Motorcycle Hitch Carriers: What You Should Know

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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 were 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.

Our Top 3 Choice

Goplus 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier
Goplus 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier Black
9.5/10
  • Product Dimensions: 79 x 31 x 13 inches
  • Product Weight: 91lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel
Best Choice Products  Dirt Bike Carrier Rack
Best Choice Products Dirt Bike Carrier Rack
8.9/10
  • Product Dimensions: 76 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Product Weight: 51lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel
Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier
Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier
8.3/10
  • Product Dimensions: 79 x 34.5 x 10 inches
  • Product Weight: 98lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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

Motorcycle technology kept up with the needs of users so that they could conveniently bring their bikes with them wherever they need to take them. There is no need for conventional methods like hauling or towing companies when you can carry your bike with you faster and easier. How, you might ask? 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 are installed at the back of your vehicle like a bike rack. Hitch carriers are especially useful if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, mechanic, or adventurer and need to transport motorbikes with you.

As you prepare to carry 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 put your motorbike at risk of damage or to causing injury to yourself or others.

Top 10 Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers

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

1. Goplus 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier Dirt Bike Rack

No. 1
1. Goplus 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier Dirt Bike Rack
9.5/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 79 x 31 x 13 inches
  • Product Weight: 91lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty steel construction for utmost strength and durability
  • 600 lbs maximum load-bearing capacity
  • Quick release locks for securing your bike and keeping its stability at speed
  • Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
Cons
  • Heavier than most hitch carriers
  • No traction on the ramp
  • Stabilizer needs a little improvement

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

No. 2
2. Best Choice Steel Motorcycle Scooter DirtBike Carrier Hauler Hitch Mount
8.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 76 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Product Weight: 51lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty steel construction for utmost strength and durability
  • 600 lbs maximum load-bearing capacity
  • Quick release locks for securing your bike and keeping its stability at speed
  • Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
Cons
  • Heavier than most hitch carriers
  • No traction on the ramp
  • Stabilizer needs a little improvement

3. Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier

No. 3
3. Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier
8.3/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 79 x 34.5 x 10 inches
  • Product Weight: 98lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Removable load ramp
  • Up to 600lbs maximum load-bearing capacity
  • Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
  • Front and rear end anchor points
Cons
  • More expensive than most brands
  • No traction on the ramp
  • Bolts need extra security and fastening

4. Ego Bike Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirtbike Carrier

No. 4
4. Ego Bike Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirtbike Carrier
7.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 40.5 x 12 x 9.8 inches
  • Product Weight: 50.8lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Removable load ramp
  • Up to 600 lbs maximum load-bearing capacity
  • Perfect for 2″ hitch receivers
  • Front and rear end anchor points
Cons
  • More expensive than most brands
  • No traction on ramp
  • Bolts need extra security and fastening

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

No. 5
5. VersaHaul VH-55 RO – Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier with Ramp
7.5/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 71.5 x 30 x 5 inches
  • Product Weight: 84lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Retractable tie-down bars prevent your bike from wobbling
  • Lighter than most stainless-steel carriers
  • 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
Cons
  • One of the most expensive
  • Complicated instruction sets

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

No. 6
6. MotoTote Sport Bike Motorcycle Carrier Hitch Rack RAMP LED Light
6.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 60 x 12 x 9 inches
  • Product Weight: 66lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • LED tail lights make carrier visible in dark
  • Fits Class III or IV hitch
  • Dual side assembly
  • Solid and sturdy loading ramp
Cons
  • Small carrying capacity for a sports bike carrier

7. Titan Ramps M600C Sports Bike Motorcycle Carrier Rack

No. 7
7. Titan Ramps M600C Sports Bike Motorcycle Carrier Rack
6.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 81 x 11 x 6 inches
  • Product Weight: 80lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • A mountable ramp for easy loading
  • Wheel chock keeps the motorcycle stable
  • Compatible with 2” hitch receiver
  • Ramp can be simply packed away on the hauler
  • Maximum carrying capacity of 600 lbs
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Corrosion when in contact with strap hooks
  • Could use traction on the ramp

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

No. 8
8. Direct Aftermarket Steel Motorcycle Scooter Dirt Bike Rack Carrier Hauler
6.3/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 76 x 33 inches
  • Product Weight: 58lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Rust and corrosion resistant
  • Balanced loading dimensions
  • Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
  • Foamy and cushion protection.
  • Loading ramp can be attached either side
Cons
  • Short ramp length
  • Anti-sway block did not come with instructions
  • Hitch pins are bought separately
  • Short ramp length

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

No. 9
9. XtremepowerUS Motorcycle/Scooter/Dirtbike Hitch Mounted Carrier, Anti Tilt 500Lbs
5.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 40.5 x 11.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Product Weight: 55lbs
  • Material Used: Powder coated steel

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.

Pros
  • Maximum carrying capacity of 500 lbs
  • Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
  • Easy to assemble
  • All welded parts are deep and well made

Cons
  • Coating and paint get chipped off easily
  • Ramp is short so, it could be a little challenging if the rack is high
  • Corners need more security
  • Strong tire bumps to the sides of the ramp could rock the ramp off attachment to the carrier

10. Black Widow AMC-400 Mounted Motorcycle

No. 10
10. Black Widow AMC-400 Mounted Motorcycle
5.5/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 75 x 5.5 inches
  • Product Weight: 33.5lbs
  • Material Used: Air-craft grade aluminum

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.

Pros
  • Anti-rattle bracket system blocks movements
  • Perfect for 2” hitch receivers
  • Aluminum platform with heavy-duty steel frame
  • Lightweight and a breeze to install
  • Dual side loading capabilities
  • Comes with pace bar for holding smaller bikes
Cons
  • Maximum carrying capacity of 400lbs
  • Unstable and can easily bend
  • Rather expensive for aluminum
  • Faulty ramp securing system

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 the list. Considering that each of these suggestions meet the desired level of excellence, you can decide whether it is a good buy or not.

Build Materials

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 connected to each other in a way. 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

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 helps you understand your car’s load capacity and whether it is the right fit for your towing needs.

Ease of Installation

So, you now that 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 into 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 confusing and hard to understand. For that, you can always go to their website to check if they have instructional videos, or you can reference 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

It could be that my cousin, or whoever he was with when he used my vehicle to transport his bike, did not realize that my truck 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 of a hitch carrier, it comes with a 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.

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 allow you to travel without constantly checking 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!

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.

    Reply

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