bike hitch carrier

Best Motorcycle Hitch Carriers

bike hitch carrier

There are several ways for a car to bring along a motorcycle on the road. However, the best method has to be via a hitch carrier. Why? It is because a motorcycle hitch carrier can minimize weight-space ratio and maximize road safety parameters both at the same time.

Carrying motorcycles via toy haulers is impractical in terms of weight requirement and parking convenience. By comparison, a U-haul could be a lighter towing machine but it is relatively unsafe to haul in steep terrain. What you need a motorcycle hitch carrier!   

Selection Guidelines

There is more to the definition of the best motorcycle hitch carrier than personal preferences. In other words, you need to know calculable and observable positive features. Apart from the retail price, here are the basic aspects you need to consider when choosing a motorcycle carrier:

  • Vehicle Type & Hitch Classes

The first (and often negligible) aspect defining your choice is the type of four-wheel vehicle you are driving. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of hitch receiver classes linking your vehicle to your towing machine. Check out this tabular diagram for an easier reference:

Hitch Receiver

Hitch Weight Capacity

4-Wheel Vehicles

Class 1

300 lbs

  • Subcompact
  • Sedan
  • SUV or Van
  • Pickup (light duty)
  • Pickup (heavy duty)

Class 2

525 lbs

  • Sedan
  • SUV or Van
  • Pickup (light duty)
  • Pickup (heavy duty)

Class 3

1,200 lbs

  • SUV or Van
  • Pickup (light duty)
  • Pickup (heavy duty)

Class 4 & 5

2,700 lbs

  • Pickup (light duty)
  • Pickup (heavy duty)
  • Weight Limit & Material Construction

When choosing a hitch carrier, you have to take note that the weight of your motorcycle should not exceed the model’s weight capacity. It is also important to consider the total weight capacity of the vehicle itself. This additional concern is helpful if a truck is already bearing the hitch load of a trailer or a full weight of a camper rig.

A motorcycle hitch is made from either steel or aluminum. Steel hitches are heavy and clunky. However, they are physically resilient and possesses additional weight limit margin.

Aluminum may be a bit fragile under severe pressure. But what it lacks in optimal tensile strength it makes up for excellent corrosion resistance. You don’t have to worry so much about weathering and mild chemical reactions.

  • Assembly Settings & Hitching Position

Knowing how easy or difficult it is to install a motorcycle hitch carrier is crucial in narrowing down your selection. Some models are a lot harder to assemble – especially considering the weight of the item. Other than the style, another aspect that makes installing difficult are missing components sold separately.

Ordinarily, a motorcycle hitch often follows a rearward position. But certain circumstances may require you to link the hitch at the front, especially with a rig or trailer in tow. However, not all hitch models are suitable for this alternative configuration. 

The Best Motorcycle Carriers

You can shape your own definition of the best trailer hitch motorcycle carrier based on the factors discussed earlier. It all depends on what aspect you value the most. It can either be the low retail price, the maximum weight capacity, the material construction or a good combination of all.

Some of the known brands are versatile and well-rounded. But there are also other models that emphasized one positive characteristic above everything else. Check out these brands for reference:

1. Best Choice Products SKY1375

  • Item Weight: 51 lbs
  • Hitch Class: 2, 3, 4 or 5

Courtesy of its namesake, anyone could argue that this model proves to be the best motorcycle hitch carrier ever. Even with a weight capacity of 500 lbs, this model can fit in every type of four-wheel vehicle. Its anti-tilting element locks the motorcycle perfectly steady even in rough terrain.

Curiously, several buyers complained about its subpar sturdiness when linked. Problems are usually prevalent around the hitch receiver area. Its relative instability seemed fairly out of place given that it is made of powder-coated steel.

Pros

  • Good weight capacity
  • Can fit in several vehicle types
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • Tensile strength issues
  • Short ramp length

2. Black Widow MCC-500

  • Item Weight: 62 lbs
  • Hitch Class: 3 or 4

Just like the previously mentioned model, the Black Widow Mcc-500 has a total weight capacity of 500 lbs. It also sports an anti-tilting lock bracket that holds the motorcycle steady. But unlike the SKY1375, its loading ramp has an excellent reach and berth.

This model can moor a 7-inch thick wheel of dirt bikes on its base. But be warned when towing trailers or camper rigs on your truck. Balance and weight limit may exceed beyond safe parameters.

Pros

  • Can carry bikes with wide tires
  • Convenient loading ramp
  • Suitable for rugged terrain

Cons

  • Incompatible behind trailers or rigs
  • Incompatible with extensions

3. VersaHaul VH-55 RO

  • Item Weight: 15.8 oz
  • Hitch Class: 3 or 4

If what you have in mind is an ingenious design, then this model can live up to your expectations. This hitch can carry 500 lbs or more in extremely rough terrain. It comes with four retractable bars meant to secure the belt-fastened motorcycle in tow.

Unfortunately, its special features cost more than three times the average retail cost. You ought to reflect at length for this serious investment. Furthermore, its instructions are very problematic.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Secure locking mechanism
  • Super heavy duty

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • Complicated manual

4. Black Widow AMC-400

  • Item Weight: 33.5 lbs
  • Hitch Class: 3 or 4

In buying this model of trailer hitch motorcycle carrier, you have to be aware of its tight weight limit. It is almost exclusively designed to tow lightweight motorcycles such as a motocross bike. As far as installation is concerned, you can put it up in a matter of seconds.

Built from aircraft-grade aluminum, this carrier can resist corrosion better than its steel-honed counterparts. Unfortunately, the same material earned low consumer ratings for tensile strength. Between retail price and practical usefulness, the overall value may be a matter of lengthy debate.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy and quick assembly
  • Rust-proof material

Cons

  • Unstable and flimsy
  • Expensive

5. Direct Aftermarket Carrier

  • Item Weight: 58 lbs
  • Hitch Class: 3 or 4

If what you have in mind is equity in terms of many positive features, this may fit your standards. The loading ramp measures 38 inches long and 5 inches wide. It is capable of holding a 500-lb weight limit.

In addition to its anti-tilting lock mechanism, this unit also sports a rubber base and padded arms. The shortage of ramp length can give you a lot of trouble if you own a vehicle with a higher platform. This hitch lacks certain components despite being a good bargain.

Pros

  • Balanced loading dimensions
  • Foam and cushion security
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • Short ramp length
  • Hitch pin excluded

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