If you love to explore new places on your motorcycle and you usually take your two-wheeler with you almost wherever you go yet you don’t know if you can attach a motorcycle hitch carrier to a rental car, this post might be of help.
Conquering miles on two wheels has a charm of its own but doing so involves various measures you need to take in order to make sure you’re safe and what you do is legal. Unfortunately, riding your motorcycle is not always possible. Some areas have restrictions regarding the use of such a vehicle and, thus, you have to transport it.
When driving a rental car, there might be some restrictions as far as attaching a motorcycle carrier is concerned. However, it is not always forbidden to do so. Check out this post to learn more about the terms and conditions of renting a car and using it with such accessories for your motorcycle as well as how to attach the carrier safely.
Car rental agreements
Before getting to the various methods and products you can use to transport your motorcycle, you first need to find a company that allows you to attach a motorcycle carrier to the car you rent and that offers car models that are designed to help you do that safely.
Check the car rental terms and conditions carefully before you book any rental. If such aspects are not clearly specified in the agreement you should sign to rent the car, call the company for precise information regarding the attachment of a motorcycle carrier to a rental car.
Although rarely, some car rental companies not only offer such possibilities but they even rent the carrier or trailer you need to transport your motorcycle safely. You might want to start your search by filtering the many car rental companies available using such a factor.
If you still can’t find a company to rent you the car and the motorcycle carrier you need, at least find one that allows for motorcycle attachment and, if you don’t have your own carrier, try to rent one that would suit the various car types offered by the car rental company.
Plus, consider the type of car best suited for such needs. Keep in mind the luggage you have, how many people travel, and other such aspects. They all have a word to say when it comes to the car type you should get.
Also, personal belongings such as luggage or bikes are not usually covered by the car rental insurance and you will most probably have to protect them separately. Your travel insurance might help you with that. If you want to buy extra insurance, make sure you check the rental agreement terms.
Still, many extra insurance policies have restrictions or offer limited protection for the belongings you transport. Therefore, the safety of your motorcycle depends on the transportation method you use, how well you tie down the bike, and how you drive. Of course, there might be unforeseeable events that may occur and that do not depend on you.
Motorcycle transportation methods
If you’ve found a company that has no restrictions regarding a motorcycle attachment, you should consider the best motorcycle transportation method for your needs. Although many people resort to a carrier, this is not the only method you can use to get your two-wheeler from one place to another.
Motorcycle trailers are also employed for such needs yet they are heavier and, in some cases, it might be a bit difficult to tow them. You will find open and enclosed trailers. The enclosed ones will protect your bike from rain and the elements. Plus, they offer some theft protection. Still, transporting your motorcycle using a trailer means the total load will be heavier.
The market offers a variety of motorcycle trailers that are lightweight, affordable, and easy to tow. The thing with getting your own trailer is that, when it comes to renting a car, you will most probably rent it because you visit a new state or town. Therefore, it is highly likely for you to be forced to rent a trailer as well.
If you use your own trailer, make sure it has a license plate. If it doesn’t have one, you can get it at the DMV. In case you rent one, it should come with a plate. Choosing this method requires other things to help you load the bike safely. You will need a loading ramp specifically designed for such vehicles.
Given the fact that a trailer adds to the weight that needs to be transported, although it comes with advantages, many motorcycle users prefer a carrier to get their bikes from A to B. Such units should suit the receiver hitch of the vehicle. Some of them come with a ramp whereas others require you to get one separately.
If the car rental company allows for motorcycle carriers to be attached, make sure you choose a car that ensures the needed towing capacity. Then, once you’ve found such a car, look for a carrier that matches the car.
Tie down the motorcycle
No matter the transportation method you choose, tying the bike down will be almost the same. Use a chock to hold the two-wheeler in place by the front wheel. In case you don’t have such a tool, get someone to help you balance the motorcycle while you’re tying it down.
Get 2 or 4 quality straps to tie down the bike. Make sure you buy them from a specialty store. It is recommended to use 4 straps for enhanced security. Just connect them to the floor on both sides of the motorcycle and place them over the sturdiest part of your two-wheeler. Tighten them until the bike no longer moves in any direction, be it side-to-side or backward-to-forward.
Other things to consider
If you’ve reached this part and your bike is attached to your car and ready to go, there are some other things to take into account to make sure you reach your destination safely and with your bike in good condition.
It is recommended to stop every half an hour or so, if possible, to check the bike and the straps. They might loosen and thus might require you to adjust them again. If you’ve opted for a trailer and it’s the first time you drive with it, you might want to practice driving around with the trailer attached until you get comfortable with it.
Driving with such load calls for certain driving style adjustments. Keep a decent speed and take wide turns. Doing so is essential if you want to avoid unfortunate events and reach your destination with everything in place.
If you’re new to all of this and you’ve never transported a motorcycle before and want to make sure you do it safely, you might want to consult a professional to learn about the steps you should take depending on the car and motorcycle you use.
Not taking all the legal and safety measures required when transporting your motorcycle might end up with unpleasant events, therefore do the necessary research and take the needed steps before hitting the road with your motorcycle attached to a rental car.