Transporting your bike from one place to another can be a complicated affair but with a motorcycle hitch carrier, the whole operation becomes as easy as pie. If you don’t have a trailer, don’t feel like riding, or can’t ride your motorcycle on the road, a trailer hitch motorcycle transporter is just what you need. They’re small, unobtrusive racks that hook onto your trailer hitch, that have been cleverly engineered to hold the weight of a motorcycle in a safe and secure way.
If you regularly need to take your motorcycle from A to B then there are a number of options open to you. Pickup truck owners could simply strap their motorcycle down on the truck bed, after wheeling it up with a ramp. This is a good option, but only if you have a pickup, and a decent heavy-duty motorcycle ramp. Of course, ramp-loading a motorcycle onto a truck bed can end in disaster…and it often does.
You could invest in a trailer. Trailers are great options for transporting your motorcycles, but there are some downsides. First off, you’ve got to buy a trailer, register it, insure it, and all that jazz. Next, you’re going to want to install a wheel-chock ground anchor. These locks keep your motorcycle secure and upright, and bolt directly onto the trailer bed. You’ll also need to get yourself a good ramp too! And of course, ratchet straps and other tie-downs will have to be factored into the cost too. Trailers are great, but they’re not for everyone.
With that in mind, your best bet is to use a hitch mount motorcycle carrier. These practical carriers attach to your vehicle’s trailer hitch and use a series of nuts, bolts, and an anti-tilt locking device to keep your motorcycle in place. They also come with a useful ramp to help you wheel your motorcycle into place too. They’re relatively cheap to buy, easy to install, and hassle-free.
There are plenty of different types on the market though, so finding the best motorcycle hitch carrier for your needs can be a struggle. To make life easier, we’ve put together a list of the best hitch mount motorcycle carrier products on the market. Here they are.
This carrier from Goplus is an excellent all ‘round motorcycle carrier hitch. It’s strong and sturdy, has a large load bearing capacity, features a number of clever locks and devices to keep your motorcycle secure, and comes in at a very reasonable price. There are cheaper models available, and there are more expensive options too, but this one manages offer a high-quality construction without any compromises without breaking the bank at the same time.
Manufactured from high strength and heavy-duty steel, this Goplus carrier has the strength to carry motorcycles that weigh up to 600 lbs. The whole thing is powder coated to protect the carrier from corrosion and rust. The carrier simply locks onto your vehicle’s Class III 2 inch receiver with a ¾ inch hitch pin, and features a long 79 inch platform that accommodates most motorcycles. It also features a sturdy and adjustable wheel chock that stabilizes your motorcycle and keeps it secure.
Two additional quick-release lock mechanisms also keep your motorcycle in place, and it will keep your motorcycle safe and secure in even the bumpiest of conditions. However, it’s recommended that you don’t drive over 55 mph with the carrier attached. If you’re unhappy with the product in any way, Goplus promises to respond to your communication within 24 hours to help find a solution—which is great customer service.
Next, we have the Versa Haul VH-SPORTRO Sport Bike motorcycle hitch carrier. It’s a premium product with a higher price tag than the rest, but the extra money goes a long way. If you’re looking for a confidence inspiring rack with a heavy-duty construction that you can use time and time again for thousands of miles without having to worry, then consider this one. Despite the fact that it’s aimed at sports rider, you can comfortable carry a dirt bike on this hitch mount motorcycle carrier with ease.
The Versa Haul VH-SPORTRO is manufactured from tough and durable steel to make strong and sturdy hitch rack. It has a black painted finish that will keep rust and corrosion at bay whilst looking good too. It’s compatible with all Class III and Class IV 2 inch receivers, with a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs. It features an anti-tilt locking device in the form of a wheel chock, which is complimented with four eyelet tie-down points for an incredibly secure hold. It also comes with a rack ramp for easy loading.
Since it’s a heavy duty hitch motorcycle carrier, heavy duty is the buzzword here. The only downside is the fact that it may require a second pair of hands to help you install it. That’s hardly a negative point though—if you want something that’s truly strong, sturdy, and secure, a little extra weight can go a long, long way.
Very strong and stable construction
Compatible with Class III and IV hitch receiver types
Anti tilt locking bracket
It’s an expensive bike hitch
It may require two people to install
The ramp could be stronger
Best Budget Choice
3. Best Choice Products SKY1375 Motorcycle Carrier
If you need a cheap carrier that won’t let you down then this excellent carrier from Best Choice Products should be on your radar. Don’t let the laughably low price put your off though! Sometimes you really can get a quality product for a cheap price, and this is one of those times. It’s a little rough around the edges in places but if you need an economic way of transporting a lighter motorcycle, then this is the motorcycle hitch carrier for you.
Manufactured from powder-coated steel, the SKY1375 Motorcycle Carrier is a tough and durable product that’s easy to assemble and easy to install, with a few neat surprises that you wouldn’t expect on such a budget-friendly option. For example, it features an anti-tilt locking device, double sided loading, and a useful loading ramp too. It only requires 8 nuts and bolts to be fastened, and you’re ready to rock and roll. This hitch carrier is compatible with all 2 inch square receivers with a Class II, III, IV or V rating. This carrier rack has a maximum load capacity of 500 lbs.
Since it’s a budget-option, not all of the reviews have been favorable. Some riders have had a few teething issues with the SKY1375, explaining that some boxes arrive without all of the parts, and that the anti-tilt mechanism could be better. These are only small problems though.
Moto-Tote’s sport bike carrier is another premium product with a large price tag. It’s a relatively new product on the scene but it has already made quite a big splash. The designers at Moto-Tote have obviously been paying attention to the negative reviews that other products have been receiving, and have worked hard to make sure that there product ticks all the right boxes.
If you’re looking for a well-designed hitch carrier to transport your sports bike around without having to worry that a slight bump in the road or a gust of wind will see it crashing down, then this is worth looking at.
Manufactured from strong steel, and designed for ultimate simplicity, the Moto-Tote can support motorcycles with a weight up to 600 lbs with ease. Assembly is super simple, with only eight cap screws and nuts, and a 2 inch hitch pin to worry about. Designed to be compatible with a Class III and up hitch receiver, the whole carrier can be assembled and installed in less than half an hour.
What really makes this a great product is the list of add-ons included. For example, it comes with a zero-wobble hitch bracket that’s better than other anti-rattle device systems, a tire stick system that offers excellent traction when loading and unloading, a bolt-on wheel chock with additional tie-downs, LED lighting, and adjustable dimensions to suit a wide range of motorcycle wheel bases.
If you’re looking for a versatile transported that can hold on to a sports bike, a scooter, or a dirt bike, then this Black Widow trailer hitch motorcycle carrier is worth looking at. Black Widow is a name that we’ve come to depend on over the years, and this reasonably priced carrier doesn’t disappoint. It’s more expensive than most, but not as expensive as others, but it offers the exact level of high-quality engineering from a product with that kind of price tag.
Manufactured from heavy-duty powder coated steel, the MCC-600 can accommodate motorcycles that weigh up to 600 lbs, with wheels up to 8 inches wide. The carrier features an extra-long loading ramp, an anti-rattle device, an adjustable wheel-chock, strap mounts, and a 5/8 inch hitch pin. It’s designed for Class III and higher hitch receivers.
It’s a great product, but with a few home modifications you can make it even better. The loading ramp could do with a bit of skateboard grip tape to make loading and unloading a little easier, and a bit of Loctite on the nuts might give you a more confidence-inspiring loading experience. But apart from that, it’s a great bike carrier.
This isn’t the only carrier that we’d recommend from Black Widow. The brand also has a very successful dirt bike carrier: the AMC-400. It’s an aluminum motorcycle carrier that’s perfect for lightweight motorcycles. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find online so we’re not including it. If you do see one, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on the purchase!
This product is a twin-carrier that can carry up to two vehicles at a time. Boasting a 1,000 lb maximum weight limit, the Titan Dual 1000LB motorcycle carrier has been specifically designed to transport up to two motorcycles at once. But we’re not entirely convinced that it should. That’s not to say that this is a bad product, we’re just warning you!
If you think you can carry two of your prized sports bikes on this, it’s just not going to happen. Two 125cc dirt bikes? No worries.
The Titan Dual 1000LB is a motorcycle hitch carrier that easily fits to 2” receivers rated Class III or higher. It’s an easy to assemble product that’s manufactured from strong steel and designed to accommodate all types of motorcycle and bicycle, providing that the maximum weight doesn’t exceed 1,000 lbs, and that wheel widths are no greater than 5 inches wide. The carrier comes complete with a rack ramp that you can use for easy, hassle-free loading.
Unfortunately, the Titan Dual doesn’t come with a wheel chock or anti-tilt device, so you have to secure your motorcycle with straps. Again, though it says it can accommodate two motorcycles, we think it’s better off if you only load one.
Two can most certainly be done, but without any included tie-down devices or wheel chocks, two might be a bit sketchy. Still, if you’re carrying two lightweight dirt bikes and you’re confident of your strapping ability, this one is definitely worth a go.
Removable ramp that stores on the bike rack
Maximum payload of 1,000 lbs
Can be used for a wide range of two-wheeled vehicles
This is another great budget option, but this time it’s aimed squarely at lightweight motorcycles, with dirt bikes being the ideal target audience. The MotoGroup motorcycle carrier is a lightweight and easy to use hitch carrier that comes with a very wallet-friendly price tag.
If you need a way to transport your motocross bike from one trail to the next but don’t want the hassle of a trailer and don’t own a pickup truck, then this is a good option for you.
Manufactured from lightweight aircraft aluminum and secured with a steel subframe, this motorcycle carrier has the ability to transport motorcycles weighing up to 400 lbs. It features an anti-tilt device, an anti-wobble design, and an easy loading ramp that you can load and unload from either side at your convenience.
All in, it weighs a tiny 36 lbs, and accommodates motorcycles up to 75 inches long, with a maximum tire width of 5 ½ inches.
This lightweight carrier is compatible with trailer hitches that have 2 inch hitch, rated at Class II or higher. It’s ideal for smaller vehicles but it works just as well on bigger beasts like pickup trucks, campers, RVs, and SUVs.
What’s more, the rack ships with full insurance, and it comes with a two year warranty from the purchase date. That’s excellent value for money.
The GudCraft ALEKO motorcycle hitch carrier is heavy-duty steel bike carrier that can comfortably transport sport bikes, off-roaders, and scooters. Designed and engineered to support up to 600 lbs of weight with full compatibility for all 2 inch Class III, IV, and VI hitch receivers, the ALEKO is a great choice for those looking for a tough and sturdy hanger.
The GudCraft ALEKO is constructed from a 100% steel frame with a durable and hard-wearing gas and oil resistant powder coated finish. In total, it’s 79 inches long, with a 28 inch main tube.
The main loading platform comes equipped with an anti-tilt wheel chock for added stability, with a number of useful tie-down points too. This hitch carrier also comes with a 74 inch long ramp with 2 quick release locks, for safe and secure loading.
It’s a very useful ramp, but some owners have reported difficulties with it. For example, cruiser motorcycles may push it to the limit, and some owners have had to make modifications—reinforced sections and replaced tie down points—for additional peace of mind.
You may need to invest in a license plate holder and extra lights, since this carrier can obscure them on some vehicles. Apart from that, it’s a decent carrier that could carry more than just motorcycles, since it has quite a large loading deck.
Supports motorcycles up to 600 lbs
Secure and sturdy ramp
Large loading deck
Cruisers might struggle on this
May need additional reinforcement in places
May obscure lights and license plate on some vehicles
Next up, we’ve got another dirt bike-only hitch carrier. This is the Xtremepower US 500LB model, a secure and sturdy hitch mount motorcycle carrier with a loading ramp, complete with an anti-tilt locking device, that’s compatible for dirt bikes and scooters up to 500 lbs in weight. It fits all stand 2” receivers with a Class II, III, IV, or V trailer hitch rating.
This bike rack is made from strong and durable steel tubing, and it features an 18 inch main hitch tube, a 76 inch long loading rack, with a 39 ½ inch loading ramp that can be stored on the carrier when it’s not needed.
Each pack comes complete with all the necessary mounting hardware and assembly instructions. Assembly and installation can be done in no time at all, without the use of professional tooling. It’s a very affordable hitch carrier, which makes it an excellent choice for bikers on a budget.
Unfortunately, the Xtremepower US 500LB Carrier doesn’t come equipped with a trailer hitch pin, so you’ll have to buy your own. Also, some users have complained that the ramp is too short and steep for a single person to easily load a motorcycle; however, many other users have reported that it’s simple and easy to do.
It may very well depend on the type of motorcycle being used and your loading technique. Remember, this is only designed for lighter dirt bikes and scooters, and not for sport bikes or cruisers.
Very economical price tag
No special tools required for installation
Sturdy ramp included
The ramp is quite short compared to others
Not compatible with heavier motorcycles
Trailer hitch pin not included
10. Raider TOW-104 Motorcycle & Dirt Bike Hitch Mount Hauler
Our last entry on the list is the Raider TOW-104 Motorcycle & Dirt Bike Hitch Mount Hauler. This is a lightweight hitch carrier with a lightweight capacity. You might have noticed by reading the other entries on the list that hitch carriers aren’t particularly well suited to carrying heavier motorcycles.
While there are some that can, the majority of them are best left for small-capacity bikes. This Raider model is another one that’s best suited for smaller bikes; and while it can’t carry massive loads, it does a great job at transporting smaller bikes.
Manufactured from a lightweight metal, the Raider motorcycle hitch carrier is a lighter option than many others on the market. It only weighs 45 lbs but can support most dirt bikes. The weight limit has a cap of 500 lbs, however, we recommend you stay well below that if you’re looking for a secure and stable ride.
It’s easy to assemble, and comes with a loading ramp to make life even easier. Simply roll the bike up the ramp, and secure it in place with tie down straps. It doesn’t come with an anti-tilt device or secure wheel chock though.
Arguably, the best feature about this ramp and rack combination is the price tag. It’s very cheap. Granted, some of the components do feel cheap, but that has to be expected when you pay so little—you’ve got to lower your expectations a little.
Still, if you’re transporting a dirt bike that’s around 250cc and under, you will have no problems using this hitch carrier.
Very economically priced
Can handle most small capacity dirt bikes
Probably won’t enjoy carrying heavier bikes
The ramp can slip away
Does have cheap feeling components
Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Buying Guide
Transporting a motorcycle from one place to another can be stressful job, but with a motorcycle hitch carrier, it becomes a much more manageable task. If you’re not familiar with hitch carriers, what they are, how they work, and what important features to look out for, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Here’s all you need to know about them
What Is A Hitch Mounted Motorcycle Carrier?
A motorcycle hitch carrier is a mounting bracket and platform that attaches to the hitch receiver of your vehicle. They usually compromise of a frame and cradle, a storage platform, and a number of tie-down attachments or a locking device. They suspend the bike above the road, and hold it securely over bumps, without putting your motorcycle in danger. Or that’s the theory at least!
How Do They Work?
These carriers simply attach to the hitch receiver on either the front or back of your vehicle. The carrier simply slides into the receiver, and remains held in place with the hitch pin, and stabilizer plates. The result is a solid platform that juts out from the front or rear of your vehicle, which is capable of supporting a motorcycle. All you do is load your motorcycle and secure it with tie downs or other devices. It’s as simple as that.
Granted, they’re not as safe and secure as trailers, but they are a fraction of the cost, and far more convenient. Also, there are a lot of sub-standard products out there on the market. But what should you look out for? What features should you really take into consideration before committing to a purchase?
What To Look Out For
Naturally, one of the most important details about a carrier is how much weight it can support. We’ve found that more than a few of these hitch carriers claim to carry a heavier weight than they should. Some that offer 500 lbs probably can carry 500 lbs, but they shouldn’t. It’s always best to invest in a carrier with a much higher weight capacity than you need, just so that you’re not disappointed.
If you’ve got a very heavy motorcycle, 500 lbs is probably not going to be enough to haul your ride. Pay careful attention to the load capacity, and read the reviews carefully. Other customers might have a thing or two to say about claimed weight capacities!
Apart from the weight, you will also want to pay close attention to whether your motorcycle is compatible with the motorcycle hitch carrier in question. Many carriers will comfortably take dirt bikes and lightweight motorcycles, however, some will struggle with larger capacity sport bikes and cruisers. Make sure you know the wet weight of your motorcycle, the width of the tires, and the wheelbase length before buying a bike rack. They’re not at all universal.
Hitch Class Type
Hitch Weight Capacity
Similarly, pay careful attention to the vehicle compatibility. Check that your vehicle is equipped with the right style and size of hitch receiver, and make doubly sure that your hitch can handle the weight. Here’s a little table that gives you an overview of the hitch types and classes.
Almost all motorcycle hitch carriers are made from either steel of aluminum. Both are excellent materials and do the job well, however there are some fundamental difference.
Steel is strong, but it’s also heavy and without proper treatment, it can rust. While most carriers are powder coated or painted, scratches and wear and tear can make your carrier vulnerable to rust and corrosion.
Aluminum, is also strong but it will struggle to hold heavier motorcycles in place. Unlike steel, aluminum doesn’t need to be treated in any way to withstand the elements. It’s tough and flexible, but it’s not quite as strong as steel.
Regardless of what material you choose, it’s a good idea to pay careful attention to the loading ramp. Some ramps are flimsy and buckle and bow when they’re put under stress. For the best results, look for a loading ramp that’s designed with strength in mind. It’s also a wise idea to look at the ramp’s loading surface. Traction is essential for easy loading, so a ramp that’s taken that in to consideration should make loading a simple and easy process.
How secure do you need your motorcycle to be? As secure as possible! Look out for tie down eyelets and locks for straps. Some carriers feature wheel chocks for added protection and stability. The more tie-down devices and strap anchors—the better!
Another thing to consider is how easy the carrier is to install. While most carriers are fairly simple and only require basic tools for assembly and installation, don’t take that fact for granted. Some carriers may have a more complex installation procedure and require tools you don’t have laying around. Always check the manufacturer’s installation guide before investing. You don’t want to buy a cheap motorcycle hitch carrier and end up having to spend big bucks on tooling to attach the thing!
Lastly, there’s the price. The cheapest products aren’t always the worst and the most expensive aren’t necessarily the best. With prices that range from $100 to well above $700, there’s quite a large pricing window. Find something that suits your budget, and have expectations that are in line with that budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Motorcycle Hitch Carriers Safe?
Hitch carriers are safe when used properly, with the motorcycle correctly secured. If at any point it looks unsafe, or your motorcycle looks to be in danger of falling, then you might be loading a motorcycle that’s too heavy for the bracket, have loaded it incorrectly, or are driving in a way that’s not in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Joe is a motorcycle industry veteran who has not only been paid for his words on the industry but also to throw a leg over a bike on the track. Besides riding, and occasionally crashing motorcycles, he also likes to build up older bikes in his garage in Germany. He says; "I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…" We like Joe's educated opinion and hope you do too.