What To Look For When Buying A Motorcycle Carrier

Don’t want to buy a truck or trailer to haul your dirt bikes? No big deal. All you need is a car or van receiver hitch, and a motorcycle carrier. There are many different styles and versions of dirt bike carriers you can get, though, so with a little research you can find the right one without spending too much. But before you spend time researching, you’ll want to know what to look for.

Like I said, there are many variations of motorcycle hitch carriers. There are one and two place carriers, some are steel and some are aluminum, some shake, others break, and the list goes on. The main things you want to consider are: single or double, material used, quality of build, ease of use, weight, and cost.

Two Is Better Than One! Or Is It….?

Two is usually better than one, but in this case that’s not always true. Being able to bring two bikes instead of one can make or break a riding trip, but you will want to look at the downsides to that. First of all, double the bikes means double the weight; can your car and hitch receiver handle that weight? Your hitch may be able to, but it could cause extra wear on your vehicle’s frame and engine from hauling that weight on the back of it. If you want to haul two bikes comfortably, my suggestion would be to use a van, small truck, or crossover/SUV that can handle the extra weight. If you have a small car, one bike is probably plenty for it to handle, especially when it’s hanging on the rear-end.

Aluminum Vs. Steel

Aluminum Motorcycle Carrier

I know it may not seem like much of a comparison, but there can be ups and downs to both. Aluminum is almost always going to be lighter, but that also means it might rattle and make a lot of noise when driving down the highway. Steel is heavier, but it’s strong and simple. Aluminum can rattle if anything is loose, but so can steel if it’s thin.  These are just some things that you want to look out for when looking for the right carrier, because you might be sorry if you didn’t take the time to do a little research.

How Well Is It Built?

Some dirt bike carriers may be cheap and look like they’re built right, but if you read what people have to say about it you may find otherwise. Like I said before about steel being strong and sturdy, it may be thin metal, causing it to rattle, bend, or even break; thus the reason for a low price tag. Other things you find out with some research could be that the carrier may be built with defections. Holes may not line up, modifications could be required, or it might not have enough parts to work properly. I know it sounds ridiculous, but there are companies out there that try to cut any corner possible.

I like Something That Works

Isn’t it frustrating when you buy something, and when you get the product it looks like some idiot hacked it together?! You just have to ask yourself, “Why in the world would they do that?!?!” because it was designed so poorly. When talking bike carriers, this could be having the tie-down loopholes in a bad location so the bike isn’t sturdy, a poorly built rack that makes it hard to load and unload the bike, or they just might not be able to haul a bike safely down the road without having to check the rear-view mirror every 30 seconds.

When You Have Absolutely No Other Options...

You Get What You Pay For

Generally, the more you pay for a motorcycle carrier, the higher quality and better features it will have. If you want a $60 scrap of metal that dangles your bike out over the road, be my guest. Just keep these ideas in mind when researching, and remember that reading customer reviews is very important because they have tested these products. Good luck!

For A High-Quality Motorcycle Carrier, check out my review on the AMC-600 Double Dirt Bike Hauler.

-Tom Stark