While purchasing the best motorcycle hitch carrier can mean secured transportation for your bike, it is, without doubt, a daunting process. Hitch motorcycle carriers are preferred by a number of bike users because of their ability to safely transport scooters, dirt bikes, and motorcycles anywhere. Unlike conventional transportation approaches, they don’t require towing.
You just need to mount the carrier at the back of your car and easily load your bike. However, with the numerous brands available, it can be overwhelming to find the right motorcycle hitch carrier for your needs. If you are looking for a motorcycle hitch carrier to transport your bike or scooter, this extensive guide might be of help.
Comparison Table of Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
Read on to know the 10 best motorcycle hitch carriers that you can purchase on the market today. We have also provided the ultimate buying guide in order to help you buy the ideal hitch carrier for you.
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Review
01. Best Choice Products SKY1375 – Best Value for Price
If you are looking for a reliable yet affordable way to transport your bike, then this rack by Best Choice Products is probably the best one in the market. Despite being one of the cheapest options available in the market, this model boasts of sturdy and powder-coated steel construction. The heavy-duty steel frame ensures strength and reliability needed to safely transport your motorcycle or scooter.
An impressive feature is its anti-tilt locking device that helps prevent wobbling. You can, therefore, use it with ease even on bumpy or rough terrains. This hitch carrier has a hauling capacity of 500lbs, which makes it perfect for carrying medium-sized bikes.
SKY1375 is compatible with 2-inch square receivers from classes II, III, IV, and V hitch receivers. Plus, this rack can easily be assembled thanks to the 8 bolts and nuts it comes with.
02. GoPlus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier – Best Heavy-duty Motorcycle Carrier
If you are looking for a steel hitch carrier for your heavy motorcycle, then you want to consider this 600lbs model by GoPlus. This impeccable carrier is constructed from heavy-duty steel that ensures strength and durability for transporting heavy bikes up to 600 lbs.
What’s more, steel is corrosion-resistant and can be used for an extended period of time. You, therefore, do not have to worry about the carrier corroding if you love to travel in rough weather conditions.
GoPlus 600 has a carrier rack of 79” long that features a raised adjustable wheel stop while the loading ramp measures 72” L by 7.5” W. The ramp can be used to lift heavy motorcycles with ease. Plus, the mounting is very easy, and the set-up only requires the vehicle’s 2-inch receiver and the hitch pin.
This product is designed with safety in mind. It comes with a 2-quick release lock that will keep your motorcycle fastened, especially if you plan to travel at high-speed on bumpy or hilly areas.
03. Black Widow AMC-400 Hitch – Best Aluminium Hitch Carrier
In case you are into aluminum hitch mount carriers to haul your dirt bike, the AMC 400 from Black Widow may be just what you need. If you are one of those motorcycle enthusiasts who prefer aluminum carriers to steel ones, then you are bound to enjoy their lightweight construction. Besides, unlike steel, aluminum can be assembled without causing any injury and can resist rust better.
This hitch-mounted bike rack comes in handy when you need to safely transport light to medium weight bikes that weigh up to 400 pounds. It is made for the 2” receiver with class III and IV hitches. With this carrier, you will get a carrier track that measures 75” L by 6.75” W and an added necessary hitch pin. This, therefore, makes this hitch carrier great for dirt bikes or motorcycles below 400lbs and with tires that are 5.5” wide.
Another nifty feature of this model is the anti-rattle device that helps reinforce extra strength on your bike and ensure a smoother ride when driving on bumpy and hilly roads. What’s more, it is very easy to load the motorcycle onto the carrier as it features a self-storing ramp of 45.5 inches with a slid in and out design. Moreover, AMC-400 boasts of a space bar adapter for holding smaller bikes of 50-80cc.
04. VersaHaul Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier – For Hauling Dirt Bike
Designed with quality and durability in mind, the VersaHaul Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier is another option to bear in mind when making your buying decision. It features a large loading capacity of 500lbs and is suitable for class III or IV hitches. Since it is constructed from powdered steel, this hitch carrier is heavy-duty and highly durable.
The 57.5” L by 5.5” W carrier ramp will make it possible for you to load and unload your dirt bike with ease. The carrier also comes with a rail that measures 71.5” L by 6.375” W.
The niftiest feature of this carrier is the movable rails, which can be positioned close to the car or away from it, depending on your preference. You will also love the anti-tilt lock bracket that enhances the bikes stability and the 4 folding tie-down bars that are meant to secure the dirt bike on the tow. When you are not using these tie-down bars, just pull the locking pin and let them slip inside.
If you are looking to load or unload the bike by yourself, you will love the easy one-person-use design. Finally, the carrier comes with a wheel stop and 2 reflectors for easy use at night.
05. EGO Bike Steel Motorcycle Hitch Carrier – Anti Tilt Steel Bike Carrier
This steel motorcycle hitch carrier is specially designed for light to medium bikes that weigh less than 500 pounds.
Despite this, there is a reason why many users are impressed with this product. It weighs just 48 pounds, and this makes it possible to install without needing further assistance. Plus, it comes with 8 bolts for making the installation process easier. Another great spec is the anti-tilt device that comes in handy to prevent wobbling, especially for riders who love to ride on rough terrains.
The dual ramp included in this hauler ensures that users are able to load and unload their bikes from either side with no difficulty. When not in use, the dual ramp easily attaches to the carrier track, not forgetting the tie downsides that provide more security.
The EGO Bike hitch carrier is ideal for different types of motorcycles and it can fit perfectly onto 2” square class III, IV and V receivers.
06. Black Widow MX-600X – Tough Carrier for Large Bikes
This is another model from the Black Widow brand that is capable of holding a whopping 600 pounds’ weight. This is one of the rarest carriers in the market that are worth considering. The carrier has a hauling ramp with dimensions of 59.25” by 5.5”, making it suitable for bikes wheels that are 5 ½ inches wide. The extra-long ramp makes loading and unloading easy, and it can be stored on the carrier when not in use.
If you need a sturdy and durable hitch carrier to lift your large motorcycle, then this product should be on your shopping list. The carrier is constructed from solid steel that’s powder-coated, which allows it to haul bikes as heavy as 600 pounds. Apart from providing secured transportation, steel is also corrosion resistant to ensure extended use.
Additionally, this carrier hitch is compatible with sport scooter and dirt bikes with 2” IV hitch or class III receivers. Also, included are a 5/8” hitch pin and an anti-rattle device that helps to prevent any rattling sounds. The integral adjustable wheel chock prevents any wobbling on rough terrains.
When it comes to installation, it has never gotten this easy. The carrier comes with easy-to-follow instructions and accessories like a hitch stabilization pinch bolt to make the installation a breeze.
07. Versa Haul VH-SPORTRO Sport Bike Carrier – Best Carrying and Towing Hitch Carrier
Another best motorcycle hitch carrier is by the leading Versa Haul brand that is well-known for producing top-notch products. Designed in the USA, this model is very sturdy and has a powder-coated finish that enables it to withstand harsh weather conditions. It is manufactured by using high-precision techniques in order to provide the strength, reliability, and durability needed to transport a 600lbs motorcycle.
The VH-SPORT carrier is designed to fit snugly on any class III or IV hitch receiver. In fact, the class III hitch carrier allows you to tow cargos that weigh up to 3000lbs. Not only that, it features 4 adjustable tie-down bars to securely lock your motorcycle in place. If your bike is wide, you won’t have to worry about it scratching your car since the rails can be adjusted to 24” outwardly.
Similarly, you can slide the rail in to fit your smaller bike. The ramp option included makes this carrier a great choice for riders who appreciate stress-free loading. Besides carrying your bike, you can haul any other cargo with ease regardless of your height.
08. Direct Aftermarket Steel Hitch Carrier – Durable Quality Hitch Carrier
If your goal is to haul a motorcycle, dirt bike or scooter from one place to another, you need to try out the Direct Aftermarket carrier. Weighing 58lbs, this carrier is capable of transporting up to 500lb weight capacity. In addition, it features a loading ramp that measures 38” long and 5” wide.
A unique spec of this carrier is its anti-wobble locking device, which eliminates possible movements and ensures the stability of your bike during the ride. Are you curious about the design? Well, this hitch carrier by Direct Aftermarket features an epoxy powder-coated steel construction. This sturdy material is impermeable to rusting, thus extending the life of the carrier to many years.
You will be amazed by how easy it is to assemble this product. You will also enjoy convenient loading with the loading ramp, which can be attached to either the left or right side of your vehicle.
09. Black Widow MCC-500 – Folding Hitch Rack
The MCC-500 is another model by Black Widow to make it to our list of the best motorcycle hitch carrier. With solid steel construction, this product has been designed to haul motocross dirt bikes that weigh up to 500 pounds and have tires of up to 5 inches wide. It includes a 45.5” long ramp that installs on both sides, making it even more convenient to use.
Better yet, it has a self-store feature for when the ramp is not in use. The rack can easily fold when not in use, allowing you more space and time.
The Item offers perfect compatibility for IV hitch or class III receivers and is very easy to install with the included 5/8-inch hitch pin. Are you looking to drive in hilly or bumpy areas and are worried that your bike may wobble and fall off?
Well, with this carrier, you will have peace of mind since its anti-tilt device is well incorporated to ensure maximum stability. By eliminating the unnecessary movements, your bike is more unlikely to twist or bend.
10. Motogroup Motorcycle Carrier Hauler Rack Ramp – Safe and Cost Effective Option
If you own a motocross, an off-road dirt bike, or a scooter with 5.5” wide tires and weighs 400 pounds, then this motorcycle carrier from Motorgroup is just what you need. Weighing just 36.3 lbs, this unit is extremely lightweight and installing it is a breeze. You also won’t need to worry about rusting since it is constructed from lightweight aircraft aluminum.
One thing that makes this hitch carrier package remarkable is the ramp inclusion. Not only is the loading ramp lightweight, it conveniently attaches to both sides of the carrier for transportation. Whether you have an SUV, van, camper, RV or pickup truck, this unit will work great to ensure that your bike is safely hauled. Besides, it fits perfectly in 2-inch square class of II, III, IV and V hitch receivers.
Another decent feature of this hitch mount carrier is the anti-wobble device that comes with three locking screws for maximum security and stability. This is a unique spec because most brands only use two locking screws, which may not be enough to keep the bike in place without any movements. This, therefore, means that you load your bike on this carrier and drive on rough roads without worrying that you might damage your car or the bike.
Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Buying Guide
When purchasing a hitch carrier for your motorcycle, scooter, or dirt bike, there are key things that you need to put into consideration. You need to know what to look for, so you can eliminate the problems that come with buying the wrong carrier.
When you go to your local motorcycle shop, you ask the shop owner to assist you in case you have questions related to the features provided below. It’s best that you’re going to inquire about such so that you will be able to make the most out of your purchase.
It goes without saying that the type of material used to build the carrier matters a lot. Basically, steel and aluminum are the most commonly used in the construction of hitch carriers. Not only are they both strong and durable, but they are also resistant to corrosion in order to ensure extended use.
Nonetheless, both materials have their pros and cons that you need to carefully consider before making your decision.
Steel carriers are preferred by many riders because they are strong and can easily haul heavy-duty bikes. However, steel can be very heavy and the installation may be difficult for those who are not hands on. Aluminum makes a perfect choice of your need to haul lightweight motorbikes and offers more resistance to corrosion than steel. However, it has a limited carrying capacity.
This is an extremely important consideration since different models of carriers are designed to handle different weight limits. Each motorcycle hitch carrier has a specific weight capacity limit, which should not be exceeded. If you have a heavy bike, look for hitch carrier options that support its weight. Otherwise, the carrier may break down and cause damages that can be expensive in the long run.
Products that are made from steel have a higher weight capacity ranging from 400-600lbs while those made from aluminum have a carrying capacity of up to 400lbs. For this reason, you need to consider the weight of your bike before shopping for a carrier.
Safety is another top consideration when you are shopping for your next hitch carrier. It is advisable to select a model that comes with numerous safety features such as multiple tie-down bars and anti-tilt device. These features enhance the stability of the bike and reduce movements especially when riding on hilly or rough terrain. You, therefore, won’t have to worry about the motorcycle falling off.
Hitch Receiver Compatibilities
Of course, the carrier you choose should be compatible with the hitch class of your vehicle. Before you go out shopping, you need to first understand the type of vehicle you are driving as well as the hitch receiver class that links your vehicle to the carrier.
The hitches installed in your car or truck usually come in a range of classes such as Class I, II, III, IV, and V. The grouping of the hitches depends on the type of vehicle as well as the load capacity. For best compatibility, you want to check the hitch class that is suited for your motorcycle carrier as suggested by the manufacturer.
Here is a summary of the tongue weights that different classes can handle:
- Class I-300lbs
- Class II-525lbs
- Class III- 1200lbs
- Class IV & V- up to 2700lbs
While most brands of carriers are compatible with a wide selection of motorcycles, it is still important to check the dimensions of the rack before making your purchase. See to it that the tires of your bike fit perfectly on the width and length of the rack.
Ease of Installation
Always opt for a product that is easy to assemble and comes with an instruction manual to guide you. Although different manufacturers have different setups, some may be too complicated, making the entire installation process difficult. It is also crucial to note that the heaviness of the carrier is likely to affect the assembling.
For instance, carriers made of steel may be difficult to lift, and this makes assembling difficult compared to those made of aluminum construction.
Multiple Carrying Capacity
If you are considering carrying multiple bikes or motorcycles on your hitch carrier, then it is only wise to opt for hitch carriers with multiple carrying capacity. Nonetheless, it is important to note that such carriers may come at an additional cost.
Ramp Length and Width
Each hitch carrier is equipped with a ramp to facilitate effortless loading and unloading. However, all ramps are not the same in terms of length and width. Basically, longer ramps are more preferred because they have a lesser slope, hence making loading easier. On the other hand, shorter ramps are easy to install. You may also need to take the measurements of your bike’s tires and ensure that they fit well in the width of the ramp.
A good motorcycle hitch carrier should be able to withstand heavy usage and harsh weather conditions. This factor is especially important if you are carrying heavy bikes that require strength and durability to transport. Again, this comes down to the material used to construct the carrier. Powder-coated steel construction is best for durability.
Before you make a final buying decision, make sure that you consider your budget and choose a carrier that will offer the best value. While it may cost you extra bucks to buy a top-notch carrier that comes with decent features, it will save you from paying for damage repair in the future. Also, take into account other aspects that may increase the value of the carrier such as the type of material, finishing, and weight limit.
These are just some of the most important hitch carrier features that you should take note of. While it’s fine to not include everything in your list, checking them most out will surely assure you that you’re making the right purchase.
Benefits of a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
While there are many other ways of transporting your motorcycle, the hitch carrier has become increasingly popular among bike users. Here are some benefits that users can get from using a motorcycle carrier:
- Safe Transportation solution
A motorcycle carrier is an effective and safe way to move your motorcycle, dirt bike, or scooter anywhere you want. This is because most models are designed with safety features like an anti-tilt device, which provides increased stability. It also holds the bike securely and minimizes movements. In addition, they are a perfect solution than trailers, which can be difficult to drive and are more likely to cause accidents.
- Quick and Easy
Once you have installed your carrier, you just need to attach the ramp and easily load your bike without lifting it up. This convenience makes this unit the ideal choice for transporting heavy bikes without further assistance. This is unlike trailers, which can be a hassle to tow and park.
- Compatible with Many Vehicles
The other benefit of using motorcycle carriers is that they can be used with a wide range of vehicles compared to other transportation methods. You can, therefore, transport your bike from point A to B even if you don’t have a flatbed car.
- Convenient and Effective
While trailers have the ability to haul multiple motorcycles, they are not as convenient as hitch carriers. Carriers come in a wide range of weight capacities and selection of steel and aluminum. Also, they are highly accepted in many states, making them an ideal option for transporting your dirt bikes from one location to another at any time.
- Cost Effective
Carrying your motorcycle on a hitch mounted carrier is more worthwhile compared to purchasing a trailer. Nonetheless, it is critical to do extensive research and ensure that the carrier you want to buy offers value for your money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a carrier damage my vehicle?
No. As long as you ensure that the carrier is suited to support the weight of your motorcycle. Also, ensure that you load the bike correctly and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions concerning driving with your bike on the carrier.
How best can I install a carrier?
Installing a carrier is a straightforward process as you only need some basic knowledge and the necessary tools. Different manufacturers provide varying setup instructions that you should comply in order to ensure proper installation. However, here are some general steps that you can follow for easy installation of a motorcycle carrier:
- Connect the support brackets using the bolts provided to the hitch bar of the trailer. Ensure that you tighten the bolts to minimize movements between the 2 clamped metals.
- Place the rack between the 2 support brackets and lock them in place with bolts, nuts, or lock washers.
- Slide in the anti-tilt bracket to your car’s hitch bar (With the flat side facing the vehicle). You can also attach other components like a wheel stop and tie-down arms at this point. Attach them to the long bar, and tighten the bolts to prevent movements and instability.
- Slide the carrier onto the hitch and secure it with a hitch pin. If the brand does not include a hitch pin, make a separate purchase.
- Mount the ramp (if included) onto the carrier using the supplied bolts and nuts.
- Make sure that the carrier is completely secure before loading the bike.
- The last step is to secure the bike to the carrier with tie-down straps at the front and back of the motorcycle track.
The average time for mounting a hitch carrier is 30 minutes. However, heavy carriers may take more time to install because of their weight components.
What is tongue weight capacity?
Tongue weight is basically the amount of weight that can be supported on your vehicle hitch. The tongue weight is usually specific to the vehicle or hitch combination. It is advisable to check your vehicle user manual in order to identify the tongue weight capacity of your vehicle.
However, if it is not stated, divide the total towing capacity of the vehicle by 10 in order to get an estimate of how much you can safely carry on the hitch. You should not exceed your vehicle’s tongue weight limit as this can be extremely dangerous.
What body material is best?
Typically, motorcycle racks come in two materials – steel and aluminum. Each has its own pros and cons. While both materials are strong enough to transport bikes, steel can be a better option for bikes with a high weight capacity. On the other hand, aluminum is weaker, lighter, and rustproof than steel, which means it is only ideal for carrying lightweight bikes.
Can my trunk open when the carrier is attached?
No. This is because motorcycles are heavy and it can be almost impossible to open the trunk.
Is it safe to make my own hitch rack?
While it is possible to come up with your own hitch rack, it is not recommendable. Safety should be a concern when buying a carrier. If it happens that the rack you build is not safe enough, it may lead to serious damage to your car, bike, or even injuries to yourself and other people. Moreover, you may not be able to come up with a rack that can support the weight of your motorcycle.
Are motorcycle racks Illegal?
No, they are not illegal. However, the legality of racks may vary from one state to another. The issues of its illegality may come up due to the fact that the carriers obscure the license plate and backlights. If you are contemplating installing one, ensure that your vehicles license plates are visible and readable. If this is not possible, see to it that you purchase a license plate for the carrier.
Additionally, it is wise to install LED lights onto the back part of your carrier, particularly if you are planning to haul the carrier at night. Do not also forget to test your side mirrors and ensure that your rear view is clear.
How do I know whether the carrier will work with my vehicle?
First of all, know the weight of the bike you intend to carry. Then, check the carrier’s and hitch’s capacity to ensure that it is suitable for hauling the bike. If you are hauling a bigger bike, then you need a large vehicle and carrier that are up to the task.
With the best motorcycle hitch carrier, you can rest assured that you and your bike are traveling safely. A carrier allows you to transport your bike in the safest way possible while allowing room for other cargo. When choosing your carrier, this review will help you identify the right carrier for hauling your motorcycle within your budget range.
So, before you decide on which hitch carrier you’re going to buy for your motorcycle, do consider this guide and check out the suggested carriers above. Also, make sure that you take into consideration important hitch carrier features such as type of material, weight capacity, hitch receiver compatibility, durability, ease of installation, and many more.
Do not opt for cheap units as they are unlikely to deliver optimal performance. Rather, go for hitch carriers that are made from quality materials and offers great value. The hitch carriers provided above will do just that. So, whatever you think resonates with you, give it a try.