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Buying Guide for Motorcycle Carriers


Anyone who enjoys the wind whipping through their hair as they cruise down straightaways in unfamiliar territory, rip over jumps, or just appreciates a solid motorbike ride knows the struggle of getting their bikes from point A to point B. You can load up your truck bed, hitch up an entire trailer, or, consider using a hitch-mounted motorcycle carrier. Safe, easy to install and use, motorcycle carriers can be used for bikes of all sizes. This buying guide will help you determine what bike carrier best suits your needs.

What carrier is right for me?

It really depends on the size of your ride.

Medium or Large Motorcycle

Comparison Chart

Use With 1 Dirt bike 1 Dirt bike 1 Dirt bike 2 Dirt bikes 1 Motorbike 1 Motorbike 1 Motorbike 1 Motorbike 1 Motorbike
Construction Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel/Alum.
Capacity 400 lbs 400 lbs 400 lbs 600 lbs 500 lbs 500 lbs 600 lbs 600 lbs 600 lbs
Hitch Size/Class 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV 2", III/IV
Max wheel size 5.5" 5.5" 5.5" 5.5" 5" 5" 8" 5.5" 7.5"
Track length 75" 75" 75" 75" 76" 76" 79" 75" 79"
Ramp length 47" 73" 47" 45" 45" 45" 71" 59" 72"
Loading side L, R L, R L, R L, R L, R L, R R L, R L, R
Self-storing ramp
Weight 36.5 lbs 38 lbs 45.5 lbs 69 lbs 62 lbs 62 lbs 98 lbs 64 lbs 97 lbs
Youth bike adapter
Folds up
Wheel Chock

Explanation of features

Aluminum is lightweight and strong, however it can be dinged more easily than steel. Powder-coated steel is incredibly sturdy, however it is more prone to rust and tends to be heavier than aluminum.

Black Widow’s carriers have weight capacities that range from 400 pounds up to 600 pounds. Because vehicles have weight limitations for hitch-mounted carriers, we recommend that bikes over 600 pounds be transported either in a truck bed or trailered.

Our carriers are designed for 2” Class III/IV hitches. Class III hitches are usually found on pickups, minivans, and SUVs, and are rated for a tongue weight of 350-600 pounds. Class IV hitches are more heavy-duty, can be found on large pickups and SUVs, and are rated for tongue weights around 1,000-1,200 pounds.

The carrier tracks have lips on either side that limit the tire width they can accommodate. Dirt bike carriers such as the AMC-400 go up to 5.5” max tire width, whereas the MCC-600, designed for heavier street bikes, can accommodate tires up to 8” wide without scraping the sides of the track.

The shortest ramp we offer is 3’ 9.5”, with our longest ramp clocking in at 6’ 1.5”. The longer the ramp, the easier it is to wheel a bike up and onto the carrier because the loading incline is milder.

Most ramps can attach to either the left of right of the track, which is useful in parking lots where directional traffic might be heavier on one side than the other.

Instead of having to throw the loading ramp in the back of your vehicle, our carrier ramps attach directly to the carrier frame so that they can’t be lost or forgotten.

Our lightest aluminum carrier weighs 36.5 pounds, with our heaviest steel carrier weighing in at 98 pounds.

The youth adapter bar reduces the length of the wheel position on the carrier track so that smaller youth tires can rest comfortably without sinking or falling through.

The addition of a folding hitch on carrier models marked “-F” allows them to fold up against the vehicle when the carrier is not use – great for reducing the footprint while parking.

The anti-rattle pin minimizes the shaking and sounds that you would otherwise hear while driving. Those sounds and sensations aren’t necessarily an indication that something is wrong, however it’s a much more pleasant experience for the driver if they have peace-of-mind.

Besides choosing the right carrier for your bike, what's your top priority when it comes to carrier features? Let us know in the comments below!

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