The easiest way to transport a motorcycle from one place to another is by riding it. But what if it has broken down or some other issue has come up that you can’t just move it by driving? That’s when you will need a motorcycle hitch carrier.
Now, the best motorcycle hitch carrier is the one that has a solid built and an easy installation process. Moreover, each carrier has a different capacity.
So if you are confused and don’t know which one will be the best for your motorcycle, look no further.
This article will make the journey easy for you by guiding you through the top hitch carriers available in the market.
Benefits Of Using A Carrier
So why should you buy a hitch carrier? The first and foremost reason is, your motorcycle is extremely heavy. You can’t just carry it somewhere without actually riding it. If you want to take it with you somewhere far where you will have to cover hundreds of miles, riding the bike isn’t an option.
That’s when the hitch carrier comes to use. Of course, you can use the age-old method of tying your bike on the roof rack. But trust me, that doesn’t look good, and it can get very uncomfortable driving the car. So basically, if you need to transport your heavy motorcycle, nothing can be better than a hitch carrier.
Our Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Reviews in 2021
Well, we will not make you wait further, and below, you will find our picks that will be a helpful guide for you to make a selection:
1. Goplus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier
The name of the product itself gives off major information about it. It can carry 600 pounds as you can see it in its name. So if you own a heavy motorbike, then this one should be your first choice. The carrier makes it easy for you to load on and off the bike and carry it off anywhere you like.
This hitch carrier only weighs 91 pounds and is made of strong and durable steel. To install the bike firmly onto it, you can use its double quick-release locks that will attach the carrier and your bike on the back of your sedan or any other vehicle. It has a long rail of 79 inches, so your bike can easily fit in.
If you are worried about a wheel chock, then this carrier has a solution for that too. It comes with an adjustable wheel stop. Additionally, the metal layer is durable due to the black coating over. So even if you live in a humid region, you don’t have to worry about rusting and corrosion.
Moreover, the carrier comes with an instruction manual. So if you are new to this, you won’t have to scratch your head about how to install it.
As long as you can carry the weight of 91 lbs, you will just need to read the manual to do the rest. They have made the process so easy that even for amateurs, it will not take them more than 30-40 minutes to install it.
- Resistant to rust
- Long-lasting and durable
- Comes with a double-lock feature
- Can carry up to 600 LBS of weight
- Easy to install
- The bike might move a little while driving
- The ramp attachment holes need some adjusting
2. Black Widow AMC-400
There are two types of bike carriers, one made of steel and another made of aluminum. The second pick on our list is made of aluminum, and as you all know it, aluminum is light. In the case of heavy carriers, the weight of the carrier itself adds up a lot of extra pounds and makes it harder to drive around.
So this one is for those who have a lightweight bike and want a low-weight hitch carrier. The ramp is 45.5 inches long which makes it the perfect size for holding moderately sized bikes that weigh less than 400 LBS and the hitch mounting feature of the carrier makes loading the bike on and off a piece of cake.
Another convenience is, you don’t have to load the bike from a particular side, because the bike can be loaded onto it from any side you prefer. The ramp can store itself with an on and off feature.
Before installing the carrier, check if your hitch receiver belongs to class three or four and has a length of about 2 inches. And if you are planning to take a bumpy ride, then this hitch carrier has a solution for that too.
It comes with an anti-rattle property that makes the bike stick to its place and prevents it from swaying right and left.
This carrier is all you need for your lightweight bikes. Besides ensuring stability, it also has a bar adapter. This adapter can enable it to carry a dirt bike as well. So as long as your dirt bike is 50-80cc, you can easily put it on this slick aluminum carrier. So i think this is the best hitch mount motorcycle carrier on the market.
- Contains an anti-rattle system
- Can carry dirt bikes
- Can load bikes from both sides
- The ramp can store itself
- Cannot carry heavy bikes
- Might get corroded easily if proper care is not taken
3. Direct Aftermarket Steel Dirt Bike Rack Carrier Hauler
The next hitch carrier on our list is meant for medium-weight bikes. It can carry a weight of up to 500 pounds. Before installing it, you need to check if your hitch carrier is either class 3 or 4 and has a hole 2 inches long. Its width of 76 inches can easily accommodate your bike and help you to carry it wherever you like.
Also, the installation method for this carrier is pretty easy and quick. The instruction manual makes it clear how to assemble its parts. After installing it, you can load the bike on the ramp from either side. And starting from scooters, you can even carry sports to dirt bikes on it.
One problem with metal-made things is rusting and corrosion. But this carrier eliminates that problem by having a coating of epoxy powder. The coating over the mainframe made of steel prevents it from coming in direct contact with water and air. Thus the carrier can be used in rainy areas without any trouble.
Moreover, the ramp where you will load your bike is attached to the carrier. On top of it, you don’t have to worry about the bike wobbling or swaying as it comes with the anti-wobble feature which includes a locking device to secure your bike firmly onto the hitch carrier.
- Bikes can be loaded from both left and right
- Suitable for light to medium weight bikes including sports and dirt bikes
- The ramp is attached to the carrier
- Contains an anti-wobbling lock system
- Epoxy powder coating to prevent rust
- Unsuitable for heavyweight bikes
- It does not come with reflectors
4. VersaHaul Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier
Like the 3rd pick on our list, this is the best motorcycle carrier on the market. This one also can carry medium-weight bikes that weigh about 500 pounds or less. So it is not suitable for heavy bikes. The name gives away another important feature which is its ability to carry dirt bikes.
Additionally, loading the bike on this carrier is pretty easy due to the ramp width of 57.5 inches.
The hitch carrier has a unique feature of reversible rails that can move as well. This enables you to load bikes from both sides. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about getting dents or the problem of paint wearing off from scratches made by the bike due to the unique rails.
This one too, like the ones on our list before, is suitable for class 3 or 4 hitch receivers. An essential feature for a hitch carrier is the anti-rattle system and this product has addressed it well.
It has a locking device that secures the bike and prevents it from wobbling. So turn on the lock and drive without any hassle of seeing a tilting bike on your rearview mirror. It also comes with two reflectors and a stabilizing wheel stop. The wheel stop prevents wheel chocking so that the bike will remain at its place.
Also, the carrier can be used in rainy areas without any tension due to its powder-coated layer which prevents rusting and corrosion.
- Anti-tilt system
- Comes with two reflectors
- Can carry dirt bikes
- Has a powdered coating to prevent corrosion
- It has movable rails
- Suitable for light to medium bike users only
- The stabilization bracket is loose and poorly designed
5. Best Choice Products Cargo Rack – Motorcycle & Dirtbike Carrier Hitch
The best choice hitch carrier is made of steel which is strong and durable. This one can carry up to 500 pounds of weight without any trouble. It can easily fit in any small to medium-sized bike due to its ramp having a length of 76 inches and a width of 7 inches.
Furthermore, the carrier has the feature of ramps that can store itself. So you don’t have to go through the trouble of loading a bike onto it from a particular side. You can do it from both sides. Additionally, it can be attached to a variety of hitch receivers including those belonging to classes 2, 3, 4, and 5.
One constant worry that bikers face while carrying their bikes on a hitch carrier is the problem of tilting. But this carrier solves the problem with its anti-tilt feature. The feature comes with a locking device to secure the bike at its place and ensure no wobbling.
Also, the steel-made carrier eliminates the problem of corrosion too by having a layer of anti-rust material over it. Thus, it can be used in all kinds of adversary and wet weather conditions without worrying about damage. So you can peacefully use it in any place you like.
- The steel is coated
- It is durable and long-lasting
- Made of heavy-duty steel
- Has an anti-tilt lock
- Can be installed on a variety of hitch receivers
- Does not have reflectors
- No wheel stop
6. Black Widow MCC-600 Motorcycle Carrier–600lb.
Besides the first pick on our list, a black widow also comes with a hitch carrier to carry heavyweight bikes weighing over 500 pounds. This particular hitch carrier can comfortably accommodate bikes weighing 600 LBS due to the strong built. It also has enough space to carry wheels that are 8 inches wide.
The hitch receivers on this one don’t come in a variety of classes, like the previous one. It can only be attached to receivers belonging to classes three and four. The hole in the receiver should be 2 inches. Also, the loading ramp has a long length of about 71 inches which makes it easy to load a bike on it without any hassle.
You also don’t have to worry about rust or corrosion. Although it is made of heavy-duty steel, it has a coating of anti-rust powder. This powder prevents the contact of steel with air and moisture. So you can rest assured that this hitch carrier will last long and serve you for a good amount of time.
What is a bike carrier without an anti-rattle service? This one is no different as well. Despite carrying heavy bikes, it has an amazing lock system that prevents bikes from tilting. It can also prevent wheel chocking with its wheel stop. So all in all, it is a perfect hitch carrier for heavy bikes.
- Can carry up to 600 lbs
- Has an anti-rattle system
- Comes with a wheel stop
- Powder coating over a steel frame
- Contains a hitch pin of 5 to 8 inches
- Reflectors are absent
- The racks can sometimes be bent
7. Motorcycle Scooter Dirt Bike Carrier
If you are looking for a perfect and cost-effective solution to all the rusting problems, this one is the hitch carrier for you. It is made of aluminum which makes it lightweight and solves the issue of corrosion. However, one drawback of its built is that it can only carry lightweight bikes which are not more than 400 LBS.
The hitch carrier prevents wobbling very efficiently. It has a locking system of 3 screws which ensures no tilting or swaying. Moreover, you can easily install it because it weighs only 36 pounds and can be carried very easily by even the lightest of people.
You can load the bike easily onto the ramp from both sides. The installation process is a piece of cake due to the parts that can be assembled very quickly and easily. So for first-timer installers, this hitch carrier is a perfect choice for both its lightweight and its easy installation process.
One thing absent in its competitors in a variety of hitch carrier receivers. This one addresses this by having the option to attach it to 2, 3, 4, and 5 class hitch carriers. So whatever vehicle you want to fit this carrier into, be it an SUV, a pickup truck, or a van, you can fit it with ease without any major issues.
- Weighs less
- Made of aluminum which prevents rusting
- Easy to assemble
- Anti-rattle system
- Variants of hitch receivers
- Cannot carry heavy bikes
- It doesn’t have wheel stops or reflectors
Features To Consider Before Buying
Now that you know the best hitch carriers available on the market, you should be wondering about what features to look for before buying them.
Well, different bikes require different features, but there are some essential ones without checking which, you might waste your money. So keeping the weight of your bike into consideration and the type of hitch receivers you have, let’s look at the features you need to look for in a good hitch carrier:
The Metal The Hitch Carrier Is Made Of
As you have read above, most of the hitch carriers are commonly made of either steel or aluminum. You can choose either one depending on your bike’s weight and your weight carrying preferences. But both types have their pros and cons.
The biggest advantage of buying a hitch carrier made of steel is its ability to carry heavyweight bikes. As steel weighs very high on the weight spectrum, the hitch carrier can have a weight which is around 99 pounds.
As a result, these kind of carriers are durable and does not get damaged easily. However, its drawback is its weight, which makes it harder to install.
On the other hand, aluminum is a light metal. So the hitch carriers made of this metal are light as well. Due to its weight, you can easily carry it, and installation becomes a walk in the park too. But the drawback of this type of carrier is, you can only carry lightweight bikes on it.
If you are still confused, the concluding factor should be the susceptibility to rust. Steel can form rust on it very easily, so the carriers made of steel almost always require powder coatings that add an extra cost. However, aluminum is a metal that has a natural resistance to rust. So it does not require any additional coating.
Variety Of Hitch Receivers
After reading the reviews, you should have realized that the class of the hitch receiver is an important factor to consider before buying a hitch carrier. If the hitch carrier cannot attach itself to the receiver you have, you are in for a loss. So carefully check this feature.
The first type of hitch receiver is the class I receiver. This can carry not more than 300 pounds and is suitable for specific types of vehicles like SUVs and vans. It can also be used for pickup trucks.
Also, the class II hitch receiver is suitable for medium-weight bikes. This one is also compatible with pickup trucks and vans along with SUVs. The class III hitch receiver is meant for heavyweight bikes and can carry up to 1100 to 1200 pounds. It is compatible with trucks both light and bulky. You can find it in SUVs too.
Last but not least, the class IV and V hitch carriers can carry weights as heavy as 2600 pounds. Since this is meant for hefty vehicles, it is not suited for your vans or SUVs.
Weight Carrying Capacity
Each hitch carrier can carry up to a certain weight depending on its composition. If you own a heavy bike, you should look for carriers having a capacity of 600 pounds. For light to medium weight bikes, carriers having a capacity of 400 to 500 pounds is enough.
The more complex the installation process, the longer it takes to install a hitch carrier. So choose the one that has a proper instruction manual with easy guidelines.
It is not comfortable to see a tilting bike in the rearview mirror. So having this feature is a must to prevent the bike from tilting and wobbling.
This feature makes it easier to load the bike on the ramp from both sides.
Lastly, you don’t want to empty your pockets on a hitch carrier. So choose the one that suits your budget. The more modernly equipped a carrier is, the higher will be its price tag.
How To Install Easily
The installation process can be pretty tricky and complex for a first-timer. However, with the help of our step-by-step guidelines, it will become easier for you. This is a basic guideline applicable for all types of hitch carriers.
1. Start With The Hitch Bar
The first step requires you to work with the hitch bar. Take some nuts and bolts and then put the hitch bars together with the help of these.
Make sure to tightly put the support brackets over the bar to not make it move. Then use a screwdriver to tightly fix the nuts and bolts to secure the metals in their places.
2. Fixing The Rack
Keep plenty of nuts and bolts in the store because you are going to need them again. In this step, you have to fix the rack on the hitch bar.
At first, look at the size of the holes of the hitch receivers and fix the rack accordingly with a screwdriver. Don’t forget to attach the support brackets on the bar to ensure minimum movement.
3. Anti-rattle Lock Issue
In the next step, if your hitch carrier has anti-rattle locks, you need to install them on the hitch bar. Take some nuts and bolts and secure them in places to fix the locks. Make sure the connections are strong to prevent the swaying of your bike.
4. Installing Added Tools
If your hitch carrier contains additional tools like the wheel stop and reflectors, you can install them in this step. Place it along with the rack and secure it with nuts and bolts to prevent a loose connection.
5. Attaching the Carrier to Receiver
If your hitch carrier comes with hitch pins, you can use them to attach the carrier to the receiver. Use nuts and bolts to secure it properly in place. In case the pins are absent, buy it from a nearby store.
6. Installing The Ramp
The ramp is where your bike will stand on the hitch carrier. So make sure to carefully install this part. Usually, most modern hitch carriers come with ramps where bikes can be loaded from either side. So take your nuts, bolts, and pins and fix the ramp tightly on the hitch.
7. Tying With The Bike
The last and the most important step is to tie your bike with the carrier with the tie-down straps. Use the straps to tie the bike tightly to the ramp to prevent it from falling off. If your carrier has locks to prevent rattling, fix the locks tightly with the wheels to stop any kind of swaying or wobbling.
After completing the above steps, you are good to go!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#1. How do I determine the weight capacity of my vehicle?
Answer: This feature is known as the tongue weight and is usually available on the user manual. If you can’t find it there, you can just divide the towing capacity of your car with ten to know its weight carrying capacity.
#2. How do I prevent the hitch carriers from blocking my lights or number plate?
Answer: A few brands have reflectors of their own to prevent the problem of blocking out lights. And most carriers are designed in such a way that the number plate always remains visible.
#3. Why should I use a Hitch Carrier?
Answer: Besides a hitch carrier, another option to carry bikes with is a trailer. But if you are traveling alone and want your bike with you everywhere, a trailer won’t serve your purpose. It is specially made for carrying multiple bikes. Therefore, you should go for a hitch carrier if you would like to have ease of carrying.
#4. What features will determine if the hitch carrier is suitable for my bike?
Answer: Firstly, you need to look at your bike’s weight to decide which one to buy. Each brand of hitch carrier can carry a specific weight. Additionally, you can look for anti-rust and anti-rattle systems.
#5. How long will it take to complete the installation process?
Answer: It depends on the complexity of the carrier. Usually, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete the installation process.
Next time you are wondering about how to transport your motorcycle with you for a long ride, and don’t want to carry it on a trailer, just refer back to this article to buy the best motorcycle hitch carrier.