I don't get it. The Forester uses the same sub-frame and rear suspension design, so unless they beefed it up in the Forester (which is rated to tow) then I dunno. But in the manual they specifically state the Impreza is not rated to tow. So for the weight of a bike rack, you will probably be fine, I don't see what warranty issues could result, assuming a service writer is even aware that they aren't rated to tow. But I still think it's cost prohibitive compared to just getting a roof rack.

    The other thing is if you go to U-Haul or whatever, they do a notoriously crappy install of hitches compared to available OEM hitches.

  23. #23
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    A hitch will run $100-200 and the hitch rack $400 MSRP for a fancy Thule or Yakima, so the hitch mount is slightly less expensive.

    Hitchs are available for the 2008+ Impreza, an OEM Forester hitch/bumper beam will work.

    My Best Guess: The reason US spec Imprezas are not rated to tow (Canadian versions are) is that fitting the Impreza with a Hitch required Subaru to spec a different rear bumper beam (non-collapsible) that would adversely affect the rear crash test rating.

  24. #24
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    I think you might be onto something regarding the towing thing. That makes sense. As far as cost, I was going off of what a typical OEM Subaru hitch with labor costs. So if one goes to Uhaul or does it themselves it seems like it'd work out cheaper

  25. #25
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    just for note, i used to work at a ymca...and they usually have cameras in parking lots and such...you might want to remember that if it happens again..

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX
    I think you might be onto something regarding the towing thing. That makes sense. As far as cost, I was going off of what a typical OEM Subaru hitch with labor costs. So if one goes to Uhaul or does it themselves it seems like it'd work out cheaper
    Yeah, factory anything is super expensive. I did get the factory hitch, and the fact that it clears exhaust is nice, but still, super expensive.

  27. #27
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    It is plug and play though regarding the wiring. Compared to some of the splice jobs I've seen on Uhaul hitches, that might be worth the premium

  28. #28
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    Buy used Yak or Thule towers & bars. THen buy the appropiate fit kit. Try ebay, craigslist, etc. Then you buy accessories.

  29. #29
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    I just came across this thread and thought to revive it.

    I ordered the Valley hitch for my 2009 WRX sedan. etrailer claim it doesn't require drilling. I'm waiting for delivery and will let you know how it turn out with the installation.

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