Hitch Carriers: Best tie down method?

Apr 15, 2007
I'm looking to build a hitch mounted carrier, and the main structure is pretty straight forward: a chunk of 2x2 hitch material and a 6' long piece of deep 6" C-channel

But I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out what to do for tie downs. I've seen some that simple tie the bike down only to the center chunk off the hitch. Others use an "I" shape, with 4 tie downs, 2 off each end.

How much of an angle do the straps need to be at to make sure the bike is secure. Would 1 foot off the center line of the bike be enough(giving roughly a 4:1 ratio at the bars)?

dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
I think I would mainly rely on some sort of turnbuckles from each footpeg to the carrier. If you have a stand or sturdy support between the skid plate and the rail, you can tighten the bike down against it real good.

Have the footpegs in line with the hitch, and extend your 2" x 2" section about 8" beyond the rear of the rail so you can mount the outboard footpeg to it.
Oct 2, 2006
I bought a canopy for the truck and decided to build a hitch mounted carrier. I made the typical Joe hauler style and had it powder coated black. I used it three times and then ended up buying an ultimate MX hauler which was way better for me. I sold the one I made.

A) if you use a simple channel and fold up one end (Joe Hauler type) than you need four, maybe five tie down which makes it a PITA to use. You need to pull the front tire (two straps) into the channel fold and then pull down (two straps) to keep the bike from coming out of the channel. yuk.

B) The sport carrier uses a slot for the front tire that means you only have to pull straight down from the pegs or bars and it keeps the bike in the channel and the slot keeps the bike from moving. ratchet straps worked better than the cam straps. This is better than yuk.

C) Its a PITA for me not to be able to lower my tailgate or the door on my canopy when the bike is on ANY carrier.

D) Most carrier bars that go into your reciever allow the bike to rock slightly side to side. The carrier and bike rock as one. Yuk.

E) After a long ride, I didt want to pick the bike up or use any ramp if I didnt have to.

F) Th carriers typically weigh allot and aren't easy to store or haul (the sport carrier is aluminum which is cool though).

G) I added a welded loop so that when the bike was off the carrier, I could cable lock the carrier to the truck. Its more about when you get back to the truck, osmeone took off with it and theres no way to take your bike home. Thats the PITA there.

The ultimate mx hauler has a kick butt receiver lock that keeps it from rocking and it uses a hydraulic jack to raise and lower the bike from the ground. It also used hooks to attach to the pegs which is fast to use.

sorry to ramble but I went through a lot of design iterations and wish I had started with the ultimate mx idea to begin with. Or at least had used a slot for the front tire to drop/wedge down into, on the carrier I did fabricate.

good luck.