Looking for the best motorcycle hitch carrier? Here is a comprehensive buying guide. Find out what to look for when shopping for a hitch carrier, the installation process, and some of the top 10 suggestions.
You’ll not agree less that transporting your motorcycle can be a headache, especially if it is heavyweight and your car boot has limited space. By saying so, I don’t mean that you can’t tow your cargo, scooter, or motorcycle using the hitch. After all, there is also an option of tying your bikes on the roof rack, although the practice seems outmoded.
Before we can delve into the top motorcycle carrier reviews, there are a few things you need to understand. The type, make, and model of your vehicle will always determine its carrying capacity. For example, class I and II hitch receivers, which are common to sedans, may only handle a capacity of 300 and 525 pounds, respectively.
You should never entirely bank on the carrying capacity of the hitch. I’ll explain why…Your car might be too low as to have the racks grind on a bumpy road. Besides, the vehicle can have delicate frames, which are more likely to bend.
Check out the best motorcycle hitch carriers that will tickle your fancy in the next purchase.
- Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
- How to Install a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
- Top 10 Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Reviews:
- 1. Goplus 600 LBS
- 2. Best Choice Products SKY 1375
- 3. Versa Haul VH-SPORTRO Sports Bike Carrier
- 4. VersaHaul VH-55 RO Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier
- 5. Moto-Tote MTXSports Bike Motorcycle Carrier
- 6. Black Widow MCC-500 Folding Hitch Mounted Off-Road Dirt Bike Carrier
- 7. Titan Ramps M600C Sports Bike Motorcycle Carrier Rack
- 8. Trackside NS-MRC001 Motorcycle Carrier
- 9. Versa Haul VH-55DMRO Double Motorcycle Carrier
- 10. Black Widow AMC-400 Mounted Motorcycle
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
- Q-1: Is a motorcycle carrier safer than hauling with a trailer?
- Q-2: How can I tell if a hitch carrier is compatible with both my motorcycle and car?
- Q-3: Will the hitch carrier block my license plate or the tail lights?
- Q-4: What is tongue weight capacity?
- Q-5: How complicated is the installation process?
Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier: Editor’s Top Picks
Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
When purchasing a dirt bike rack for a car, there are several things to consider. The process is not a mere walk in the park since there is more to base on that one’s preference, design, or shape. At least, you’ll need to put in mind the car model, its tongue capacity, the mass of your bike, and the carrier’s carrying capacity.
Build materials: Steel vs. Aluminum
The most common materials that makeup hitch carriers are steel and aluminum. Both of metals are durable and resistant to corrosion from external elements.
However, these two have a few differences. Steel is bulkier than aluminum and some hitch carriers made of this material can weigh as heavy as 100 pounds. For this reason, manufacturers may choose to construct the carrier racks with spaces in between in a bid to reduce the weight.
The main advantage of steel-made carriers is that they are too strong to withstand the weight of heavy-duty motorbikes. On the contrary, the lightweight nature of aluminum limits its carrying capacity to accommodate light bikes.
Although both materials are resistant to corrosion, aluminum gives the best resistance. Unless treated with an extra coat, steel is highly susceptible to rusts and corrosions.
Hitch Receiver Compatibilities
There are five different classes of hitch receivers, which range between I and V. The grouping is based on the car’s load capacity and the vehicle type.
Here’s a summary of what you should know:
|Class||Tongue Capacity||Vehicle Type|
|IV & V||Up to 2700lbs||
The Carrier’s Load Rating
Before shopping for a hitch carrier, you’ll first consider the weight of your motorbike. In our review, our carriers range between 400lbs and 600lbs. If you own a lightweight dirt bike, a 400-pound carrier is enough. Heavy-duty motorcycles might need a 600-pound unit.
You should never exceed the carrier’s load rating lest you damage it.
Ease of Installation
The instruction manuals will always include the installation guide. However, some of them may appear complicated and confuse you more than banking on your common sense.
One thing that makes assembling difficult is the weight of the carrier. For example, you can install a 34-pound aluminum hitch carrier faster than a 90-pound model since it is effortless to lift it.
Other factors to look for include a hitch pin and the installation components such as screws and nuts. For convenience, go for a brand that offers these components alongside the package.
If you are carrying more than one bike at the same time, you might need a double dirt bike carrier. However, going to this option will cost you more.
How are you going to load your bike to the rack without a ramp? Unless you have the energy to lift a 400-pound motorcycle, a loading ramp should be the first thing to look for in the hitch carrier package.
The more features a hitch carrier has, the more expensive it will cost. If you’re looking for the best motorcycle hitch carrier, be ready to spend more. For as long as you know what you’re looking for in a product, just go for it whether it goes for a song or it shakes your bank account.
Some aspects will increase the value of a carrier. These include the type of material, its finish, bonus features, and the weight limit. Besides, your location and the shop will also determine the product’s price tag.
From our research, we also found out that consumers will either count on the marketplace or settle for budget-friendly harbor freight motorcycle hitch carriers.
How to Install a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
The parts of a hitch carrier differ with brands and the manufacturer. However, if you’ve ever installed one before, the process will be less complicated when you get another carrier.
- Clamp together the hitch bar and the support brackets
Attach the support brackets to the hitch bar and clamp the two metals together using the head bolts, nuts, or lock washers. In some brands, the hitch bar is always a square tube.
Tighten the bolts in place until there are no movements between the attached metals
- Attach the motorcycle rack
Place the rack or the tire tracks on the hitch bar alongside the support brackets. Secure it in place with the bolts, lock washers, or nuts depending on the number and size of the holes.
- Attach the rest of the components
A conventional hitch carrier will include tie-down arms and a wheel stop. Install these parts to the long bar along the tire track and secure them tightly with bolts. Loose connections are the primary cause of rattling, instability, and movements during the ride.
If your hitch carrier includes an anti-tilt bracket, you can install it at this point. Slide this device through the hitch bar. The flat side should face the vehicle.
- Attach to the hitch
Slide the carrier to the hitch, install a hitch pin, and tighten with sturdy bolts. Some brands will include a hitch pin, but others will require you to make a separate purchase.
- Mount the ramp
Most hitch carriers have a ramp inclusion that will most likely load from either side. You’ll need some bolt, pin, or nut assembly to set it up on the rack. Push your bike through it but don’t ride or load it when the engine is still running.
- Lock the bike to the carrier
Secure the bike with the tie-down straps at the front and the rear end of the motorcycle track. These straps attach to the handlebars and the rear frame of the bike. You can also buy two extra loops to connect to the wheels for maximum stability.
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Reviews:
1. Goplus 600 LBS
If you want to carry your off-road dirt bike, or sports bike safely, you can be sure of this product.
With sturdy steel construction, Goplus 600lbs has more than enough strength to transport heavy cargo. It weighs 91 pounds and can hold a maximum weight of up to 600 pounds. Therefore, it is an excellent option for riders looking for a hitch motorcycle carrier heavy-duty to accommodate a large-sized bike.
Although the Goplus hitch carrier rail is 79-inches long, the loading ramp is 72”. It includes two quick-release locks for securing the load in place and minimizing wobbles. Additionally, the carrier has an adjustable wheel stop for stabilizing the wheel chock.
Let’s look at the design, Goplus 600lbs is made of heavy-duty steel that guarantees durability. Generally, this metal is quite strong, sturdy, impermeable, and resistant to rust. The finish has a black powder coating, which can withstand all weather conditions without the risk of rusting or corrosions.
The mounting process is a piece of cake especially if you can lift the 91lbs carrier. To the regular DIYers, you can do it in less than 30 minutes since the instructions are provided in the user manual. The set-up requires the car’s 2” receiver and the included hitch pin.
- Heavy-duty steel construction for maximum strength and durability
- A black powder coating finish
- A maximum carrying capacity of 600 pounds, which can hold both light and heavy-weight bikes
- An adjustable wheel stop for stability on the wheel chock
- Quick-release fasteners for locking your motorcycle safely and keeping it stable at the back of your car
- Long off-loading ramp measuring 72″ by 7.5.”
2. Best Choice Products SKY 1375
Going for less than 100 bucks, SKY 1375 is among the most affordable hitch carriers for hauling your scooter, motocross, or off-road dirt bike.
Installing this hitch carrier is effortless. You only need eight bolts and nuts with a 2” receiver. You may also require a hitch pin, which is bought separately.SKY 1375 is compatible with classes II, III, IV, and V hitch receivers and you can load it from either side.
This carrier holds up to 500 pounds. Its 38.5” by 4.75” loading ramp features an anti-tilt locking device for preventing wobbling, especially when on a bumpy ride. The rack ramp makes it easy to load your motocross to the carrier.
SKY 1375 hitch carrier boasts solid construction. Although it is made of heavy-duty steel, the product only weighs at 51lbs. Its black powder coating does not only match with most colors of vehicles but also a good finish for preventing rusting and corrosions.
- Solid construction with a steel frame
- Powder-coated finish
- The anti-tilt locking device prevents wobbling
- Ease of assembly with only eight bolts and nuts
- It is a multi-load carrier
- A carrier dimensions of 76” by 7” and a loading ramp of 38.5″ by 4.75.”
- A rack ramp for loading the bike to the carrier
3. Versa Haul VH-SPORTRO Sports Bike Carrier
With ten years of experience in the manufacture of haulers, Versa Haul remains one of the leading brands with high-quality products.
The VH-SportRo is specially designed in the USA. It is very sturdy and able to withstand all weather conditions, thanks to the powder-coated finish.
The carrier is 89lbs and can carry a motorbike as massive as 600 pounds. If you were to tow a cargo, VH-Sport gives a capacity of 3000lbs. It includes a ramp option for stress-free loading with compatibilities with class III and IV hitch receivers.
Featuring adjustable tie-down bars, this hitch carrier will securely lock your bike in place. The wheel stop guarantees maximum stability and is movable for a custom fit.
If your bike is broad, there are no fusses about scratching the back of your car. You have the option of adjusting the rails up to 24” outwardly or sliding it in for smaller bikes.
The VH-SportRo made it to this list of the best motorcycle hitch carrier for two main reasons. First, it is easier to mount regardless of how short or tall you are. Also, you can haul any other cargo besides carrying your bike. So far, this product is the only class III hitch carrier that can pull trailers as heavy as 3000lbs.
- 5″ long carrier with a rail width of 7.9.”
- An anti-tilt lock bracket eliminates wobbling and movements when riding on a bumpy road
- A movable wheel stop
- A powder-coated finish, which is resistant to corrosion
- A maximum carrying capacity of 600 pounds and a towing capability of up to 3000 pounds
- Adjustable tie-down bars
- A pair of reflectors for increased visibility at night
4. VersaHaul VH-55 RO Dirt Bike Hitch Carrier
One feature that stands out in all the VersaHaul carriers is the movable rails. Although a vehicle has enough capacity to handle a given hitch carrier, a big bumper, or a spare tire can be a deterrent. More so, a more great motorcycle is likely to scratch the vehicle’s paint leaving ugly markings.
For this reason, VersaHaul hitch carriers boast moveable rails, which can either move close to or away from the car, hence, giving the desired space.
The VH-55 RO has a carrying capacity of up to 500 pounds. For an effortless loading of your motorcycle, the carrier comes with a 57.5” x 5.5” ramp.
From this width, you can tell that the ramp won’t accommodate anything beyond 5.5-inches such as Burgman, Reflex, Helix, or the related scooters. If you own such bikes, check out the above VH-Sport Ro carrier.
This hitch carrier mounts on a class III or IV receiver. The anti-tilt lock bracket maximizes the cargo’s stability by eliminating movements. Though the lock brackets are free, they are optional when using these carriers.
Another great feature you’ll like about the VH-55 RO is the four retractable tie-down bars. When out of use, pull the locking pin out and slip them inside.
In as much as this carrier features a class III hitch, you can only use it for towing light to medium cargo. Irrespective of the type of vehicle you have, you can pull a maximum weight of 3000lbs.
- A maximum carrying capacity of 500lbs
- 5″ long carrier rail with a width of 6.3.”
- An anti-tilt lock bracket eliminates wobbling
- The reversible rails allow you to load onto the carrier from either side
- Retractable tie-down bars
- Corrosion-resistant powder-coat finish
- A wheel stop for stabilizing your motorcycle, especially when the bike is at the center of the carrier
- Two reflectors
5. Moto-Tote MTXSports Bike Motorcycle Carrier
MTX is the newest motorcycle carrier for both street and sports bikes. Moto-Tote came up with this version by analyzing their customers’ feedback and banking on other dirt bike hitch carrier reviews. By doing so, the engineers could tell what exactly the riders look for on a hitch carrier.
The Moto-Tote MTX holds a capacity of up to 550lbs. When fully assembled, it weighs 63lbs. The carrier has a straight-forward installation process with quite a few parts. It mounts on class III or IV hitch receivers with eight cap screws, nyloc nuts, and a 2” hitch pin.
Once you master the mounting process from the instruction manual, you can take less than 20 minutes to complete the installation.
For as long as your vehicle’s carrying capacity can support this carrier, MTX can fit on SUVs, vans, trucks, RVs, or campers. However, unlike the VersaHaul models, these particular carriers are not for towing trailers.
Moto-Tote MTX has a ramp length of 56.5” and a width of 6”. Therefore, it can support bikes whose tires are as wide as 6” only. The carrier rail is 70″long and 4.75″ wide. The product features a tire stick, which is a tube with wired construction for providing an excellent grip and securely holding the bike in place.
- A sturdy loading ramp
- Reverse assembly from either the left or the right side
- Zero-wobble attachment
- Heavy-duty steel construction for a durable and robust carrier
- Powder-coated finish
- Tie-down arms
6. Black Widow MCC-500 Folding Hitch Mounted Off-Road Dirt Bike Carrier
Black Widow’s MCC-500 has been designed for motocross dirt bikes weighing up to 500 pounds. The carrier has hauling rack dimensions of 76” x 7” and a 45.5” x 7” loading ramp. This long off-loading ramp installs on either the right or the left side of the hitch carrier. The rack accommodates any bike with a 7-inch wide tire.
This product includes a class III and IV hitch receiver that installs with the included2-inch hitch pin. The anti-tilt device incorporated in the system ensures maximum stability by eliminating wobbles. Assembling this carrier is as easy as ABC and would take you something between 15 and 20 minutes.
Being a folding carrier, MCC-500 easily retracts for convenient storage. It includes a hitch tube, which folds the carrier rack upwards, when not in use.
If you’re looking to transport your motorcycle without the frustrations of heavy trailers, Black Widow’s MCC-500 is a spot-on carrier. All its parts are purely made of steel for durability, toughness, and strength. At least it can haul your motorcycle, dirt bike, or scooter whose tires are less than 7-inches wide.
- Anti-tilt locking technology or boosting the balance and enhancing the bike’s stability during the ride
- A maximum carrying capacity of 500lbs
- Folding adapter for a convenient upright storage
- A solid steel construction
- A black paint finish for possible corrosions
7. Titan Ramps M600C Sports Bike Motorcycle Carrier Rack
Although this is the bulkier hitch carrier we’ve reviewed, you still enjoy excellent features without breaking the bank. Its solid construction, long carrier, and holding capacity of 600lbs make the Titan M600C the best motorcycle hitch carrier in the market.
Despite weighing 99lbs, the Titan hitch carrier is easy to set up. It fits on a 2-inch hitch pin. Loading your motorcycle is also a breeze considering that the package comes with a long off-loading ramp.
Just push your bike through the ramp, and you’ll be good to go. The integrated cradle wheel chock comes in handy for aligning your bike at the center of the rack and securing it in place.
With sturdy steel construction, the M600C carrier is built to last longer. It is strong enough to handle motorbikes, sports bikes, or off-road motorcycles within the 600lbs capacity. To minimize corrosions, steel metal has been powder-coated.
- A 78.75” track length
- A mountable ramp for easy loading and off-loading
- Steel frame components
- Maximum tongue capacity of 600lbs
- A heavy-duty hitch carrier weighing at 99 pounds
- A wheel chock
8. Trackside NS-MRC001 Motorcycle Carrier
If your goal is to eliminate a trailer with less than $200, you need to try out the Trackside motorcycle carrier. For as long as your SUV, sedan, or pick-up truck has a 2” receiver; this product fits the bill.
It has a maximum load rating of 500lbs and applicable to class III and IV trailer hitches. Just like the rest of our recommended carriers, Trackside NS-MRC001 comes with a ramp for easy loading or off-loading of your bike.
The most significant advantage is that you can attach it to the carrier from either the left or the right side. When out of use, slide it into the carrier for convenient storage.
Although Trackside motorcycle carrier can hold both light and some medium-duty bikes, its maximum tire width is just 4.75”. Therefore, your load should have something less or equal to this value. If you own a scooter, you can take a look at the other models listed above.
The solid steel construction will by itself give your bike the ultimate stability when riding on a bumpy hillside. However, Trackside offers you an extra anti-tilt device for eliminating excessive movements and possible swaying inside the hitch.
Another important feature is the adjustable front tire placement. If your bike is wide and you risk scratching your vehicle’s bumper, or you’ve got a spare tire at the rear side, you surely need a flexible carrier. You can make adjustments by fine-tuning the bolts, which hold the wheel track carrier in place.
- An anti-tilt device for eliminating movements
- Powder-Coated steel construction for resistance against corrosion and toughness
- A load rating of up to 500 pounds
- A tire width of up to 4.75-inches
- The reverse assembly supports loading from both sides of the carriers
9. Versa Haul VH-55DMRO Double Motorcycle Carrier
With VersaHaul’s VH-55DMRO, you can transport up to two motorbikes for as long as their total weight is 600lbs. The installation requires a 2” receiver, and the carrier would fit in any class III or IV hitches only. For class III hitches, the maximum capacity is 500 pounds while class IV units are rated for motorcycle hitch carrier 1000lbs.
What about the design? VH-55DMRO has a solid construction with durable steel frames. The metal is powder-coated to ensure minimal corrosion or rusting, especially during extreme weather conditions. This material is sturdy and robust enough to hold up to two bikes.
Unlike other brands using a standard U-shaped rail, VersaHaul’s carrier features a boxed design. This shape is less likely to bend over when subjected to pressure, hence, extending the life of the carrier.
The VH-55DMRO is not ideal for hauling at the back of fifth-wheel trailers.
- It is lightweight with a mass of 33.5” when fully assembled
- A boxed rail design for added strength and durability
- 14 gauge steel construction with an outer powder-coat finish
- A convenient self-storing ramp for easy loading and off-loading of your bike onto the carrier
- Four retractable tie-down bars for securing the motorcycle in the carrier even when riding on a bumpy or rough terrain
- A maximum load rating of 600 pounds
- Fits in class III or IV hitch with a 2” receiver
- An anti-tilt lock bracket for enhancing stability and eliminating possible movements during the ride
10. Black Widow AMC-400 Mounted Motorcycle
If you own a light bike, there’s no need to spend too much on an overweight steel carrier. After all, some vehicle’s tongue weight may have some limitations, hence, leaving no room for the heavy-duty steel components and your motorcycle’s weight. The Black Widow’s AMC-400 is the best motorcycle hitch carrier aluminum for hauling your dirt bike.
The carrier is hitch-mounted and can accommodate light to medium-weight bikes weighing less than 400 pounds. With an included 45.5” ramp, you can load your motorcycle from either the left or right side. When done, you can slide the roll-on and off-ramp to the carrier for storage.
AMC-400 hitch carrier holds bikes with a tire width of up to 5.5”. It is recommended for use with class III or IV 2-inch hitch receivers. The product boasts an anti-rattle device, which ensures stability and support when transporting the bike on a rough hillside.
Do you own a new 50-80cc motorcycle? Luck is on your side since AMC-400 brags a bonus space bar adapter, which converts it into a double dirt bike carrier.
- An anti-rattle bracket system for preventing movements or swaying
- A lightweight aluminum metal construction
- Self-storing ramp with a roll-on and off design
- It is lightweight, considering that it is made of aluminum
- A space bar adapter for holding 50-80cc dirt bikes
- The carrier track dimensions are 75″ x 6.75.”
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q-1: Is a motorcycle carrier safer than hauling with a trailer?
- Most people prefer trailers, but motorcycle hitch carriers are equally safer and reliable. With trailers, you can haul many bikes, but it is quite a hassle, especially if you’re on a cross-country trip.
- You are likely to experience difficulties when maneuvering with an attached trailer, but the journey can be stress-free with hitch carriers. Besides, there are some restrictions on parking a trailer, and the requirements differ from one state to another. At least, a carrier can effectively haul up to two bikes without any hassles.
Q-2: How can I tell if a hitch carrier is compatible with both my motorcycle and car?
- The load rating of your bike plus that of the hitch carrier should be within the vehicle’s tongue weight. The hitch carrier will have an informational sticker, which states the maximum weight it can hold.
- Make a reference to the above table indicating the vehicle type, weight limit, and their respective class receivers.
Q-3: Will the hitch carrier block my license plate or the tail lights?
- Hitch carriers are constructed in such a way that they can neither block your tail lights nor your number plate. From our observations and analysis on the motorcycle carrier reviews, no customer has ever complained about these. Some brands like VersaHaul come with bonus reflectors.
Q-4: What is tongue weight capacity?
- It is the weight, which your vehicle can safely hold on the hitch. The vehicle’s user manual will have these details. If you can’t find the exact value, check out your car’s total towing capacity and divide it by 10 to get the approximate tongue weight.
Q-5: How complicated is the installation process?
- The user manual will always give detailed instructions on how to mount the hitch carrier. The average time you’ll take can be 30 minutes although you might assemble the rack in 20 or fewer minutes, especially if you’re experienced. The heavier the carrier, the more time you’ll take to install it and lift its weighty components.
I hope this review will help you make the right decision when shopping for a motorcycle hitch carrier. You can’t rely on a trailer all through the ride, but a hitch carrier is dependable. What is more, your boot can have inadequate space to accommodate your oversized back. The last option you get is using the roof rack, but then you remember it seems old-fashioned to climb up and get your bike off the roof.
We recommend a motorcycle hitch carrier for the convenience it gives you without taking up much space. Check out our top 10 reviews and pick the most exceptional choice for your next ride.