Motorcycle Hitch Carriers: What You Should Know

Some weeks ago, my cousin who is a motorbike enthusiast asked to borrow my pick-up truck. I did not feel the need to ask why. I just let him. When he came back to return it, there had been dents on the rear bumper and a few scratches here and there. As it turns out, he thought he could use it to transport his Yamaha R6 to a motor show in the city.

There are several ways for a vehicle to transport a motorcycle and what he did wasn’t the wisest one, if I must say. Even with a flat-bed truck, I’d still prefer a motorcycle to be transported with something handy – a hitch carrier. Something that won’t require me to call the towing company so, they can move a bike from point A to B.

Motorcycle technology kept up with the needs of users to conveniently bring with them their bike wherever they need to take them. No need for conventional methods like hauling or towing companies. Carry your bike with you faster and with no sweat. How? With motorcycle hitch carriers.

Motorcycle hitch carriers have been around for quite some time now. Designed and carefully thought of by motorcycle geniuses, these carriers sit at the back of your vehicle like a bike rack. These are especially useful if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, mechanic, or adventurer and you need to always transport a pair of motorbikes with you.

You will be carrying your prized motorcycle with you and with so many hitch carriers in the market, it is important that you choose one carefully. A hitch carrier not meeting the standards could only put your motorbike in the risk of damage or yourself for an injury.

We’ve gathered a list of motorcycle hitch carrier that we think could best do what you need them for. Read on and find out everything you need to know before getting yourself one.

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Getting a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier

Before we proceed with the list, we must know what to consider to make us decide which motorcycle hitch carrier can make it on the list. Adding all of these make up the level of standard from which you can decide whether it is a good buy or not.

Build Materials

Goplus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier Dirt Bike Rack Hitch Mount Hauler Heavy Duty with Loading Ramp

Do you pick steel or aluminum? You can use any of the two as both are amazingly good. Steel and aluminum are equally tough and hard-wearing. But, you need to pick the one that is convenient and corresponds to your case.

Steel need treatment to make sure it outstands corrosion. Aluminum, on the other hand, resists corrosion even without treatment. Steel hitches are bulky and heavy, as they are designed to be physically resilient and to get you that extra load limit margin. Aluminum may come short in withstanding the weight of heavy bikes but, their lightweight nature helps you install it easily. Plus, you don’t have to worry about weathering.

Weight Limit

Weight limit and body materials are in a way connected to each other. As mentioned in the materials above, each has its own carrying capacity, so it is just as important to check the weight of your motorbike. Most carriers range from 400lbs to 600lbs. In deciding which hitch carrier works for you, consider leaving a little leeway – that means giving enough room for when your motorcycle is dry or full tanked.

Also, think about the weight of your car. Your owner’s manual should give you details about the load limit your vehicle can haul. This is helpful specifically when the truck is already enduring a hitch load.

Vehicle Type and Hitch Compatibility

VersaHaul Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier With Ramp

Now that we’ve discussed the weight of your motorcycle and which material can best hold the load, let’s talk about which type of vehicle you will be attaching this hitch carrier to. This part lets you understand your car’s load capacity and whether it is the right fit for your towing needs. Here’s a diagram for a clearer reference.

Hitch Class Type

Hitch Weight Capacity

Vehicle

Class I

300lbs

Subcompact

Sedan

SUV or Van

Pickup (light duty)

Pickup (heavy-duty)

Class II

525lbs

Sedan

SUV or Van

Pickup (light duty)

Pickup (heavy-duty)

Class III

1,200lbs

SUV or Van

Pickup (light duty)

Pickup (heavy-duty)

Class IV and V

2,700lbs

Pickup (light duty)

Pickup (heavy duty)

Ease of Installation

Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirtbike Carrier Hauler Hitch Mount Rack Ramp Anti Tilt

So, you now know which material to use, how much it can take, and which class your vehicle falls under, it’s time to move on to putting it up to you use. On the assumption that your carrier is compatible with your vehicle, you shouldn’t have much fuss in installing it. While instruction guides often come in with the package, they can be hard to understand if not confusing. For that, you can always go to their website to check if they have instructional videos or, the ever-reliable YouTube.

Also consider the components that come with it such as bolts, nuts, and screws. Some carriers come with hitch pins, while others don’t. Although, they aren’t too hard to look for as they can always be purchased through Amazon. Just make sure you know which class you will be using it for.

Ramp Length / Ramp Inclusion

Black Widow MCC-600 HeavyDutySteelMotorcycleCarrier–600lb.Capacity

It could be that my cousin or whoever he was with when he used my vehicle to transport his bike couldn’t bear the weight of the motorcycle. Hence, the dents and scratches. While most hitch carriers aren’t as high as a truck’s flatbed, it still is challenging to lift it up and get it seated correctly. You will need a ramp that can facilitate the bike’s loading and unloading. Not all ramps are the same. So, you must find one that is long enough to extend with no difficulty from the ground to the carrier.

Price

With all the points to consider listed above, you might have the ideal hitch carrier in mind by now. The question is, does it fit your budget?

Along with the features a hitch carrier has, comes its price. So, the more features it has, the pricier it could be. Personally, I’d invest in one that will ensure both my vehicle and my bike’s safety and one that would last longer. I don’t think it is saving when you buy a cheap one but end up buying again not long after because it breaks easily.

Top 10 Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers

#1. Goplus 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier Dirt Bike Rack

Goplus 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier Dirt Bike Rack

If you are a motorcycle aficionado, then you know better the importance of a hitch carrier’s heaviness when it comes to lifting the bike. This powder-coated, heavy-duty steel guarantees durability and supreme strength and capacity. It is one of the carriers that can carry up to 600lbs. The Goplus 600 LBS’s carrier rail is 79” long with a loading ramp of 72”.

It has an elevated adjustable wheel stop that works as a stabilizing wheel chock. Its quick-release lock system helps you from struggling with unhooking your bike. Assembly and installation, although well documented in its manual can be a little unclear. But, the nuts and bolts having the same size make it easier to understand.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 79 x 31 x 13 inches
    • Product Weight: 91lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Heavy-duty steel construction for utmost strength and durabilityHeavier than most hitch carriers
600 lbs maximum load-bearing capacityNo traction on the ramp
Quick release locks for securing your bike and keeping its stability at speedStabilizer needs a little improvement
Perfect for 2” hitch receivers

#2. Best Choice Steel Motorcycle Scooter DirtBike Carrier Hauler Hitch Mount

Best Choice Steel Motorcycle Scooter DirtBike Carrier Hauler Hitch Mounte

A proof that a good hitch carrier need not cost so much, Best Choice Products Sky1375 is equipped with almost the same features a $300 hitch carrier has at $99.00. This heavy-duty steel made carrier offers exceptional rigor that is built to last. It can bear the weight of your dirt bike, scooter, or off-road motorcycle with no difficulty. Just be sure none of them are more than 500lbs.

Its anti-tilt locking device prevents your bike from wobbling around even in rough terrains. Best Choice Products Sky1375 although made of steel is relatively lightweight compared to others that were made with the same materials. It shouldn’t be a bad thing since it could just be the right choice for your car but, lighter steel may lack long-term toughness and could take damage over time.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 76 x 7 x 1 inches
    • Product Weight: 51lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Heavy-duty steel construction for utmost strength and durabilityHeavier than most hitch carriers
600 lbs maximum load-bearing capacityNo traction on the ramp
Quick release locks for securing your bike and keeping its stability at speedStabilizer needs a little improvement
Perfect for 2” hitch receivers

#3. Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier

Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier

Black Widow is one of the popular brands in hitch carriers. With its weight capacity of 600lbs, this motorcycle carrier is definitely worth considering. This fantastic piece of gear has a solid steel frame with an extended loading ramp. That helps you load your bike up to its 78.7” rack without hurting your back.

The package includes anti-tilt brackets, bike stabilizing tie-down points, and 7-position adjustable wheel stop, which help prevent your bike from shaking and wobbling around. Black Widow MCC-600 is fully equipped with anti-shifting devices, that include a hitch pin and an anti-rattle device. The fore and tie-down anchor points present are compatible with larger bikes.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 79 x 34.5 x 10 inches
    • Product Weight: 98lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Removable load rampMore expensive than most brands
Up to 600lbs maximum load-bearing capacityNo traction on the ramp
Perfect for 2” hitch receiversBolts need extra security and fastening
Front and rear end anchor points

#4. Ego Bike Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirtbike Carrier 

Ego Bike Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirtbike Carrier

Unlike most powder-coated heavy-duty steel carriers we’ve listed so far, Ego Bike Carrier is lighter at around 48lbs. This weight helps to make assembly and installation manageable by one man. The same reason you should be watchful of the weight you will subject this hitch carrier with.

Despite the confusing number of bolts and anti-wobble hardware kit it came with, it is easy to assemble. To install, the size of the 8 bolts that it came with should prompt you where it goes without minding the puzzling instructions. Its anti-tilt device prevents wobbling, so you won’t have to think about your bike even when you are driving off-road.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 40.5 x 12 x 9.8 inches
    • Product Weight: 50.8lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Removable load rampMore expensive than most brands
Up to 600 lbs maximum load-bearing capacityNo traction on ramp
Perfect for 2" hitch receiversBolts need extra security and fastening
Front and rear end anchor points

#5. VersaHaul VH-55 RO – Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier with Ramp

VersaHaul VH-55 RO- Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier with Ramp

VersaHaul VH-55 RO’s movable rails make it stand out from other dirt bike carriers. While your car may have enough capacity to carry a hitch carrier, a bumper or a spare tire could be deterring. The movable rails make enough space as you can shift it close to or away from the vehicle.

This carrier comes with a 57.5” x 5.5” ramp making it effortless for you to load a motorcycle with a weight of up to 500lbs. The size gives hints to you that it can’t hold anything more than 5.5” like Burgman or Reflex. Versahaul eliminates movements with its anti-tilt bracket.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 71.5 x 30 x 5 inches
    • Product Weight: 84lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Retractable tie-down bars prevent your bike from wobbling One of the most expensive
Lighter than most stainless-steel carriersComplicated instruction sets
Secure locking mechanism
Maximum carrying capacity of 500lbs
5″ long carrier rail with a width of 6.3
Fits Class III or IV hitch receiver

#6. MotoTote Sport Bike Motorcycle Carrier Hitch Rack RAMP LED Light

MotoTote Sport Bike Motorcycle Carrier Hitch Rack

The newest name in the motorcycle carrier world, MotoTote banked on customers’ feedback and reviews. Installation is easy and straight-forward as it only comes with a few parts. The package comes with eight cap screws, nuts, and a 2” hitch pin. If you master the mounting process from the manual, it will take you less than half an hour to assemble and install.

MotoTote is sturdy and well-designed. Its various safety features ensure that your bike is safe, secured, and sound at any driving speed. One of the features is the MotoTote Zero-Wobble hitch bolt that reduces wobbles without the messy anti-rattle brackets.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 60 x 12 x 9 inches
    • Product Weight: 66lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
LED tail lights make carrier visible in darkSmall carrying capacity for a sports bike carrier
Fits Class III or IV hitch
Dual side assembly
Solid and sturdy loading ramp

#7. Titan Ramps M600C Sports Bike Motorcycle Carrier Rack

As the name suggests, Titan Ramps are buffs in all things ramp-related. It would not be a surprise to see this item on the list. M600C, while bulky, hauls up to 600lbs making it one of the strongest in the market. It means, whether you have sports bike, motor or mini bikes, they can be seated perfectly.

Despite it being heavy, assembly and setting up is easy. It fits perfect on a 2” pin. The ramp included on this hauler makes loading your motorcycle a breeze as it comes with a long off-loading ramp. The relatively gentle slope adds up the ease of pushing the bike up.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 81 x 11 x 6 inches
    • Product Weight: 80lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
A mountable ramp for easy loadingHeavy and bulky
Wheel chock keeps the motorcycle stable Corrosion when in contact with strap hooks
Compatible with 2” hitch receiverCould use traction on the ramp
Ramp can be simply packed away on the hauler
Maximum carrying capacity of 600 lbs

#8. Direct Aftermarket Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirt Bike Rack Carrier Hauler

Direct Aftermarket Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirt Bike Rack Carrier Hauler

Haul bikes weighing up to 500lbs with Direct AfterMarket Bike Rack Carrier. This well-made carrier, of a hard-wearing steel frame, can room any bikes from scooters, classic motorcycles, or sports bike. It comes with an anti-tilting lock mechanism and is also clad with rubber base and padded arms for extra protection.

This gear is rather easy to assemble and install. The loading ramp, which could be a little shorter than what’s ideal, can be attached to either side for convenient loading. The powder coating doesn’t wear off easily making it impermeable to water.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 76 x 33 inches
    • Product Weight: 58lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Rust and corrosion resistantShort ramp length
Balanced loading dimensionsAnti-sway block did not come with instructions
Perfect for 2” hitch receiversHitch pins are bought separately
Foamy and cushion protection.Short ramp length
Loading ramp can be attached either side

#9. XtremepowerUS Motorcycle/Scooter/Dirtbike Hitch Mounted Carrier, Anti Tilt 500Lbs

Xtremepower US Motorcycle Hitch Mounted Carrier

XtremepowerUS Motorcycle carrier is another versatile choice in terms of moving your bike from one location to another. The high-grade and prime welding makes it easy to put up and lessens your worries from your bike falling off while traveling.

This 500lbs carrying machine comes a little bulky, which most motorcycle owners prefer. Bulky means sturdy construction.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 40.5 x 11.8 x 7.9 inches
    • Product Weight: 55lbs
    • Material Used: Powder coated steel
ProsCons
Maximum carrying capacity of 500 lbsCoating and paint get chipped off easily
Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
Ramp is short so, it could be a little challenging if the rack is high
Easy to assemble
Corners need more security
All welded parts are deep and well madeStrong tire bumps to the sides of the ramp could rock the ramp off attachment to the carrier

#10. Black Widow AMC-400 Mounted Motorcycle

Black Widow AMC-400 mounted motorcycle

If you have a medium-sized bike, then it would not be necessary to splurge on an expensive and bulky steel made carrier. Out of all the carriers we have on this list, we just had to include one that doesn’t have the rest’s common denominator – built from steel.

Black Widow AMC-400’s platform is aircraft-grade aluminum built. Meaning, it can resist corrosion the same way its steel made counterparts can. It is lightweight but heavy duty. Just be mindful not to load it more than 400lbs. AMC-400 features a self-storing ramp system – ramps can be slipped with no trouble in and out of place. This is easier than having to remove and put back with each use.

Specifications:

    • Product Dimensions: 75 x 5.5 inches
    • Product Weight: 33.5lbs
    • Material Used: Air-craft grade aluminum
ProsCons
Anti-rattle bracket system blocks movementsMaximum carrying capacity of 400lbs
Perfect for 2” hitch receiversUnstable and can easily bend
Aluminum platform with heavy-duty steel frameRather expensive for aluminum
Lightweight and a breeze to installFaulty ramp securing system
Dual side loading capabilities
Comes with pace bar for holding smaller bikes

Conclusion

While you sure can use your flat-bed truck to transport your motorcycle, it is not a very wise move. It will just leave your bike and your truck damaged and scratched. A hitch carrier will make you not check your rearview mirror to see if your bike’s still intact. Plus, don’t you want more room for other things you need to bring?

Choosing the best hauling gear could be hard but hopefully, the list above gives you an idea of what you want to get. Personally, a product will weigh more on my deciding factor if it prioritizes safety – for my bike, my car, and my wallet.


Top Pick for Motorcycle Hitch Carrier

Best Choice Product SKY1375 comes with the most promising features at the lowest price. It has your bike protected with its anti-tilt hauling technology. The locking device works great against wobbling and swaying at any driving speed and condition.

With all its durable design, top performance, and sturdy construction, it surely will keep your bike and bank account from breaking.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

✅ Is it safer to haul my motorbike with a carrier than to tie it up on a trailer?

While trailers are reliable and safe, if you aren’t transporting more than 1 bike then the carrier is better for you. Leave the hassle you will encounter on a cross-country trip such as struggles with maneuvering with a trailer. Not to mention, parking trailers’ requirements differ from one place to another.

✅ Are motorcycle racks legal?

Absolutely. The only reason that people think otherwise is due to the carrier blocking the license plate or the backlights. So long as you have your plates readable, your motorcycle racks are in no way obscuring the law. In addition, it would be wise to add LED lights at the back of the carrier just for other motorists and pedestrians to see your vehicle.

✅ How do you tell if the carrier is well-matched with both the bike and the car?

The load rating of your bike and the hitch carrier should not go beyond the car’s tongue weight. Tongue weight is simply the downward force that the tongue of the trailer exerts on the hitch that is connected to the vehicle. The carrier manual should have the information that states the heaviest weight it can hold. We have also included a table above that indicates vehicle type, weight limit, and class receivers.

✅ Is it safe for my bike and my vehicle?

Certainly. Make sure you adhere to the weight limits and with the carrier correctly installed and bike loaded correctly, there is no risk to damaging neither of them. The problem only arises when, as with most products, used beyond what it’s intended to be used for.

✅ How do I install a hitch carrier to my vehicle?

Installation and set up varies with each type or brand of carrier. Each brand has its own manual and sets of instructions which mostly is summed up with the following steps: (1) Clamp together the hitch bar and support braces, (2) Attach the motorcycle racks and the rest of the components, (3) Attach the hitch, (4) Mount through the ramp, (5) Fasten the bike to the carrier.

We hope you enjoyed our buyer’s guide and recommended products for motorcycle hitch carriers, and be sure to check out our articles on bike racks for your jeep wrangler and surfboard roof racks!

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1 thought on “Motorcycle Hitch Carriers: What You Should Know”

  1. Thank for the great article! I only wish I had found this before I made my purchase. I went with the Black Widow carrier. I works just fine once the bike is on t(e ramp, but the short ramp makes it hard to load my 280 lb bike (as the bike rises and you don’t). I’ll purchase or construct a longer, 6’ ramp which should help. The included peg that restricts the front wheel from dropping dofar into the open wheel slot helps a good deal. Trying to roll a knobby tire out of a hole while the bike is raised can be .. interesting so the peg helps. I added a flat wood panel to help the bike glide while loading/unloading. One thing you readers should consider to avoid vehicle sag. I added Timbren leveler kit, which had been wonderful. https://www.etrailer.com/susp-2014_Toyota_Tacoma.htm
    After loading my wr250r on the carrier, my truck goes down 1 inch in the rear, and rises 3/4 inch in the front. Solid rubber, no air tubes or leaks. Amazing.

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