Strapping a Motorcycle To A Hitch Carrier – Best Way!

a motorcycle to a hitch carrier

Strapping your motorcycle correctly is pivotal in ensuring its security, preventing damage to the bike and the vehicle, and most importantly, making the road safer for you and others. The use of straps, their types, the equipment needed, and the strapping process might seem overwhelming at first. But with clear step-by-step instructions and handy tips, we’ll make this process as smooth as your motorcycle rides.

Materials Needed for Strapping a Motorcycle

To secure your motorcycle to a hitch carrier, it’s essential to have the right equipment at hand. Each item plays a significant role in ensuring the motorcycle is safely strapped in and ready for transport. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:

  • Straps: Straps are the primary tool for securing your motorcycle. Choose from ratchet straps, cam buckle straps, or a combination, depending on your needs and the weight and size of your motorcycle. Ensure you have enough straps to secure different parts of the bike.
  • Soft Loops: These are used in conjunction with straps to create secure attachment points on your motorcycle without causing scratches or damage. They wrap around parts of the motorcycle and provide a loop through which you can thread your straps.
  • D Rings or Anchors: These are the points on the hitch carrier where your straps will attach. Some carriers come with built-in attachment points, but in some cases, you may need to add your own.
  • Motorcycle Chock: While not always necessary, a chock can provide additional stability by securing the front wheel of the motorcycle and preventing it from moving sideways.
  • Padding or Blankets To prevent any potential scratches or dents during transport, consider having padding or blankets to provide extra protection between your 7BLACKSMITHS 500LBS Bike Carrier and the hitch carrier or between different parts of the motorcycle itself..
  • Gloves: Strapping a motorcycle can put a strain on your hands. Wearing gloves can protect your hands and provide a better grip.

Preparing the Motorcycle

Before loading your motorcycle onto the hitch carrier, it’s crucial to prepare it properly to ensure safe and secure transport. Goplus 600 LBS Motorcycle Carrier is one of the safe and secure carriers.. Follow these steps to prepare your motorcycle:

1. Remove Loose or Detachable PartsIdentify and remove any loose or detachable parts that could potentially come off during transit. This includes side mirrors, saddlebags, or any other accessories that could be damaged or cause damage to the motorcycle or other vehicles on the road.
2. Check Tire PressureEnsure that the motorcycle’s tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure. Proper tire pressure helps maintain stability during transportation and minimizes the risk of tire damage.
3. Stabilize the MotorcyclePlace the motorcycle on its side stand or use a center stand, if available. This helps keep the motorcycle upright and stable during the loading and strapping process.
4. Balance the WeightPosition the motorcycle in a balanced manner on the ground. Ensure that it is not leaning to one side, as this imbalance can affect stability during transport. Adjust the motorcycle’s position as needed to achieve a balanced stance.
5. Secure Vulnerable AreasUse soft ties or protective padding to secure vulnerable areas of the motorcycle, such as the handlebars or frame. Soft ties are straps with loops that provide a secure attachment point without causing damage to the motorcycle’s surfaces.
6. Check Fluid LevelsVerify that the motorcycle’s fluids, such as fuel, oil, and coolant, are at the appropriate levels. This step helps prevent leaks or spills during transport, ensuring both the motorcycle and carrier remain clean and safe.
7. Inspect for Loose FastenersConduct a visual inspection of the motorcycle, paying attention to fasteners, bolts, and screws. Tighten any loose fasteners to prevent them from becoming dislodged during transportation.

By following these preparation steps, you ensure that your motorcycle is in optimal condition and ready to be loaded onto the hitch carrier. Taking the time to prepare your motorcycle properly reduces the risk of damage, enhances stability during transit, and contributes to a smooth and worry-free transport experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Strapping a Motorcycle to a Hitch Carrier

Once you have properly prepared your motorcycle, it’s time to load it onto the hitch carrier. Follow these step-by-step instructions for safe and efficient loading:

  • Position the Motorcycle: Roll your motorcycle onto the hitch carrier. Ensure it’s centered with the weight evenly distributed. If your carrier has a motorcycle chock, position the front wheel into it.
  • Apply the Brakes: To prevent any movement, engage the motorcycle’s brakes. If your motorcycle has a parking brake, use it. If not, you can use a brake lock.
  • Attach Soft Loops: Wrap soft loops around sturdy parts of your motorcycle’s frame. Avoid any parts that move or can be easily damaged. Thread the loop through itself to secure it in place.
  • Prepare Your Straps: Thread the strap through the ratchet or cam buckle, depending on which type of strap you’re using. Leave it loose for now.
  • Attach Straps to Motorcycle and Carrier: Hook one end of the strap to the soft loop on the motorcycle and the other end to the anchor point on the carrier. Repeat for all straps, ensuring there are straps holding the front and back of the motorcycle.
  • Tighten the Straps: Start tightening the straps gradually. Start with the front, then move to the back, and alternate between the two. The idea is to apply even pressure to both ends of the motorcycle.
  • Check the Tension: Once all the straps are tightened, check the motorcycle for stability. It should feel secure and not wobble when you apply force. If it moves, tighten the straps further.
  • Tidy Loose Ends: Any loose ends of straps should be tied up to prevent them from flapping during transport. You can tie them to the straps themselves or secure them with rubber bands or zip ties.
  • Double-Check Everything: Before setting off, double-check all straps, loops, and hooks. Ensure everything is still tight and secure.

Congratulations! You have successfully loaded your motorcycle onto the hitch carrier. Ensure that the motorcycle is properly positioned, balanced, and secured before proceeding to the next step of strapping it down. Remember to exercise caution and follow safety measures throughout the loading process to prevent any accidents or damage to the motorcycle or carrier.

Final Safety Checks

Before hitting the road with your motorcycle strapped to the hitch carrier like SPECSTAR Motorcycle & Dirt Bike Carrier, it’s crucial to perform a final round of safety checks. These checks ensure that everything is secure and in proper condition for a safe and smooth journey. Follow these important steps:

  1. Inspect Straps and Connections: Carefully inspect all the straps and connections used to secure the motorcycle. Ensure that they are tightly fastened and free from any signs of damage, wear, or fraying. Replace any worn or damaged straps immediately.
  2. Adjust Strap Tension: Double-check the tension of each strap. Make sure they are snug and properly tightened, without being overly tight or causing strain on the motorcycle’s suspension. Adjust the straps as necessary to achieve the right tension.
  3. Test Motorcycle Stability: Give the motorcycle a gentle shake or rock it back and forth to check its stability on the hitch carrier. It should remain firmly in place without any excessive movement or shifting. If there is any instability, reposition and re-secure the motorcycle.
  4. Verify Visibility: Confirm that the motorcycle does not obstruct the visibility of your vehicle’s rear lights, license plate, or turn signals. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure clear visibility for other drivers on the road.
  5. Secure Loose Items: Double-check that any loose items, such as tools or personal belongings, are properly secured and stowed away. Loose items can pose a safety hazard if they shift or fall during transportation.
  6. Follow Traffic Laws and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the specific traffic laws and regulations regarding the transportation of motorcycles in your area. Adhere to speed limits, use appropriate signaling, and drive defensively to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.
  7. Plan Your Route: Plan your route carefully, taking into consideration road conditions, potential hazards, and any restrictions on certain types of roads or highways. Choose a route that is suitable for transporting a motorcycle safely.

By conducting these final safety checks, you can have peace of mind knowing that your motorcycle is securely strapped to the hitch carrier and ready for transport. Remember, regular monitoring of the straps and motorcycle’s stability throughout your journey is essential to ensure that everything remains secure. Safely transporting your motorcycle requires ongoing vigilance and adherence to safety protocols at all times.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Over-tightening Straps: While it’s important to secure your bike tightly, over-tightening straps can cause damage. This is especially true with ratchet straps, which can exert a large amount of force on the motorcycle. Always check to ensure the bike is secure but not overly compressed.
  • Using Damaged or Worn Out Straps: Straps are under a lot of tension, and any wear or tear can significantly reduce their strength. Always inspect your straps before use, and replace any that show signs of damage.
  • Ignoring the Weight Limits: Both your hitch carrier and vehicle have maximum weight capacities. Exceeding these limits can cause damage and potentially lead to accidents. Always check the weight of your motorcycle and the capacity of your carrier and vehicle before loading.
  • Securing to Unstable Parts: When attaching straps, it’s essential to attach them to stable parts of the motorcycle. Avoid any parts that move, such as suspension components, or parts that are not sturdy enough to withstand the tension.
  • Uneven Weight Distribution: When positioning your motorcycle on the carrier, ensure it’s centered and the weight is evenly distributed. An off-balance load can make driving difficult and can even cause the motorcycle to fall off the carrier.
  • Skipping the Final Check: After securing the bike, always perform a final check. Over time, straps can loosen, so it’s also a good idea to stop after a short distance and check everything again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can any type of motorcycle be transported using a hitch carrier?Most motorcycles can be transported using a hitch carrier, as long as the carrier’s weight capacity and dimensions are compatible with the motorcycle’s weight and size. It’s important to choose a carrier that suits your specific motorcycle model.
How many straps or tie-downs should I use?It is recommended to use a minimum of four straps or tie-downs to secure your ECOTRIC 600LBS Motorcycle Carrier adequately. Two should be attached to the handlebars, and the other two to the frame or other sturdy parts. Having additional straps for added security is also advisable.
Can I use bungee cords to secure the motorcycle?It is not recommended to use bungee cords as the primary method of securing a motorcycle to a hitch carrier. Bungee cords are elastic and may not provide sufficient stability and security during transit. It is best to use proper straps or tie-downs designed for securing motorcycles.
Are there any weight restrictions for the hitch carrier?Yes, each hitch carrier will have a specified weight capacity. It is crucial to ensure that the combined weight of the motorcycle and carrier does not exceed the weight capacity specified by the manufacturer. Exceeding the weight limit can compromise safety and potentially damage the carrier or vehicle.
Can I transport a motorcycle with a sidecar using a Direct Aftermarket Steel Motorcycle Carrier?It may be challenging to transport a motorcycle with a sidecar using a hitch carrier, as the added weight and dimensions can exceed the carrier’s capacity. It is advisable to consult the carrier’s manufacturer or explore alternative transportation methods in such cases.
Are there any legal considerations when transporting a motorcycle using a hitch carrier?It is important to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations regarding the transportation of motorcycles. Some areas may have specific requirements for securing motorcycles to hitch carriers, such as using reflective materials or additional safety measures.
Can I leave my motorcycle on the hitch carrier overnight?It is generally not recommended to leave your motorcycle unattended on a hitch carrier overnight, as it may be vulnerable to theft or damage. Whenever possible, unload and secure your motorcycle in a safe and secure location. You can also use motorcycle garage door openers for opening the garage.
Can I transport multiple motorcycles on a hitch carrier like Mockins Motorcycle Hitch Carrier?Some hitch carriers are designed to transport multiple motorcycles simultaneously. However, it is crucial to ensure that the carrier’s weight capacity and dimensions can accommodate the total weight and size of all motorcycles being transported.


In conclusion, securely strapping a best motorcycle hitch carrier is a crucial step to ensure safe and successful transportation. By following the proper techniques and guidelines, you can protect your motorcycle from damage and maintain stability during transit. Remember to use high-quality straps or tie-downs specifically designed for motorcycles and attach them to sturdy points on the bike, such as the handlebars and frame.

Taking the time to properly secure the motorcycle, gradually tightening the tie-downs, and maintaining balanced tension will contribute to a secure and stable setup. Regularly check the straps during your journey to ensure they remain tight and secure, making any necessary adjustments along the way.

It’s important to note that each hitch carrier may have specific instructions and weight restrictions, so it’s vital to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for accurate information. Additionally, seeking advice from experienced riders, motorcycle safety instructors, and consulting resources like motorcycle magazines can provide valuable insights and expertise.