LAST UPDATED: January 13, 2021

The Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers (Review) in 2021

Best Choice Black Widow Hitch-Mounted Aluminum Motorcycle Carrier Black Widow Hitch-Mounted Aluminum Motorcycle Carrier
Best Value MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Carrier MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Carrier
Premium Pick Goplus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier Goplus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier

If you’re an avid rider, chances are you need to transport your gear. That’s where a motorcycle hitch carrier comes into play. It is designed to attach to your vehicle so that you can take your bike wherever you need to go. A great way to save space, a motorcycle carrier rack can drastically improve your experience when moving around with your gear. You’ve probably seen them before, whether it’s on the road or online. These products are designed for convenience and range in size, brand, and features, giving you ample opportunity to make the right choice. 

Differing in load capacity and vehicle compatibility, it’s important to find something that works for you. It should be able to store your items easily and have a sufficient load capacity. The best motorcycle hitch carriers are made out of heavy-duty steel and let you haul all your dirt bikes and sports bikes efficiently. There’s a variety of good choices out there, offering ease of use and a full menu of features. To help you track down the best motorcycle carrier racks and hitch carriers on the market, we’ve broken down the top options. 

The Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers

This hitch-mounted motorcycle bike rack is made from strong and lightweight aluminum, making for a useful device that can safely hold up to 400 pounds. One of its niftiest features is the self-storing ramp system — its ramps easily slide in and out of place, rather than having to be re-attached with every use, saving motorcycle enthusiasts valuable time.

The mount also comes with a clever anti-rattle device for a smoother ride and a spacer bar adapter so that smaller bikes can be carried. Customers are impressed with how lightweight and easy to put together it is, as well as the price.

Key Features
  • 400 pound capacity
  • Suitable for use with Class III or IV hitch receivers
  • Lightweight aluminum design
  • Self-storing ramp system makes for quick and easy use
  • Excellent value for money
  • Anti-rattle device included
  • Added spacer bar makes it perfect for us with smaller bikes
Specification
  • Brand Black Widow
  • Model AMC-400
  • Weight 33.5 pounds

If what you’re after is convenience, then the MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Carrier is a great way to go. This motorcycle hitch carrier makes it easy to carry a bike of any size and can accommodate items of all shapes and sizes. The powder-coated steel makes it easy to use with sports bikes and motorcycles alike. While it doesn’t have a ramp, the weight capacity is significant. You can use a lift to get your motorcycle hitched up to the vehicles. Since this setup is compatible with any standard two-inch hitch receiver, it is a really safe choice. The load capacity is 500 pounds, so it is equipped to handle even the heaviest loads. 

It’s worth a note that, while this carrier is a great option in terms of load capacity, it doesn’t have a ramp on either side. As such, it can be a bit tricky in terms of loading and unloading. For long-distance transport, though, this is a solid choice. 

Key Features
  • Load capacity of 500 pounds
  • Class IV hitch carrier
  • Weight capacity accommodates motorcycles
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Attaches to any two-inch hitch
Specification
  • Brand MaxxHaul
  • Model 70107
  • Weight 22.3 pounds

Goplus chose to make its motorcycle carrier from heavy-duty steel, which offers unrivaled strength and capacity. In fact, this carrier can take the largest load on our list so far — up to 600 pounds!

Easily mounted onto your vehicle’s two-inch receiver, the carrier is equipped with an adjustable wheel stop that also acts to keep your bike stable on the move. It also features quick-release ramps, letting you load and unload rapidly and safely. It’s so simple to use that users report the whole operation being a one-man job. Finally, and most importantly, the device holds your bike securely in place even over rough terrain — whether you’re traveling 40 miles or 400.

Key Features
  • 600 pound capacity
  • Suitable for 2” hitch receivers
  • Solid steel design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Quick release ramps make for easy usage
  • Extremely secure hold for no wobble
Specification
  • Brand Goplus
  • Weight 91 pounds

If you prefer to stick to the basics when moving your bike from point A to point B, then the TMS Heavy Duty Motorcycle Carrier Hitch Rack is a fantastic selection. What it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up for in functionality. So long as you make sure that it can accommodate the tire width on your motorcycle, the steel construction ensures that it supports the weight of your bike. It comes with an anti-tilt locking device. This anti-wobble feature is a necessary component to preventing damage to both your hitch carrier and the motorcycle itself. It’s small enough to leave on your vehicle in between uses and versatile enough as a tool to work with a variety of different bikes.

The only downside is the somewhat tricky installation process. However, since it comes with all the necessary hardware, as long as you plan ahead and make sure you have time to complete the install, this is a terrific option.

Key Features
  • Compatible with Class III and IV hitches
  • Load capacity of 500 pounds
  • Made of powder coated steel
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Compact in size
Specification
  • Brand TMS
  • Model T-NS-MRC001
  • Weight 48 pounds

Earning themselves a second spot on our list if Black Widow, with their MCC-600 heavy duty carrier. As the name suggests, this top-of-the-market model can withstand up to 600 pounds worth of motorcycle without breaking a sweat. This impressive capacity is allowed by the top-end powder-coated steel that the carrier is made from.

Black Widow has also included a hitch-pin, anti-rattle device, and built-in adjustable wheel chock, so your bike will not only stay in place without any wobble, but it will also prevent those rattling sounds that can be the bane of any road trip. It’s easy to use, too – simple to assemble and a breeze to load even by yourself; thanks to its extra-long loading ramp.

Key Features
  • 600 pound capacity
  • Suitable for 2” hitch receivers
  • Includes hitch-pin, anti-rattle device, and adjustable wheel chock
  • Simple to assemble
  • Easy to load and unload, thanks to an extra long ramp
  • Made from the highest quality powder-coated steel
Specification
  • Brand Black Widow
  • Model MCC-600
  • Weight 98 pounds

Are you looking for the best motorcycle hitch carriers in terms of versatility and heavy duty performance? If that’s the case, consider the Mockins Gray Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier for its sturdy design. It attaches to pretty much any vehicle, assuming it is equipped with a motorcycle carrier hitch that’s either Class III or IV. The entire structure is made out of powder coated steel that makes the carrier itself highly resistant to rust and corrosion. Featuring a high load capacity, you can safely use this on anything from sports bikes to motorcycles. Folding in easily, the design of this carrier is to offer maximum tongue weight capacity while still being secure as a hitch receiver. 

Tough and durable, the strength of this heavy-duty carrier sets this option apart as a motorcycle accessory. With an anti rattle device built in as a result of the structure, you can use this carrier for both long and short trips.

Key Features
  • Load capacity of up to 500 pounds
  • Large size supports many items
  • Highly compatible motorcycle carrier
  • Made out of powder coated steel
  • Works with multiple kinds of bike
  • Easy to load and unload
Specification
  • Brand Mockins
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 62.9 pounds

Want something with a steel frame that is heavy duty and comes with an anti-wobble accommodation? If that’s the case, consider the Nevlers Folding Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier as the tool for the job. It is compatible with a variety of bike types, including sports bikes and motorcycles. Fairly easy to install, this cargo carrier comes with everything you need to hit the road in comfort. It has a tough tongue capacity, and as long as you make sure the hitch class is either III or IV, the size of this carrier will make sure you can get the job done. 

The only downside is that it doesn’t have an anti-tilt locking system. As such, you definitely need to make sure that the motorcycle is strapped down properly. Though it doesn’t include a loading ramp, the carrier does come with all the accessories you will need to hit the road.

Key Features
  • 500 pound weight capacity
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Main components made of powder coated steel
  • Comes with extra accessories
  • Works with hitch class III and IV
  • Easy loading and unloading
  • Simple to install and to use
Specification
  • Brand Nevlers
  • Model NABNSCC26
  • Weight 62.6 pounds

When the goal is getting from place to place as easily and efficiently as possible, the Specstar Heavy Duty Motorcycle Carrier is a solid choice. It is made out of aluminum, a lightweight material that touts a natural resistance to rust and corrosion. The only downside is that it is less resistant to impact than steel (though it can still support a lot of weight). Meant to work with any standard Class IIi or IV hitch receiver, this tool is handy for any motorcycle enthusiast. Not only is it easy to install, it makes the loading and unloading process more straightforward. 

Highly durable, this carrier comes with an anti tilt and anti wobble design. This helps keep your motorcycle and vehicle in good condition, making this one of the best motorcycle hitch carriers around. 

Key Features
  • 450 pound weight capacity
  • Made out of aluminum materials
  • Works with different tire widths
  • Requires few tools to install
  • Designed to include anti wobble features
  • Compatible with III and IV hitch receivers
Specification
  • Brand Specstar
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 57.09 pounds

Especially if you are looking for a tool that incorporates anti-wobble features and supports a variety of motorcycles and products, the Orion Motor Tech Hitch Mount Cargo Carrier is a worthy contender. As far as motorcycle hitch carrier reviews go, the heavy-duty steel and easy loading and unloading seem to set this option apart. Because of the structure, it works well as an anti-rattle device. The substantial load capacity makes it useful for all types of sports bikes and motorcycles. You can use this on either a Class III or IV hitch, meaning it’s compatible with most vehicle setups. 

Working with your vehicle to support the motorcycle (or other items), this hitch carrier is a popular option for its anti-tilt locking device. It keeps your bike steady, making it one of the best motorcycle carriers out there.

Key Features
  • Weight capacity of up to 500 pounds
  • Easy to install 
  • Large in size
  • Made of heavy duty steel
  • Accommodates different tire widths
  • Simple loading and unloading
  • Straightforward locking mechanism
  • Compatible with Class III and Class IV hitch receivers
  • Supports a variety of bikes and motorcycles
Specification
  • Brand Orion Motor Tech
  • Model OMT-WCR-0005
  • Weight 25.3 pounds

This sturdy hitch carrier, made from a durable powdered steel frame, will help you haul bikes weighing up to 500 pounds. Whether it’s a scooter, classic motorcycle, or dirtbike, the carrier ensures perfect security thanks to its anti-wobble locking device.

It’s fairly easy to assemble too, and the loading ramp can be attached to either side for convenient loading. The powder coating on the steel is also impermeable to water, so there’s no need to worry about rusting as you continue to use this solid piece of kit for months and years to come.

Key Features
  • 500 pound capacity
  • Suitable for 2” hitch receivers
  • Constructed from sturdy powdered steel
  • Features an anti-wobble locking device
  • Easy assemblage
  • Loading ramp can be attached from either side
  • Rust resistant
Specification
  • Brand Direct Aftermarket
  • Weight 58 pounds

Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier Buying Guide & FAQ

Equipped with any of these hitch carriers, you can easily take your motorcycle from point A to point B. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you need from the carrier; how it will match up with your existing motorcycle hitch setup and ensuring that the carrying capacity is sufficient. These products tout sturdy steel construction and metal framework, it’s pretty easy to find motorcycle hitch carriers to meet your needs. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

You want to ensure that the carriers you’re looking at are easy to load from either side and have the tongue weight capacity to withstand the force of your dirt bike. To help you along, we’ve broken down the information you need to make the right selection from the motorcycle hitch carriers on the market.

bike on a carrier

What to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier

Although each of the carriers mentioned on this list has the same basic features, there are still some nuances to keep your eye on. The products have some differences which you should keep in mind when selecting your hitch carrier. The most important criteria good motorcycle hitch carriers must meet include:

Aluminum or Powder Coated Steel Construction

Ideal motorcycle hitch carriers are made out of either steel or aluminum. While steel construction lends itself to heavy-duty performance, aluminum is far lighter weight. The powder coating on the steel gives it an edge against rust and corrosion. Aluminum, however, is naturally resistant to these issues. A good rule of thumb is choosing aluminum if you are hauling lighter weight gear like a dirt bike or other sports bikes. For longer treks and heavier loads, steel is a better way to go. The steel frame usually touts a more substantial carrying capacity, making it safer for longer journeys. 

Weight Capacity

The carrying capacity of your motorcycle hitch carrier is possibly the most significant factor in making your choice. Sure, if you’re hauling sports bikes it is less of a concern, but if your motorcycle is on the heavier end, you want to make sure the hitch carriers you are looking at can keep up. Most options range somewhere between 400 and 600 pounds. Check the owner’s manual for your bike against the carrying capacity of the carriers. Be sure to account for any gear on the motorcycle and the weight of fuel. Generally, the higher the load capacity, the better. 

Hitch Receiver Compatibility

In order to ensure that the motorcycle hitch carriers will work with your vehicle, you need to check the size. Generally, hitch carriers will work with a two-inch setup. This means you can use it on anything from a truck to an RV. Take a look at the class and the hitch receiver specifications to be sure that you can install it on your vehicle. All products are a bit different, and you want to make sure that you won’t need a new hitch to put the carrier in position.

Ramp Length

Many motorcycle hitch carriers come with a loading ramp. This way, if you need to load and unload your ride without help (or a scissor lift), you can. In order to make it as easy as possible on yourself, the loading ramp should be as long as possible. This requires you to apply a minimal amount of force and achieve the same results. If you’re hauling a dirt bike, you can probably do it with a shorter loading ramp. However, if you’re transporting a heavier motorcycle, having a long loading ramp is super important. 

Size and Dimensions

While the majority of carriers work with various tire widths and sizes of bikes, each motorcycle hitch setup is different. To be sure that the carrier will accommodate your ride, check its measurements against the bike’s. Be sure to also check the size of the carrier against the width of your vehicle to avoid issues with bulk. 

Tongue Weight Capacity

The tongue weight capacity of the vehicle refers to how heavy of a motorcycle hitch the vehicle can safely tow. Be sure to consult this specification prior to installing your carrier. Ensure that you add together the weight of the carrier and the weight of the motorcycle when running your numbers. Provided the tongue weight capacity exceeds the total weight of the objects, you are good to go. 

Working within Budget

When choosing any product, you want to be sure that you are staying within your budget. While hitch carriers tend to be relatively affordable, those with more advanced features like an anti-rattle device and anti-tilt locking may cost a bit extra. However, in most cases, opting for high-quality steel construction and the ability to load from either side is worth the extra few dollars. Plus, heavy-duty carriers tend to last longer, thus costing less over the long haul.

Benefits of Using a Motorcycle Carrier

There are a whole host of benefits to using a motorcycle hitch carrier, starting with the compact nature and going all the way to the versatility of the product. These carriers are a great way to transport your ride without breaking the bank, and without sacrificing quality and convenience. Among the tons of benefits are: 

  • Motorcycle trailer hitch carriers let you safely and efficiently bring your bike from point A to point B.
  • These hitch carriers are more fuel-efficient than towing a trailer along with your vehicle.
  • By using one of these carriers you can free up storage inside of the vehicle.
  • In most cases, you can install the hitch carrier on your vehicle in your own garage.
  • Motorcycle hitch carriers are easy to load and unload, usually working from either side.
  • High-quality hitch carriers come with anti-wobble and anti-tilt locking devices.
  • Opting for a hitch carrier for your motorcycle tends to be a more cost-effective approach.

How to Install a Motorcycle Hitch Carrier

You can install a motorcycle hitch carrier yourself at home with only a smattering of DIY knowledge and a couple of tools. Each manufacturer will provide their own instructions, which you should follow carefully, but the general installation steps are as follows:

You will need: a 13mm wrench, and a 17mm wrench

  • Attach the support brackets to the hitch bar using the supplied bolts
  • Place the motorcycle rack between these two support brackets, and secure with bolts, washers, and nuts
  • Slide the anti-tilt bracket over your vehicle’s hitch bar, with its flat side toward the vehicle
  • Slide the rack into the trailer hitch, and install the hitch pin to keep it in place
  • Stow the ramp on the carrier (unless it slides away, as with some models), attaching with the supplied bolt and nut

If in doubt, seek advice from the manufacturer or a trusted professional.

carry a motorcycle

Best Motorcycle Hitch Carrier FAQ:

Q: What is a motorcycle hitch carrier?

A motorcycle hitch carrier is a product that you attach to the hitch receiver on your vehicle. Usually, it will fit with everything from a van to a truck to an SUV, provided it has a two-inch hitch. It’s different from trailers and other bulkier methods. They tend to be fairly compact and help prevent wobbling and tilting while on the road. By working with other parts like a wheel chock or a wheel stop (and some straps), these carriers let you move your motorcycles over long distances. 

Q: Are motorcycle racks legal?

Motorcycle racks are a perfectly legal way to transport your motorcycle. Provided the hitch pin is secured properly and you use straps and a wheel stop or wheel chock, it is safe and legal. Keep in mind that your license plate still needs to be visible. If the bike obscures the plate, you may need to get a separate plate to ensure that fellow drivers can see it. Motorcycle hitch carrier reviews mention a somewhat impeded view of the road behind you, even with the best options. You can compensate for this with extra mirrors to ensure that you are safe on the road.

Q: Are motorcycle hitch carriers safe? 

So long as you install it properly and load the motorcycle safely, yes, these hitch carriers are safe. Take a look at all the components when doing your pre-drive check. Look at the hitch pin to make sure it is in good condition. Add a wheel chock or a wheel stop to act as an anti-rattle device and help you drive more easily. Whether you’re driving with street bikes or a dirt bike, it will likely be difficult to see the bike in the dark. To ensure safety, add LED lights to your setup. Basically, so long as you are cautious and the carrier, the hitch pin, and the bike are all secured, this is a very safe mode of transportation.

Q: What kind of bike can I haul with my motorcycle hauler?

So long as you choose a carrier that can accommodate different tire widths, you can work with a whole bunch of rides. Most can support street bikes as well as anything from a dirt bike to a road motorcycle. Check the specifications (and the weight) to be sure. 

  • How heavy is my bike?

All bikes have a different weight, and hitch carriers (even those with steel construction) have a limit. To be sure that your bike can be supported, consult your owner’s manual. The weight of your ride will be clearly stated. Add a few pounds for gear and fluids to be safe. Compare this number to the hitch carrier capacity.

  • How large is my bike?

When it comes to getting a hitch carrier for your bike, size is a major factor. The carrier absolutely must be larger than the size of the bike. If you are unsure (and can’t find the owner’s manual) you can either check online for the make and model of your bike or use a measuring tape. Compare this measurement to the dimensions of the hitch carrier. 

  • How much weight can my Vehicle’s Hitch accommodate?

The tongue weight capacity of your vehicle’s hitch is a hugely important metric, not only for functionality but safety as well. Hitches use heavy-duty steel construction in conjunction with a secure hitch pin to secure the carrier. Check the tongue weight capacity in your owner’s manual to prevent your hitch carrier from falling off simply because it’s a few pounds too heavy.

Q: Will it damage my vehicle or hitch?

If installed correctly and onto a compatible hitch, no, you won’t damage the vehicle. To facilitate this, use a wheel stop or wheel chock when loading the bike. Pay careful attention to the hitch pin since it has such an important role. So long as you drive carefully and secure your ride carefully, your vehicle and hitch will remain in good condition. 

Q: What is the best motorcycle hitch carrier? 

The best motorcycle hitch carrier is one that works for your specific needs. If you plan to tow a dirt bike, you might need a different set up than to haul a Harley. It all comes down to the vehicle you drive and the size of the carrier. A versatile and user-friendly option is the MaxxHaul Compact Hitch Carrier

Q: How do you use a hitch carrier on a motorcycle? 

First, check that it’s compatible. Be sure that your vehicle’s setup, including everything from the mount to the hitch pin. Is in good condition. Then, install the carrier. Use a loading ramp to place the motorcycle on the carrier. Place a wheel chock or a wheel stop to secure it and place the straps. Drive to point b and reverse the steps to remove the motorcycle and get to riding. 

Q: How do I keep my hitch bike rack from swaying? 

The vast majority of hitch carriers come with an anti tilt locking device or an anti rattle device. These features stabilize the bike and prevent it from swaying back and forth. If you need a bit of extra security, fasten the motorcycle with straps directly to the carrier.

motorcycle on a car

Our Top Pick

After careful consideration, we’ve named the Black Widow Hitch-Mounted Aluminum Motorcycle Carrier as our top pick. It is constructed of aluminum and has a 400-pound weight capacity. But what makes it most convenient is the self-storing ramp system, which quickly and easily slides in and out of place. It’s very lightweight, easy to assemble, and works with your vehicle’s hitch setup to make transportation that much easier.

Sources:

  1. How Motorcycle Towing Safety Works – howstuffworks
  2. How to Trailer a Motorcycle – wikiHow