|1. Goplus||2. Direct Aftermarket||3. TMS|
Transporting your motorcycle over long distances when you cannot ride them can be quite a problem. Even when you want to take it to a mechanic, or display it at a show, you will not be able to ride it to the destination.
Hence, hitch carriers, are tune up accessories which can be attached to the back of a car and be used to transport motorbikes over long distances. They are an essential commodity when buying your favorite motorbike.
Why You Should Use Hitch Carriers
1. Ease Of Use
Compared to other forms of motorcycle transport that you can choose, hitch carriers are by far the most easy to use. In case you are using a trailer or a truck, stationing your beloved motorbike and fastening them can be a time consuming and difficult task to carry out.
Once you attach the hitch carrier to your car, minivan or pickup truck, loading the bike can be as easy and fast.
Hitch carriers are substantially less in price when you compare them with trailers or other forms of motorcycle transporting accessories.
Also, with them being as reliable as any other form of transport, you will not lose out on the quality front too. Unless you want to transport multiple bikes, hitch carriers will do the job just as well.
3. Document-Free Travel
If you attach a trailer or hauler to your car, you would need to get a license from the DMV. This would be time consuming and would also need renewals from time to time.
Also, the chances of you getting pulled over frequently by cops is higher when you have a trailer or hauler.
Things To Consider While Buying The Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers
1. Type Of Material
Hitch Carriers usually come in two types of materials. They will be either made of steel or aluminium. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Steel ones are considerably more bulky and hence, holes are provided in non-essential places to keep the weight down. On the brighter side, you can carry heavier motorcycles on steel hitch carriers with ease.
Aluminum hitch carriers are obviously lighter than steel ones. However, you can only carry motorcycles that are light-weight on these hitch carriers. They are also more easy to mount on the back of your car due to lower mass.
Another advantage is that aluminium cannot rust or corrode easily as opposed to steel, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance. The only precaution you need to take is about how heavy a load you are putting on it.
Hitch compatibility refers to the type of vehicle the hitch is made for. There are five classes of hitch carriers, each for a different type of vehicle. Also, different classes of carriers have different load capacities.
For example, the class one hitch carrier has a capacity of just 300 pounds and can be fitted to cars such as hatch-backs, sedans, compact SUVs and minivans. As you increase in class, the size of the car that it is compatible with also increases.
Class four and five carriers have a capacity of 2700 pounds and are suitable for pickup trucks.
3. Load Capacity
Load capacity is the maximum weight that a hitch carrier can be subjected too. As we have discussed there are many factors involved like class of the hitch carrier or the type of material etc. The most common range across which you will find the maximum number of hitch carriers is between 400-600 pounds.
If you do need higher or lower capacities, you can get that too. The spectrum lies between 300-2700 pounds. Most of the higher load carriers are made of steel rather than aluminium.
Durability in the case of the best motorcycle carrier doesn’t only mean how good the quality is and how long it will last. It also means how well the carrier can handle the motorbike that is placed on it.
That means it includes how stable the carrier is on the back of your car, how minimal the movement or shaking of the bike is, what features it has to stop your bike from moving too much etc.
Needless to say, it should also be resistant to damage in worst case scenarios like too much movement of the bike, travelling on unpaved and uneven roads, travelling at high speed etc.
5. Bike Weight
Buying a hitch carrier that has a higher or lower load capacity than the one that your motorbike actually requires is not a good thing.
It can lead to various problems like unreliable fastening, more vibrations and moving around and even damage to your car and the carrier.
To avoid such situations, it is better to check the mass of your motorcycle and then decide on the class and load capacity of the hitch carrier.
You also need to consider the material of the carrier depending on the weight of your bike. If it is heavy, go with a steel frame. On the other hand, if it is low in weight, aluminium will suffice.
6. Ease Of Use
The sole reason why typical hitch carriers are so popular is that they can be very easy to use.
Right from installing them on a normal car, to loading and unloading of the motorbike, hitch carriers provide a simple solution for transporting a motorcycle. Therefore, while buying one, you need to consider how easy it would be to use.
Unless the mass of your bike demands it, you should refrain from buying steel or other bulky hitch carriers.
The weight range of the hitch carriers ranges from 30 pounds to 100 pounds, with the later requiring two people to install. So, be prepared for that.
Price would be a sensitive factor for a lot of buyers. As with every commercial product, the price range is quite vast and as the price increases, normally the quality also does increase.
You can get hitch carriers for as low as $70 and as high as $300. However, the usual range is between $100-$200.
To help you choose the best motorcycle hitch carrier, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best options available in the market.
Top 20 Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers 2020
First up on our list, we have the hitch carrier from Goplus. It is a 600 lbs load capacity carrier that has very good reviews from its users. The exterior is painted fully in matte black to give it a sophisticated look.
We think the company has succeeded on that front. Although it is made to carry smaller motorcycles like sports bikes or enduro bikes, it is made from steel, which we think could have been improved. However, from a price perspective, it makes sense.
On the brighter side, the powder coat and matte finish will be enough to protect the steel from rust, even in rainy conditions. According to the company, driving below 55 MPH is recommended as above that, vibration of the hitch carrier increases and it puts your bike at risk of moving around too much.
In the worst case scenario the fastenings may also come off. Coming to the dimensions, it has a length of 79″ inches, so make sure your bike length is smaller than that.
2. Direct Aftermarket
The aim of this motorcycle carrier is to provide a convenient way to transport your prized bike from point A to point B. With a capacity of 500 lbs, that can be carried out on sports bikes, endurance motorcycles and some small capacity touring bikes.
Just like the previous product, even this one is made from steel but has a granular coating that protects it from rust and the elements.
The convenient thing about this carrier is that the loading ramp can be shifted to either side based on your preference. The ramp itself is 38 inches long and the rack is 76 inches in length.
Before buying this great product, make sure your bike is below that length. Also, ensure the wheels under 5 inches thick. Further, it comes under class three and class four category, meaning it should be mounted onto big SUVs and smaller pickup trucks.
3. TMS T-NS-MRC001
A carrier that is designed to transport not only motorcycles, but also scooters is this one from TMS. It is a reliable solution if the motorcycle you want to transport is under 500 pounds.
Just like other hitch carriers in this price range, it is made from steel but has a coating that protects it against rust and rain. Coming to the loading ramp, it can only be turned towards one side and used for loading, which is a bit of a letdown in tight spaces.
The company has provided an anti tilt locking device so that the vibration of your motorcycle reduces to a minimum. According to user reviews, this is a very good mechanism.
Talking about the receiver, it is 2 inches in size which will suffice for most bikes under 500 pounds. With class two, three four and five compatibility, you can mount it on basically all types of cars except hatchbacks.
Looking at the motorcycle trailer from 7Blacksmiths might intimidate you in the beginning. We say that because it has a lot of nuts and bolts attached to it.
However, what that does is increase the load capacity without increasing the overall size of the carrier. With a maximum permissible weight of 800 pounds, you can look to carry even a small touring bike on this trailer with ease.
What truly sets this hitch carrier apart is the adjustable cradle, meaning, you can stop worrying if the tyres will fit into the cradle of the carrier. Moreover, you don’t have to invest time in maintaining it at all.
Even though the load capacity is higher than many others in this price range, it cannot be attached to pickup trucks. This is because the product is classified as a class two and class three hitch carrier.
A word of caution though, as this hitch carrier is best suited for cars with manual transmission, if you do attach it to a car with an automatic gearbox, then be prepared for your transmission unit wearing out quicker than expected. However, other than that it looks like a solid product and suitable for the title of best motorcycle hitch carrier.
A motorcycle hitch carrier that is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to price is this WMA hitch carrier. Along with being a great product, it comes with a nifty set of additional features.
These add incredible value to the product and make you want to buy it in an instant if you are an avid motorcyclist. First of all, the load capacity is great at 1000 pounds. This would suffice for most motorcycles that need to be transported using hitch carriers.
The product also comes with two cargo baskets where you can store many essential items like oil cans, water cans, camping equipment etc. The carrier itself is 71 inches long and has a loading ramp that is 58 inches in length.
That is unusually big for a loading ramp, not that we are complaining. It is a hitch carrier that is suited for class three and class four cars.
6. Versahaul VH-55DMRO
This hitch carrier from versahaul is very unique since it can carry two motorcycles at the same time. Moreover, it is one of the few that is made with aluminium. The capacity of each carrier is limited to 500 pounds however. That means, you can carry two bikes weighing under 500 pounds each at the same time.
Since the total capacity is 1000 pounds you, it comes under class three or higher and cannot be joined to minivans or hatchbacks. Also if your vehicle is designed to pull class three hitch carriers only, it is better to install better suspension setups or upgrade the existing ones.
As the hitch carrier itself is made up of aluminium it weighs just 135 pounds. This is very less considering it has two cradles. So, if you want to transport two motorcycles at once, this would be the best motorcycle hitch carrier.
Another double hitch we have got on our list is this one from MotoGroup. It is especially designed for people who race at dirt tracks and have to take their bikes from one track to another. This also, is made from aluminium and is super lightweight considering the weight it can sustain.
The company prides itself on using a 3/4th inch hook as opposed to the 1/4th or ½ inch hooks that other manufacturers use. This they say, provides more stability and there are less chances of you hurting yourself or the bike getting damaged when loading or unloading.
Coming to the carrying capacity, it can carry 600 pounds or weight combined. That means, one bike cannot be heavier than 300 pounds.
The weight capacity seems like a let down but considering it is built only to serve motocross and dirt bike riders, they won’t be complaining. Also, you can transport most scooters on this bike if the tire dimensions can fit into the cradles.
Additional features that did impress us are that you can load it from both sides, there are anti-tilt locking devices and it is very easy to assemble.
Similar to the one we reviewed at the beginning of the article, this hitch carrier is its younger brother. We say that because the load capacity is a tad bit smaller than the first product.
All the other specifications and features remain somewhat the same. You get a hitch tube that is 18 inches long, ramp of 39 inches and the main length being 79 inches.
The maximum weight this class two hitch carrier can sustain is 500 pounds. This should be more than sufficient for most dirt bikes, motocross and enduro bikes.
Made of tubed steel, it is quite bulky in nature but has a black granular coating for rust protection. Also, an anti-tilt locking system is provided for enhanced security measures. Even if you ride on bumpy country roads, the carrier won’t wobble a bit.
9. Best Choice Products
A simple but highly effective hitch carrier that has very good online reviews is this one from Best Choice. It has a regular design with the mounting rack on one side only and can carry a total of 500 pounds on it. Therefore, you can use it to transport only motocross bikes, enduro bikes and dirt bikes.
Made of steel, it is slightly on the bulkier side. However, just like others, it does have protection against rust and other natural elements. Even at this price point, the company is offering the anti-tilt lock which is great.
It is a great feature that makes the bike sit firmly on the ramp, without wobbling. Totally, there are 8 nuts and bolts that come together to perfectly lock the bike in place.
Since the square receiver is 2 inches, you can fit it on to class two and above graded vehicles easily. However, if you have a hatchback car, you won’t be able to do it.
Coming to the dimensions, the length of the ramp is 76 inches long. This is pretty good for a 500 pound capacity hitch carrier. However, the ramp length is standard at 38.5 inches.
10. Jermeywell MC400A
A premium hitch carrier that is made of aluminium, the MC400A from jermeywell is the best motorcycle hitch carrier if you are looking for a light and easy to use product.
Along with the usual dirt bike and enduro bike compatibility, it can transport any kind of scooter with ease. You will hardly find such hitch carriers that can be compatible with all kinds of scooters.
However, with a load capacity of just 400 pounds, you have to be careful while buying it. We say that because there are some endurance and motocross bikes that can be of higher mass.
The build quality on the other side is superb. If you buy it, you can be sure that it will last a good few years thanks to the durability.
The trailer hitch is 2 inches in length and is compatible with class three and four cars. You can also load it in the front or back, depending on your choice. Coming to the length and other dimensions, the length of the cradle is 76 inches and a big ramp length of 47 inches.
The trackside motorcycle carrier is a premium category hitch carrier that can be the perfect solution for your motorcycle transporting issues. Unlike the previous product, you can attach it to a motorhome or trailer too.
However, similar to it, it is a class three and class four certified carrier. SUVs and small pickup trucks are perfect to fit this motorcycle carrier.
The carrier itself weighs just 15 pounds even though it is made of steel. A single person can easily install it and remove it. Talking about the load capacity, it is 500 pounds and hence you can easily transport motocross bikes, dirt bikes and even scooters if the wheel size permits.
The anti-tilt lock that is so important has also been provided. With that in place, you can stop worrying about your prized motorcycle wobbling and getting loose.
It has 4 tie down points to provide a secure lock and also separate ones for the tires too. Talking about the tires, ensure that tire thickness is less than 4.5 inches to get the best fit possible. Although the hitch does sit flush with the car, it is better to get a hitch tightener according to some users.
Just like the previous one, even this one from ecotric is quite premium on first impression. The product seems to be made of very good material, thereby increasing its durability up a notch.
It has a load capacity of 500 pounds like most hitch carriers in this range and can be used to transport small capacity touring bikes. Needless to say, the capacity is perfect for enduro bikes, motocross bikes etc.
The ramp is a type of multi-load device which means you can load your motorcycle from either side. This is especially useful when you find yourself in tight spaces. Also, since there are just 8 nuts and bolts to fasten, you will be done with the installation and removal with ease.
This also has the anti-tilt lock that is prominent in hitch carriers of this price range. Since it is made of steel, it also has high quality powder paint finish.
A highly rated product, that has some great features up its sleeve, the ORCISH hitch carrier is sure to impress the motorcyclist in you. It is highly secure and has chains to perfectly keep your bike in place.
The hitch receiver is the normal two inch one but where things are top notch is the pin. Unlike most other carriers, it has a 3/4th inch pin that keeps the whole system more secure.
Talking about specifications, the length of the cradle is 79 inches, which is a few inches more than others and the length of the ramp is a whopping 72 inches. This is by far the biggest ramp you can get and hence very easy to load your bike.
Also, while most other hitch carriers have a single anti-tilt lock, this one has two quick release ones to safeguard your bike even more.
The rack is made of steel but has the vital granular coating of paint to protect it from rust. Making it out of aluminium would have cemented its place as the best motorcycle hitch carrier, but it was not to be. Still, it is a great product at a good price.
The Versahaul motorcycle carrier is one of a kind in many ways. It is a product that has one of the best ratings on Amazon and also has unique features up its sleeve. That should make it a very desirable choice for motorcycle enthusiasts.
It fits in all class three and class four suited vehicles like SUVs Pickup trucks etc. Also the powder coating on the steel is enough to keep rust at bay.
Coming to dimensions, you get a 71.5 inch cradle length that can be good enough for most motorbikes.
Considering that the load capacity is 600, you can carry all dirt and motocross bikes along with support for even small tourers. The company has also given 4 tie down bars to help support your bike.
The unique feature we were talking about earlier is that the rails on the cradle are also adjustable and reversible. This is something that can be very handy in a few situations. The hitch carrier itself has some reflectors for night time driving.
OKLEAD has come up with a no nonsense motorcycle hitch carrier that does everything you would expect it to do with ease. The whole setup is made from hardened steel that can take on a lot of weight.
It also adds an element of durability and the claim can be verified through customer reviews. When it comes to the receiver, it has to be 2 inches thick and this can only be combined with class three and above rated carriers.
The carrier can be used to haul anything from scooters to low end touring bikes given that it comes under the load capacity of the carrier. The good thing about this product is that it comes with two anti-tilt locks.
One for the loading ramp and the other for the cradle itself. That feature is seldom seen in other motorcycle carriers.
The dimensions of this motorcycle carrier are 76 inches in length with a 7.6 inch area for tyres, and a 37 inch ramp to place the bike in the desired position.
These numbers seem at par with competition. What else is at par is the weight it can carry. 500 pounds is the limit and anything above that will cause grave damage to all things involved.
16. Mototote MTX
The first of its kind in this list, we have a product here that is solely made to transport sports bikes from one track to another.
Till now, we could only find hitch carriers that had enough capacity to transport just dirt motocross or enduro bikes. However, if you want a hitch carrier for a sports bike, then this is the best motorcycle hitch carrier.
It doesn’t have usual railings that you find on other carriers but small sized grills. This is in order to protect the fairings that all sports bikes have. Also the loading ramp is very big in size, this also helps in protecting the fairing of the bike when loading and unloading.
Moreover, instead of using cables and wires, there is a wheel stop provided in the hitch carrier itself where the wheel can be locked.
The one thing to keep in mind is that it also has a load capacity of 600 pounds and hence, you can only transport small to medium capacity bikes. On the brighter side, the wheelbase is adjustable for each different bike.
Since sports bikes require larger ramp width as their wheels are fat, the company has provided a 8 inch thick ramp.
17. Raider TOW-104
The Raider Tow 104 is a pretty straightforward product that is a hit among the masses. It has a heavy duty steel construction that is also powdered coated.
As we already know, that protects against the rust and also against abrasion, scratches etc that can make your carrier look dirty.
Talking about specifications, it has a 500 pound capacity to hold onto. As you might have figured out by now, this capacity is very good for dirt bikes, endurance bikes and the likes.
The length of the ramp is 76 inches, which is again good enough. Also, the channel in which the tires of the bike sit is 5 inches thick.
So if your bike’s tire is bigger than 5 inches, this carrier won’t be suitable. The one con that we did notice is that it doesn’t contain an anti-tilt lock, which might be a deal breaker for some.
A lightweight motorcycle carrier that can be handled and installed easily by only one person is the one from kaycentop.
However, since it is very light in weight, the load it can carry is also quite low. To be specific, just 300 pounds at a time. That means, only dirt bikes can be accommodated on this hitch carrier.
Tubing has been used to make the frame and keep the weight low. However, that doesn’t mean the carrier is weak. The shell is made entirely out of hardened Steel, which is a pretty strong material.
The company claims the ramp itself is portable and so, it can be used on both sides.
Since the receiver is 2 inches in thickness, it can be rated as a class three and above hitch carrier. However, if you have a two inch receiver, you can use it on any type of car.
Lastly, it deserves to be called the best hitch mount motorcycle carrier.
19. Black Widow
In the tail end of this review we have bought an affordable aluminium hitch carrier into the mix. It seems like a run of the mill hitch carrier, but can be a lot more reliable and efficient due to the aluminium build.
For example, the ramp itself is 6 inches wide, meaning you can transport a bike with even 6 inch tires. Also, the ramp can be used on both sides, which is a boon in congested places.
The length is restricted to 75.25 inches and since it is an aluminium build, the maximum load capacity is 400 pounds. This means, at most you can transport dirt bikes on this.
There is also an anti-tilt locking device which is a big deal on bumpy roads. Also, you get small opening where you can station some mini dirt bikes between 70-90 cc.
20. Tril Gear
The last product on our list is an all-rounder and hence deserves to be called the best motorcycle hitch carrier. It does it’s job perfectly and can take on a load of upto 600 pounds.
It is made up of steel that is impermeable according to the company. The granular coating protects it from scratches, abrasion, rust and the elements like snow and rain.
The carrier itself weighs around 100 pounds, so you would need two people to attach and detach it. The length of the cradle itself is 79 inches, which is pretty great for a hitch carrier of this price.
The company recommends a speed of only 55 MPH above which you risk the carrier from wobbling too much and breaking down. Also, you do get the anti-tilt lock for extra protection.
With that, we are now in the final stage of this review. The article covers almost all generic hitch carriers that range in varieties and usefulness.
We have included products that are quite cost effective for ones looking to save as much money as possible and hitch that are costly for those looking for the best of the best.
Also, we have taken into consideration that there are multiple types of motorbikes. Although the majority are focused on dirt and motocross bikes (since those bikes are the majority of the ones that require transport), there are also some for sports and touring bikes too
All in all, look at the factors most important to you and buy the one which is based on those factors. That product would be the best motorcycle hitch carrier for you.
FAQs on Motorcycle Hitch Carriers
1. Are Motorcycle Hitch Carriers Safe?
Yes, motorcycle hitch carriers are completely safe. In fact, they are safer than trailers as there is less wobbling and more steadiness in hitch carriers. However, you have to drive carefully under a speed limit recommended by the hitch carrier company to avoid mishaps.
2. Are Hitch Carriers Legal?
Yes, definitely they are legal. The only time you can run into trouble is if the hitch carrier or the bike is covering your number plate.
3. How To Know If My Bike And Hitch Carrier Are Compatible
First look at the size of the receiver and if it matches, move onto the load capacity of the carrier. It should be higher than the weight of your bike. If both these factors are ok, then the bike and carrier are compatible.
4. What Material Is Preferable? Steel Or Aluminium
If you want your hitch carrier to be light in weight, then aluminium is better. However, keep in mind they usually don’t have good load capacity. If that’s what you want, steel hitch carriers are better. Also there is always a risk of steel rusting.