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Hitch Carrier Racks vs. Other Bike Transportation Options

Hitch Carrier Racks

Transporting your motorbike can be a tiring task that can take a big part of your day. There are many different ways to haul your bike, and most of them involve buying a motorbike carrier rack. But even then, there are many different types of motorbike carrier racks to choose from. One of the most popular types of carrier racks is hitch racks.

Hitch bike racks make it easy for you to load and unload your motorcycle onto your pickup truck’s bed or trailer and take it to the mechanic, track or anywhere else. Furthermore, they’re relatively affordable when compared to pricey motorbike hauliers and trailers, while still providing the same service. Plus, if you use a haulier or a trailer, you’d have to go a register it, something that isn’t necessary with hitch carrier racks.

Aluminium vs. Steel Hitch Racks

Motorcycle hitch racks can be made of either aluminium or steel. Both materials have their own advantages. Steel motorbike carrier racks are heavy-duty as they’re bulkier. They usually have holes in some places to keep the overall weight down. However, they allow you to mount heavier motorcycles easily. Aluminium carrier racks are lighter, but you can only carry lighter motorbikes on them. They’re easier to mount since they’re not as heavy, and they’re more resistant to rust and corrosion.

motorcycle carriers

Hitch Rack Compatibility

You have to make sure the hitch is compatible with your vehicle. There are 5 classes of hitch carriers, each designed for a different type of vehicle. This also means that hitch carriers come in 5 different load capacities. For instance, class one hitch carriers can carry just about 135kg, and it can only be fitted to sedans, compact SUVs, hatchbacks and minivans. As the class of the hitch increases, so does the size of the vehicle that it’s compatible with. Class four and five hitch racks have a capacity of 1200kg and are suitable for pickup trucks. However, the capacity of the hitch rack will also depend on the material it’s made of. Most hitch racks are rated between 180 and 270kg.

Hitch Rack Durability

The durability of the hitch rack carrier not only represents its quality and longevity but also how well it can handle the bike that’s on it. That means how stable it is, how little it’s affected by vibrations and what features it has to prevent your motorbike from moving too much. The motorbike carrier rack should be resistant to impact when you’re travelling on uneven and unpaved roads, at high speeds, or too much movement from your bike.

Motorbike Weight

Buying a hitch rack that has a lower or higher load capacity than the weight of your motorbike isn’t ideal. It can lead to issues like more vibrations and movement, unreliable fastening, all of which can damage your bike, carrier or car. To ensure you get the right hitch rack for your bike, check your bike’s weight and decide on the ideal load capacity and hitch class. If your bike is on the heavier side, get a steel frame hitch rack. If it’s not as heavy, an aluminium hitch rack would be fine.

motorcycle carrier rack

Ease of Use

The main reason hitch carriers are so popular is that they’re easy to use. All you have to do install them on your vehicle, load and unload your motorbike – it doesn’t get more simple than that. That being said, when you’re buying one, you need to consider how easy using it would be. Unless you have a heavy bike, refrain from getting a steel or bulky hitch bike carrier. The weight range of hitch racks varies from 5kg to 50kg, the latter requiring two people to install. A loading ramp can be a great accessory that helps you load and unload your bike more easily and safely.


Price is usually the main consideration for a lot of buyers. As with anything else, the price range of hitch carriers is broad and as the price increases, the quality does in most cases as well. You can get a model for as low as $100 and as high as $300. However, they’re typically priced between $150 and $250.


These are the main things you need to take into account when buying a motorcycle hitch carrier. The majority of hitch carriers are focused on motocross and dirt bikes, as they’re those are the type of bikes that require transport. However, there are quite a few models that can accommodate touring and sport bikes too. That being said, you should know what’s important to you, and then get one that suits your needs. You can find a wide range of hitch carriers online, where you can also read reviews from people who have bought them. That can come a long way in helping you make a well-informed buying decision.

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.